The 36th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals resulted in a second round exit for Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car. The 4 time Funny Car winner started the 2016 season off slowly, before a chassis change turned their luck around with a Vegas win.
With strong and consistent performances since, the Patrón team entered Atlanta hoping to regain some ground in the NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car points standings. They qualified in the No. 4 position with a 3.949 second E.T at 318.69 mph.
We did pretty well in qualifying here in Atlanta at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals,” said Alexis on her qualifying position. “We made it down the track three times out of four and qualified fourth. We are headed into Sunday feeling pretty pumped and hopefully we can collect some more round wins tomorrow.”
This placed her against No. 13 qualified Dave Richards for the opening round of Eliminations on Sunday. Alexis would defeat Richards with a 3.950 second E.T. at 324.05 mph to his losing 4.355 second, 213.57 mph effort.
DeJoria advanced to Round 2, where she would have lane choice against Tommy Johnson, Jr. Unfortunately, her stellar 3.942 second, 322.11 mph performance would be all for naught, as DeJoria’s red light foul handed the win to Johnson, Jr. at the tree.
It was a really tough loss today in round two. We had a car to beat all weekend. Our Patrón Toyota Camry was very consistent getting down the race track. It was just one of those things today. I was up against Tommy [Johnson Jr.] at the last race and he cut a better light than me and we ran the same so I got beat on a holeshot. I just wasn’t going to let that happen today. Unfortunately I guessed a little too soon on the light and had a red light start and that was the end of our day. I’m very pleased with the progress we’ve made as a team. Our car is running very well and I cannot wait for Topeka.”
Alexis leaves Atlanta currently in the No. 9 position in NHRA Funny Car Mello Yello Points standings.