Back-to-back strong races at the first two stops on the NHRA Western Swing have Alexis DeJoria and the Bandero Premium Tequila ROKiT Toyota Camry Funny Car team ready to get to the NHRA Winternationals. Two weeks ago DeJoria raced to a runner-up finish in Denver and last weekend the five-time Funny Car national event winner secured another semifinal finish at the Sonoma Nationals. Over the past six races DeJoria has raced to four semifinals or better and has qualified No. 2 four times and never worse than No. 6.
“I can’t tell you how much fun I am having driving this Bandero Tequila ROKiT Toyota Camry,” said DeJoria. “I know our first win is right around the corner. We just need one or two things to fall our way. The Western Swing has flown by and I can’t believe we’ll be in Pomona this weekend.”
The last time DeJoria strapped into her 11,000 horsepower Toyota Camry Funny Car at the Winternationals it was her first race back competing after a two year absence. She showed no signs of rust as she raced to the semifinals. Her return season was derailed by the pandemic but the tenacious DeJoria battled through the uncertainty and finished the season strong with three semifinal finishes over the final four races. She picked up this season right where she left off, continuing to qualify at our near the top of the Funny Car field and turning on win lights with regularity on race day.
Getting back to her home track, Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, could be the perfect combination for DeJoria to grab her first win of the 2021 season. The repositioning of the Winternationals to the middle of the summer has all the NHRA competitors feeling uncertain about how their race cars will react to a warmer than usual track surface.
“Running the Winternationals in the summer is going to be interesting,” said DeJoria, as the Western Swing was unfolding. “It is going to be wild and pretty hot. Pomona is my hometown track. I will have all my friends and family out there that I don’t get to see all the time. That will be nice. Pomona is a classic and that is a win that I have always wanted.”
The Denver final round appearance two weeks ago was DeJoria’s first since her return to racing at the beginning of the 2020 NHRA season. The last time she was in a final round was August 2017 when she defeated Tommy Johnson Jr. to win the Lucas Oil Nationals in Brainerd, Minnesota. DeJoria did not compete in 2018 and 2019.
The Bandero Tequila ROKiT team sits seventh in NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Funny Car points. They are less than three rounds out of third place with four races left in the regular season. A strong showing at the Winternationals could easily propel DeJoria to the top half of the Top Ten with the NHRA Countdown on the horizon when points will be reset for a final charge to the championship.
Qualifying will begin at the Winternationals on Friday, July 30, with an evening qualifying session which is sure to produce low elapsed times and high speeds. Two sessions will follow on Saturday with final eliminations beginning Sunday morning at 11 a.m. local time. The race will be broadcast on Fox from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. PDT.
Tony Fay PR