DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (March 12, 2013)— Alexis DeJoria, driver of the 10,000-horsepower Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patron Toyota Camry Funny Car, eagerly anticipates the return to one of her favorite stops on the 24-race NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour—the Auto-Plus Raceway in Gainesville, Fla. where she will compete this weekend in the 44th annual Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals.
DeJoria, a former resident of nearby Bronson, Fla., couldn’t think of a better location to kick off the first of the East Coast races and the third race of the 2013 season. A large part of the happy homecoming is knowing that she still holds the female world records of fastest speed [267.91-mph] and quickest time [5.446-seconds] in the Top Alcohol Funny Car class, achieved at the central Florida track during the 2011 Gatornationals. Her speed still holds as the second fastest in the class.
“Gainesville has always been good to me. I’ve had good luck and performed well there,” said the Funny Car pilot, now in her sophomore season. “It’s one of my favorite tracks- the shutdown area is nice and long, and the fans are great. We learned a lot in these first two races and I’m very excited to take what we’ve learned so far and apply it in Gainesville this weekend. Hopefully we’ll see some nice, fast runs.”
This will be Team Patron’s first time returning to the East Coast since their successful test session in West Palm Beach, Fla. earlier this year in which the black-and-green Toyota Camry made nearly twenty clean, consistent passes down the 1,000-foot stretch. While the test session was a success, the car has experienced a few mechanical issues since, and the team has been able to learn a lot of invaluable information about their tuning setup from those first two events of the 2013 season. According to world champion crew chief Tommy DeLago, “The conditions during testing were so good that it masked some of the problems that the [tuning] combination had. Conditions can typically be good in Gainesville, but I don’t think they’ll be as pristine as they were in West Palm,” adding “In Phoenix, the track was good but there were some bumps on it. We tried to run hard in the area where the bumps were. On Sunday, we were one of the only teams to make it down that tricky left lane. That made me happy- it was good to see that we were able to make it down in really weird conditions. That alone showed me a lot of promise for the future.”
“Since returning from Phoenix, we’ve worked on adjusting the weight of the car. Our car itself is about thirty pounds lighter now. We’re much closer to minimum weight, and hopefully it’ll end up being under so we can move weight around depending on conditions. I think we see direction on what both cars [the Patr?n car and the Kalitta Motorsports DHL Funny Car] want. We’re going to utilize the same combination that we’ve been using but with a few tweaks and twists, which I believe, will give us a larger window of opportunity to go down the track more consistently.”
Alexis DeJoria and the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patr?n Toyota Camry Funny Car team compete this weekend at the 44th annual Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla.
March 17th, 1:30AM-3AM EST
March 17th, 8AM-9AM EST (re-air)
March 17th, 7PM-10PM EST
About Alexis DeJoria
Alexis DeJoria, daughter of the famed John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems and proud owner of Tequila Patron, is a professional NHRA race car driver, competing in the nitro Funny Car class on the Kalitta Motorsports team. She is their second nitro Funny Car driver and fourth member of the team. Alexis drives a Tequila Patron-sponsored 2013 Toyota Camry. Alexis, who had all the opportunity in the world to pursue any type of career, felt strongly about following her passion, and her need for adrenaline drove her to pursue the unlikely profession of auto-racing. The determination to ‘blaze her own trail’ continues to drive her and push her to higher levels in male dominated sport of drag racing.
About Kalitta Motorsports
Based in Ypsilanti, Mich., Kalitta Motorsports is a Top Fuel and Funny Car drag racing team in the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. The team was founded and is owned by drag racing icon Connie “the Bounty Hunter” Kalitta. For more than 50 years, Connie has been involved in the sport as a driver, tuner, and an owner. Kalitta Motorsports is one of the most successful teams in the history of auto racing with five world championships and over 50 national event titles in five different professional drag racing sanctioning bodies since it was established by Connie in 1959.