Alexis DeJoria, Driver of the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car
No. 5 (3.913 E.T. at 327.98 MPH)
E1: 3.974 E.T. at 322.81 MPH defeated Cruz Pedregon 4.024 E.T. at 321.88 MPH
E2: 4.399 E.T. at 210.67 MPH defeated by Matt Hagan 4.006 E.T. at 319.60 MPH
The Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car team proved to have one of the strongest cars on the property at the NHRA Route 66 Nationals. Alexis DeJoria was the only Funny Car pilot to power her 10,000-horsepower race car to three sub-four second qualifying passes, and one of only two drivers to run in the three second zone during Q3. The team’s strong performance awarded DeJoria two valuable bonus points and the No. 5 qualifying spot, her best starting position of 2017.
DeJoria went into race day facing Cruz Pedregon in a crucial first round matchup. Pedregon currently holds the No. 10 spot in the NHRA Funny Car rankings and had a 50-point lead on DeJoria entering the race weekend. It was imperative for Team Patrón to not only earn round win-points, but also prevent Pedregon from gaining any additional points on DeJoria. Their first round tune-up proved to be a force to be reckoned with, as DeJoria not only easily defeated Pedregon but also posted the lowest elapsed time of the session.
Team Patrón went into round two with the quickest car of race day and the advantage of lane choice versus Matt Hagan. Unfortunately, their day would be cut short as the Patrón Camry dropped a cylinder early in the run and Hagan was able to get the round win.
With the first round win, bonus points and top half qualifying effort, DeJoria was able to narrow the points gap from 50 to a mere 26 points out of the Top 10. She finds herself in a fierce five-way battle for the coveted tenth spot entering the last five races of NHRA’s regular season.
Alexis DeJoria, Driver
Tough break on the second round, but we got some much needed points this weekend in qualifying and in the first round against Cruz. That really helped us; it put us in a good position towards our goal of making the Top 10. We can make up those points; we’re 26 out. The Western Swing is coming up next and we’ve done well at those events in the past. I have a lot of faith in my team and I think we’re on the right track right now. We’re making headway and I think we’ve got a shot at this.
NHRA Countdown to the Championship Points Standing:
437 points, ranked 14th
26 points out of 10th
Trails 13th ranked Del Worsham by 20 points