ENNIS, Texas (Dallas-Ft. Worth) – Coming off her best outing yet in the ROKiT Phones/ABK Beer Toyota Camry – a No. 2 start and semifinal finish in the NHRA Midwest Nationals at St. Louis, Alexis DeJoria returns this week with high expectations to the track on which she began her professional Funny Car career just nine years ago.
In 2011, less than two months after winning her first Top Alcohol Funny Car title in the NHRA’s Lucas Oil Series, DeJoria slid into the cockpit of a nitro burning Toyota Solara to compete in the AAA Texas FallNationals, contested this weekend for the 35th time at the Texas Motorplex.
The two-day event, featuring nitro qualifying at 1:30 and 5:45 p.m. Saturday and eliminations at 10 a.m. Sunday, is the first of two consecutive tour stops in Texas leading into the season-ending Dodge Finals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the track on which DeJoria has enjoyed more success than any other in the series.
With the next two races within driving distance of her Austin home and the finale contested on a Nevada track on which she won twice in three years (2014 and 2016), DeJoria is excited about the prospect of finishing the season on a high note and achieving one of her stated goals – finishing in the Top 10 after being out of racing for two years.
Such an achievement would lay the foundation for a concerted 2021 bid to make drag racing history as the first woman ever to win an NHRA Funny Car championship. The Funny Car class is the only one in the series over which a woman has yet to reign as champion.
The 2014 U.S. Nationals Funny Car Champion, DeJoria returned to racing this year as co-owner of a new team with former Funny Car and Top Fuel World Champion Del Worsham, who also serves as co-crew chief on the ROKiT Camry with veteran Nicky Boninfante. It was in Worsham’s Funny Car that DeJoria qualified for her Funny Car license.
“Our Toyota Camry is running consistently quick ETs and the crew chiefs and I feel like we’ve found the setup,” DeJoria said. “I’m stoked about racing the next two weekends in Texas and then going on to Las Vegas.”
A self-proclaimed “daredevil” who as a youngster used to ride her BMX bike off her grandmother’s dock and into a saltwater pond, DeJoria became enamored with drag racing the first time her dad took her to an NHRA event at Pomona, Calif.
That ultimately led her to Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School for basic training where her instructor was Jack Beckman, now one of her Funny Car rivals.
Event: 35th AAA Texas FallNationals
Site: The Texas Motorplex, Ennis, Texas (Dallas-Ft. Worth)
Defending Champions: Matt Hagan, Funny Car; Billy Torrence, Top Fuel; Greg Anderson, Pro Stock; Jerry Savoie, Pro Stock Motorcycle.
No. 1 Qualifier: 0
Final Rounds: 0
Won-Lost record: 4-6
2011 Dallas DNQ
2012 Dallas 8. Lost Bob Tasca
2013 Dallas 11. Lost Jack Beckman
2014 Dallas 2. Beat Jeff Diehl; lost Del Worsham
2015 Dallas 9. Beat Tim Wilkerson; lost Del Worsham
2016 Dallas 9. Beat John Force; lost Robert Hight
2017 Dallas 9. Beat Bob Tasca III; lost Robert Hight
2018 Dallas Did Not Compete
2019 Dallas Did Not Compete
Track records: 3.828 seconds by Robert Hight, 2017; 338.60 mph by Robert Hight, 2017.
Best by Alexis: 3.911 seconds, 2016; 329.83 mph, 2017.
Current Funny Car Driver Standings
(After eight of 11 events)
1. Matt Hagan, Christiansburg, Va., Mopar/Pennzoil Dodge 659
2. Jack Beckman, Norco, Calif., Infinite Hero Dodge 643
3.Tommy Johnson Jr., Avon, Ind., M.D. Anderson Hospital Dodge 625
4. Ron Capps, Carlsbad, Calif., NAPA Dodge 527
5. Tim Wilkerson, Springfield, Ill., Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford 480
6. J.R. Todd, Indianapolis, Ind., DHL Toyota 473
7. Bob Tasca III, Cranston, R.I., Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford 465
8. Alexis DeJoria, Austin, Texas, ROKiT/ABK Beer Toyota Camry 375
9. Paul Lee, Orange, Calif., FTI/Global Electronic Technology Dodge 319
10. Cruz Pedregon, Brownsburg, Ind., Snap-on Tools Dodge 303
NHRA Pro Series
Remaining 2020 Events
Oct. 25 33rd Mopar Express Lane Spring Nationals Houston, Texas
Nov. 1 20th Dodge Finals Las Vegas, Nev.
2021 Camping World Series
March 12-14 52nd Amalie Gatornationals Gainesville, Fla.
March 26-28 40th NHRA Southern Nationals Atlanta, Ga.
April 9-11 61st Lucas Oil Winternationals Pomona, Calif.
April 16-18 21st Denso Spark Plugs Four-Wide Nationals Las Vegas, Nev.