Copeland Banks $5,000 Copper Prize

Colby Copeland in victory lane. (Ron Gilson photo)

QUEEN CREEK, Ariz. — Adding his first ASCS Southwest Regional victory to his list of accolades, California’s Colby Copeland held off D.J. Netto to pick up $5,000 in the third annual Copper Classic at Arizona Speedway.

Copeland is the 52nd different winner in ASCS Southwest Regional competition.

Falling to second on the opening revolution to Michael Kofoid, who shot the cushion to the race lead, Copeland raced back to the point on lap two. Just pulling into traffic, the first caution came on lap seven for debris.

Restarting with a slower machine as a buffer over Kofoid, the lapped traffic worked to Copeland’s favor as the driver of the No. 5c moved to just over a half-second lead before racing into traffic with 16 laps to run.

With Netto retaking second on lap 15, the No. 88 was on Copeland in a matter of seconds as the leader tagged the back of the No. 22 of Jesse Baker trying to put him a lap down. Taking advantage, Netto dove for the lead through the third and fourth turns, but too wide off the fourth turn, Copeland turned under and reclaimed the top spot.

Rebuilding his run, Netto again went for the slide a couple laps later but would meet the same result as the caution flew shortly after for Justin Sanders who rolled to a stop while running fifth.

Back under power, the Californians were locked in a battle for the lead with the No. 88 going for the point in turn three, then again, in turn, one, with both coming up shy.

With the lead in hand, Copeland again pulled to just over a half-second advantage before the red lights came on working lap 28 as Robbie Price who took a hard ride in the first and second turns.

Back to the last fully completed lap, the green flew with three laps to go with Kofoid and Netto swapping the runner-up spot through turns one and two. Racing back around the No. 8 of Kofoid, Netto dropped to the deck in turn three and again went for the slide on Copeland, but just like before the slide would be answered as Copeland raced by and opened it up to 0.821 seconds of breathing room.

Netto in second was joined on the podium by Roger Crockett, who grabbed away the show position off the final turn. Kofoid would settle for fourth with Hunter Schuerenberg moving up from 13th to fifth.

With a 10th-place, Rick Ziehl clinched his 10th ASCS Southwest Regional Championship; winning by 36 points over Jesse Baker.

The finish:

Colby Copeland, D.J. Netto, Roger Crockett, Buddy Kofoid, Hunter Schuerenberg, John Carney, Tanner Carrick, Garen Linder, Justyn Cox, Rick Ziehl, J.T. Imperial, Mark Dobmeier, Colton Hardy, Billy Chester III, Royal Jones, Casey Buckman, Robbie Price, Blake Carrick, Brian Thomas, Justin Sanders, Jesse Baker, Jarrett Martin, Jack Dover.