Inland Rigging drivers Brody Roa and Tommy Dunkel will wrap up their 2023 seasons this Saturday night at the historic 82nd running of the Turkey Night Grand Prix at Jim Naylor’s Ventura Raceway. The two drivers will run their preliminary events on Friday night in the USAC West Coast Series. They will come back on Saturday evening for their main events. Joining the sprint cars on the two-night racing program will be the USAC National Midgets.
Last year before a near-capacity crowd at the Turkey Night Grand Prix, Dunkel and Roa were both in competition. However, they were not teammates on the night. Dunkel was driving his own car and Roa was driving for Central California car owner Jayson May.
A year ago this weekend, Dunkel impressed the fans with an exciting display passing more experienced drivers. Starting 11th in the B main, he had to get to sixth. He did just that and earned his ticket into the finale of the sprint car portion of the TNGP.
Starting on the back row in 23rd for the A main, Dunkel had to test his reflexes on several occasions in the main event in a race that sometimes looked like a free-for-all. Within the first three laps, he had moved up six spots to 17th. On the 19th lap, he was up to 15th and still moving forward. His drive included deftly avoiding a flipping car as he advanced through the field. With nine laps to go he raced into 14th. He stayed there until the last circuit when he took one more car and finished 13th. All told he passed a total of 15 cars on the night. Only two other drivers passed more.
This season, Dunkel competed at Ventura more than any other racetrack. Coming into this weekend, the friendly driver has been at the racing facility six times. He finished in the top 10 four of the six. Highlighting his journeys to the track located adjacent to the beach on the Ventura County Fairgrounds was a main event victory on April 8th. He also notched second-place finishes on July 8th and September 2nd.
For 2023 USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series champion Roa, it will be his first appearance at Ventura since the 81st edition of the prestigious race one year ago. On the opening night, the Garden Grove, California racer placed second in his heat and won his qualifier. He was running fourth in the dash and looked like a shoo-in for a top-four start before getting caught up in someone else’s mess. Fortunately, his car was able to restart and he came from the back to finish sixth.
Starting on the outside of row three in the Saturday night Finale, Roa quickly moved into fifth and was challenging for the fourth place position. However, his car was noticeably slowing. Even though his steed continued to decelerate, Roa was still in seventh late in the going. Unfortunately, an overzealous driver clobbered him from behind and knocked him out of the race with two laps remaining. Officially, he finished 17th.
Earlier in 2022, Roa contested a USAC/CRA race at Ventura. On a one-lane, at the bottom track, Roa finished with a frustrating runner-up finish. While he was clearly faster than the leader, he did not want to risk getting freight-trained if he tried to drive around the outside Unlike some drivers, he raced clean and did not knock the leader out of the way. Instead, he clung to the leader’s push bar and crossed the line in second.
Spectator gates will open at 3:00 p.m. each night with racing at 5:00. Advance tickets are available and advised at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/82nd-annual-turkey-night-grand-prix-tickets-629591554287?aff=oddtdtcreator. The track is located on the Ventura County Fairgrounds at 10 W. Harbor Boulevard (93001). The website is http://venturaraceway.com/ and the office phone number is (805) 648-RACE.
For fans who cannot make it, both nights will be streamed live on Flo Racing. For more information or to order please visit https://www.floracing.com/.
Dunkel and Roa want to thank the following sponsors for making the 2023 season possible. Inland Rigging, Dunkel Farms, United Asset Sales, Osborne Speed & Machine, “Biker” Bruce Fischer, ALR Virtual Services, Burris Racing, Caltrol, Jambo Barbeque Pits, Competition Suspension, K-1 Race Gear, Molecule, Rod End Supply, Driven Racing Oil, Baldwin Filters, and NGK Spark Plugs. If you would like to be a marketing partner with the Inland Rigging Racing Team in 2024, please contact Dunkel or Roa the information at the top of this release.
Inland Rigging PR
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