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  • By Gary Thomas

DJ Netto claims second career SCCT victory at Keller Auto Speedway on Saturday

HANFORD, Calif. — D.J. Netto won the 30-lap Sprint Car Challenge Tour Series event at Keller Auto Speedway on Saturday night.

The hometown boy beat out Justin Sanders and Kyle Hirst in scoring a very popular win in front of his local fans.

Netto drove his familiar Netto AG supported No. 88n.

Tim Kaeding and his brother Bud Kaeding filled out the top five. Seventeen of the 24 starters were running at the checkered flag in a marathon event lasting over an hour.

Colby Copeland and Hirst brought the field down for the start, but the racers did not make it through the third turn before the race’s first caution waved. Travis Coelho spun high off the turn’s banking. On the complete restart, Copeland would stutter and fade, losing several positions as the top runners were sorting out the fastest race groove.

It was Sanders, who had started in the second row, who would figure out the extremely wide Hanford groove and claim the top spot.

The race would slow again on lap 6 when an infield tire barrier got knocked on to the track in turn four by the group of cars that picked the bottom groove. On the restart, it was Sanders leading Hirst and Cole Macedo but it would be Macedo who would bring out the red when he jumped the turn-two cushion and flipped.

The race would restart less Macedo but would quickly go red once again when a rim riding Coelho caught the front stretch wall just past the flag stand and did a series of high flying flips, ending his night.

Netto had now made his way up to second and would restart alongside of leader Sanders on a double file restart. But the race would have to once again be stopped on lap nine when Copeland spun around coming out of the fourth turn and got clipped by Andy Forsberg who was then side swiped by Craig Stidham who would take a hard flip.

Several cars ducked into the infield to avoid the nearly blocked track, avoiding what could have been a much more serious accident. Only Copeland would be able to restart after pitting for repairs.

The race would restart once the wrecked cars were removed from the track and would stay green until Scott Parker stopped on the track coming out of turn two.

Another caution would come out for Kyle Offill who spun in the second turn. Offill had been a flip victim in his heat but after repairing a heavily damaged car, Offill started the B Main picking up a transfer spot with a high finish which put him in the main event.

Sanders, Netto and the remaining top five in the running order all picked the high groove around the King’s County Fairgrounds oval. It would be a slide job by Netto on Sanders on lap 24 which would put him in the front.

Two laps later, it would be Tim Kaeding trying the same move as Netto, however Sanders would have no part of it and rammed the back of Kaeding’s No. 42x sending him nearly off the banking and out of third place.

Offill’s turn-two problems continued when he spun around on lap 27 bringing out yet another caution. It was under this caution that Kaeding would show his displeasure with Sanders as the two cars nearly locked up.

But it was Netto who enjoy the win at his home track. The Sanders-Kaeding feud continued on the cool down lap with some more bumping before Kaeding would head to the pits while Sanders joined the front stretch ceremonies.

The finish:

D.J. Netto, Justin Sanders, Kyle Hirst, Tim Kaeding, Bud Kaeding, Tony Gualda, Sean Becker, Mitchell Faccinto, Willie Croft, Colby Copeland, Grant Duinkerken, Danny Faria, Kaleb Montgomery, Tucker Worth, Blake Carrick, Kyle Offill, Landon Hurst, Dustin Freitas, Scott Parker, Steven Kent, Andy Forsberg, Craig Stidham, Travis Coelho, Cole Macedo

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