Brody Roa Leads Usac/Cra Into Tulare – Tommy Dunkel’s Ventura Results

Red hot driver Brody Roa will lead the USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series onto one of the West Coast’s most popular racetracks, the stone Chevrolet, Buick, GMC Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, California for the “Chris and Brian Faria Memorial,” on Saturday night.  The race will be the first for the Garden Grove, California veteran at the Thunderbowl since 2021.

Saturday’s race will be the 9th of the year for USAC/CRA.  To say Roa is the driver to beat is an understatement.  After opening the year with a pair of back-to-back wins at Arizona’s Cocopah Speedway, he then recorded a pair of seconds and a fifth before embarking on a three-race win streak, which he brings to the Central California track on Saturday.  The popular Inland Rigging Motorsports driver’s current run is comprised of victories at Kings Speedway in Hanford on April 22nd, the Dirt Track at Kern County Raceway Park on April 29th, and Arizona’s Mohave Valley Raceway on May 6th.

Roa’s five wins, combined with not finishing out of the top five thus far this year, sees him bring a commanding 120-point lead in the standings into Saturday’s race.  After this weekend’s event, Roa and the series will have back-to-back shows at Perris Auto Speedway on May 27th and June 10th

Last Saturday, Roa’s teammate and car owner Tommy Dunkel hit the beach at the Ventura Raceway for his first USAC West Coast Sprint Car Series race of the year.  A month earlier at a VRA Sprint Car race on the same 1/5 mile oval, Dunkel swept the show leading every single lap of his heat race and the main event.   It was his first-ever sprint car feature win.  Last Saturday he began the evening qualifying 13th in the 18-car field with a lap of 13.173.  Driving his #17, he then fended off multiple challengers and led every inch of the way for the victory in his 10-lap heat race.  It was his first-ever USAC win.  Combined with his performance in the VRA race earlier in the year when he led both his heat and main event green to checkered, Dunkel had amazingly led 50 straight laps on the beach-side oval. 

“I started on the outside of the front row in the heat race,” Dunkel said.  “There were a few heavy hitters in the race for sure.  I got a good jump on the initial start.  I think we got two laps in and then a yellow came out.  I got another good jump, but for about half the race, I had some good pressure.  I did not walk away with it by any means.  It was a super tight battle.”

For the main event, Dunkel started in the seventh spot.  He moved forward and ran a lot of the race in sixth before trying the outside and it bit him.  He slipped back to ninth before he could get back to the bottom.  He was stuck there until a caution flag flew with five laps to go. 

“With five laps to go, there was a caution,” Dunkel lamented.  “On the restart, I just straight got ran over.  Just got clobbered going into three and four.  He put the right rear all the way in the car and knocked the GoPro off the seat.  It bent the rear down tube. I was able to restart at the tail.  At the time there were still 17 cars in the race.  I drove it back to 11th.”

Dunkel’s next on-track foray will be at Ventura for the “Wags Dash” on June 17th

This Saturday at the Thunderbowl, gates will open at 4:00 with qualifying at 6:00 and racing at 7:00.  Adult tickets are $30.00 (grandstands) and $25.00 (bleachers).  For seniors, tickets are priced at $28.00 and $23.00.  Kids 6-12 are $15.00 and $13.00 and children 5 and under are free.  The Thunderbowl is located on the corner of Bardsley and K Streets at 620 South K Street Tulare (93274).  The website is and the office phone is (559) 688-0909.

Roa will be back on 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. 

The brand new Roa and Dunkel Inland Rigging merchandise is now available at the following link

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:[email protected]     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.