QUEEN CREEK, Ariz. – California’s Kyle Larson grabbed his 44th win of the season during night one of the fifth annual Copper Classic Friday at Arizona Speedway.
Larson took full advantage of the heat and qualifier format en route to his second career triumph with the ASCS Southwest Region.
Drawing pill No. 100 to set his heat race starting spot, Larson’s qualifier performance sent him from 19th in passing points all the way up to the front row of the 25-lap feature event.
Taking a shot at the lead on the start, Rico Abreu rolled the bottom on Larson and Carson Macedo, with Larson’s No. 57 diamonding the first two turns to retake the lead down the back straightaway as Macedo settled into second.
After a red flag working lap four for Brock Zearfoss, who went for a ride exiting the second turn, the field reverted to lap three on the restart, with Larson again taking off with the lead as Abreu set his sights on second.
However, Abreu could not hold the spot as Buddy Kofoid and Colton Hardy pounced on the No. 24, with Kofoid taking third.
Leading by a half straightaway as the race passed lap 10, Larson began working slower traffic. Held up by the backmarkers, Macedo closed rapidly.
Taking advantage, the No. 21 shot to the lead on lap 12, but it was short-lived as Larson reclaimed the point the following lap. Moving in on the pair during the exchange, Buddy Kofoid was able to take second on lap 14.
Eventually pulling away by a half-second, Larson was not out of the woods as traffic came back into play with five laps to go.
Finally clearing the slower machines, however, Larson was unstoppable down the home stretch, pulling out to an advantage of 2.050 seconds at the finish.
Macedo worked back to second in the closing laps, with Kofoid taking third. Rico Abreu crossed fourth with Arizona’s Colton Hardy coming home in fifth.
California’s D.J. Netto was sixth, with Garet Williamson, Justin Sanders, Devon Borden and J.J. Hickle closing the top 10.
Fifty-four cars checked in for the opening night of competition at the third-mile, high-banked dirt oval.
1. 57-Kyle Larson ; 2. 21-Carson Macedo ; 3. 19A-Buddy Kofoid ; 4. 24-Rico
Abreu ; 5. 41-Colton Hardy ; 6. 88N-DJ Netto ; 7. 24W-Garet Williamson ; 8. 16A-Justin Sanders ; 9. 8-Devon Borden ; 10. 63-JJ Hickle ; 11. 19AZ-Spencer Bayston ; 12. 2X-Chase Majdic ; 13. 46JR-Joel Myers Jr. ; 14. 9R-Reece Goetz ; 15. 38B-Blake Carrick ; 16. 13-Tim Kaeding ; 17. 5V-Kalib Henry ; 18. 83T-Tanner Carrick ; 19. 01X-John Carney ; 20. 5C-Colby Copeland ; 21. 5T-Ryan Timms ; 22. 2XM-Max Mittry ; 23. 19-Colby Thornhill ; 24. 8Z-Brock Zearfoss .