Netto Stops Copeland In Copper Classic

D.J. Netto in victory lane. (The Dirt Network photo)

QUEEN CREEK, Ariz. — A thrilling opener to the third annual Copper Classic, California’s D.J. Netto held off Colby Copeland off the final turn to win for the third time at Arizona Speedway with the ASCS Southwest Region.

Having to chase from fourth, Netto raced to second on lap three as Justyn Cox led the way; having taken the point the previous lap from Mark Dobmeier. Keeping pace by over a half-second, the race went under red flag conditions as Matt Covington’s night came to a violent end on lap six.

Back to five laps complete on the restart, Netto looked low for the lead but couldn’t pick up the position as Cox began marching away. Not getting away for long, slower traffic came into play with 10 laps in the book. Racing low on lap 11, Netto took over the lead off turn two.

Leaving Justyn Cox to battle for second, the No. 5v dropped to third as sixth-starting Colby Copeland took over second.

Remaining in lapped traffic, the slower cars worked to Netto’s advantage with the No. 88 moving to a nearly two-second advantage with 10 laps to run. Down to five laps to run, Netto led the way by just over 3.5 seconds as the caution flag waved for Colton Hardy.

Back to green with a lapped car between the top two drivers, D.J. Netto committed to the cushion as Copeland struggled to clear the slower machine of Jesse Baker.

Finally getting by, the caution flew again with a pair of laps to run as third running, Justyn Cox, stopped on the back straightaway.

To the green-white-checkered finish, Copeland and Netto were side by side as the pair came around to start the final lap. Staying nearly wheel to wheel through the final lap, Netto barely fought back to the win by 0.187 seconds. Copeland held on for second with Justin Sanders coming from ninth to third. Dobmeier in fourth was chased to the line by Roger Crockett.

The finish:

D.J. Netto, Colby Copeland, Justin Sanders, Mark Dobmeier, Roger Crockett, Garen Linder, Robbie Price, Jack Dover, Blake Carrick, Rick Ziehl, John Carney, Colton Hardy, Joshua Shipley, Jesse Baker, Jarrett Martin, Royal Jones, Justyn Cox, J.T. Imperial, Tanner Carrick, Jeff Lowery, Brian Thomas, Matt Covington.