CONCORD, N.C. (April 23, 2016)— Alexis DeJoria raced her Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry to the Funny Car qualifying lead at the 7th annual NHRA Four Wide Nationals presented by Lowes Foods on Saturday afternoon at zMAX Dragway.
DeJoria and her Tommy DeLago lead team began Saturday qualified fifth after running a 4.005 in Friday’s single qualifying round when Q2 was cancelled due to persistent rain. In front of a sellout crowd at the largest track on the NHRA circuit, Team Patrón improved on their times on Saturday afternoon, running a 3.939-second pass in Q3- DeJoria’s career best E.T. and quickest Funny Car E.T. ever recorded at zMAX Dragway.
Having earned three bonus points in their Q3 effort, Team Patrón went into the final round of qualifying looking to defend their position at the top of the Funny Car field. Defend it they did. DeJoria powered her 10,000-horespower Patrón Toyota Camry down lane four in 3.934-seconds at 321.04-mph, again setting a new career best E.T. and the track’s E.T. record in the process. The run earned DeJoria three more bonus points, in addition to the coveted green No. 1 qualifier hat, the fourth of her career and second she’s achieved at zMAX Dragway.
“Just to be able to get from Point A to Point B in every run is remarkable,” said DeJoria of the weekend’s performance. “We’re staying with that consistency, but to finish the day in the No. 1 spot and get the track record is just incredible. I’m so proud of my guys.”
The qualifying lead comes fresh off the heels of Team Patrón’s first win of the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. Previously, the team struggled with performance and consistency, experiencing a 33-race winless drought.
When asked about the recent win and No. 1 qualifier, DeJoria said, “The ups and downs that you go through as a team, as a driver, as a group in general, I think it’s good for you because it teaches you how to dig deep and it keeps you balanced. It’s definitely time- we needed this boost. It’s incredible to go from not being able to make it down the track to winning, and now getting a No. 1 qualifier under our belt; it’s been a while since we’ve done that.”
Having ran the two quickest Funny Car passes of the weekend, and now 11 consecutive 4.0-second runs or better, DeJoria feels confident going into race day, despite the event’s unique four-wide format. Rather than face just one opponent, as is traditional in NHRA Drag Racing, DeJoria will face three other cars in the first round of eliminations, squaring off against Jeff Diehl, Tim Wilkerson, and Robert Hight.
“This is one track I’d really love to win at,” said the four-time Funny Car winner. “I feel pretty good going into tomorrow with a car that’s so consistent. The Four Wide’s are so exciting. You’re not just racing one other car, you’re racing three other cars, so to get a win here would be huge.”
Following the successful qualifying performance, Team Patrón will choose their lane and run order first at the 7th annual NHRA Four Wide Nationals presented by Lowes Food on Sunday. The first round of eliminations kicks off at 12PM EST. 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.