For Immediate Release:
Media Contact: Allison McCormick
Alexis DeJoria Racing (Kalitta Motorsports)
Alexis DeJoria Racing
2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series
32nd Annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals
2525 South FM 565
Baytown, TX 77523
May 4th-6th, 2012
A Successful First Visit to “Hot-Lanta” for Team Patrün
Boca Raton, FL (May 8, 2012) — Temperatures soared into the mid-nineties in Atlanta this past weekend, but the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrün Toyota Camry Funny Car team had no problem handling the heat.
After experiencing similar weather conditions at a recent testing day in Charlotte, and again last weekend at the Spring Nationals in Houston, Team Patrün was well-prepared to tackle the high temperatures, and knew exactly how to tune the car to accommodate the extreme heat.
The black-and-green Toyota Camry performed well during qualifying, managing to stay in the ‘Top Ten’ of Funny Car rankings both Friday and Saturday. All four qualifying laps were a success for Team Patrün, which was no easy feat, as was proven by several other Nitro cars who struggled to get down the scorching track, which reached well over 130 degrees Fahrenheit at times.
“This can be a very difficult track for Funny Car drivers. It can be quite tough keeping the car in the groove, but Alexis had no problem with that. She controlled the car very well,” said Jim Oberhofer, VP of Kalitta Motorsports, speaking of Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Tequila Patrün Toyota Camry.
“This was my first time out at this particular track in my Funny Car, so I was excited about that. I knew going into this weekend, it would be tough, but Del [Worsham, the team’s crew chief] did such an excellent job tuning. He gave me a great car to work with,” said DeJoria.
After squaring off against fellow Rookie of the Year contender Courtney Force for the very first time at the Houston Spring Nationals last weekend, DeJoria and Force had two more opportunities for a little friendly competition again this weekend. “It’s crazy how things work out,” said DeJoria. “We went through the first five events [of the 2012 NHRA season] without ever being paired up against one another, and in the last two events, we’ve been paired up three times,” she said, speaking of Saturday’s qualifiers, where she ran a 4.166-seconds to Force’s 4.172-sec in round three, and a 4.227-sec to Force’s 5.747 in round four.
After finding consistency all weekend long, Team Patrün felt very confident going into the first round of eliminations on Sunday. DeJoria had a good light, but dropped a cylinder right at the step, which resulted in a decrease of power. She managed to stay competitive with opponent Matt Hagan until about the 700 feet mark, when unfortunately, the blower belt broke off and went through the injector.
“At that point we were dead in the water,” she said. “It was a close race, so it was disappointing to lose like that.”
Shortly after, Worsham made a last minute call to have the team stay in Atlanta through Monday and spend the day testing where despite the rain, they were able to make four successful laps. According to DeJoria, “Del was really focused on improving our sixty foot times and he definitely succeeded. We feel really good about yesterday’s test session. We did what we set out to do. It was also good practice for me with my reaction times.”
“We’re at a point now where we’re saying ‘Okay, we got it going down the track, now let’s make it better,’” said Oberhofer, speaking of the team’s plan to squeeze in the extra test session yesterday. “We’ve found consistency. Things have been progressing really well, and now that we’re able to make laps without any major issues, we need to figure out how to be more competitive.”
“Ideally, we want to get down into the 4.0’s [seconds] during qualifying so we have a better shot going into race day. We seem to get stuck at round one [of eliminations]. We have a lot of Friday night sessions coming up and our focus right now is figuring out how to make a really good run on Friday nights, because that is your only opportunity to take advantage of the best track conditions you’ll likely find all weekend. If you don’t do well then, you’ll be behind the eight ball the rest of the weekend,” he said, referring to the upcoming events that have evening qualifying rounds, which make for cooler track surfaces during these hot summer months.
DeJoria flew out to Dallas at the day’s end yesterday and is currently shooting her first ever Tequila Patrün television commercial. Stay tuned!
About Alexis DeJoria
Alexis DeJoria, daughter of the famed John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems and proud owner of Tequila Patrün, is a professional NHRA race car driver, competing in the Nitro Funny Car class on the Kalitta Motorsports team. She is their second Nitro Funny Car driver and fourth member of the team. Alexis drives a Tequila Patrün-sponsored 2012 Toyota Camry.
Alexis had a successful career in the Top Alcohol Funny Car category where she co-owned and operated her team, and was one of the few females ever to do so. She left the TAFC category holding the title of Top Female Top Alcohol Funny Car Racer and 2011 NHRA Northwest Nationals TAFC event champion. Alexis made racing history when she competed in the first ever ‘woman vs. woman’ race in her class in 2010, and she is the 2nd woman ever to win a TAFC race. She is currently the female world record holder for the fastest and quickest TAFC speeds. Alexis is also well-known for her infamous 2009 Englishtown, NJ crash.
Alexis, who had all the opportunity in the world to pursue any type of career, felt strongly about following her passion. She is proud to encourage and inspire young women to go after their dreams. Alexis’ need for adrenaline drove her to pursue the unlikely profession of auto-racing. The determination to ‘blaze her own trail’ continues to drive her and push her to higher levels in the dangerous, male dominated sport of drag racing.
About Kalitta Motorsports
Based in Ypsilanti, Mich., Kalitta Motorsports is a Top Fuel and Funny Car drag racing team in the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) Full Throttle Drag Racing Series. The team was founded and is owned by drag racing icon Connie “the Bounty Hunter” Kalitta. For more than 50 years, Connie has been involved in the sport as a driver, tuner, and an owner. Kalitta Motorsports is one of the most successful teams in the history of auto racing with five world championships and over 50 national event titles in five different professional drag racing sanctioning bodies since it was established by Connie in 1959.
Media Contact info:
Alexis DeJoria and members of the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrün Funny Car team are available for interview. Please contact Allison McCormick at (305) 764-5377 or firstname.lastname@example.org