Race Reports

Austin Fit Mag Feb 2014 Cover-1You’re beautiful, young, fit, and have a dad who’s one of America’s wealthiest businessmen. You could easily follow in his footsteps, continuing in the family business that has brought fame and some four billion in fortune. Or you could absorb the lessons learned at his knee about living life to its fullest, recognize your passions, and branch off from the family tree to write your own success story. The latter is the course of Austin-area resident Alexis DeJoria. She’s a nationally ranked Nitro Funny Car racer and the daughter of John Paul DeJoria—the co-founder of Paul Mitchell Systems and Patrón Spirits.

DeJoria grew up in California and, at one time, thought she might earn her living working for Paul Mitchell Systems, but when she was 16 years old, she attended her first race in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and was immediately hooked on Nitro Funny Cars. What are Nitro Funny Cars? In a nutshell, they’re drag racing vehicles with a forward-mounted engine (dragsters have the engine in the back) and a fiberglass or carbon fiber body that tilts up in the back. Using a high-performance fuel mix of 85–90 percent nitromethane (CH3N02, once used for rocket fuel) and 10–15 percent methanol, these cars represent readily available models (currently, the Ford Mustang, Fiat S.p.A.’s Dodge Charger, and the Toyota Camry).  Read More

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POMONA, Calif. (November 10, 2013)— After qualifying in the No. 15 spot on the Funny Car ‘Quick 16’ ladder, Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car, faced No. 2 qualifier Matt Hagan in round one of eliminations on Sunday morning at the 49th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona, Calif.

The two, which had squared off at the previous race in Las Vegas with DeJoria coming out the victor, were fifth pair up in Funny Car. Without the advantage of lane choice, Team Patrón was designated the left lane, which had been troublesome for nearly all of the teams that ran prior to them. The left lane proved to be no issue for DeJoria as she powered her 10,000-horsepower black and green Toyota Camry to an impressive run of 4.056-seconds at 314.24-mph- the second quickest of the session. Although she had the quicker car, Hagan advanced to round two with his 4.059-sec holeshot win, ending Team Green’s day.

POMONA, Calif. (November 5, 2013)— The 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Series comes to a close this weekend at the 49th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona, Calif., and Alexis DeJoria and the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car team are looking to end the season on a strong note and possibly pick up their first win.

The team has seen steady progression in the car’s performance over the last several races. At the previous race in Las Vegas, Team Patrón raced their way to the semi-final round taking out two veteran teams, including one that was vying for the Championship, proving that Team Green is not to be taken lightly. This weekend, they’re hoping to go rounds again, and hopefully pick up that elusive first win.

“We’re wrapping up a good season,” said DeJoria, who has powered her Patrón Toyota Camry to four semi-final finishes so far this year.  “I wouldn’t call it a great season, but I would call it a good one. We’ve made a lot of headway- especially these past few months. Tommy [DeLago, crew chief], Glen [Huszar, co-crew chief], and the whole team have been working so hard all year to make this car consistent. I’m really looking forward to next year and applying everything we learned this season. Hopefully this weekend we’ll qualify well, go some rounds and finish off on a good note.”

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (October 23, 2013)— Alexis DeJoria and the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car team made their fourth semi-final appearance of the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season at the 13th annual NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday.

After qualifying in the No. 12 spot out of twenty-four competing Funny Cars, DeJoria faced NHRA Championship contender Matt Hagan in round one of eliminations. She powered her 10,000 horsepower Tequila Patrón hot rod to a 4.084-seconds at 312.71-mph run, advancing her to round two with lane choice over Ron Capps.

“I knew that first round matchup was going to be a tough one. Hagan was fighting for Championship points and we knew how important it was for him to go rounds today,” said DeJoria, who once again raced her pink-accented Patrón Toyota Camry in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month. “I’ve been fighting a cold all weekend. It started with a really bad migraine and lingered the whole time I’ve been here, so I haven’t been feeling that great but I tried to stay focused and keep a clear head. Thankfully, I was able to cut a good light with my .036-second reaction time and our car outran his, allowing us to move on to round two.”

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (October 23, 2013)— A little ‘Vegas luck’ may be all that’s needed for Alexis DeJoria and the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car team as they head to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend for the 13th annual NHRA Toyota Nationals.

The team, which has seen a steady rise in quick, consistent, full passes over the past several races, has just two chances to pull out a win before the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Series season concludes, and they’re hoping that this could be the weekend where they do just that.

“I’m excited to go back to Vegas,” said DeJoria, an Austin resident whose family keeps a home in Las Vegas. “It’s the second to last race of the year; we only have two more chances to win a Wally before the year’s up, so like always, we’ll give it our all. Our car has been running well at the past few events, so as long as we can keep that up, I think this could be our weekend.”