Dennis and Teresa Roth have built one of the most successful Sprint Car teams in the country with its accolades spanning decades. In that time, another name has been there since the beginning, and will continue to be this weekend in Missouri – Ventura.
First came Todd Ventura, Dennis’ nephew, who owns the honor of being the first to drive a Sprint Car for Roth before transitioning into a managerial position with the team. Then, Todd’s son, Brent – current crew chief for Roth Motorsports’ iconic #83 on the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car tour.
Brent worked his way up the ladder, eventually scoring his first World of Outlaws win as a crew chief in his early 20s. That success stems from the groundwork his father helped lay as one of the most important figures in the team’s history.
Since moving into a managerial role, Todd has helped oversee operations for the Fresno, CA based team, guiding them to countless West Coast triumphs and more than 100 World of Outlaws wins.
Naturally, Brent found himself around the race cars in his youth and was quickly intrigued by the mechanical side.
“The Roth shop is right next to my dad’s house,” Ventura said. “So, any weekend, summer and winter break, and all that I’d go into the shop. Sometimes I’d help with farming stuff, but I always wanted to touch the race car. I always really loved doing it. My dad, I think, wanted me to be a driver. I had a go-kart for a little bit, but I was never real interested in driving. I always really liked working on them.
“I don’t know if it’s because I watched that side of it more growing up and just felt that was more what I liked doing. I can’t really say what it was, but it was something I’ve just always really loved.”
As he grew up, Ventura began to get more involved little by little. He started small, and eventually progressed into his first opportunity as a crew chief in 2016.
“I started out cleaning the trailer and mounting tires,” Ventura recalled. “Then I got a little bit more responsibility as I got older – maintenance the car during the week, just kind of learning every step of the way. I got to be a crew chief for the first time when Gio Scelzi drove for Dennis for a little bit. He drove some 360 stuff in 2016, and then we ran the whole NARC Series in 2017. We won a couple races and had a great time.”
After the stint with Scelzi, Ventura stepped back briefly to focus on farming before returning mid-season in 2018. It ultimately led to a pivotal moment in his journey as a mechanic – his first World of Outlaws win with Cory Eliason at an iconic California track, Calistoga Speedway.
“In 2018, I finished the year with Cory Eliason as the crew chief,” Ventura explained. “We won an Outlaw race at Calistoga, and that was really cool. That kind of felt like I was ready to take the next step… That was really cool for me with me and Cory both being from California. Calistoga was always just kind of held in a higher regard than the rest of the racetracks.”
The following two years Ventura worked on the team while Daryn Pittman wheeled the #83 full-time with The Greatest Show on Dirt. Right out of the gate Pittman topped the first two nights of the 2019 World of Outlaws campaign and also claimed the Gold Cup Race of Champions later that season.
Another hiatus from the team in 2021, for farming, preceded Ventura’s return last year to work on the team’s part-time car with Kerry Madsen. This time also marked the beginnings of Roth’s relationship with Toyota Racing and their 410 engine development. Later that season, Ventura joined Roth’s World of Outlaws team again, now working with James McFadden – a relationship that continued into this year.
Early in 2023, the Roth crew has already visited Victory Lane twice – Volusia Speedway Park on March 5 and Devil’s Bowl Speedway on April 1. Ventura has built a strong dynamic with McFadden as they pursue a World of Outlaws title.
“He’s been great to work with,” Ventura said of McFadden. “He’s got really good feedback. He’s got one of the most important things you need in a driver – he’s got no quit in him. No matter what the situation is, he’s going to give it 100%. And you know no matter what happens he have it 100% win, lose, or draw.”
Moving down the road, Ventura isn’t sure what the future holds. He knows that the business back in California could require his services at some point. He also recently wed. For the time being, Ventura intends to put forth his best effort in making the car that’s such an important part of his family history, the Roth Motorsports #83, the fastest on the World of Outlaws tour.
“I probably see how each year goes,” Ventura said looking ahead. “Whatever Dennis and my dad need me to do, I’ll do it. I also just got married. I’ve got to thank my wife Kayla for letting me come out again. When we got married, the plan was kind of to stay farming for the foreseeable future then I got put back on the road. She’s been nothing but supportive, and I’ve got to thank her for that. I’ll see how it goes. I’m just focusing right now on being as successful as we possibly can be this year and we’ll see where the road takes us.”
If you can’t make it to the track, catch all the action live on DIRTVision.