By Jerry Bonkowski Alexis DeJoria is ready to ride her ROKiT ship Funny Car again this weekend as the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series returns for its second consecutive weekend at Lucas Oil Raceway in suburban Indianapolis.
DeJoria is coming off a strong run at Indy this past weekend, the NHRA’s return to racing after nearly 4 ½ months off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
DeJoria advanced to the quarterfinals last Sunday before losing to former Funny Car champ and former Kalitta Motorsports teammate JR Todd.
Like the rest of her full-time peers, last weekend was DeJoria’s third race of the season. In the season opener at Pomona, California, she impressively reached the semifinals after a two-year layoff before suffering a first-round loss the following race at Phoenix.
She wants to pick up where she left off last Sunday by reaching the final round – and potentially winning – this weekend’s event back in Indy.
Indianapolis is a familiar and friendly place for DeJoria, who won the sport’s biggest race – the U.S. Nationals – there in 2014.
“I was really excited when I heard we would open at Indy,” DeJoria said of the NHRA’s decision to end its coronavirus hiatus at Indianapolis. “Winning the U.S. Nationals there was the high point of my career.
“As it kept getting closer, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The night before our first test day, I couldn’t sleep because I was so excited. I was like a little kid.”
As is the case with many of her fellow competitors, DeJoria, driver of the DC Motorsports ROKiT Phones Toyota Camry Funny Car, understood why the NHRA stopped racing due to the pandemic, as well as the inability to have fans in the stands.
But it wasn’t easy.