Alexis DeJoria Races to Final Round at NHRA Mile-High Nationals, Advances Two Positions to Third

Alexis Makes Finals in Denver

MORRISON, Colo. (July 16, 2023) – Racing in front of a capacity crowd on Sunday, Funny Car driver Alexis DeJoria added one last Bandimere Speedway milestone to her résumé when she scored a runner-up finish at the final NHRA Mile-High Nationals. Her Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota GR Supra was on track to make its best pass of the day in the final round, but a hurt piston prevented DeJoria from defeating Matt Hagan. The Funny Car final round was the last pair of cars to go down the track at the Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere, which is due to close at the conclusion of the 2023 season. By advancing to the final round, DeJoria advanced two positions from fifth up to third in the Funny Car point standings.

DeJoria’s weekend got off to a solid start on Friday when she earned a bonus point for making the third-quickest pass of the first qualifying session, a 4.104 E.T. She improved to a 4.021 E.T. at 324.83 MPH in the final fourth session on Saturday, giving her the No. 9 position for Sunday eliminations.

DeJoria and crew chief Del Worsham stayed in the 4.00-second range in the first round, using a 4.089 E.T. to defeat Chad Green. DeJoria and second-round opponent Cruz Pedregon both had traction issues on the hot Bandimere racing surface, but DeJoria was able to pedal her way to another round win, earning a spot in the next Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty Challenge. Dropped cylinders was the issue that plagued DeJoria and fellow Toyota driver J.R. Todd in the semifinals, and again, DeJoria was able to power through for the win.

In the final round, DeJoria’s Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota GR Supra charged to impressive incremental numbers next to Hagan. The 11,000-horsepower engine started to experience issues before the finish line, though, and DeJoria clocked a 4.217-second E.T. to finish behind Hagan and his 4.135 E.T.

“Man, that was a hard loss right there going up against Hagan,” said DeJoria, the 2021 event runner-up. “It’s a rematch from two years ago. I really wanted that trophy for the guys and myself and our whole team. It’s the last trophy here at Bandimere. We came here to win, and we were gunning all weekend and had some wild rides. That Toyota 200th win is still on the table, and we’re also a part of the Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty Challenge for the next race.

“This was our third final of the year and there’s many more races left, but it’s tough, man,” DeJoria continued. “You go up there and you just try to do your best. I almost red-lit. I almost double-stepped and red-lit but caught myself and just ended up having a bad light. We had a hurt piston pretty early on, then the pan pressure got a little too high towards the top end and it shut it off, but our incrementals were better than Hagan’s for most of the run.”

Regardless of the outcome of the race, DeJoria walked away from the Mile-High Nationals thankful for the Bandimere Speedway experiences over the years, and for the support of the thousands of fans who poured through the gates and filled the grandstands throughout the weekend.

“We’ll just be grateful for all the runs that we got to run out here, all the times we got to run out here, all the races we’ve had,” DeJoria said. “Working with the Bandimeres has been really awesome, and I’m going to miss this race track. I’m going to miss going up and hiking Red Rock every morning before the races. I’m going to miss all these fans out here. Hopefully they do end up building another track. But I’m just really grateful for the time that we’ve had.”

Riding the momentum from her runner-up finish at Denver, DeJoria will continue the Western Swing in a few days at the Flav-R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals, July 21-23, at Pacific Raceways in Kent, Washington.

Qualified: No. 9 (4.021 E.T. at 324.83 MPH)

Elimination Round Results:
E1: 4.089 E.T. at 314.61 MPH defeated Chad Green 4.201 E.T. at 305.36 MPH
E2: 4.818 E.T. at 224.06 MPH defeated Cruz Pedregon 5.887 E.T. at 120.44 MPH
E3: 4.245 E.T. at 301.67 MPH defeated J.R. Todd 4.383 E.T. at 209.82 MPH
E4: 4.217 E.T. at 251.34 MPH defeated by Matt Hagan 4.135 E.T. at 304.25 MPH