Coming off her best best performance of the season, a semifinal finish at the NHRA Charlotte Four-Wide Nationals, NHRA Funny Car driver Alexis DeJoria is looking to keep the pressure on the rest of the Funny Car class. The ROKiT Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota Camry recaptured its early season mojo posting consistently quick times including two round wins in the unique four-wide racing style to land DeJoria in the final quad of the day. Throughout the event DeJoria, who qualified No. 2 her best starting position of the season, handled her 11,000 horsepower race car like a seasoned veteran.
“This ROKiT Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota Camry Funny Car was a dream to drive in Charlotte,” said DeJoria, who currently sits in sixth place in Funny Car points. “We went right to the top of the field on Friday night and only one car ran quicker in qualifying. We knew we had a quick hot rod and we showed it on Sunday with two more quick runs to get to that last quad. On the final run I am not sure what happened but it was mixing up cylinders all the way down the track and we let one get away from us. We tested on Monday and I am ready to get after it in Houston.”
DeJoria, an Austin, Texas resident, has raced to two semifinals at the Spring Nationals during her career. Her sophomore season she picked up two round wins as the No. 12 qualifier before wrapping up her race in the semifinals and then last season in the fall DeJoria qualified No. 5 and took out Tim Wilkerson and Bob Tasca III before being ousted by Ron Capps. The successful race in October has the five-time nitro Funny Car national event winner looking for more win lights at Houston Raceway Park this weekend.
“We really started getting on a roll at the end of last season,” said DeJoria. “We were qualifying really well and going rounds on Sunday. I like our chances this weekend since (crew chiefs) Del (Worsham) and Nicky (Boninfante) have really good info to work with and this is a fast track at sea level. The Texas fans are pretty cool and I hope there are a lot of them at the track. I know the weather could be tough but we’ll just have to see what happens.”
Earlier this season DeJoria announced a technical partnership with Mobil 1 to go along with her team’s relationship with Toyota Racing Development (TRD). Both companies have headquarters in Texas and should have a number of representatives at Houston Raceway Park supporting DeJoria and the ROKiT team.
“I can’t say enough about the support we get from TRD and Mobil 1,” said DeJoria. “They are amazing partners and the technology they bring to the table really gives our team a lot of help. I also know we are putting their Mobil 1 to the test which only makes that product better for the consumer. It is a great relationship and I am proud to be representing both brands.”
The ROKiT Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota Camry Funny Car has been one of the quickest race cars in the category for the past ten races including three top three qualifiers out of four races in 2021. Over the past nine races DeJoria’s Toyota Funny Car has only started an event outside the top five in qualifying one time. That kind of consistency will eventually lead to multiple round wins and victories on Sunday.
“I think they turned a corner in Charlotte and Del and Nicky will keep fine tuning the car,” said DeJoria. “My team is awesome and I just have to do my job behind the wheel. I have a lot of confidence that we are going to see a lot of win lights this season. It would be great to get a streak started this weekend in Houston. I like the fact we are getting right back at it after a strong showing last weekend in Charlotte.”
Qualifying will begin on Friday night under the lights with two more sessions on Saturday as DeJoria tries to keep her top qualifying streak alive. Final eliminations will begin at 11:00 a.m. (CT) on Sunday with the race broadcast on FS1.
Tony Fay PR