BRAINERD, Minn. (August 18, 2013)— In what was their last opportunity to guarantee a spot in the Traxxas Nitro Shootout with a win at the 32nd annual NHRA Lucas Oil Nationals in Brainerd, Minn., the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car team is now relying on their creative voting campaign to claim the ‘fan vote’ spot after a first round loss on Sunday.
After qualifying fourteenth on the Funny Car ladder, Patrón Toyota Camry driver Alexis DeJoria was matched up against No. 3 qualifier John Force in round one of eliminations. The two have squared off multiple times on race day, but adding interest to this particular matchup was the fact that Force and DeJoria had one of the more bizarre race day rounds at this very event last year. At the 2012 event, Force red lit but was still able to advance to round two after DeJoria pedaled her hot rod over the center line after not receiving the critical message that Force had jumped the gun, giving him a freebie. The determined driver was eager to settle the Brainerd score this year but unfortunately, her solid 4.164-seconds at 265.01-mph effort was not enough for Force’s run of 4.027.
“I was hoping we could change our luck from last year’s first round loss against Force here in Brainerd, but unfortunately, he ran a stout 4.02, and it just didn’t happen for us,” said DeJoria. “I’m pretty disappointed with my reaction time today- there’s no excuse for that. We’re going to be testing next week at Indy and the guys will be working hard to try and get those last little bit of gremlins out of the car. We were pretty consistent this weekend, which was good. Overall, the car is getting better and I’m working on improving my part too.”
“We’ll keep our heads held high, and get after it in Indy. In the meantime, I’m hoping we’ll be able to secure a spot in the Traxxas Nitro Shootout which occurs during the Indy race. The first seven spots are awarded to the first seven drivers to win a 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event, and that eighth and final spot is determined by a fan vote. Voting starts tonight and I’m asking all of my fans to vote for Team Patrón and Team Kalitta. We’ve all been working so hard and we’d love a chance to have a shot at the Shootout. Kalitta Motorsports is going to debut a really awesome campaign video this evening, and I encourage everyone to visit our Facebook page and check it out.”
The Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car team competes next at the 59th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Aug. 28-Sept 2. Voting for the Traxxas Nitro Shootout begins on August 18, immediately following the conclusion of the Brainerd race. For more information, please visit www.alexisdejoria.com. Follow us on Twitter: @ADR_Nitro771 and Like Us on Facebook: Alexis DeJoria.
August 18, 9PM-12AM EST
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.