Alexis DeJoria, Driver of the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car
No. 9 (3.881 E.T. at 332.02 MPH)
E1: 3.901 E.T. at 331.94 MPH defeated by Ron Capps 3.880 E.T. at 328.54 MPH
After making four solid runs throughout qualifying, two of them bonus point- worthy, Alexis DeJoria and her Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car team qualified ninth for the prestigious NHRA U.S. Nationals.
While they successfully maintained their 10th ranked position in NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship going into race day, a mere 15 points separated DeJoria and 11th ranked Countdown hopeful Cruz Pedregon. The 12th - 14th ranked drivers, although less of a threat, also had an outside chance of bumping DeJoria out. Securing the coveted 10th spot and having an opportunity to race for the 2017 NHRA Funny Car championship would come down to Monday’s elimination rounds.
DeJoria and her Patrón team were the final pair to run in the opening round of eliminations. While they waited for their matchup with Ron Capps, Team Patrón watched as three out of the four Countdown aspirants hungry for that final tenth spot, including Pedregon, defeated their opponents.
With Pedregon’s round win, he moved up to the No. 10 spot and bumped DeJoria back to 11th. Team Patrón’s matchup with Capps was now a must-win round in order for DeJoria to still have a shot at qualifying for the Countdown.
DeJoria powered her Patrón Camry down the Indianapolis strip in 3.901-seconds at 331.94-mph. Despite having the fourth best run of the round, it wasn’t enough to stave off Capps’ 3.880, and Team Patrón would not advance to round two. The loss also meant DeJoria and the Patrón team would not qualify for the 2017 NHRA Countdown to the Championship. While they will not chase a Championship this year, DeJoria and Team Patrón look forward to playing spoiler, and more round wins before the conclusion of the season.
Alexis DeJoria, Driver
What an intense race this has been. We have a very consistent race car, we just didn’t have what it took to win that first round this morning. I did my best and my team did their best, but unfortunately we weren’t able to qualify for the Countdown this year.
Considering everything we’ve been through this season, the fact that we were even a Top 10 contender is huge, but to say I’m upset right now is an understatement. My heart’s broken for myself, but mainly for my team. They’re my rock. They work so hard and have been through so much.
I want to thank everybody involved- all of our sponsors, and all of the guys on the team for kicking ass and doing a great job all weekend. I couldn’t ask for a better team.
We won a race in Brainerd and the year is not over yet. Tommy [DeLago] and Nicky [Boninfante] have got our Patrón Camry right where it needs to be. We’re just getting better and better, and more consistent with every race. Hopefully we will win some more races before the year’s over and be a good blocker for my teammate, J.R. Todd.