Delray Beach, Florida (September 19, 2012) — Just one year ago today, NHRA driver Alexis DeJoria was making the media rounds in Dallas, Texas and preparing for a star-studded ‘green carpet’ party occurring later that evening, which would mark the debut of her brand new Tequila Patr?n Toyota Camry Nitro Funny Car and officially kick off Alexis’ first race weekend as a professional Funny Car driver.
On a sunny Friday, at the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals, DeJoria, the newest member of Kalitta Motorsports, proudly made her first pass down the Texas Motorplex dragstrip as an NHRA Funny Car driver in her black-and-green Tequila Patr?n Toyota Camry. “This racetrack is so very special to me. It’s where my Funny Car career started!” said DeJoria. “People may not realize that not only was this the place where I first started my career, but it was the Monday after this race two years ago where I got licensed to be a Funny Car driver- and it was in Del’s car!” she said, referring to her current crew chief, Del Worsham, who was one of two drivers to sign her license on that momentous day. “The Texas Motorplex truly was the start of everything for my pro career, and with Del now tuning my car; we’ve certainly come full circle.”
DeJoria had previously driven up the ranks of the NHRA circuit first a Sportsman racer, and later piloting a Top Alcohol Funny Car. Driving in the ‘pro ranks’ was a longtime dream of DeJoria’s, and one that was years in the making. “I had always wanted to drive a Nitro Funny Car,” said the California native, “that was always the ultimate goal. I knew one day I would drive one of these fire-breathing mega-horsepower beasts, but I wanted to take my time and do it right, which is why I worked my way through slower classes for six years before making the leap.”
DeJoria, aka La Patr?na, as fans have taken to calling her, made that leap one year ago and hasn’t looked back! Since transitioning from the Alcohol class to the Nitro burning floppers, DeJoria has proven herself to be a strong Rookie of the Year contender, making it all the way to the finals in Bristol, Tenn., and semi-finals in Joliet, Ill. earlier this season- a remarkable achievement for a rookie driver.
“It amazes me that it’s been a year already since my Nitro career began in Dallas. I’m excited to come back here for the second time in my Funny Car, although I have to admit, it makes me feel like I’m not a rookie anymore!” she said, with a laugh. “What a wild and incredible ride this year has been.”
“This has always been a cool race for me and my family. I have family members that live not too far away and many of them will travel down to Ennis to be by my side this weekend. The track here is great, and conditions should be good this weekend. I can’t wait to get back out there in my Tequila Patr?n Nitro Funny Car, and hopefully I can celebrate my one year anniversary from the winner’s circle!”
Alexis DeJoria and the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patr?n Toyota Camry Funny Car team compete this weekend at the 27th Annual AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals at Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas, September 21st-23rd. Funny Car qualifying begins at 3PM on Friday.
September 23rd, 1PM-2PM EST
September 23rd, 8:30PM-11:30PM 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 Patr?n, 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 Patr?n-sponsored 2012 Toyota Camry.
Alexis had a successful career in the Top Alcohol Funny Car category where she co-owned and operated her team, and was one of the few females ever to do so. She left the TAFC category holding the title of Top Female Top Alcohol Funny Car Racer and 2011 NHRA Northwest Nationals TAFC event champion. She is the 2nd woman ever to win a TAFC race. She is currently the female world record holder for the fastest and quickest TAFC speeds. Alexis is also well-known for her infamous 2009 Englishtown, NJ crash.
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) Full Throttle 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.