Alexis DeJoria will return this weekend to Brainerd International Raceway, the site of her most recent Funny Car victory, a 2017 triumph over veteran driver Tommy Johnson Jr. It was her fifth career Funny Car national event win and she took out four competitors including Tim Wilkerson, Cruz Pedregon, John Force and eventually the No. 5 qualifier Johnson Jr., from the No. 10 qualifying position to take the Wally. This weekend DeJoria will bring her Bandero Premium Tequila/ROKiT Toyota Camry to the NHRA Brainerd Nationals with an eye on making this event a repeat winner for the racer from Austin, Texas.
“That win was a big one for us and we want to add to that total,” said DeJoria. “We have a great race car and we have been close to getting a win this season. We have all the pieces in place and we just need to get everything to come together on race day.”
This season the Bandero Tequila/ROKiT Toyota Camry has been all-conquering in qualifying posting seven top three qualifiers including two No. 2 qualifiers in the 3.89 range during the last three races. In Topeka DeJoria was narrowly edged out of the top spot by Toyota teammate J.R. Todd. Only one other driver has more 3.8 second runs in qualifying and that consistency has been the key to the nine-time career Funny Car finalist’s success.
“I have an awesome team behind me and they give me a bad ass race car every event,” said DeJoria. “The conditions this weekend should give us another opportunity to put up some low numbers and we will see what we can do on race day. I like going to tracks where I have had success.”
This season DeJoria raced to the final round of the Mile-High Nationals and she has three additional semifinal finishes. Throughout the season the team has worked together to eliminate tune-up issues and create opportunities for DeJoria to outrun the opposition. With two races left in the regular season a Countdown playoff berth should be clinched this weekend with another solid performance.
“Our goal from the beginning of the season was to race for the Camping World Funny Car world championship and you have to be in the Countdown to have a shot,” said DeJoria. “We can secure our spot this weekend and then we can focus on winning the race.”
DeJoria has had success during this stretch of the season with her 2017 win in Brainerd and in 2014 she picked up her historic win at the U.S Nationals. The fact that her team which returned to competition last season now has over 20 national events together gives DeJoria even more confidence.
“We figured a lot of things out last year and we were running really well at the end of 2020,” said DeJoria. “This season I think we are working together even better and you are seeing that in the numbers we are running in qualifying and on race day. If I do my job on the starting line we have a tremendous 1-2 punch. I can’t wait to get to Brainerd and get into the fight.”
Qualifying will begin on Friday, August 20, with an afternoon qualifying session. 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 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. CDT.
Tony Fay PR