2014 Champ Can’t Capitalize on Strong Qualifying Performance in ROKiT/ABK Toyota
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The frustration continued Sunday for 2014 U.S. Nationals Funny Car Champion Alexis DeJoria who, after a solid qualifying performance, saw her ROKiT Phones/ABK Beer Toyota Camry succumb to a parts failure just as it was starting to distance itself from the Ford Mustang of No. 11 qualifier Bob Bode.
Bode won in 4.034 seconds after a burned piston in the Toyota triggered an on-board safety system that automatically shut down the 11,000 horsepower engine, leaving DeJoria powerless on the track and left to ponder what might have been. She coasted across the finish in 4.924 seconds at 156.41 miles per hour, almost a full second off her qualifying time.
“We can’t buy any luck right now,” lamented co-crew chief Del Worsham, DeJoria’s partner in DC Motorsports. “The car had been running great.”
Indeed, after DeJoria laid down qualifying runs of 3.932 (fourth best in Q1), 4.111 and 3.948 seconds, Worsham and tuning partner Nicky Boninfante had the car set up very conservatively for the first round with the expectation that it would deliver another mid-3.90. What happened instead was totally unexpected.
A five-time pro tour winner, DeJoria is back in competition this year after a two-year hiatus. She is seeking her first tour victory since winning the Lucas Oil Nationals at Brainerd, Minn., on Aug. 20, 2017.
Next up for DeJoria is the 51st annual Amalie Gatornationals at Gainesville, Fla., Sept. 26-27.
51st annual Amalie NHRA Gatornationals
Sept. 26-27, 2020
The ROKiT Report with Alexis DeJoria
Driver of the ROKiT Phones/ABK Beer/Lucas Oil Toyota Camry Funny Car
Event: 66th annual Denso Spark Plugs NHRA U.S. Nationals
Site: Lucas Oil Raceway, Indianapolis
Qualifying position: No. 6 at 3.932 seconds, 326.48 mph
Qualifying bonus points: None
Race day results: Despite a slight starting line advantage, lost to No. 11 qualifier Bob Bode of Deer Park, Ill., in the first round, 4.924 at 156.41 for the ROKiT/ABK Camry; 4.034 at 285.65 for the Bode Ford Mustang.
Perspective: Despite the disappointment of a first round exit, Alexis remained eighth in the Mello Yello driver standings.