NHRA Funny Car driver, Alexis DeJoria, navigated her Kalitta Motorsports Patrón XO Cafe Toyota Camry Funny Car down the 1000 ft. drag strip to a 3.998-second elapsed time at 315.93-mph Sunday at the 33rd annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals - the first sub four second Funny Car pass recorded in history at Brainerd International Raceway.
The run marked DeJoria’s second career three second pass. She is the only female Funny Car driver in history to make a sub four second lap. The record breaking run was achieved during round two of eliminations on Sunday, a day which was filled with several lengthy rain delays.
Resetting Brainerd International Raceway’s record books wasn’t the only highlight of DeJoria’s weekend. In the opening round of eliminations, the No. 6 qualifier defeated No. 11 qualifier Courtney Force with an impressive 4.010-second at 317.64-mph pass. At the time, that run was the lowest ET of the event and reset Brainerd’s record books.
In the second round of eliminations, the newly crowned Brainerd Funny Car track record holder rolled up to the line versus Matt Hagan and easily drove around him with her 3.998, re-setting her own track record.
Adding even more excitement to the day, NHRA officials announced just prior to her second elimination round that Alexis had officially clinched her spot in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship. To qualify for the NHRA Funny Car series title, competitors must secure a top-ten points position by the upcoming Countdown to the Championship cutoff. This is the first time DeJoria has made it into the coveted Top Ten list and will have the opportunity to make a run for the NHRA Funny Car series title.
DeJoria, a two-time Funny Car event winner, did not receive the news of her clinched position until after she made her round two run, but hardly had time to digest the information as she had to race back to the Patrón XO Cafe pits to prep for the semi-finals where she would square off against Ron Capps.
Unfortunately, it was in the semi-final round where DeJoria’s good fortune ran out. Her Patrón XO Cafe Toyota Camry launched hard off the line, but then started to rattle the tires, overpowering the traction. DeJoria was on and off the throttle pedal as she fought to recover her 10,000-horsepower race car, but Capps was already pulling ahead and took the win.
“Brainerd turned out to be a really good race for us. We qualified well, had lane choice all day long and into the night, and broke the track record twice. And our record is a pretty strong one at that-another three second run for our Patrón XO Cafe team. I’m so proud of my guys. We had quick turn-arounds because of the rain delays and trying to get it all in before the sun went down, and they did a hell of a job of getting our car around quickly. This is our third semi-final in a row, and we clinched our spot in The Countdown, which feels excellent- it’s the very first time for our team, and we’re all excited for Indy!”
Alexis DeJoria and the Kalitta Motorsports Patrón XO Cafe Toyota Camry Nitro Funny Car team currently sit in the No. 5 spot in the NHRA Funny Car rankings with 1,035 points, gaining one position over the previous race in Seattle. They compete next at the 60th annual NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, August 27-April 1.