Brody Roa Takes Second at Faria Memorial – This Week He Tackles the Salute to Indy

Brody Roa turned in another strong performance last Saturday night at the 30th Annual Chris & Brian Faria Memorial at the Thunder Bowl Raceway. The Garden Grove, California driver started third in the 30-lap main and came home in second.  He now has top-five finishes, including five wins, in all nine USAC/CRA races in 2023.  This Saturday night he will be back at Perris Auto Speedway to contest one of the longest-running sprint car races in the USA, the Annual Salute to Indy.

Roa’s trek to last Saturday’s race should have been the second of the year for him at the Central California 1/3 mile banked oval.   However, a March 25th race at the track was canceled due to rain.  Thus, the race was his first on the lightning-fast oval since 2021.

A pleasant day greeted the USAC/CRA competitors at the famous Thunderbowl that was staging its last race until October.  Sixteen USAC/CRA cars showed up for the event.  Roa was the fourth fastest among them when he put the white Inland Rigging #17R through its paces in qualifying and turned in a lap of 15.851.  That time placed him in the fifth starting spot for his 10-lap heat race.  At the end of the first circuit, he had diced his way to third and was second one lap later.  By the time he arrived in the runner-up position, the leader had established a good size advantage.  Roa methodically closed in and before the end of lap five, he had secured the top spot.  From that point on he simply waltzed away from the field and won the heat by over a half straightaway.

Looking for his fourth win in a row in the USAC/CRA Series and his first ever at the Thunderbowl, Roa started the 30-lap main event on the inside of the second row.  On a track that was not easy to pass on, he peeked at the inside when the field roared into turn one on the opening go-around.  Coming off turn three the first time, he swung wide and drove around the second-place car. 

Roa tried to relieve the leader of the top spot every time there was a yellow flag.  However, on this night the leader was equal to those threats and was the fastest car on the track forcing “The Pride of Garden Grove” to take second place for the fourth time this year. 

“He was really good there in the feature,” a gracious Roa said of first-time winner Tommy Malcolm.  “I knew the restarts were my only shot.  Even then I figured he could get back by us.  That was huge for those guys and it was a long time coming.  They are going to win some more this year.”

“I have struggled here (the Thunderbowl) and it is one of the places mentally I cannot figure out,” he continued.  I will take second.  We are happy with that.  If we click off finishes like that, there is nothing to hang our head about.  Thanks to all of you who came out.”

Despite seeing his three-race win streak come to an end, Roa increased his point lead.  He added 17 more points to his advantage and will head into this Saturday’s race at Perris Auto Speedway with a 137-point cushion over the second-place driver. 

Saturday’s race at Perris is the annual Salute to Indy.  The prestigious race dates back to 1948, and the winner’s list is festooned with some of the greatest names in sprint car racing. Two years ago in 2021, Roa added his name to that illustrious roll.  Last year he made the Salute to Indy podium by finishing third.  He enters this Saturday as one of the pre-race favorites.

Spectator gates at Perris will open at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and the first race will be at 7:00.  Adult tickets are $30.00. Seniors 65 and over get in for $25.00. For kids 6 to 12 it is just $5.00 and children five and under are admitted free. The fairgrounds charge $10.00 for parking. The famous half-mile clay oval is located on the Lake Perris Fairgrounds at 18700 Lake Perris Drive in the City of Perris (92571).  The track website is at the following link and the office phone number is (951) 940-0134. 

The brand new Roa/Dunkel Inland Rigging team merchandise, including shirts, is now available.  You can see the shirt design in the photo below.  The shirts will be available in the pits at Perris or online 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.