Thrill is on, but Alexis DeJoria takes her racing seriously

Alexis and Allison

On the side, she rides motorcycles and dirt bikes, sky-dives and snowboards. Her day job is even more adventurous. She pilots a 300-mph, 10,000-horsepower Funny Car in the country’s top drag-racing circuit.

Alexis DeJoria doesn’t mind being called a daredevil or a speed junkie. That other tag – billionaire heiress – bothers her a little bit, though.

“We get such a bad rap,” she said, as if there’s an actual community of billionaire heiresses. She didn’t want to name names but said, “There’s been women who have been in the public eye and haven’t done so well with their names.”

To be sure, DeJoria, 36, has had plenty of help along the way from her dad, John Paul DeJoria, who founded the Paul Mitchell line of hair-care products and Patron Spirits Company, which sponsors her Toyota Camry race car. Forbes pegs his worth at $3.1 billion.

In a decade as a professional drag racer, she has made a point of paying her dues at each stop along the way. This season has been a breakout year for her. She won two of the first four events – beating current points leader Robert Hight in the finals at Phoenix and Las Vegas – and is sixth in the Funny Car standings going into this week’s NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway. Read More