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Aug 04, 2014 - 06:19 AM
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2014 NHRA: Back to Back Semi-Final Finishes Round Out the Western Swing
Posted by: newsla on Aug 04, 2014 - 06:18 AM
2014 NHRA: Back to Back Semi-Final Finishes Round Out the Western Swing for the Patrón XO Cafe Team

Pacific Raceways was the site of another semi-final finish for Alexis DeJoria and the Kalitta Motorsports Patrón XO Cafe Toyota Camry Funny Car team during the 27th annual NHRA Northwest Nationals on Sunday afternoon. The picturesque track which sits in the shadows of Mt Rainier played host to the final race of the three-event Western Swing.


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Throughout qualifying, the Patrón XO Cafe team made three good runs out of the allotted four, picking up three bonus points along the way for having the second and third quickest runs of the session. Their 4.101-second run from Q2 put them in the No. 4 qualifying spot going into Sunday’s eliminations, and gave them the advantage of lane choice versus their first round opponent- Tony Pedregon.

In round one, DeJoria made a 4.140-sec at 300.40-mph run, easily defeating Pedregon’s 4.663-sec pass. DeJoria, a two-time Funny Car event winner, faced Jack Beckman in round two. Again, the team had the lane advantage and was able to take the win with their 4.202 versus Beckman’s 4.385.

The second round win would advance them to the semi-finals where they would be matched up against John Force. Unfortunately, it was in the semis where Team Patrón’s day would end. Both DeJoria and Force made good runs (4.252 vs 4.301), but Force had the immediate advantage, as he left the starting line before DeJoria and was able to take the win on a hole shot.

Although the team was not able to move up from their No. 6 spot in the Countdown to the Championship points ranking, they were able to narrow the gap between themselves and the fourth and fifth place drivers, and are now within just one round win of the No. 4 spot. With just two races left before the Countdown rankings are set, the XO Cafe team, which currently has 961 points, are hoping to continue to chip away at points and work their way up into the top half. Their next chance will be at the 33rd annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minn., Aug 15-17.

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