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Jul 21, 2014 - 06:43 AM
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2014 NHRA: Tricky Conditions Prove Troublesome For Patron XO Cafe Team At Denver
Posted by: newsla on Jul 21, 2014 - 06:42 AM
2014 NHRA: Tricky Conditions Prove Troublesome For Patron XO Cafe Team At Denver

The first leg of the infamous Western Swing started in Denver this weekend, where NHRA teams kicked off the three-in-a-row stretch with mile-high racing. Going into the weekend, Alexis DeJoria and the Patrón XO Cafe Toyota Camry Funny Car team was ranked fifth in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship points standings, and with just five races left before the Countdown begins, they were hoping to pick up some round wins in Denver.


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Denver has long been considered by many teams as one of the most challenging stops on the 24-race NHRA tour. The high altitude makes it difficult for teams to make horsepower and create downforce, and the tuning setup is unique to any other track. Although the Patrón XO Cafe team was able to make two good qualifying passes on Friday (4.157-seconds at 301.81-mph, and 4.113-sec at 279.22-mph), they struggled to make it down the tricky track on Saturday, putting them in the No. 9 qualifying spot vs. No. 8 qualifier Matt Hagan going into round one on Sunday morning.

Unfortunately for two-time Funny Car winner DeJoria and the XO Cafe team, the car lost traction at about 300-feet, and Hagan was able to take the win and advance to round two.

Although disappointed that her day was cut short, DeJoria’s spirits did not dampen, as the team is headed to Sonoma next, a track where they’ve been successful in the past. “We didn’t want to leave here without winning a round, at least,” she said. “It’s just been a tough weekend- it was tricky, and there are different conditions up here completely. We did pretty well the first day, but Saturday we struggled to get down the track in the heat of the day.

“Denver is a wonderful place and the Bandimeres are great people and have a great facility, but I’m definitely excited to get back to normal elevations and a fast track,” she said, referring to Sonoma’s sea level elevation. “We’ve just got to go out and dominate next weekend. I’m excited to race every race, but I’m especially looking forward to getting back to Sonoma- the last two years we made it to the semis. I know our car is capable, we just need to get our consistency back and go rounds on Sunday.”

The Kalitta Motorsports Patrón XO Cafe Toyota Camry Funny Car team is currently ranked 6th with 811 points. They compete next at the 27th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals in Sonoma, Calif., July 25-27.

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