DeJoria Takes Shot at New England Nationals with Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota Funny Car
Austin, TX (June 10, 2021) --- Alexis DeJoria and her ROKiT Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota Camry Funny Car team have been on the cusp of success numerous times this season. This weekend they will be bringing a new look to the track running a Bandero Premium Tequila branded Toyota Camry Funny Car as part of the TascaParts.com NHRA New England Nationals presented by Bandero Premium Tequila. DeJoria has family ties to the area surrounding New England Dragway and the opportunity to get involved at the sponsorship level and run a specialty Funny Car was too good to pass up.
“New England Dragway and Epping hold a special place in my heart,” said DeJoria. “I love the race track and the passion the fans have for drag racing. For myself and my sister Michaeline we are proud to pair up with NHRA and sponsor this event with our premium tequila company Bandero Tequila. I have had a lot of success in Epping and we want to keep that positive momentum moving forward.”
The team has qualified top three at four of the first five events of the season and the strong qualifying streak actually extends well into last season. At the Charlotte Four-Wide Nationals DeJoria had one of the quickest Funny Cars on race day but a broken blower belt in the final quad relegated them to a semifinal finish. The veteran driver knows she has a race car that can win races and the NHRA New England Nationals would be the perfect place for her first win of 2021.
“We know this team is ready for that first win of the season,” said DeJoria, a five-time nitro Funny Car national event winner. “We have been running great in qualifying and just need to string four runs together on race day. I am feeling more confident behind the wheel and I know I have a great race car every time I roll up to the starting line. It would be cool to put this Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota in the winner’s circle at the Bandero Tequila national event.”
DeJoria has experience and success racing at New England Dragway. This weekend’s race will be her sixth appearance after a three year break. In 2014 she raced to the final round as the No. 5 qualifier outrunning Tony Pedregon, Tommy Johnson, Jr., and John Force before being edged out for the win by Ron Capps. The next season she raced to the quarterfinals taking out Ron Capps in the first round. Her success rate at the New England Dragway can be tied to her strength in qualifying. She has never lost in the first round when she has qualified in the top half of the field.
DeJoria is working with her former teammate and mentor Del Worsham during the 2021 season. Worsham along with veteran Nicky Boninfante are making all the tuning decisions on the ROKiT Toyota Camry Funny Car. The relationship with Worsham goes back to when they were teammates at Kalitta Motorsports and has given DeJoria a high level of comfort and competitiveness.
“Del is one of the best drivers and tuners in the history of the NHRA,” said DeJoria. “He has done it all at so many levels. We work really well together because he understands things from the driver’s perspective.”
Qualifying will begin on Friday with two more sessions on Saturday as DeJoria tries to keep her top qualifying streak alive. Final eliminations will begin at 11:00 a.m. (ET) on Sunday with Fox televising three hours of finals coverage beginning at 1:30 p.m. (ET).
QUARTERFINAL FINISH WRAPS UP LONG HOUSTON FOR ALEXIS DEJORIA
BAYTOWN, TX (May 23, 2021) --- A wet and long weekend at Houston Raceway Park wrapped up with eliminations completed on Monday by Alexis DeJoria and the ROKiT Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota Camry Funny Car. The veteran driver came out of the trailer on Saturday with one of quickest Funny Cars on the property racing to the No. 1 spot after the first qualifying session. The Friday qualifying session was cancelled leaving the race teams with just two shots to get the most data and additional rain storms in the forecast. DeJoria’s quick time on Saturday earned her three qualifying bonus points and lit up the scoreboard with an impressive 3.912 second pass at 307.44 mph. As quick as the run was, the team knew there was more out there on the performance side for the ROKiT Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota team.
Before DeJoria could get a second qualifying run rain moved in and cut the session in half but not before one race car was able to edge her out of the top qualifying spot.
“We had a really good run in the first round with a 3.912,” said DeJoria. “At that point, we really didn’t think we were going to be able to get the second run in. It would have been nice to get another shot at it, but we’ve got a really good ROKiT Camry. We’re happy with qualifying second and we’re looking forward to eliminations on Monday.”
In the first round DeJoria, the No. 2 qualifier faced off with a brand new opponent in Todd Simpson, the 37th different driver she has faced over her career. Both cars jumped off the starting line and Simpson’s Funny Car smoked the tires immediately while DeJoria’s Camry Funny Car was on an impressive pass getting the win light with a time of 3.931 seconds at 314.53 mph.
In the quarterfinals DeJoria raced veteran Tim Wilkerson with a shot at going back to the semifinals for the second race in a row. Last weekend DeJoria was equally as impressive on the track and racing today she was confident she would have another long race day. In the race against Wilkerson both cars were welded together accelerating down the track and just before the finish line DeJoria race car lost power and Wilkerson was able to get his nose out in front of her at the finish line.
“My hot rod has been great all season and I know we are right around the corner from four win lights on race day,” said DeJoria. “We made a great run in the first round and in the second round we were right with Tim (Wilkerson). I am excited to have a quick race car. We have qualified top three or better four of the first five races and we were just as good at the end of last season. This kind of performance will carry us a long way this season.”
DeJoria and the ROKiT Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota Camry Funny Car team will head to the Tascaparts.com New England Nationals presented by Bandero Premium Tequila solidly in the top ten and looking for their first win of the 2021 NHRA season.
Q1: 3.912 sec, 307.44 mph; Qual. 1
Q2: Rain halted qual.; Qual. 2
Bonus Points: +3 (Quickest of Q1)
Driver Qual R/T ET MPH
Alexis DeJoria 2 .092 3.931 314.53 (W)
Todd Simpson 15 .086 25.341 49.76
Driver Qual R/T ET MPH
Alexis DeJoria 2 .092 4.204 229.16
Tim Wilkerson 7 .059 3.972 321.42 (W)
DeJoria Focused On Building Momentum Heading To Houston
Austin, TX (May 20, 2021) --- Coming off her best best performance of the season, a semifinal finish at the NHRA Charlotte Four-Wide Nationals, NHRA Funny Car driver Alexis DeJoria is looking to keep the pressure on the rest of the Funny Car class. The ROKiT Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota Camry recaptured its early season mojo posting consistently quick times including two round wins in the unique four-wide racing style to land DeJoria in the final quad of the day. Throughout the event DeJoria, who qualified No. 2 her best starting position of the season, handled her 11,000 horsepower race car like a seasoned veteran.
"This ROKiT Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota Camry Funny Car was a dream to drive in Charlotte," said DeJoria, who currently sits in sixth place in Funny Car points. "We went right to the top of the field on Friday night and only one car ran quicker in qualifying. We knew we had a quick hot rod and we showed it on Sunday with two more quick runs to get to that last quad. On the final run I am not sure what happened but it was mixing up cylinders all the way down the track and we let one get away from us. We tested on Monday and I am ready to get after it in Houston."
DeJoria, an Austin, Texas resident, has raced to two semifinals at the Spring Nationals during her career. Her sophomore season she picked up two round wins as the No. 12 qualifier before wrapping up her race in the semifinals and then last season in the fall DeJoria qualified No. 5 and took out Tim Wilkerson and Bob Tasca III before being ousted by Ron Capps. The successful race in October has the five-time nitro Funny Car national event winner looking for more win lights at Houston Raceway Park this weekend.
"We really started getting on a roll at the end of last season," said DeJoria. "We were qualifying really well and going rounds on Sunday. I like our chances this weekend since (crew chiefs) Del (Worsham) and Nicky (Boninfante) have really good info to work with and this is a fast track at sea level. The Texas fans are pretty cool and I hope there are a lot of them at the track. I know the weather could be tough but we'll just have to see what happens."
Earlier this season DeJoria announced a technical partnership with Mobil 1 to go along with her team's relationship with Toyota Racing Development (TRD). Both companies have headquarters in Texas and should have a number of representatives at Houston Raceway Park supporting DeJoria and the ROKiT team.
"I can't say enough about the support we get from TRD and Mobil 1," said DeJoria. "They are amazing partners and the technology they bring to the table really gives our team a lot of help. I also know we are putting their Mobil 1 to the test which only makes that product better for the consumer. It is a great relationship and I am proud to be representing both brands."
The ROKiT Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota Camry Funny Car has been one of the quickest race cars in the category for the past ten races including three top three qualifiers out of four races in 2021. Over the past nine races DeJoria's Toyota Funny Car has only started an event outside the top five in qualifying one time. That kind of consistency will eventually lead to multiple round wins and victories on Sunday.
"I think they turned a corner in Charlotte and Del and Nicky will keep fine tuning the car," said DeJoria. "My team is awesome and I just have to do my job behind the wheel. I have a lot of confidence that we are going to see a lot of win lights this season. It would be great to get a streak started this weekend in Houston. I like the fact we are getting right back at it after a strong showing last weekend in Charlotte."
Qualifying will begin on Friday night under the lights with two more sessions on Saturday as DeJoria tries to keep her top qualifying streak alive. Final eliminations will begin at 11:00 a.m. (CT) on Sunday with the race broadcast on FS1.