No. 2 Qualified Bandero GR Supra Team Continues to Make Strides in Bristol

BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 9, 2024) – It’s no secret Alexis DeJoria loves Bristol Dragway. It was at the 2012 NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals where she advanced to her first final round during her rookie season. In 2021, she scored her sixth national event victory from the pole in Thunder Valley, and in 2023, she advanced to another Bristol final. The driver of the Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota GR Supra Funny Car was looking to the northeastern Tennessee venue to be the scene of her first triumph of 2024 but narrowly missed advancing beyond the quarterfinals on Sunday afternoon.

DeJoria opened the weekend by clocking a 4.016-second pass to put her fifth after the first qualifying round. In Friday night’s session in prime conditions, DeJoria rocketed to a 3.973-second at 319.90 MPH pass to move up to the No. 2 spot and earn two bonus points. Like many other nitro teams struggling to get down the hot and tricky track on Saturday, DeJoria’s machine hazed the tires during the two remaining sessions but she was able to maintain her second-seeded position to start race day.

Against No. 15 qualifier Dave Richards, DeJoria scored the holeshot start and never trailed for the win, taking her Bandero GR Supra to the stripe in 3.938 seconds to defeat Richards’ 4.242-second attempt. Facing John Force in round two, DeJoria was first on the throttle again, but her machine started to slow as it approached halftrack when it dropped a cylinder. Down on power, she crossed the finish line in 4.088 seconds, but it wasn’t enough to outrun Force’s 4.01-second pass. While she missed out on her shot at a third Bristol final-round appearance, DeJoria is happy with the team’s outing and feels they’re headed in the right direction.

“Thunder Valley has always been good to us, we love racing here. Our confidence level is high. We qualified well; No. 2, back where we should be, up in the top five,” said DeJoria, who missed out on clinching the No. 1 qualifying spot by a mere fifteen-hundredths of a second.

“I was so excited about race day today. First round, had a good light, made a very good run. It was second-best of the event. Came back, we had Force second round and he’s been a thorn in our side for a while so that was one we definitely wanted to get through. Unfortunately, we dropped a cylinder and that was the end of our day. I got him on the line and who knows what would’ve happened if we hadn’t put that hole out, but we’ve got a lot of racing left to do and I just feel really confident about our team right now.”

DeJoria will depart Bristol ranked eighth in the NHRA Mission Foods Drag Racing Series Funny Car standings. She returns to the seat of the Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota GR Supra on Saturday, June 22nd, when qualifying for the Virginia NHRA Nationals kicks off at noon ET.

Qualified: No. 2 (3.973 E.T. at 319.90 MPH)

Elimination Round Results:
E1: 3.938 E.T. at 318.69 MPH defeated Dave Richards 4.242 E.T. at 294.75 MPH
E2: 4.088 E.T. at 306.19 MPH defeated by John Force 4.010 E.T. at 316.60 MPH