Colby Copeland finally claims first SCCT triumph
Colby Copeland is a Sprint Car Challenge Tour winner at last By Gary Thomas
Images courtesy of Devin M Photography and Paul Trevino Photos
Merced, CA – July 31, 2021…Colby Copeland had been on the cusp of victory with the Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Elk Grove Ford and Abreu Vineyards on several occasions the last few years. After more than one instance of late-race heartbreak already this season it finally came together for the Roseville driver, who led flag-to-flag at Merced Speedway on Saturday for his first career SCCT triumph. Adding in the Kyle Larson Racing full-time Bonus, along with his win during the High Sierra Industries Dash, Copeland and the Van Lare Steering Repair No. 5V team walked away with $3,100 for their efforts. Last time out with the Sprint Car Challenge Tour the 29-year-old lost the race in the final corner of the feature and he was poised to not let that happen again.
Copeland started on the pole of the 35-lap main event and charged into the lead at the waving of the green flag. Fresno’s Dominic Scelzi quickly moved into second and hounded the rear of Copeland during the opening stages. A few times in traffic it looked as if Scelzi may have an opening down low, but each time Copeland used the momentum up high to maintain the top-spot.
As the race wound down Copeland hit his marks and motored away from the field to accept the checkered flag. Foresthill’s Ryan Robinson squeaked past Scelzi on the last turn and crossed the stripe in second to record his fifth straight top-five finish with SCCT. Robinson and the Weiher Racing No. 14W team were able to extend their point lead to 24-markers with four events remaining. One night after earning his 16th win of the season Scelzi brought home another solid finish to round out the podium.
Hanford’s DJ Netto came home in fourth while Aromas driver Justin Sanders completed the top-five in the feature. The remainder of the top-10 was comprised of Rio Linda’s Isaiah Vasquez, Salinas’ Keith Day Jr., Hanford’s Mitchell Faccinto, Clarksburg’s Justyn Cox and Pit Stop USA Hard Charger Award winner Corey Day of Clovis, who started 19th in the field.
The evening’s B-main went to Redding’s Max Mittry, with the four 10-lap heat races picked off by Faccinto, Copeland, Robinson and Sanders. Vasquez began the night by earning his first ever Bianchi Farms Fast Time Award, pacing the 34-car field in qualifying. The now 17-year-old toured the quarter-mile in 11.140 seconds to set the standard.
Next up for the Sprint Car Challenge Tour presented by Elk Grove Ford and Abreu Vineyards will be the 61st running of the “Johnny Key Classic” at Ocean Speedway on Saturday August 21st. It marks the first ever appearance for SCCT at the Watsonville, California based bullring and will be co-sanctioned with the Ocean Sprints presented by Taco Bravo. The track will also hold an Ocean Sprints event the night before on August 20th.
Contingency winners at Merced Speedway July 31st- Pit Stop USA Hard Charger: Corey Day High Sierra Industries Dash: Colby Copeland Bullard Construction 1st Non-transfer: Grant Champlin D&D Roofing Last Place in Semi: Colby Johnson Bianchi Farms Fast Time: Isaiah Vasquez Kyle Larson Racing full-time Bonus: Colby Copeland …… Merced Speedway SCCT 360 Results - 34 Entries A Main 35 Laps 1. 5V-Colby Copeland; 2. 14W-Ryan Robinson; 3. 4D1-Dominic Scelzi; 4. 88N-DJ Netto; 5. 35M-Justin Sanders; 6. 83SA-Isaiah Vasquez; 7. 22-Keith Day Jr; 8. 37-Mitchell Faccinto; 9. 7C-Justyn Cox; 10. 41-Corey Day; 11. 7P-Jake Andreotti; 12. 3-Kaleb Montgomery; 13. 35-Sean Becker; 14. 38B-Blake Carrick; 15. 88A-Joey Ancona; 16. 83T-Tanner Carrick; 17. 33-Tucker Worth; 18. 67G-Grant Dunkerkin; 19. 7Z-Zane Blanchard; 20. X1-Andy Forsberg; 21. 75-Brendan Warmerdam; 22. 46JR-Joel Myers Jr; 23. 2XM-Max Mittry; 24. 12J-John Clark
B Main 15 Laps 1. 2XM-Max Mittry; 2. 35-Sean Becker; 3. 33-Tucker Worth; 4. 12J-John Clark; 5. 18-Grant Champlin; 6. 6-Logan Calderwood; 7. 4-Tuesday Calderwood; 8. 55A-Angelo Cornet; 9. 87-Ashlyn Rodriguez; 10. 94-Greg Decaires V; 11. 38-Colby Johnson
Dash 6 Laps 1. 5V-Colby Copeland; 2. 83SA-Isaiah Vasquez; 3. 4D1-Dominic Scelzi; 4. 35M-Justin Sanders; 5. 14W-Ryan Robinson; 6. 37-Mitchell Faccinto; 7. 88N-DJ Netto; 8. 22-Keith Day Jr
Heat 1 10 Laps 1. 37-Mitchell Faccinto; 2. 7C-Justyn Cox; 3. 83SA-Isaiah Vasquez; 4. 75-Brendan Warmerdam; 5. 67G-Grant Dunkerkin; 6. 4-Tuesday Calderwood; 7. 6-Logan Calderwood; 8. 21-Jesse Schlotfeldt; 9. 38-Colby Johnson
Heat 2 10 Laps 1. 5V-Colby Copeland; 2. 88A-Joey Ancona; 3. 88N-DJ Netto; 4. 46JR-Joel Myers Jr; 5. 83T-Tanner Carrick; 6. 35-Sean Becker; 7. 33-Tucker Worth; 8. 12J-John Clark; 9. 5D-Connor Danell
Heat 3 10 Laps 1. 14W-Ryan Robinson; 2. 4D1-Dominic Scelzi; 3. 7P-Jake Andreotti; 4. X1-Andy Forsberg; 5. 41-Corey Day; 6. 2XM-Max Mittry; 7. 18-Grant Champlin; 8. 55A-Angelo Cornet
Heat 4 10 Laps 1. 35M-Justin Sanders; 2. 38B-Blake Carrick; 3. 22-Keith Day Jr; 4. 3-Kaleb Montgomery; 5. 7Z-Zane Blanchard; 6. 94-Greg Decaires V; 7. 87-Ashlyn Rodriguez; 8. (DNS) 2X-Chase Majdic