BAYTOWN, TX (May 23, 2021) --- A wet and long weekend at Houston Raceway Park wrapped up with eliminations completed on Monday by Alexis DeJoria and the ROKiT Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota Camry Funny Car. The veteran driver came out of the trailer on Saturday with one of quickest Funny Cars on the property racing to the No. 1 spot after the first qualifying session. The Friday qualifying session was cancelled leaving the race teams with just two shots to get the most data and additional rain storms in the forecast. DeJoria’s quick time on Saturday earned her three qualifying bonus points and lit up the scoreboard with an impressive 3.912 second pass at 307.44 mph. As quick as the run was, the team knew there was more out there on the performance side for the ROKiT Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota team.
Before DeJoria could get a second qualifying run rain moved in and cut the session in half but not before one race car was able to edge her out of the top qualifying spot.
“We had a really good run in the first round with a 3.912,” said DeJoria. “At that point, we really didn’t think we were going to be able to get the second run in. It would have been nice to get another shot at it, but we’ve got a really good ROKiT Camry. We’re happy with qualifying second and we’re looking forward to eliminations on Monday.”
In the first round DeJoria, the No. 2 qualifier faced off with a brand new opponent in Todd Simpson, the 37th different driver she has faced over her career. Both cars jumped off the starting line and Simpson’s Funny Car smoked the tires immediately while DeJoria’s Camry Funny Car was on an impressive pass getting the win light with a time of 3.931 seconds at 314.53 mph.
In the quarterfinals DeJoria raced veteran Tim Wilkerson with a shot at going back to the semifinals for the second race in a row. Last weekend DeJoria was equally as impressive on the track and racing today she was confident she would have another long race day. In the race against Wilkerson both cars were welded together accelerating down the track and just before the finish line DeJoria race car lost power and Wilkerson was able to get his nose out in front of her at the finish line.
“My hot rod has been great all season and I know we are right around the corner from four win lights on race day,” said DeJoria. “We made a great run in the first round and in the second round we were right with Tim (Wilkerson). I am excited to have a quick race car. We have qualified top three or better four of the first five races and we were just as good at the end of last season. This kind of performance will carry us a long way this season.”
DeJoria and the ROKiT Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota Camry Funny Car team will head to the Tascaparts.com New England Nationals presented by Bandero Premium Tequila solidly in the top ten and looking for their first win of the 2021 NHRA season.
Q1: 3.912 sec, 307.44 mph; Qual. 1
Q2: Rain halted qual.; Qual. 2
Bonus Points: +3 (Quickest of Q1)
Driver Qual R/T ET MPH
Alexis DeJoria 2 .092 3.931 314.53 (W)
Todd Simpson 15 .086 25.341 49.76
Driver Qual R/T ET MPH
Alexis DeJoria 2 .092 4.204 229.16
Tim Wilkerson 7 .059 3.972 321.42 (W)