(Cypress, CA, May 9, 2023) Brody Roa’s successful 2023 season continued to roll like a fine-tuned machine when he captured his third straight USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series main event last Saturday night at the Mohave Valley Raceway. In addition to Roa, car owner, and teammate Tommy Dunkel competed in his first USAC/CRA main event and placed 11th.
Roa, who lives in Garden Grove, California, had a little bit of an easier time than his previous two wins. Those victories came at Kings Speedway, and Kern County Raceway Park on April 22nd and 29th, Both of those were hard-fought battles. Last Saturday on the 1/3 mile banked Arizona oval, the veteran driver grabbed the lead on lap four and drove away for a convincing win.
The Inland Rigging duo hit the track in qualifying and Roa recorded the fastest time of the night with a lap of 14.275. Dunkel, who lives in Menifee, California, and who was competing in his second-ever USAC/CRA race, was 14th fastest when he stopped the clocks at 16.865.
After earning his first Woodland Auto Display Fast Time Award of 2023, Roa nearly swept the show. Sandwiched in between qualifying and the main event, he appeared in the first 10-lap heat race of the night. Starting sixth, he quickly raced up to second. After a lap six yellow, he briefly led the race two times. At the finish, he came charging on the inside and nearly stole the top spot only to lose by less than a half car length.
Moments after Roa’s heat race, Dunkel rolled onto the track in his white 360-powered #17 for his second-ever USAC/CRA heat. The Menifee, California resident ended up in a battle for fifth and momentarily put his car into that position. In the end, he placed in the same position he started in.
With a large crowd in attendance on the very pleasant Arizona spring evening, Roa started the 30-lap main event in sixth position and Dunkel began the race in 13th. Roa poked his nose into third at the end of the first circuit and took full control of the spot on lap two. On the next go-around, he commandeered second, and going into turn one on the fourth lap, he shot into the lead. From that point on, “The Pride of Garden Grove” controlled the remainder of the race.
Roa stretched his lead to a ½ straightaway on lap nine. Two laps later, he was into the lapped traffic. Looking perfect through the lappers, he had a full straightaway lead on the 20th circuit and lapped the sixth-place car on lap 22. The only thing that stopped him from lapping cars in the top five was a yellow flag on the 24th go-around. His massive lead was gone for the restart, but once the green flag waved again, he simply walked away from the field to win his fifth main of the year by a half straightaway.
Starting 13th, Dunkel had a lot of pack racing going on in front of him. As per usual, he steered clear of the chaos and moved forward from his initial starting spot. At the end of the 30th lap, he crossed the line 11th in the 16-car field. While he is running a limited USAC/CRA schedule and is not shooting for it, Dunkel is ranked fourth in the Rookie of the Year point standings.
“When we pulled in after wheel packing, I kind of watched how they were prepping the track and I had an idea it was going to go slick,” the happy winner told the appreciative crowd when asked if it was the track he expected. “It was slick, racy, dusty, that is how sprint car tracks should be.”
“I was probably getting a little timid there at the end. I was kind of keeping an eye on the top. It was not cleaning dust off so I know there was no one there trying it. At least (not) enough to make it work. So, I was like, don’t miss the exit off four and get down to one so they cannot slide you down there and we will be good. This car is just incredible. So stoked on how our year has gone so far. It just seems like we make the right calls all night. This DRC chassis makes it easy. We don’t even change anything all night. Just show up with the baseline and run it. Maybe put a little bit here and a little bit there and call it a day. It gets around the track so good.”
“A huge thank you to everyone that supports me,” a grateful Roa said when interviewed. “My dad, he doesn’t miss any of these. If it weren’t for him, I don’t know if I could do it alone tonight. He’s been with me since day one obviously. I can count on one hand how many (races) he has missed. I am so thankful for my family and my sponsors and everyone that is a part of this deal. Thank you to all you fans that came out. It’s an awesome crowd here so I hope we can come back a whole bunch next year.”
Roa gets this week off, but Dunkel will be back in action in the USAC West Coast Series at the Ventura Raceway this Saturday. It will be his first time back at the beachside 1/5 mile oval since April 8th when he led every single lap in both his 10-lap heat race and the 30-lap VRA main event.
For fans who want to see if Dunkel can double down at Ventura on Saturday, spectator gates will open at 3:00 p.m. and the first race will be at 5:30. Adult tickets are $22.00. Seniors 60 and over, military and students with ID get in for $18.00. Children 12 and under are free when they are accompanied by a paid adult. The track is located on the Ventura County Fairgrounds at 10 W. Harbor Boulevard (93001). The website is and the office phone number is (805) 648-RACE.
Roa will be back on the track when the USAC/CRA Series visits the famous Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare for the “Chris and Brian Faria Memorial” on May 20th. The veteran racer will arrive there with a 120-point lead in the championship standings.
As always, Roa would be more than happy to jump in a race car on his weekends off from the #17R. His entire schedule is printed below. If anybody wishes to contact him about open dates, they can do so at 714-932-7994 or who is responsible for this team.
The team wants to thank the following sponsors for making the 2023 season possible. Inland Rigging, Dunkel Farms, United Asset Sales, Osborne Speed & Machine, Sander Engineering, “Biker” Bruce Fischer, ALR Virtual Services, Burris Racing, Caltrol, Competition Suspension, K-1 Race Gear, Molecule, Rod End Supply, Driven Racing Oil, Baldwin Filters, and NGK Spark Plugs.