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2014 NHRA: DeJoria Kicks off Four Race Summer Stretch with Solid Start
Posted by: newsla on Jun 16, 2014 - 06:29 AM
2014 NHRA: DeJoria Kicks off Four Race Summer Stretch with Solid Start

During Sunday’s elimination rounds at the 14th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway in Bristol, Tenn., teams encountered the hottest track conditions they’ve experienced thus far during the 2014 season. With track temperatures hovering around the 130-degree mark, racing conditions proved to be challenging as the majority of the cars in the nitro classes struggled to get down the 1,000-foot drag strip.


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After qualifying tenth with her 4.121-second run from Q1 on Friday, Alexis DeJoria and the Kalitta Motorsports Patrón XO Cafe Toyota Camry Funny Car team faced John Force in round one of eliminations on Sunday. Although they did not have the advantage of lane choice, the team was not worried going up against Force and his crew, as they knew they were in for a day of hot-weather racing and were confident in their warm weather tune-up.

Saturday in Bristol had also been a scorcher, and while several teams had trouble adjusting to the conditions, the Patrón XO Cafe team had some of the best runs of the day. During Q4 they picked up two bonus points for having the second quickest run of the session, and in Q3 they were able to collect one bonus point for third quickest pass. Being able to get down the track without any issues during those two runs gave DeJoria an extra boost of confidence going into race day. She said, “I was excited about first round today; I just had a really good feeling. Our team has been doing well, and we were consistent in the heat. Going into the round, John was second in the points ranking, and we were right behind him in third, so that was an important round for us to win. We didn’t have lane choice but I wasn’t worried because in the heat of the day of the last two sessions of qualifying we got down that track like we were racing a bracket car, and if you can get down this track like that, you’re doing good. Sure enough today we went out there first round, I had a good reaction time, the car ran solid, and we got the win.”

Round two of eliminations found DeJoria matched up against Tim Wilkerson. The XO Cafe Toyota Camry shook early into the run and Wilkerson was able to take the win, ending Team Tequila’s day.

“Unfortunately, we weren’t as lucky second round, but we’re leaving here with some good bonus points, and second round points,” said DeJoria. “We’re excited. This is just the beginning of this four race stretch, and we’re looking forward to getting right back out there in a few days at Epping.”

Alexis DeJoria and the Kalitta Motorsports Patrón XO Cafe Toyota Camry Funny Car team compete next at the 2nd annual Auto-Plus NHRA New England Nationals in Epping, N.H., June 20. They are currently ranked fourth with 619 points. For more information please visit www.alexisdejoria.com, Follow Us on Twitter @ADR_Nitro771, or Like Us on Facebook Alexis DeJoria.

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