Driving a brand new Eagle car that was completed just 48 hours before the event, Brody Roa used a late race pass to take a thrilling win in the inaugural USAC/CRA Series Bubby Jones/Ray Scheetz Memorial at Perris Auto Speedway last Saturday night. The victory, which was his first of the year, came hot on the heels of his second-place finish two weeks earlier at the Ventura Raceway.
On a day when the thermometer at the track hit 100 degrees, Roa and his crew unloaded the flashy, hard-to-miss brilliant green #91R. The veteran driver from Garden Grove, California kicked off his night by setting the seventh fastest time in qualifying with a lap of 17.118.
A third-place finish in his 10-lap heat combined with the seventh quick time meant that the worst position he could possibly start in the main would be seventh. However, if one of the fastest six cars in qualifying did not finish in the top four in their heat, Roa could start on the pole. That is just what happened.
Starting on the pole always sounds great. However, down through the years, the pole at Perris has not been as generous to drivers as it has been at other tracks. On this night, Roa did what few drivers have done at The PAS over the past 26 seasons. He started on the pole and won the main event!
The end of the last paragraph made it sound simple, but it was anything but that. Roa had to work hard from lap one all the way to the end of the 30th circuit on the sizzling night. The 31-year-old led the first lap before slipping back to second. By lap 13, he drifted back to fourth and was nearly a half straight behind the leaders.
At the halfway mark, Roa was back to third. As the race progressed, he was closing in on the leaders, but time was slipping away fast. He kept on the wide line and with dirt from his right rear ricocheting off the wall coming off turn two on lap 26, he drove back into second.
On the 28th lap, three cars tangled in turn three bringing out a yellow flag and setting up a shootout for the win. Roa had been running the top. But when the race restarted, he rushed to the bottom (explanation in his quote below). The leader stayed on the top, and they were nearly dead even in the middle of turns one and two. However, the leader bobbled on the cushion coming off two and Roa jumped all over the opportunity presented to him and raced into the lead.
After retaking the lead, Roa went back to the top, but the race was not done yet. The second and third-place drivers clawed their way back and the trio was nearly three abreast as they came off turn 4 and headed for the white flag. Roa powered into turn one on the last lap and got a great drive off turn two to put the bow on his winning package. When he crossed under the Steve Russell checkered flag, he had a two-car length advantage.
“Thanks to Tommy Malcolm (who led much of the race),” Roa said when he was interviewed by Chris Holt in front of the appreciative crowd. “On the last restart (before the one with two to go) Matt (leader Matt Mitchell) and I went to the top and Tommy went trucking on by us on the bottom and checked out on us. It took about eight laps for us to get back to him. I knew if I slid Matt on the final restart or followed him (on the top), Tommy was going to drive by both of us. I knew I had to go down there and at least block him to give us a shot off of two. Then I saw Matt get into the cushion and I said, ‘come on hit that spot on the bottom, Brody,’ and I did. That was a heckuva’ race. I hope you guys enjoyed that.”
In 2022, Roa will race USAC/CRA, USAC National, and other select events, in his #91R BR Performance/HD Industries Eagle. He will also drive the #8M for May Motorsports in select USAC West Coast events. The 2019 USAC Southwest and 2017 USAC West Coast champion is always open to discussing other driving opportunities.
Roa and the team want to thank the following sponsors for making the 2022 season possible. HD Industries, Burris Racing, Sander Engineering, Inland Rigging, Caltrol, “Biker” Bruce Fischer, Competition Suspension, ALR Virtual Services, K-1 Race Gear, Molecule, Rod End Supply, Driven Racing Oil, Baldwin Filters, and NGK Spark Plugs. In addition, the veteran driver offers thanks to RDM Mechanics, Fastenal, Coopers Propane, Ten West Towing, Ten West Environmental, TJM Distribution, and Westco International for sponsoring the #8M he will pilot for Jayson May on 10 occasions in 2022.
If you or your company would like to jump on board and receive recognition as a team partner throughout the 2022 racing season, please give the two-time USAC champion racer a phone call or drop him a note at the contact information on the top of this release.
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