After qualifying in the No. 10 spot on the competitive Funny Car ladder, Alexis DeJoria and the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrόn Toyota Camry Funny Car team was positioned to square off against Johnny Gray in round one of eliminations at the 53rd Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by Super Start Batteries in Pomona, Calif.
Team Patrόn was feeling good going into their first matchup of the season, but unfortunately the black and green Patron machine smoked the tires at half-track, allowing Gray to capture the round win.
“A lot of guys were struggling out there today, but we just didn’t do a good enough job,” said crew chief Tommy DeLago. According to the veteran tuner, “We’re still learning the combination that we have, and making some tweaks here and there, but overall, it was good to get in the show at this first event. It was a tough weekend with one of our crew guys having to go to the hospital for a health scare, but it’s just stuff we have to get through. Now it’s on to the next race, and we have a good plan in place to make sure we don’t repeat today’s mistake.”
The car shook off the starting line, and DeJoria tried her best to recover and pedal the car back into the race, but Gray was too far ahead for her to salvage a run. Alexis leaves the first event of the season in the #12 position in the championship chase count, with 32 points accrued. She is 91 points behind the current leader, Courtney Force.
Alexis DeJoria and the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrόn Toyota Camry Funny Car team compete next at the 29th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals in Phoenix, Arizona.
Prior to the weekend, DeJoria will be making an appearance at Loco Patrόn Mexican Grill in Tempe, Arizona on Thursday, February 21st, 5PM-6:30PM. The meet and greet event is free and open to the public.