AUSTIN, TX (April 28, 2021) --- While the 40th Southern Nationals will be the swan song for the fabled NHRA national event held at Atlanta Dragway just north of Atlanta, Georgia, Funny Car racer Alexis DeJoria will be looking to add her name to a legendary list of Funny Car winners. Since Tripp Shumake won the inaugural event, names like Raymond Beadle, Kenny Bernstein, John Force and Ed McCulloch have hoisted the Funny Car Wally in victory. DeJoria’s current crew chief Del Worsham captured his first win at the 1991 event as a 21 year-old rookie.
“The Southern Nationals has a lot of history for sure,” said DeJoria. “Del got his first win in Atlanta his rookie year and he was the youngest person to every win a Funny Car national event. To be able to win the last Southern Nationals with Del as my crew chief would be pretty awesome.”
DeJoria will be bringing her ROKiT Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota Camry Funny Car to the track with designs on translating qualifying success to race day win lights. Two weeks ago in Las Vegas DeJoria was the No. 3 qualifier extending her streak of top five starts to seven events in a row going back to the 2020 season. In the first round of the Four-Wide Nationals she made another blistering run to advance but in the next race a broken blower belt sealed her fate in a losing effort. The five-time Funny Car winner knows that success on Sunday is looming on the horizon.
At the season opening Gatornationals DeJoria raced to the quarterfinals on the strength of her No. 2 qualifying effort and a stout first round run. Her Camry Funny Car has been dominant in qualifying posting 3.91 low elapsed times in both Gainesville, Florida and Las Vegas, two dramatically different racing environments.
“We have had two races this season basically on opposite sides of the country in dramatically different conditions,” explained DeJoria. “I am excited to be running so well this early in the season. We finished strong in 2020 and picked right back up at the start of this season. The Funny Car class has never been tougher and I love the competition. We are getting into a rhythm with races now and I think that will only help me stay in race mode.”
DeJoria's best start at Atlanta Dragway was her No. 1 qualifying effort in 2014. In her last appearance at the track in 2016 she qualified No. 4 and raced to the quarterfinals. Heading in the Southern Nationals DeJoria is eighth in the Funny Car point standings just one point out of seventh place.
Qualifying for the 40th NHRA Southern Nationals will begin Saturday, May 1. Final eliminations will be broadcasted Sunday, May 2, beginning at 11:30 a.m. (ET) on FS1.