Takes ROKiT Phones/ABK Beer Toyota Camry to the Semifinals at Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Buoyed by an impressive late season run that included semifinal appearances in three of the last four races in an abbreviated NHRA Camping World championship series, Alexis DeJoria left The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Sunday counting down the days until the 2021 season opener.
After qualifying third and once more taking her ROKiT Phones/ABK Beer Toyota Camry to the semifinals, the former U.S. Nationals Funny Car champion ran afoul of newly-crowned series champ Matt Hagan, who prematurely ended her bid in the 20th annual Dodge Finals.
Although she failed to add a third LVMS victory to her resume, the Texas resident nevertheless was exhilarated by her car’s consistency over the last wo months during which she put together the best five-race qualifying performance of her professional career.
Over the final five events in an NHRA season abbreviated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the five-time pro tour winner qualified fifth, second, fifth, fifth and third. Her Toyota consistently has been the quickest Funny Car not running out of the Don Schumacher Racing stable.
“I’m so proud of these guys,” DeJoria said of a team anchored by co-crew chiefs Del Worsham and Nicky Boninfante. “We really came together as a team. It sucks that this is the last race but I’m beyond excited about the 2021 season. So, to Toyota, ROKiT Phones, ABK Beer and all the people that support us, thank you so much. Can’t wait to get this car back in the winners’ circle.”
The No. 3 qualifier behind only finalists Hagan and Ron Capps, DeJoria stopped Terry Haddock in round one with a solid 3.982 before improving to 3.930 in a quarterfinal victory over Blake Alexander to the utter delight of her father, John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of Paul Mitchell hair products.
Although DeJoria won just four rounds in the season’s first seven races, she went 7-4 down the stretch to lock up the No. 8 position in Funny Car points, thereby realizing her pre-season goal of securing a Top 10 finish in her return to pro racing after a two-year absence.
The ROKiT Report with Alexis DeJoria
Driver of the ROKiT Phones/ABK Beer/Lucas Oil Toyota Camry Funny Car
Event: 20th Dodge Finals
Site: The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Las Vegas, Nev.
Qualifying position: No. 3 at 3.915 seconds, 322.42 miles per hour.
Qualifying bonus points: 3 for second quick time in Q2.
Race day results: Round 1, Alexis DeJoria, 3.982 seconds, 309.91 miles per hour, def. Terry Haddock, 4.178 seconds, 275.28 mph; Quarterfinals, Alexis DeJoria, 3,930 seconds, 321.73 mph, def. Blake Alexander, 3.986 seconds, 316.75 mph; Semifinals, Alexis DeJoria, 4.053 seconds, 261.02 mph, lost to Matt Hagan, 3.915 seconds, 326.48 mph.
Perspective: Racing on her favorite track from the No. 3 qualifying position, Alexis drove the ROKiT Phones/ABK Beer Toyota Camry into the semifinals for the third time in the last four races.
2020 Funny Car Driver Standings
1. Matt Hagan, Christiansburg, Va., Mopar/Pennzoil Dodge 1020
2.Tommy Johnson Jr., Avon, Ind., M.D. Anderson Hospital Dodge 915
3. Jack Beckman, Norco, Calif., Infinite Hero Dodge 848
4. Ron Capps, Carlsbad, Calif., NAPA Dodge 828
5. Bob Tasca III, Cranston, R.I., Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford 679
6. J.R. Todd, Indianapolis, Ind., DHL Toyota 663
7. Tim Wilkerson, Springfield, Ill., Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford 620
8. Alexis DeJoria, Austin, Texas, ROKiT/ABK Beer Toyota Cam 605
9. Paul Lee, Orange, Calif., FTI/Global Electronic Technology Dodg 464
10. Cruz Pedregon, Brownsburg, Ind., Snap-on Tools Dodge 436
Final Round Results:
FUNNY CAR – Matt Hagan over Ron Capps.
TOP FUEL – Antron Brown over Steve Torrence
PRO STOCK – Erica Enders over Kyle Koretsky
2020 NHRA CAMPING WORLD Champions:
FUNNY CAR – Matt Hagan
TOP FUEL – Steve Torrence
PRO STOCK – Erica Enders
52nd Amalie Gatornationals