Kalitta Motorsports News

SONOMA, Calif. (July 28, 2013)— After qualifying in the No. 16 spot at the 26th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway, the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car team knew they were up against tough odds when being paired up against No. 1 qualifier and current NHRA Funny Car series points leader Matt Hagan in round one of eliminations on Sunday. 

The team struggled to get their footing early on in the weekend and after being plagued with a recent string of first round losses, a flash of the win light in Team Green’s lane was a well-deserved and hard-earned reward. Both cars struggled to make a clean pass, but Alexis DeJoria’s veteran-like driving skills prevailed and she was able to drive around the 2011 World Champion, running a 4.705-second pass to his 5.288. According to DeJoria, “That first round matchup against Hagan was a tough one. He was the number one qualifier and his car is always competitive. This was the first time we’d gone to head to head in competition this year.  It had been a while since we’d made it out of first round so to come out on top was a huge confidence booster for all of us.”

Alexis DeJoria: Driver of the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry

The Results:

  • Q1: No Run
  • Q2:8.762 ET at 77.01 MPH
  • Q3: 4.241 ET at 287.29 MPH
  • Q4: 4.188 ET at 303.71 MPH

The Competition:

No. 16 Alexis DeJoria vs. No. 1 Matt Hagan


Alexis DeJoria, Driver

“This has been a so-so weekend for Team Patrón thus far. We didn’t run the numbers we were hoping to, but we qualified for the show tomorrow which is the most important thing. We may not be in the upper half of the field, but we’re in and that’s what matters- as long as you’re qualified, you have a shot. Our team has Matt Hagan first round and that should be a good matchup. We have this new chassis setup and it seems as if we’re on the right path. We just need to keep moving forward and making progress, and that’s what we’re doing. I’m excited about first round and looking forward to racing tomorrow.” 


David Grubnic – Driver of the Optima Batteries Top Fuel Dragster

  • Q1: 3.850 sec. at 317.64 mph
  • Q2: 3.765 sec. at 324.28 mph (Three bonus points for best of the session)
  • Q3: 3.806 sec. at 321.58 mph (Three bonus points for best of the session)
  • Q4: 4.886 sec. at 146.99 mph

Qualifies: No. 1


Grubnic – “We’re tickled to bits to be No. 1, you bet. It’s been a little while for Connie (Kalitta, team owner, crew chief and drag racing legend) and the Optima Batteries team, but it’s always a good confidence booster to go into Sunday knowing that, so far, you have the best dragster in the pits underneath you.  I know Connie and the team will do all they can to do to get our car ready to go rounds tomorrow. We’re really looking forward to racing tomorrow. Also, running in Sonoma is always big for us because all of our friends from Red Line Oil (based in Benicia, Calif.) are here with us. Red Line Oil is a huge supporter of Kalitta Motorsports, and we’re happy to get that No. 1 for them at their home track.”

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (July 22, 2013)— As the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car team leaves the ‘mile high’ state and heads for sea-level Sonoma, Calif., they know that the stakes are high going into the second event of the three-race Western Swing.

With just four races left to get into the NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship Top Ten list, Team Patrón knows that the 26th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sonoma Raceway is a critical race and will contribute to the fate of whether or not the team will have a chance for a run at the Championship. The team currently sits in the No. 12 spot on the list with 569 points.

“We’re 174 points out of tenth place as of now,” said team driver, Alexis DeJoria. “It’s critical that we go rounds this weekend. We’re not out of the hunt yet, but we really need to make some big moves this weekend.”

MORRISON, Col. (July 21, 2013)— After qualifying in the No. 4 spot for the 34th annual Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Col., Team Patrón driver Alexis DeJoria was set to square off against friend and friendly rival Courtney Force in round one of eliminations. DeJoria and Force, the only two female Funny Car drivers competing in the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, had a one-to-one 2013 race day record going into Sunday’s ‘Marquee Matchup.’

DeJoria’s impressive 4.122-second run from Q2 gave her the advantage of lane choice over No. 13 qualifier Force. Both women struggled with their reaction times and while the Patrón Toyota Camry made a full pull down the 1,000-foot stretch, it trailed Force’s flopper throughout the entire run. While obviously disappointed with how race day panned out for the black-and-green team, DeJoria is pleased with the newly configured car she was given this weekend.

Alexis DeJoria: Driver of the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry

The Results:

  • Q1: 4.300 ET at 292.58 MPH
  • Q2: 4.122 ET at 307.02 MPH
  • Q3: 4.716 ET at 182.33 MPH
  • Q4: 5.429 ET at 134.75 MPH

The Competition:

No. 4 Alexis DeJoria with lane choice vs. No. 13 Courtney Force


Alexis DeJoria, Driver

“We have definitely stepped up our performance from last year here at Bandimere Speedway. We qualified fourth with our 4.122 [seconds, elapsed time] run in Q2, which is pretty stout given the tricky conditions here. That was only our second run ever on that new chassis and we were able to make a solid run, which is great. That run kept us in the number four spot all weekend. The track has been hot and the altitude makes it difficult to make horsepower and create downforce, but there have been some stellar runs out there this weekend- ours being one of them. It seems as if no matter where we qualify, we always get matched up against tough cars, and tomorrow is no exception. I’m running against good friend Courtney Force in round one and it’s anybody’s game- they’ve got a good car and we’ve got a good car, so we’ll see. We’ll duke it out on the starting line, and then we’ll probably hug it out on the top end.” 

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Mello Yello Championship Points

Top Fuel (Unofficial)

1. Doug Kalitta (112)
2. Tony Schumacher (95)
3. Clay Millican (84)
4. Antron Brown (78)
5. Steve Torrence (60) 
6. Scott Palmer (47)
7. Brittany Force (35)
8. Leah Pritchett (32)
8. Mike Salinas (32)
8. Steve Faria (32)
13. Richie Crampton (27)

Funny Car (Unofficial)

1. Matt Hagan (127)
2. Robert Hight (101)
3. Jack Beckman (81)
4. Ron Capps (78)
5. Jonnie Lindberg (51)
6. J.R. Todd (49)
6. Tim Wilkerson (49)
8. Cruz Pedregon (48)
9. Courtney Force (36)
10. Shawn Langdon (32)
10. Tommy Johnson Jr. (32)
10. Del Worsham (32)