BRISTOL, Tennessee (June 19, 2016)— Alexis DeJoria raced her Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry to a semifinal finish at the 16th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tennessee this weekend.
After qualifying tenth, DeJoria drew fellow Toyota Racing driver Chad Head in the opening round of eliminations on Sunday afternoon. Head was no match for Team Patrón as DeJoria’s quick reaction time coupled with a 4.026-second run ensured Team Patrón’s advance into round two.
The quarterfinals found DeJoria battling it out with her Kalitta Motorsports teammate, Del Worsham. DeJoria had the starting line advantage for the second time in the day and easily defeated a tire-smoking Worsham, ending the reigning Funny Car champion’s day.
After setting off the round two win light, the thrash was on back in the Patrón pits as DeJoria and her team worked to prepare for their semifinal matchup with Tommy Johnson Jr.
“We had a broken strut and some other things that definitely demanded more work out of our team. Luckily we had the DHL team come over and help us,” said DeJoria, who raced to her first Funny Car final at the picturesque Bristol track during her rookie season in 2012.
“We were down two crewmembers so I was pulling four jobs this weekend. Not only driving, packing my parachutes and filling my fresh air bottle like I normally do, but I was also doing Eddie and Jesse’s jobs on the body, checking all of the nuts and bolts and making sure the body stayed together well,” said the four-time Funny Car winner.
Once the Patrón Toyota Camry was re-assembled and race-ready, it was time to race Johnson Jr. for a spot in the final round. Once again, DeJoria was quick off of the starting line, but mechanical malfunctions hindered Team Patrón’s performance, and would allow Johnson Jr. the round win.
“We dropped a cylinder at the hit, which shoved me over a little bit, but I was able to hold onto it and keep it down there until finally the blower belt shredded and flew off of the car. Obviously that was the end of our day,” DeJoria explained.
“Overall we had a good weekend,” she added. “We hadn’t gotten past the first round in a couple of races, so to make it past first round, and past second round and into the semifinals was really great for our team. Our next race is in a couple of days, and I’m pretty excited to get back into my Patrón Toyota Camry.”
Although the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car team was unable to move up from tenth in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship standings, they managed to widen the gap between them and the No. 11 ranked driver and close in on the ninth.
Team Patrón leaves Bristol Dragway with 588 points and will compete next at the 10th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio on June 24-26. Prior to the race, DeJoria will join her Kalitta Motorsports teammates at a fan appearance at Cedar Point, June 23. For more information, please visit www.alexisdejoria.com, Follow Us on Twitter, Instagram and Periscope @ADRnhra, or Like Us on Facebook: Alexis DeJoria.
- E1: 4.026 E.T. at 315.93 MPH defeated Chad Head 4.489 E.T. at 226.32 MPH
- E2: 4.012 E.T. at 314.53 MPH defeated Del Worsham 8.397 E.T. at 80.47 MPH
- E3: 4.138 E.T. at 288.33 MPH defeated by Tommy Johnson Jr. 4.039 E.T. at 321.42 MPH
NHRA Countdown to the Championship Points Standing:
588 points, ranked 10th
About Alexis DeJoria
Alexis DeJoria 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.