DEJORIA LOOKING FOR FIRST LAS VEGAS FOUR-WIDE WIN
AUSTIN, TX (April 15, 2021) --- Funny Car driver Alexis DeJoria will be heading to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway focused on adding one more accomplishment to her impressive record. She will be looking for her first career four-wide national event win at a track where she has had success in the past. DeJoria celebrated victories in the desert in 2014 and 2016 at the Las Vegas NHRA Nationals before the track underwent a major reconstruction to add two additional lanes. DeJoria will be looking to keep her ROKiT Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota Camry Funny Car on the right track this weekend.
“I am looking forward to racing Vegas because it will be my first Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip,” said DeJoria. “I’ve had success there before but I have never won an actual four-wide race yet. My dad turned 80 this week on the 13th and he will be at the races. I would love to give him a Wally as a present.”
It has been over a year since any professional driver has tackled the unique four-wide racing format and DeJoria will be right in the thick of the competition. Her best four-wide performance was 2014 when she raced to the final quad at the Carolina Nationals.
At the season opening Gatornationals the ROKiT Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota Funny Car team qualified No. 2 on the strength of their 3.914 second pass and DeJoria advanced to the quarterfinals. In the first round she posted a 3.918 second run mirroring her best qualifying effort. The confidence in her team led by crew chiefs Del Worsham and Nicky Boninfante has DeJoria thrilled to get to the second race of the season.
“Del and Nicky work so well together and they have an amazing handle on the tune-up on this Toyota Funny Car,” said DeJoria. “When I get strapped in I know I am going to have a great shot at a top qualifying spot or a round win. Having them on my team lets me focus on my job as a driver. This whole ROKiT Bandero Premium Tequila team really came together down the home stretch of last season and we got off to a solid start in Gainesville. I am expecting great things this season starting in Las Vegas.”
DeJoria finished the 2020 season with five consecutive Top Five qualifying starts. No other driver can boast that consistency and she kept the streak alive with a No. 2 start at the Gatornationals this season. The ROKiT Bandero Premium Tequila team has also avoided any first round losses over the last six races with three semifinal finishes.
Qualifying for the 21st NHRA Las Vegas Nationals will begin Friday, April 16 and continue into Saturday April 17. FS1 will televise one and half hours of live qualifying coverage at 7:30 p.m. (ET) on Friday. Final eliminations will start on Sunday, March 18 at 3 p.m. (ET) and will be broadcasted beginning at 8 p.m. (ET) on FS1.
Alexis DeJoria Starts Season with Strong Gatornationals Performance
GAINESVILLE, FL (March 14, 2021) --- Starting the 2021 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season at the 52nd annual NHRA Gatornationals for the first time did not phase Alexis DeJoria. The veteran driver powered her ROKiT Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota Camry to the No. 2 qualifying position and continued her qualifying dominance in the category. The last time DeJoria and her Toyota Camry Funny Car raced at the Gators they qualified No. 5 which began an active streak of six consecutive Top Five qualifying starts including this weekend’s strong performance.
“These crew guys are doing so well to start the season,” said DeJoria, who has five Funny Car national event wins to her credit. “(Co-crew chiefs) Nicky (Boninfante) and Del (Worsham) are tuning this Toyota up and it is making some killer runs. I am excited about going to the next race because we have a great race car. We have been a top five qualifier the past six races going back to last season. We got bonus points this weekend and were the No. 2 qualifier so that is a great start.”
In the opening round DeJoria matched up with John Smith and her ROKiT Funny Car team was not taking the Paul Smith tuned opponent lightly. She blasted off the starting line and lit the scoreboard 3.918 seconds later which was the second quickest run of the day. It was a dominant first round win for the ROKiT team. Following the run DeJoria’s crew chief Del Worsham had high praise for his driver.
“She kept it right in the groove. It was moving around at the top end,” said Worsham. “It is getting slick up there. Paul Smith is a tough customer and we knew we had to run well. For ROKiT, Bandero, Toyota, Fatheadz and all our other sponsors that was a good way to start the race. I am glad we got that round win and we’ll get back to work.”
At the beginning of the event DeJoria announced a new technical partnership alongside TRD (Toyota Racing Development), with ExxonMobil who expanded its current team roster within NHRA. ExxonMobil has enjoyed a partnership with Kalitta Motorsports and will also continue that winning relationship into the 2021 season. Under the expanded agreement, ExxonMobil will supply DeJoria and her team with its Drag Racing motor oil, along with other lubricants, while also providing engineering support throughout the season.
“Having Mobil 1 and TRD onboard is incredible because they bring the science and technology with what they do to help our team,” said DeJoria. “It is very beneficial to us. We also have some new sponsors like Bandero Tequila and Fatheadz, who outfitted our entire team with sunglasses. We have the whole crew from past year which is nice since all these guys work really hard and are a joy to work with. We all gel and this is going to be a good year.”
In the second round facing two-time world champion Cruz Pedregon DeJoria slowed from her first round elapsed time and she was ousted in the quarterfinals. The team was looking at the performance drop off culprit. It was an unfortunate turn of events during an otherwise successful weekend that will see DeJoria leave Florid No. 6 in the Camping World point standings and with momentum at the beginning of the season.
“We have a really fast hot rod with this ROKiT Toyota Camry Funny Car. In the second round we had a little issue which we are trying to figure out. It just fell off on performance at 200 feet. I am working on my reaction times, too. I am just going to keep working on it. My Toyota Funny Car is so consistent that gives me a lot of confidence. I have been racing long enough to know what to do and we will get everything working together,” added DeJoria.
Q1: 3.914 sec, 324.28 mph; Qual. 2
Q2: 4.611 sec, 156.25 mph; Qual. 2
Q3: 3.948 sec, 316.90 mph; Qual. 2
Bonus Points: +3 (2nd quickest of Q1 and 3rd quickest of Q3)
E1: Alexis DeJoria, Austin, Texas, ROKiT Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota Camry, 3.918, 324.12 mph def. John Smith, Anderson, SC, Rock Racing Batteries Dodge Charger, 5.457, 136.90 mph
E2: Cruz Pedregon, Brownsburg, IN, Snap-On Dodge Charger, 3.989, 319.90 mph def. Alexis DeJoria, Austin, Texas, ROKiT Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota Camry, 4.031, 320.20 mph
Mobil 1 Expands Relationship with TRD in NHRA with Sponsorship of Alexis DeJoria
SPRING, TX – March 12, 2021 – Building on its return to the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) Series in 2020 with a technical partnership alongside TRD (Toyota Racing Development), ExxonMobil will expand its current team roster within NHRA to include Toyota Funny Car driver Alexis DeJoria. ExxonMobil has enjoyed a partnership with Kalitta Motorsports and will also continue that winning relationship into the 2021 season.
Under the expanded agreement, ExxonMobil will supply DeJoria and her team with its Drag Racing motor oil, along with other lubricants, while also providing engineering support throughout the season. In addition, ExxonMobil is continuing to develop next-generation lubricants to improve engine and gearbox performance while also continuing to support Kalitta Motorsports through its relationship with Toyota. DeJoria is ready to begin her quest for her first NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series World Championship as the season gets underway this month.
“I’m excited to get going and to have Mobil 1 join forces with us and help our ROKiT Toyota Camry go faster is a big boost leading into the season opener,” said DeJoria, a five-time Funny Car national event winner. “Mobil 1 came back to NHRA and it was immediately apparent that they were here to be consistent contenders after winning the first race of the season. We’re looking forward to delivering some victories of our own.”
With a fresh look for the 2021 season, DeJoria will get behind the wheel of her black-and-white Toyota Camry Funny Car with familiar sponsor, ROKiT, as the 70th NHRA season gets underway officially at the 52nd annual NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla., March 12-14.
“In 2020, working with Toyota and TRD, we were thrilled with how our first season back in NHRA in more than a decade turned out,” said Kai Decker, global motorsports and sponsorships manager at ExxonMobil. “NHRA is has proven a perfect place to showcase the performance of our advanced Mobil 1 synthetic lubricant technologies. Our relationship and partnership with Toyota and TRD is one that we’re looking forward to continue to build on in 2021 and beyond.”
“We’re proud of the relationship Toyota and TRD have built with ExxonMobil in several of our motorsports disciplines,” said David Wilson, president, TRD, U.S.A. “The significance of our on-track product in NHRA is especially impressive with the technical and engineering support that our teams are now receiving from Mobil 1. And as we embark on our 20th season in NHRA, we’re all looking forward to more race wins together, battling for championships and continuing to bring a shared passion for engineering to his highly competitive form of motorsports.”