Tommy Dunkel, Brody's Car Owner Gets His First Win
For Immediate Release
(Cypress, CA, April 13, 2023) The dream season for the Inland Rigging Racing team continued last Saturday night when Tommy Dunkel notched the first win of his career at the Ventura Raceway. The team will be back in action this Saturday when point leader Brody Roa leads the USAC/CRA series into Perris Auto Speedway.
For many sprint car drivers, the first win of their career can be something they stumbled into. That was not the case last week for Dunkel. The Murrieta, California-based driver not only led every single lap in his heat race, but he did so in the 30-lap main event as well on the track that is located a few hundred feet from the breaking waves of the Pacific Ocean. To put a bigger emphasis on how the victory could have been unlikely at the start of the night, the normal Inland Rigging crew that works the USAC/CRA races was absent.
Dunkel began his domination of the show in his 10-lap heat race when he started on the outside of the front row. He got a great jump at the drop of the green flag and was never headed.
The win set him up for a pole position start for the 30-lap, 14-car main event. Of Dunkel’s 13 competitors in the race, seven had triumphed on the “Best Little Dirt Track in America” in the past. So, to say Dunkel was the favorite, would not have been accurate. However, once the green flag was waved to start the race, he hit all his marks like a seasoned pro. He was challenged by the second-place driver for the first third of the race. The foe put good pressure on him and would show him a wheel, but Dunkel never wavered. He survived those challenges and restarts due to yellow and red flags before impressively driving to victory circle where he collected the winner’s trophy and first-place check after the race.
“We got a good jump when we came around to the cone,” the happy winner recollected Thursday on the phone. “It was nice that Jim Naylor (the promoter) allowed us to go 30-laps. I was kind of praying it would be 15 (when he jumped into the lead). The track was good. It started to go slick towards the end of the feature, but for the first half of the race, it was hooked up. There were two grooves and when I got into lapped traffic, I was able to rip the top to go around guys. It was pretty racy.”
“They all had Easter plans and they were out of town,” Dunkel said about the crew not being there. “But everybody was extremely available all night long on the phone. Brody kept giving me great pointers and great setup advice. I was also on the phone with Joe Devin, the owner of DRC. Between what Brody was bouncing off of me, and what Joe was bouncing off of me, we were able to come up with a really dialed-in setup. It worked out really well having everybody in our corner even if it was just on the phone. I also had my son Aidan there. He has been really stepping up to help and it is really great having him there. Malyssa Perkins came out to the track to give me a hand as well. She is really good and knows her stuff. Big thanks to them for being there.”
While it was Dunkel’s first-ever win, it should be no surprise that he won at Ventura. In his first sprint car race after several years off, he finished third at the track last year. He then closed the season in the sprint car portion of the Turkey Night Grand Prix. After fighting hard in the B main and earning one of the coveted starting spots in the A, he started 22nd and passed nine cars to finish 13th.
“It is on the top of the list, at least for now,” Dunkel replied when asked if Ventura was his favorite track. “I have had a lot of fun driving at other places. My heart is always in Perris. It’s the home track I grew up watching the sprint cars at. But right now, yeah, absolutely Ventura is it. I have had most of my laps in a sprint car there and I cut my teeth in a sprint car at Ventura. To be able to get my first win and for it to be there is really special.”
Dunkel’s next race will be the USAC/CRA show at Arizona’s Mohave Valley Raceway on May 6th.
While the humble winner was happy to talk about his victory, he wanted to shift the focus to teammate Roa and this week’s race at Perris. In the first four rounds of the year in the 24-year-old series, Roa, in the #17R owned by Dunkel, has two wins and two second-place finishes. Thus, he will bring a 33-point lead into Saturday’s race.
“First and foremost, it is Brody’s experience that has him in first place,” Dunkel happily explained. “Then you add in Brett (Brody’s dad) and Zac’s (longtime Roa crew chief Zac Bozanich) experience, that is huge. Then you throw into the mix the fresh equipment. It is fresh equipment every race. We are going to try whatever it takes to win. I think it affects the mindset. I think it is a moral boost, too. With the results we have been having this year, it has definitely made me very happy. I have high expectations and this is a very serious deal. Brody and the whole crew are delivering. They are exceeding my expectations for sure as a car owner.”
Fans can see Roa in the Inland Rigging # 17R in person on Saturday at Perris. The track is located on the Lake Perris Fairgrounds at 18700 Lake Perris Drive in Perris (92571). Adult tickets are $30.00. For fans aged 65 and over, it is $25.00. For kids 6 through 12 it is just $5.00, and children 5 and under are admitted free. The fairgrounds charges $10 for parking. There will be plenty of tickets available for everyone at the ticket window on Saturday, this event will not sell out. For those who wish to purchase advance tickets, they are available until noon on Saturday at https://www.tix.com/ticket-sales/pas/7 or by calling 1-800-595-4849.
Perris Auto Speedway is conveniently located on the Lake Perris Fairgrounds (home of the Southern California Fair), one-hour east of Los Angeles and one-hour North of San Diego. To get to the track, take the 215 freeway, exit on the Ramona Expressway, and go three miles east to the fairgrounds. For directions online, the address to enter is: 18700 Lake Perris Drive and the zip code is 92571.
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 mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Brody Roa’s 2023 Schedule and Race Results
January 27 Cocopah Speedway USAC/CRA Sprint Cars 1st A Main
January 28 Cocopah Speedway USAC/CRA Sprint Cars 1st A Main
February 25 Kern County Raceway Park USAC West Coast Sprint Cars Rained Out
March 3 Central Arizona Raceway USAC/CRA Sprint Cars Rained Out
March 4 Central Arizona Raceway USAC/CRA Sprint Cars Rained Out
March 11 Imperial Valley Raceway SoCal Open Comp 17th A Main
March 18 Perris Auto Speedway USAC/CRA Sprint Cars 2nd A Main
March 24 Keller Auto Speedway USAC/CRA Sprint Cars Rained Out
March 25 Thunderbowl Raceway USAC/CRA Sprint Cars Rained Out
April 1 Mohave Valley Raceway USAC/CRA Sprint Cars 2nd A Main
April 15 Perris Auto Speedway USAC/CRA Sprint Cars
April 22 Thunderbowl Raceway USAC/CRA Sprint Cars
April 29 Kern County Raceway Park USAC/CRA Sprint Cars
May 6 Mohave Valley Raceway USAC/CRA Sprint Cars
May 20 Thunderbowl Raceway USAC/CRA Sprint Cars
May 27 Perris Auto Speedway USAC/CRA Sprint Cars
June 10 Perris Auto Speedway USAC/CRA Sprint Cars
June 24 Bakersfield Speedway USAC/CRA Sprint Cars
July 1 Santa Maria Raceway USAC/CRA Sprint Cars
July 15 Perris Auto Speedway USAC/CRA Sprint Cars
August 12 Santa Maria Raceway USAC/CRA Sprint Cars
August 19 Perris Auto Speedway USAC/CRA Sprint Cars
August 26 TBA USAC/CRA Sprint Cars
September 9 Santa Maria Raceway USAC/CRA Sprint Cars
September 23 Perris Auto Speedway USAC/CRA Sprint Cars
October 14 Mohave Valley Raceway USAC/CRA Sprint Cars
October 20 Imperial Valley Raceway SoCal Open Comp
October 21 Imperial Valley Raceway SoCal Open Comp
November 3 Central Arizona Speedway USAC/CRA Sprint Cars
November 4 Central Arizona Speedway USAC/CRA Sprint Cars
November 11 Perris Auto Speedway USAC/CRA Sprint Cars
Tom Dunkel’s 2023 Racing Results
January 12 Chili Bowl Midget Nationals Prelim. Night 12th C Main
March 11 Imperial Valley Raceway SoCal Open Comp 16th A Main
April 1 Mohave Valley Raceway USAC/CRA Sprint Cars 9th B Main
April 8 Ventura Raceway VRA Sprint Cars 1st A Main
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This release was produced by Scott Daloisio Sports (909) 226-7768 mailto:email@example.com