Last Wednesday in Las Vegas, Nevada, where a lot of dreams gets squashed, Brody Roa kicked off his 2019 Sprint Car racing campaign on a dream come true night when he swept the USAC West Coast Series program on the Dirt Track at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The veteran racer followed that up with a fourth-place finish in “Sin City” the following night and a third-place finish at the USAC Southwest Series opener at Central Arizona Raceway on Saturday.
Jumping into the Tanner Grau Racing white #34 for the very first time, Roa let everyone know he meant business early on when he out qualified the Wednesday field of 19-cars with a sizzling lap of 18.533. He followed that run up with a win in the first heat race on the big half-mile oval.
The fast time and win in the heat placed Roa on the outside of the third row for the main event. From there, the “Pride of Garden Grove” wasted little time in making his way to the front of the pack. He had advanced to third as the field came off turn two on the first circuit and was second by the end of the lap. He mounted his initial challenge for the lead using the inside in turns three and four on lap five. Those challenges were thwarted, but one lap later in the same spot, he snatched the lead away and drove off into the bright lights of Vegas for his first win of 2019. When the checkered flag ended the 20-lapper, Roa had more than a half straight advantage over his nearest competitor.
“This thing was just on rails all night,” the happy winner told the crowd after climbing out of the car. “It drove itself pretty much. This thing would go wherever I wanted it to go. Wherever I pointed it! I cannot thank Tanner and these guys enough. He definitely puts one bad piece together.”
The second night in Las Vegas, Roa timed in with a lap of 19.547 in qualifying, which was good enough for fifth-fastest in the 19-car field. A second-place finish in his eight-lap heat placed him in the sixth starting spot again for the main.
The 28-year-old worked his way up to third in the main before slipping back to fifth. In a hard-fought battle, he clawed his way back to the fourth spot by the finish. The two-night total of a win and a fourth-place saw Roa leave Las Vegas second in the West Coast Series point standings and only seven points out of the lead.
The Silver State quickly disappeared into the rear-view mirror for Roa and his wife Tailor as they journeyed to the Copper State for Saturday’s Southwest Series opener at Central Arizona Raceway in Casa Grande.
Eighteen cars showed up for the “Cotton Classic,” which was the first ever 410 race for the Southwest Series. Roa rebounded from a disappointing 15th fast qualifying time to win his heat race. Even with the heat race triumph, he had to start on the inside of the seventh row for the 30-lap main. From there, he dazzled the fans with a clinic on passing. He sliced and diced his way through the field and crossed under the checkered flag in third place. Passing 10 cars was more than anyone else in the main and he earned the “Hard Charger Award” for the crowd-pleasing effort.
This Friday and Saturday, March 8th and 9th, Roa and the BRP team headed by 2018 USAC Crew Chief of the Year Zac Bozanich, head to Canyon Speedway Park for the Amsoil USAC/CRA season openers. The joint race will also be rounds two and three for the Southwest Series and Roa comes into the race third in Southwest Series points, only five-markers out of first.
Fans who would like to attend this week’s races can find Canyon Speedway Park at 9777 W. Carefree Highway, in Peoria, AZ (85383). The track website is at https://www.canyonspeedwaypark.com/ and the phone number is (602) 258-7223.
Team merchandise, including shirts and caps, will be available at all races throughout the 2019 campaign and is also available online at https://www.brodyroa.com/?post_type=product.
Fans wishing to stay completely up to date with Brody Roa and the BR Performance squad can do so on the team’s website https://www.brodyroa.com and Facebook page at the following link: https://www.facebook.com/br91r
The BR Performance team would also like to thank the sponsors that make the regular season possible. HD Industries, Burris Racing, “Biker” Bruce Fisher, Molecule, K-1 Race Gear, Norma Leonard, Lee Leonard, NGK Spark Plugs, Baldwin Filters, Driven Racing Oil and Coffman Racing Graphics. If you or your company would like to join BR Performance’s team for a championship run in 2019, please call 714-932-7994