MORRISON, Colo. (July 26, 2015) – Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car, advanced to her fourth semi-final or better on the season today at Bandimere Speedway for the Mile High Nationals.
DeJoria’s Camry was a top half car throughout qualifying running two solid passes on Friday to secure her position. Her best was a 4.077 second run in the second attempt at the track which would end up placing her in the seventh position on the run order.
In what was labeled as the ESPN Marquee Matchup in the first round, DeJoria took on Courtney Force. Coming into this weekend, DeJoria and Force found themselves locked in a tight battle for the 10th position in the point standings. The ladies watched many cars struggle with the track temperatures and altitude before stepping to the line. However, the race was over before it even began. Force turned on the red-light and DeJoria advanced to the second round where Tommy DeLago tuned her Camry up and DeJoria earned her first round victory over the no. 2 qualified Tim Wilkerson. DeJoria was a little early on the tree in the semi-final against the car that ran the best in the previous session, Jack Beckman, to end her day.
DeJoria gained one spot in the point standings to rank ninth overall.
J.R. Todd, driver of the SealMaster Top Fuel dragster, struggled early in qualifying, but finally had all the pieces come together in the final opportunity. Sitting on the bump spot, Todd drove his way to a 3.884 second pass that nearly placed him among the top half of the field. His reward for the improvement? Antron Brown as a first opponent.
Brown waited as the SealMaster team had a little difficulty getting the machine started, but that was the only moment they were behind. Todd beat Brown off the line and to the finish line. A 3.968 elapsed time gave him lane choice over Larry Dixon in the second round.
Again, Todd had a consistent light and continued to lead Dixon through the 330-foot line, however, the SealMaster machine began losing power and Dixon was able to drive around to move to the semi-finals.
“The unique Denver conditions really made it difficult to start the car this weekend,” said Todd. “Wish we could have done better for SealMaster, but we will get the car put back together and move to Sonoma and plan for more success there.”
Todd slipped to the tenth in the standings, but slightly extended his advantage over 11th position.
Doug Kalitta, driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, started the Mile High Nationals weekend very strong. Jim Oberhofer had a handle on the tune-up from the moment the Mac Tools dragster hit the high altitude of Bandimere Speedway. In the first qualifying session, Kalitta’s 3.828 second run was second best and earned him two more bonus points. From there, the Mac Tools continued their consistency by laying down four sub four second runs in the tricky conditions. He would earn the fifth starting position and draw Richie Crampton in the first session.
The match-up of two top five drivers in the point standings was highly anticipated matchup in the first round. Conditions proved very tough as several drivers experienced tire smoke and Kalitta and Crampton suffered the same fate. Their tires lit up at about the same time and Crampton’s car maintained just a little more momentum to be able to sneak past the Mac Tools team.
“You never like to go out in the first round,” said Kalitta. “We are hopefully getting that all out of our system prior to the Countdown. I look forward heading to Sonoma with the Mac Tools team and hopefully pick-up on some of our prior success.”
Kalitta departs the mountain in the fourth position in the point standings.
Del Worsham, driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car, has had a solid car throughout the season’s first 13 events. However, the unique conditions of this event are like nothing that the team has experienced in the first half of the season or will experience going forward.
The team had rough start in the first round of qualifying before picking it up in the second opportunity. A 4.143 second run solidified Worsham’s qualifying spot, and then the DHL Toyota Racing team picked up another qualifying bonus point in the third session but was unable to move into the top half of the field seeding himself in 11th.
Another marquee pairing in the first round featured Worsham and the points leader, Matt Hagan, and in a tight race Hagan defeated Worsham by mere inches.
“Another close race that just did not end up the way the DHL Toyota Camry team wanted,” said Worsham. “We are looking forward to going to Sonoma and hopefully pick up where we left off in the normal conditions.”
Worsham retained his top five points placement heading into Sonoma Valley.
After 14 races, Team Kalitta nitro race cars have won two events, advanced to six final rounds and earned three no.1 qualifying positions. Team Kalitta will spend Monday servicing the cars before making their way to the second stop on the annual Western Swing, the NHRA Sonoma Nationals.
Alexis DeJoria – Driver of the Patrón XO Café Incendio Toyota Camry Funny Car:
No. 7 Qualifier (4.077 sec., 306.26 mph)
E1: DeJoria defeated C. Force - 4.330 sec., 271.52 mph to foul
E2: DeJoria defeated Wilkerson - 4.248 sec., 292.84 mph to 4.427 sec., 254.23 mph
E3: DeJoria defeated by Beckman - Foul to 4.184 sec., 295.40 mph
J.R. Todd – Driver of the SealMaster Top Fuel Dragster:
No. 9 Qualifier (3.884 sec., 312.28 mph)
E1: Todd defeated Brown - 3.968 sec., 305.56 mph to 3.991 sec., 302.89 mph
E2: Todd defeated by Dixon - 4.080 sec., 259.26 mph to 3.974 sec., 300.86 mph
Doug Kalitta – Driver of the Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster:
No. 5 Qualifier (3.828 sec., 317.34 mph)
E1: Kalitta defeated by Crampton - 4.242 sec., 256.70 mph to 4.193 sec., 254.90 mph;
Del Worsham – Driver of the DHL Toyota Camry Funny Car:
No. 11 Qualifier (4.143 sec., 295.53 mph)
E1: Worsham defeated by Hagan - 4.221 sec., 292.39 mph to 4.235 sec., 303.71 mph
Top Fuel (Unofficial)
1. Tony Schumacher (1028)
2. Antron Brown (1008)
3. Larry Dixon (848)
4. Doug Kalitta (844)
5. Richie Crampton (796)
6. Spencer Massey (752)
7. Shawn Langdon (696)
8. Brittany Force (681)
9. J.R. Todd (651)
10. Steve Torrence (609)
1. Matt Hagan (1024)
2. Ron Capps (846)
3. Del Worsham (835)
4. Jack Beckman (835)
5. John Force (801)
6. Tommy Johnson Jr. (798)
7. Cruz Pedregon (738)
8. Tim Wilkerson (722)
9. Robert Hight (667)
10.Alexis DeJoria (658)