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15 Year Old Tyler Reif from Vegas Wins His ARCA Series Debut

AVONDALE, Ariz.– If there’s anything to be learned about racing, it's that Vegas kids are often fastest behind the wheel out west.

NASCAR Cup Series driver and Las Vegas native Noah Gragson was spotted in Victory Lane on Friday night to congratulate the 15 year-old Tyler Reif from Henderson, NV after winning his first ARCA Menards Series win.

“We spent a lot of time with him [Reif] growing up, and he's younger than me” Gragson said. ”Going to the go-kart track and watching him progress throughout his racing career, it's been really cool to see the hard work and him apply himself in his craft and always trying to be better.”

Noah Gragson in Victory Lane at General Tires 150

On Saturday, Racing Refresh caught up with Gragson who is currently in his rookie season in the Cup Series and has taken on a mentorship role with Reif by making himself available for any questions the young driver has.

“I'm glad to kind of take him under my wing, and it's cool to see him be able to ask questions and talk about stuff when he’s young,” he said. “It's his first race really. So I am trying to help them as much as I can and just really proud of that [win] for the guys last night.”

This is Reif’s third start on the ARCA platform and adds his name to a short list of drivers to win their main ARCA Series debut.The only other drivers to have done so are Christopher Bell, Todd Gilliland and Myatt Snyder.

The race wasn’t without some misfortune for Reif, who was involved in a crash on Lap 11 that damaged the rear of his car. The swift work of his No. 41 Lowden-Jackson Motorsports crew kept him in the race, work that would result later with a trip to Victory Lane.

“Got in a racing incident at [Lap 11], got turned, no big deal,” said Reif, “This team is so good to get this car hooked up. I’m happy. There are just no words to describe this.”

For much of the General Tires 150 it appeared as though William Sawalich, who was making his ARCA debut for Joe Gibbs Racing, would be the driver taking home the checkered flag.

However, during the first green-white-checkered restart, Sawalich spun from the race lead after contact with third-place Bradley Erickson. That suddenly handed the lead to Reif, the younger brother of two-time West Series race winner Tanner Reif.

During the ensuing chaos, second-place Landen Lewis got a massive jump and took the lead as Reif found himself battling for second with Erickson.

Reif quickly dispatched Erickson and set his sights on Lewis. Reif caught him coming out of Turn 2 on the final lap and made the race-winning move entering Turn 3 to secure his first ARCA Menards Series and ARCA Menards Series West triumphs.

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