From Brody Roa Racing
(Cypress, CA, June 26, 2023) Brody Roa made his 12th start of the year in the USAC/CRA Sprint Car Series a successful one when he scored his seventh win of the season last Saturday night at Scott Schweitzer’s Bakersfield Speedway. In addition to it being his seventh triumph of 2023, it was his 20th-lifetime victory in USAC/CRA competition. That ties him for fourth on the series’ all-time win list. As well as Roa, his Inland Rigging teammate Tommy Dunkel made his third USAC/CRA start and finished 14th.
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Brody Roa drove the Inland Rigging #17R to its 7th win of 2023 at Bakersfield. Doug Allen photo.
Besides the Inland Rigging duo, 18 other USAC/CRA teams showed up for the race on the track billed as “The West’s Fastest 1/3 Mile High Banked Clay Oval.” Garden Grove, California resident Roa ended up third fastest of the 20 cars in qualifying with a sizzling lap of 13.200. Teammate Dunkel, who calls Menifee, California home, toured the track in 13.625. That was good enough for 16th in the tight-packed time trial session.
Heat races were up next for the #17A and the #17R. Dunkel, who along with his wife Christy owns the Inland Rigging team, was up in the first heat race on the pleasant Kern County night. Despite being new to the series and relatively new to sprint car racing, series officials showed trust in Dunkel by allowing him to start on the pole for the 10-lap race. He rewarded their faith by leading the first two laps and running in the top five the first half of the race. In the end, he ended up sixth after a late stop with another car.
Due to his quick qualifying time, Roa started last in the third heat race. The 10-lapper proved to be tough but “The Pride of Garden Grove,” who came into the night with a 100-point lead in the series championship standings, methodically worked his way through the pack. He snatched the lead on lap nine and waltzed away for his series-leading fifth heat race win of the 2023 campaign.
All that remained on the night was the 30-lap main event. Roa, who won the previous race, the “Bubby Jones/Ray Scheetz Memorial” at Perris Auto Speedway a week earlier, began the main in fourth. Dunkel, who was at the Bakersfield Speedway for the first time, started 16th in the 20-car field.
Roa quickly advanced forward and was second by the end of the first circuit. A slider in turn three on the second lap and he was into the lead.
Once out front, Roa was never headed the remainder of the way, but it was not as easy as that sounds. Through lap 19, he was closely followed by the runner-up car. One slip up, and the race could have gone the other way. However, a pair of red flags due to cars flipping slowed the action on lap 19. On the second restart, the 2019 USAC Southwest Sprint Car champion pulled away and notched his seventh win of the year by a half straightaway.
Dunkel turned in 30 strong, valuable laps on the slick track. When the checkered ended the race, he had moved forward two spots from where he started and finished 14th.
“This feels good,” the happy winner told the crowd after the race. “I can’t tell you the amount of times we have been in a pileup on lap one (at Bakersfield) and have had to come from the back to finish second. I think it has been four times that we have done that. We have been so close to winning here and been so good here, to finally get it done is a relief. I am super pumped. Thanks to everybody in this deal. My family, Tom, and Christy (car owners Tom and Christy Dunkel). They are family really now. Biker Bruce, Burris, Molecule, Shaver, Caltrol, my wife’s company ALR Virtual Services, Wilwood Disc Brakes, CSI Shocks. Everybody on this deal. It is a group effort and it is paying off this year.”
“We are just making the right calls,” Roa continued when announcer John Candelaria asked him what the secret to this year’s success is. “We are having fun. We spent years frustrated and throwing stuff at it. We are just trying to stay calm and have fun doing this deal. It is paying off. We are bringing the same piece to the track each week and not trying to re-engineer it. I am pretty good at that – trying things I shouldn’t.”
After an extremely busy first six months of the year, Roa and Dunkel have the next to weekends off. The cars will be stripped down and readied for the next race at Perris Auto Speedway on July 15th. Roa already has one win on the famous track this year. For Dunkel, it will be his initial USAC/CRA start on a track larger than 1/3 of a mile.
Fans can pick up a 2023 Inland Riggings Racing Team shirt from the crew after the races or online at 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 or online at the following link https://bit.ly/3IDLNEZ.
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@example.com 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.