From Brandon White / arcaracing.com
MONROE, Wash. — Jake Drew’s three-race win streak in the ARCA Menards Series West came to an end at Evergreen Speedway on Saturday at the hands of his Sunrise Ford Racing teammate, Tanner Reif.
On the final restart of the evening, Reif used the high line to power past Drew for the lead. A late charge from Drew during the closing laps came up short, which allowed Reif to celebrate his second series victory in the West Series’ 1,000th race.
Reif was in disbelief about winning the 1,000th West Series event, but admitted that he might not have been able to overtake Drew if it wasn’t for the adjustments his Sunrise Ford Racing crew made during the competition caution on Lap 85.
“We got the halfway setup perfect,” Reif said. “I can’t believe we’re here right now. This is unbelievable. I’ve got the world’s best spotter and Jeff Schrader is the best crew chief ever. [I also have to thank] Bill Sedgwick for setting up the car and all the fans for coming out.”
Reif’s victory on Saturday also continued a string of success for Sunrise Ford Racing at Evergreen.
The last three West Series events at Evergreen have all been won by a driver piloting the familiar blue and orange colors associated with Sunrise Ford Racing. Derek Thorn began that streak in 2018, with Trevor Huddleston and Blaine Perkins maintaining the status quo over the next two visits.
Drew was in an ideal position to bring home another victory for car owner Bob Bruncati at Evergreen until David Smith brought out the final caution of the evening, which provided Reif the opportunity to take the checkered flag for himself.
While Drew wished he could have been the one celebrating in Victory Lane for the 1,000th West Series race, he was more than happy to see Sunrise Ford Racing sweep the top two positions in the historic event.
“It sucks to have this streak come to an end, but we were still super close there,” Drew said. “[Winning] the 1,000th ARCA West race is a pretty cool deal along with Sunrise [Ford] Racing going 1-2. Congrats to [Reif] and the whole No. 9 team. They worked their butts off today.”
For Reif, his triumph at Evergreen came nearly five months after leading wire-to-wire from the pole at Irwindale Speedway for his first West Series win.
As with Irwindale, Reif also started on pole for Saturday’s NAPA Auto Parts ARCA West 150 but had to battle Drew along with the Bill McAnally Racing duo of Cole Moore and Landen Lewis all evening just to get back to the front.
Reif still faces a significant deficit to Drew in the West Series point standings after Evergreen, yet remains optimistic that he can close out 2022 with several more victories. He also plans to cherish winning the 1,000th event in West Series for as long as he can.
“It’s so good to win the 1,000th [West Series] race,” Reif said. “That’s something that I’m really happy to be here for. I love this series and I love being in it.”
Joey Iest tried to chase down Drew for second but came home with a solid third place run. Moore settled for fourth after leading several laps in the NAPA Auto Parts ARCA West 150 with veteran Todd Souza rounding out the top-five.
The ARCA Menards Series West returns to action on Labor Day weekend with the second trip of the season to Portland International Raceway, which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 3. The race will be available live on FloRacing.
A replay of the NAPA Auto Parts ARCA West 150 will be shown on USA Network on Aug. 26 at 2 p.m. ET.
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