Team Patrón Adapts to New Chassis at NHRA Gatornationals

Alexis DeJoria

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 20, 2016)— The Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Funny Car team had their work cut out for them entering the 47th annual NHRA Gatornationals this weekend as they implemented a new setup on their 10,000-horsepower Camry.

Following the Phoenix race, Team Patrón decided to run teammate and 2015 Funny Car World Champion Del Worsham’s back-up chassis going forward. Despite the initial challenges, crew chief Tommy DeLago feels confident that the adjustment will pay off in the long haul and make Team Patrón that much more competitive as the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season labors on.

The Patron team struggled to make it down the track throughout most of qualifying during this weekend’s three-day history-rich event at Gainesville Raceway. The car failed to make a full pull until the fourth round. Team Patrón’s Q4 run of 4.041-seconds at 314.61-mph put them in the No. 12 qualifying spot going into round one of eliminations on Sunday morning where DeJoria found herself without the advantage of lane choice against opponent Matt Hagan.

DeJoria powered her Patrón Toyota Camry down the drag strip in 3.992-secs in the opening session. Despite making their best run of the weekend, the Patrón team came up short against Hagan’s 3.966-second run, ending their chances of competing for the Gatornationals Wally.

“This weekend we started running Del’s back-up chassis,” said DeJoria, a three-time Funny Car winner, adding, “Our car that we started the year off with had a ton of runs on it so we wanted to try out a new chassis and see if making that change could get us back to where we want to be performance-wise.”

“That being said, there are a lot of different things on the car that we all need to adapt to. Not only is the chassis different, taking different input from the crew chiefs, but as a driver, the steering wheel is different, the brake handle is different, the reverser is different, my seat belts are different; so it might take a race or two to get this thing handled. We’re chipping away at it, little by little, and once we figure everything out, I think we’re going to do really well. We made another full pass again today and we’re back in the three-second range again, so that’s a plus. We didn’t get the round win but we were really concerned about trying to make progress with this new setup that we have.

“I think Vegas will be good- we’re looking forward to that race,” DeJoria said, referring to the upcoming NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas, April 1-3, the next stop on the NHRA tour, and also the scene of her second Funny Car victory. “This chassis will prove to be much better than what we ran in the first two races.“

Alexis DeJoria and the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car team leave Gainesville with 119 points, ranked ninth in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship Funny Car points standings. For more information, please visit, Follow Us on Twitter, Instagram and Periscope: @ADRnhra, or Like Us on Facebook: Alexis DeJoria.

About Alexis DeJoria

Alexis DeJoria, daughter of 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 Tequila Patrón-sponsored 2016 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 the sport of NHRA drag racing.

About Tequila Patrón

From hand-harvesting the highest-quality 100 percent Weber Blue Agave, to the traditional, time-honored distillation process and individual labeling, numbering, and inspection of each bottle, Patrón tequila is crafted with meticulous precision and care. Though Patrón has grown to become one of the most-recognized and respected luxury spirits brands in the world, it is still exclusively produced in the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico, in the same small batches and with the same commitment to quality and craftsmanship. For more information about Patrón tequilas and liqueurs, please visit