DELRAY BEACH, Fla. (July 17, 2013)— Only five races stand between the cutoff to be included in the NHRA’s coveted Countdown to the Championship Top Ten list, and Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car, knows that the Western Swing will play a critical role in her team’s ‘Top Ten’ fate.
The famous three-race Western Swing kicks off this weekend with the Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway, located just outside of Denver, Col. As Team Patrón roars into the Rockies, they feel well-equipped to tackle what will likely be some of the most extreme racing conditions they will encounter all season. The scenic track in the mountains provides for a visually and acoustically stimulating experience for fans, but with its mile-high altitude, tricky tuning conditions for crew chiefs.
According to champion tuner Tommy DeLago, “Denver is a very unique race. The altitude makes it very difficult to make horsepower and create downforce. Pretty much everything on the car operates differently than it does at other stops on the NHRA tour. When you race there, all bets are off- everyone has to change their car so much. It’s not practical to look at other races and apply that information to Denver. Kalitta Motorsports has a very specific way of tuning their cars at this race. We’ll take that tune-up and see what transpires on Friday, and then we’ll adapt and add to it over the course of the weekend.”
In the break between the Norwalk race and the upcoming Western Swing, the Patrón Toyota Camry underwent a makeover and DeLago feels confident that the changes to the car will be the recipe for success not only in Denver, but throughout the Western Swing, saying, “With a weekend off from racing, we had time to assemble our new car, which includes a different chassis. We’ll continue to run the tamed down dragster engine combination that we ran in Norwalk, and I believe that tune-up, combined with the new chassis, will lead to success for Team Patrón. I feel really good going into Denver and I’m looking forward to running our new car on the Swing.”
DeJoria, who eagerly awaits the moment when she can hop back into the cockpit of the black-and-green machine, says she is excited to see how the revamped hot rod will perform in the first stop on the three race stretch. “We’re sort of starting from scratch again, but I have nothing but the utmost confidence in Tommy and my guys. Having a weekend off from racing has been nice, but I’m definitely ready to get strapped back in to the driver’s seat. These next three races are extremely critical for us- it’s crunch time- and I think we’re all really pumped to get back out there and claw our way back into the Top Ten.”
Alexis DeJoria and the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car team begin qualifying for the Mile-High NHRA Nationals at 6PM MST on Friday, July 19. For more information, please visit www.alexisdejoria.com. Follow us on Twitter: @ADR_Nitro771 and Like Us on Facebook: Alexis DeJoria. Be sure to tune in to the ‘Alexis DeJoria NHRA Racing Report’ every Friday at 1PM EST on www.RaceTalkRadio.com.
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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.