KENT, Wash. (July 30, 2013)— The Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car team heads to the Pacific Northwest this week for the 26th annual NHRA Northwest Nationals in Seattle, Wash., the final race of the notorious three-event Western Swing. Coming off of a successful race weekend in Sonoma just days earlier where they raced their way to the semi-finals, Team Patrón will ride the wave of success up the West coast and hope to use that momentum to finish the Swing out strong.
Three races- Seattle, Brainerd, and Indianapolis- stand between Team Patrón and a chance to compete for the NHRA series Championship. They currently sit in the No. 12 spot on the Countdown to the Championship points list, but they’re not out of the hunt yet. Team Green, which has found recent success with a newly implemented clutch setup and chassis, hopes to pick up more valuable points at Pacific Raceways this weekend and inch closer to securing a spot on the coveted ‘Top Ten’ list.
Team driver Alexis DeJoria has powered her black-and-green hot rod to one final and four semi-final appearances in her two-year Funny Car career, but has yet to hoist her first Funny Car Wally. It was at this very race in 2011 that DeJoria won her first national Top Alcohol Funny Car event, and she’s hoping for a repeat performance this weekend.
SONOMA, Calif. (July 28, 2013)— After qualifying in the No. 16 spot at the 26th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway, the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car team knew they were up against tough odds when being paired up against No. 1 qualifier and current NHRA Funny Car series points leader Matt Hagan in round one of eliminations on Sunday.
The team struggled to get their footing early on in the weekend and after being plagued with a recent string of first round losses, a flash of the win light in Team Green’s lane was a well-deserved and hard-earned reward. Both cars struggled to make a clean pass, but Alexis DeJoria’s veteran-like driving skills prevailed and she was able to drive around the 2011 World Champion, running a 4.705-second pass to his 5.288. According to DeJoria, “That first round matchup against Hagan was a tough one. He was the number one qualifier and his car is always competitive. This was the first time we’d gone to head to head in competition this year. It had been a while since we’d made it out of first round so to come out on top was a huge confidence booster for all of us.”
DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (July 22, 2013)— As the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car team leaves the ‘mile high’ state and heads for sea-level Sonoma, Calif., they know that the stakes are high going into the second event of the three-race Western Swing.
With just four races left to get into the NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship Top Ten list, Team Patrón knows that the 26th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway is a critical race and will contribute to the fate of whether or not the team will have a chance for a run at the Championship. The team currently sits in the No. 12 spot on the list with 569 points.
“We’re 174 points out of tenth place as of now,” said team driver, Alexis DeJoria. “It’s critical that we go rounds this weekend. We’re not out of the hunt yet, but we really need to make some big moves this weekend.”
MORRISON, Col. (July 21, 2013)— After qualifying in the No. 4 spot for the 34th annual Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Col., Team Patrón driver Alexis DeJoria was set to square off against friend and friendly rival Courtney Force in round one of eliminations. DeJoria and Force, the only two female Funny Car drivers competing in the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, had a one-to-one 2013 race day record going into Sunday’s ‘Marquee Matchup.’
DeJoria’s impressive 4.122-second run from Q2 gave her the advantage of lane choice over No. 13 qualifier Force. Both women struggled with their reaction times and while the Patrón Toyota Camry made a full pull down the 1,000-foot stretch, it trailed Force’s flopper throughout the entire run. While obviously disappointed with how race day panned out for the black-and-green team, DeJoria is pleased with the newly configured car she was given this weekend.
DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (July 17, 2013)— Only five races stand between the cutoff to be included in the NHRA’s coveted Countdown to the Championship Top Ten list, and Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car, knows that the Western Swing will play a critical role in her team’s ‘Top Ten’ fate.
The famous three-race Western Swing kicks off this weekend with the Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway, located just outside of Denver, Col. As Team Patrón roars into the Rockies, they feel well-equipped to tackle what will likely be some of the most extreme racing conditions they will encounter all season. The scenic track in the mountains provides for a visually and acoustically stimulating experience for fans, but with its mile-high altitude, tricky tuning conditions for crew chiefs.