Ennis, Texas (September 23, 2012) —On the final day of the 27th Annual AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals, Funny Car driver Alexis DeJoria, who is celebrating her one year anniversary of getting behind the wheel of her Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patr?n Toyota Camry, encountered a challenging learning experience in the first round of eliminations today, and handled it like a pro.
Rookie driver DeJoria, the eighth qualifier, went into round one with the advantage of lane choice over veteran driver, number nine qualifier Bob Tasca. On a sweltering Texas day, DeJoria and Team Patron were ‘back of the pack’ in the race pairings, and had to wait and watch seven pairs of Funny Cars go down the track as the temperatures climbed and the track surface continued to heat up.
“It was going to be a good run for both of us, as we were somewhat even in qualifying,” said DeJoria, who will be celebrating her 35th birthday tomorrow. Instead, both cars had issues and struggled throughout the run, resulting in what is commonly referred to as a ‘pedalfest.’
“The run seemed good at first, but we broke the tires loose at around mid-track. I pedaled it pretty good, but it broke loose again, and then I saw him pull pass me. It finally hooked up at the very end, but it wasn’t quick enough, and he was able to take the win. It was unfortunate to be out early, but it was definitely my best pedaling job as of yet- and in the heat, no less, so I’m happy about that, and pleased with how I handled the car. It was a good experience for me- every run I make is a learning experience. Even though I’ve been racing [as a Funny car driver] for a year now, there are always new things that are going to come up that you have to experience and learn how to manage. ”
“I talked to Del [Worsham, crew chief] after the run and he said that there was nothing wrong with the tune-up and it shouldn’t have done that, so our team is hard at work right now combing through the car to figure out where the issue lies. Our Tequila Patron Toyota Camry is solid, and my guys are doing a great job. I feel very confident in our team, and I’m ready to get right back out there in just a few days in St. Louis and race again!”
The Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patron Toyota Camry Funny Car team competes next at the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals in Madison, IL, September 28th-30th.
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 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.