DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (July 3, 2013)— As the grueling four race back-to-back string of mid-summer NHRA events comes to an end with the 7th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio this weekend, the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car team hopes to finish out the stretch strong before the much needed break prior to the infamous ‘Western Swing.’
“These past three races in Bristol, Epping, and Chicago have been somewhat frustrating for the Patrón team,” says Alexis DeJoria, driver of the black-and-green bee-emblazoned machine. “We haven’t done as well as we had hoped, and we’re really looking to turn things around at this next race.”
“Last year, we DNQ’d [Did Not Qualify] in Norwalk which was a major disappointment. We’re at the halfway point in our season, and so far, we’ve been able to qualify at every race this year, which has been great” she said, adding “It would be awesome to redeem ourselves there this year and not only qualify, but qualify in the top half of the field and go rounds on Sunday.”
The team, which started off strong early in the season spending time in the NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship ‘Top Ten’ list after two semi-final appearances, has dropped to twelfth in the points standings as of late. With just six races left to break into the coveted ‘Top Ten,’ Team Patrón knows that the clock is ticking and according to crew chief Tommy DeLago is now working closer than ever with Kalitta Motorsports Vice President and crew chief on the Doug Kalitta-piloted Mac Tools Top Fuel Dragster, Jim Oberhofer.
“We’re getting a lot of help from JimO and working together on this new setup, which basically involves using a tamer version of Doug’s engine combination,” he said. “We’re making some headway and I think we’re getting close to having a pretty bad hot rod. We tested it out on Del’s [Worsham, driver of the Kalitta DHL Toyota Camry] car in Bristol and this past Sunday on Alexis’ car in Chicago and it’s showing a lot of promise. It’s going to make a lot more horsepower than our current setup. Once we get it all figured out, this Patrón flopper is going to fly. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can do with this new combination this weekend. Just like every other weekend, our plan is to qualify well, going rounds on Sunday, and hopefully inch a little closer into the Top Ten.”
Alexis DeJoria and the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car team begin qualifying for the 7th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio at 4PM on Friday, July 5. For more information, please visit www.alexisdejoria.com. Follow us on Twitter: @ADR_Nitro771 and Like Us on Facebook: Alexis DeJoria.
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About Alexis DeJoria
Alexis DeJoria, daughter of the famed John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems and proud owner of Tequila Patrόn, is a professional NHRA race car driver, competing in the nitro Funny Car class on the Kalitta Motorsports team. Alexis drives a Tequila Patrόn-sponsored 2013 Toyota Camry. Alexis, who had all the opportunity in the world to pursue any type of career, felt strongly about following her passion, and her need for adrenaline drove her to pursue the unlikely profession of auto-racing. The determination to ‘blaze her own trail’ continues to drive her and push her to higher levels in male dominated sport of drag racing.
About Kalitta Motorsports
Based in Ypsilanti, Mich., Kalitta Motorsports is a Top Fuel and Funny Car drag racing team in the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. The team was founded and is owned by drag racing icon Connie “the Bounty Hunter” Kalitta. For more than 50 years, Connie has been involved in the sport as a driver, tuner, and an owner. Kalitta Motorsports is one of the most successful teams in the history of auto racing with five world championships and over 50 national event titles in five different professional drag racing sanctioning bodies since it was established by Connie in 1959.