LAS VEGAS, Nev. (April 3, 2016)— “Lady Luck” was on Alexis DeJoria’s side once again at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as she picked up her career fourth Funny Car win and her first of the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.
Along the way to the Winner’s Circle, DeJoria, behind the wheel of her Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car, defeated three World Champions. Today marked DeJoria’s seventh Funny Car final round appearance, one of which included her win at the 2014 SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals, the Spring Vegas event. In fact, DeJoria has made it to the semi-finals or better at this event since 2013.
With three runner-up finishes, and now four Wallys under her belt, DeJoria became the third woman in a row to pick up a win in the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello series.
“To be a part of that, it’s incredible. Three women in the last three races including myself have won. It’s an amazing time in NHRA Drag Racing. We’ve come so far,” she said.
The win comes after a rough start to the 2016 NHRA season and a 2015 season that included more ‘downs’ than ‘ups.’ DeJoria suffered two first round losses and bottom-half qualifying efforts at the past two events.
As history would have it, Team Patrón would find success once they returned to the Vegas drag strip.
“Man, we just needed to catch one break. Lately, we couldn’t get down the track much in qualifying and then the first round, we would turn it around and do so well, but the other person would just do a little bit better so it was a lot of tough breaks,” said DeJoria, whose last win came at the 2014 U.S. Nationals.
Out of the gate, the black and green Patrón team laid down quick and consistent qualifying efforts, turning in four solid qualifying runs, giving them the advantage of a top-half start on race day.
DeJoria started her Sunday in the sixth position with lane choice over Tommy Johnson Jr. in round one. Her 4.006-second run easily defeated Johnson Jr.’s 4.073-second pass, advancing her to round two versus Robert Hight. In round two, DeJoria left the starting line first and her quick reaction time earned her a holeshot round win as she powered her Patrón Toyota Camry across the stripe in 4.005-seconds against Hight’s 4.004. In the semifinals, DeJoria faced 16-time World Champion John Force. DeJoria’s day would continue as her 4.012 bested Force’s 4.053.
The semifinal round win meant DeJoria would face her Kalitta Motorsports teammate and longtime mentor, Del Worsham, in the first ever all-Kalitta Funny Car final.
“It’s been a dream of mine to race Del in the finals, and going up against him, it’s no easy feat. I was pretty excited to race him in the final but man, I wanted to win so bad,” said DeJoria.
Consistent with her day’s performances, DeJoria was quick off the line, edging the reigning World Champ on her way to a 3.968-second run, setting off the final round win light.
“This fourth trophy was definitely a difficult one to come by. It took a lot of races to get here but we’ve been consistent all weekend. We made four good runs in qualifying and on race day as well. I don’t know the last time we’ve done that. We definitely didn’t do it at the last race, that’s for sure. It’s just been such a turnaround. The last race was heartbreaking because I knew we could do better and we definitely accomplished that this weekend,” said DeJoria.
“I’m just so proud of my team. My guys have worked so incredibly hard and really turned everything around. They’ve done such a good job and it’s just been an awesome weekend. To top it all off, the Patrón Spirits Company’s corporate office is here, and to be able to put our Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry in the Winners Circle once again in their backyard is just incredible.”
DeJoria’s win advanced her from ninth in the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship points standings up to eighth with 233 points. The win also earned her a spot in the prestigious Traxxas Nitro Shootout. For more information, please visit www.alexisdejoria.com, Follow Us on Twitter, Instagram and Periscope @ADRnhra, or Like Us on Facebook Alexis DeJoria
About Alexis DeJoria
Alexis DeJoria, daughter of John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems and proud owner of Tequila Patrόn, is a professional NHRA racecar driver, competing in the nitro Funny Car class on the Kalitta Motorsports team. Alexis drives the Tequila Patrón-sponsored 2016 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 the sport of NHRA drag racing.
About Tequila Patrón
From hand-harvesting the highest-quality 100 percent Weber Blue Agave, to the traditional, time-honored distillation process and individual labeling, numbering, and inspection of each bottle, Patrón tequila is crafted with meticulous precision and care. Though Patrón has grown to become one of the most-recognized and respected luxury spirits brands in the world, it is still exclusively produced in the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico, in the same small batches and with the same commitment to quality and craftsmanship. For more information about Patrón tequilas and liqueurs, please visit www.patrontequila.com.