Patrón XO Cafe Incendio Team Hangs on to the Top Ten Despite First Round Loss in Chicago


JOLIET, Ill. (July 12, 2015)— The Patrón XO Cafe Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car team entered the Route 66 NHRA Nationals ranked tenth in the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship series’ points standing, with high hopes to move up the board this weekend. With Chicago marking the first race of the second half of the season, the Tommy DeLago-lead team knew it was crucial to add more points to the board to help solidify their spot in the Top Ten, and eventually have the opportunity to make a run for the Funny Car Championship.

After the last session of qualifying concluded at Route 66 Raceway on Saturday, DeJoria was tied for tenth in points with her fellow female Funny Car counterpart Courtney Force. Just two round wins separated the women from the seventh ranked driver, and DeJoria, who qualified ninth for the first round of race day, hoped Sunday would be the opportunity to add more round wining points to the board.

As the No. 9 qualifier, Alexis DeJoria drew No. 8 contender John Force in the first round matchup. The two were the last pairing of Funny Cars to run and after watching Robert Hight who had just a nine-point advantage on DeJoria, and C. Force fall in the first round, things were looking to be moving in the right direction for the Patrón team. Unfortunately, things did not work out as the Incendio team had hoped. Both J. Force and DeJoria’s cars made straight and quick runs down the Chicago dragstrip, but a late start off of the starting line for DeJoria meant Force’s 4.107-second run would cross the finish line before DeJoria’s 4.087.

While spared another weekend in the Top Ten, DeJoria was understandably disappointed in her performance during the first round.

“Going into the first round, I was really calm and focused and I went in there and staged a little too quickly. I was trying to take a good chunk out of the pre-stage light and ended up turning on both bulbs, which threw me off my game. Force staged quick and the tree came down quick and the next thing you know, the three amber bulbs are on and its time to go and I was a day late. I threw myself off my game, not intentionally, of course. I’m not one of those drivers that goes up there and tries to play games. I raced my race and I don’t pull any punches out there, but it’s really tough when you go out there and you get one chance to be perfect and you throw an interception so to speak.”

“I’m trying to shake it off. I’ve got a week off now and then we have the Western Swing. Lucky for me, we are still tenth, somehow, leaving this race. This is the time that I’ve got to dig deep. It’s these instances that really make you stronger in the end. It’s not always going to be great. We’ve had a tough year; it’s been up and down. Sometimes it’s me, sometimes it’s the car. One of these days soon the stars will align and it’s going to be awesome and we’re going to go rounds again and do good things. I’m sorry to my team. I love those guys. They gave me a hell of a car, which adds insult to injury for me, but at least we know what the problem was today, and it was definitely the driver. “

Five races stand between the Patrón team and their chance to make a run for the Funny Car Championship. With Denver kicking off the Western Swing, a grueling three race back-to-back stretch, DeJoria and team will have time to regroup and refocus before going into a critical stretch of the season. They will leave Chicago’s Route 66 Raceway in tenth with 658-points. 

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Round One: 4.087 ET at 312.06 MPH def. by John Force 4.107 ET at 316.08 MPH

About Alexis DeJoria

Alexis DeJoria, daughter of the famed John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems and proud owner of Tequila Patrόn, is a professional NHRA racecar driver, competing in the nitro Funny Car class on the Kalitta Motorsports team. Alexis drives the Patrόn XO Cafe Incendio-sponsored 2015 Toyota Camry. Alexis, who had all the opportunity in the world to pursue any type of career, felt strongly about following her passion, and her 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 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) Mello Yello 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.