Delray Beach, Florida (August 15, 2012)— This weekend will mark the first time Alexis DeJoria packs up and heads North to Minnesota to race the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at the famed Brainerd International Raceway. This is one of the few tracks that DeJoria, a Nitro Funny Car Rookie, has not either raced or tested at in her previous role as an Alcohol Funny Car driver.
DeJoria, who drives the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patron Toyota Camry Funny Car, and most recently piloted an F-15 Strike Eagle fighter jet, is looking forward to making her maiden voyage to Brainerd. “I’m really excited to go to Brainerd because I’ve never been there before. I’ve heard it’s a good track, and of course the main goal this weekend is to just go out there and try and make consistent passes.”
The Rookie of the Year candidate is fresh off of a match race, Norwalk Night Under Fire, where she had the opportunity to test out her new chassis. Because the team was only able to make one lap with the new frame, they decided that they will wait to use it until they have more solid information, and the plan is to stick with the current one for the time being. According to Jim Oberhofer, VP of Kalitta Motorsports, “Her car has been pretty consistent as of late, and consistency will win you rounds more than anything. We have a pretty good setup right now and we don’t want to mess with anything too much just yet. Jeff [Arend, driver of the Kalitta Motorsports DHL Funny Car] made a great run in Norwalk, so we’re going to tune his car a little differently than Alexis’ and see if we can get the same sort of reaction. If all goes well, we’ll evaluate what we’ve got at the end of the day on Friday, and apply it to both of our Funny Cars.”
“Even though we only had the chance to make one run with each car in Norwalk, both of those runs gave us a lot of information. We’re excited about moving forward with what we learned. Hopefully, it will help us take our performance to the next level. We’re really looking for both cars to run bigger numbers earlier into the run, which will lead to greater ET’s.”
Kalitta Motorsports has seen success at the Brainerd track, known for its ability to draw huge crowds from the surrounding community, as both Doug and Connie ‘the Bounty Hunter’ Kalitta have won there in years past, and they’re hoping it will be just as kind to Team Green this weekend. “The last few years at Brainerd have been really good, from a performance standpoint,” said Oberhofer. “They replaced the racing surface a few years back and it’s really in great shape. Taking that into consideration, and looking at the potential for what should be cooler weather there this weekend, all of us at Kalitta are excited to get on that track and hopefully run some pretty good numbers.”
Alexis DeJoria and the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patron Toyota Camry Funny Car team compete this weekend August 17th-19th at the 31st Annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minnesota. Nitro qualifying begins at 3PM on Friday.
August 18th, 11PM-1AM EST
August 19th, 9PM-12AM 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 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.