KENT, Wash. (August 4, 2013)— The Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car team leaves Seattle without their much-needed event win on Sunday after a first round loss at the 26th annual NHRA Northwest Nationals.
The twelfth ranked Patrón team, fresh off of their third semi-final round appearance of the season, felt confident going into race day. With only two chances to qualify due to a rainout on Friday, the black and green team led by veteran crew chief Tommy DeLago ran an impressive 4.099-second pass in the opening qualifying session. The run held up to take the No. 9 qualifying spot in the ultra-competitive Funny Car class and pitted driver Alexis DeJoria against No. 8 qualifier Courtney Force in round one of eliminations.
DeJoria and Force were the last pair up in the fuel Funny Car category on Sunday and fans eagerly awaited what was the ‘must watch’ matchup of the round. DeJoria powered her Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry to a pass of 4.161-sec at 291.26-mph, but it wasn’t enough to take out Force’s 4.086-sec run, ending Team Patrón’s day.
“I’m definitely heartbroken over our first round loss today. We had some good mojo coming into this weekend after making it to the semis in Sonoma. We only had two chances to qualify here in Seattle and we did pretty well with that 4.09. There’s a lot of tough competition out here,” said DeJoria of the stacked Funny Car class, which even found last week’s event winner on the outside of the field.
“Courtney’s car has been running pretty well, but I was confident going into the first round. Unfortunately we didn’t get it done today. We gave them a hell of a show though. My car was on a good run but starting spinning the tires a little at the top end and that’s when I saw her pass me. It’s the end of our weekend, but we’ve got some time off before our next race so we’ll regroup, refocus, and get race-ready for Brainerd. I’m ready to put this Patrón hot rod in the Winner’s Circle.”
The team currently sits in the No. 12 spot on the NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship points list with 672 points. Their next opportunity to gain more points will be at the 32nd annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals. For more information, please visit www.alexisdejoria.com. Follow us on Twitter: @ADR_Nitro771 and Like Us on Facebook: Alexis DeJoria.
August 4, 7PM-10PM 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.