A runner-up finish at the second race of the NHRA Countdown to the Championship, the Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals, has Alexis DeJoria reenergized and ready for more late-season success with her Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota GR Supra Funny Car. The six-time event winner moved up to sixth in the Countdown points after bowing out in the final round to fellow Toyota Gazoo Racing driver Ron Capps Sunday afternoon at zMAX Dragway near Charlotte.
“We had a great day today,” said DeJoria, who celebrated her birthday on Saturday. “We didn’t get the win, but we went to a final round and got some good points. Most of all, I’m very pleased with the consistency of our race car right now.”
DeJoria qualified ninth, but the Del Worsham and Nicky Boninfante-tuned DC Motorsports entry transformed overnight into one of the quickest and fastest cars on the property. DeJoria opened eliminations with one of the quickest runs of her career, a 3.878, at a career-best speed of 334.73 to knock out fellow Toyota Gazoo Racing driver J.R. Todd.
DeJoria got up on the wheel for the second round and left the starting line first against multi-time world champion Robert Hight. She never looked back, taking the win by one hundredth of a second with a 3.918 at 324.59 over Hight’s 3.924 E.T.
Another multi-time champion, Matt Hagan, was waiting for DeJoria in the semifinals. It was a side-by-side race from start to finish, with DeJoria running low E.T. of the round, a 3.887 at 332.02, to beat Hagan and his 3.893.
Competing in her first final round of the year and the 12th of her career, DeJoria met up with Capps for an all-Toyota final. The two drivers charged hard off the starting line, but both encountered problems and had to coast through the 1,000-foot finish line. DeJoria and her 3.985 trailed Capps and his 3.967.
“Del and Nicky have really put together a great package and our car was just on fire all day,” DeJoria said. “I’m just really proud of everybody and their hard work. We stayed and tested after the last race, and it looks like that paid off.”
Along with the career-best numbers and round wins, DeJoria collected enough points to move up three spots in the playoff points, giving DeJoria an optimistic outlook on the rest of the playoffs.
“There’s four more races left,” DeJoria said. “It’s not over yet. It’s going to be a battle.”
With momentum and an improved hot rod, DeJoria will move on to World Wide Technology Raceway near St. Louis for the NHRA Midwest Nationals, Sept. 30-Oct. 2.
Qualified: No. 9 (3.903 E.T. at 329.42 MPH)
Elimination Round Results:
E1: 3.878 E.T. at 334.73 MPH defeated J.R. Todd 4.192 E.T. at 239.70 MPH
E2: 3.918 E.T. at 324.59 MPH defeated Robert Hight 3.924 E.T. at 320.36 MPH
E3: 3.887 E.T. at 332.02 MPH defeated Matt Hagan 3.893 E.T. at 334.07 MPH
E4: 3.985 E.T. at 266.85 MPH defeated by Ron Capps 3.967 E.T. at 267.32 MPH
NHRA Camping World Series Funny Car Standings (unofficial):
|5||Bob Tasca III||2179|