Sonoma, California (July 26, 2012)— NHRA fan favorite Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patron Toyota Camry Funny Car arrives in Sonoma, Calif. today ready to tackle the second stop of the infamous ‘Western Swing!’ After what can only be considered two tough back-to-back showings in Norwalk and then Denver, just a few days prior, Team Patron is looking to get back on the right track at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals this weekend.
Both DeJoria, a Rookie of the Year candidate, and VP of Kalitta Motorsports, Jim Oberhofer, agree that the Sonoma race should be quite a contrast from the previous race where all bets were off in the mile-high altitude and extreme heat. According to Oberhofer, “The biggest difference going from Denver to Sonoma is the altitude change. Sonoma is a sea level race track with good weather, so you have good air conditions. We can make more horsepower in Sonoma than we can pretty much anywhere else. Plus, the racing surface at that track is very good. It is a nice, smooth concrete track for about 700-ft before it gives way to asphalt. Between the track and weather conditions, I’d say Sonoma should be comparable to Englishtown or Gainesville, both of which are places where we always see good numbers. Our only issue would be if it’s warm out. As of now, the weather forecast is calling for low 80s [degrees Fahrenheit] which should be pretty decent, and is definitely a nice change from the sweltering hot temps we’ve encountered at these past few events.”
Just like these past few dead-of-summer races, Sonoma also offers drivers a chance to take advantage of favorable weather and track conditions with an evening qualifying session on Friday night. DeJoria and Team Green hope to maximize this qualifying session to help ensure good placement in the field.
Prior to the Denver drags, Team Patron’s strategy was to tune their Toyota Camry Funny Car identically to DHL driver and Kalitta Motorsports’ teammate, Jeff Arend’s Camry, with the two teams working off of each other. The strategy had proven to be successful thus far, enabling both DeJoria and Arend appearances in the ultra-competitive final and semi-final rounds. After a shaky weekend of trying something different, Team Patron’s crew chief Del Worsham has decided to return to the original plan of tuning the cars the same.
“Coming into Sonoma from Denver, our whole team is excited,” said California girl, Alexis “La Patrona” DeJoria. “The track is at sea level and has the potential to run good numbers. I have so much confidence in Del and know that he and the team are going to give me a good car this weekend.”
“Obviously, these last two race weekends weren’t as good as we hoped, but I know we have a solid team and a fast car. I’m looking forward to doing well this weekend. I raced here in my Alcohol [Funny} Car a couple of years ago, and can’t wait to go back and hit the ground running in my Tequila Patron Nitro Funny Car.”
Alexis DeJoria and the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patron Toyota Camry Funny Car team compete this weekend July 27th-29th at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals in Sonoma, Calif. Qualifying begins at 4PM on Friday.
July 28th, 7PM-9:30PM EST
July 29th, 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 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.