After running their career best of 4.032-seconds at 319.07-mph at the previous NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event in Reading, Pa., expectations are high for the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car team going into this weekend's NHRA Big O Tires Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The pressure is on for the Del Worsham-led team and driver Alexis DeJoria, a leading contender for the 2012 Auto Club Road to the Future Award. DeJoria, one of eight rookie drivers vying for the prestigious award, has one last shot of getting a win under her belt before voting for the award commences, and with only two races left in the 2012 season, Team Patrón would like to fulfill their team goal of closing out their rookie season with a Wally.

Recent success with their newly implemented chassis has been just the morale boost that Team Patrón needed going into these last two events. “We’ve learned a lot in these last few races. After running really well in Reading and at testing in St. Louis with our new chassis, we’re so excited to race again with this new setup in cool conditions,” said DeJoria, speaking of Vegas’ forecasted temperatures in the low 70s (degrees Fahrenheit), which should make for prime racing conditions.

“I always look forward to racing in Vegas because it’s a good facility, and Patrón’s main headquarters are there, so it’s almost like a hometown race for us. We plan on having a good showing and lots of sponsor support this weekend, and we’d like to have the opportunity to stand in the Winner’s Circle in front of our friends from Tequila Patrón. We all feel really good about this weekend. Del is excited, and we’re just going to go for it, and finish out the year on a high note,” said the Funny Car pilot who will once again race with hot pink Patrón bees and matching pink parachutes on her black-and-green Toyota Camry, in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

According to Team Patrón’s assistant crew chief Andy Cetwinski, “Knowing that our car is capable of those speeds, we’re really setting the bar high for ourselves at these last two events- there is an expectation to win. The fall Vegas race is always really competitive because it’s a little bit cooler out [as opposed to the April NHRA Vegas race]. You can run good numbers there and there’s really no reason that we shouldn’t be one of the top teams this weekend. That Sunday in Reading was unfortunate; we mis-shot the track and were just a little too aggressive,” he said, referring to the team’s early exit on Sunday at the Reading race. “We have a good outlook going into Vegas and feel confident in our car and our setup.”

Prior to hitting the drag strip, DeJoria will spend some time on the ‘other’ strip, the infamous ‘Vegas Strip’ on Las Vegas Blvd. on Thursday afternoon where she will take part in two Tequila Patrón-sponsored bottle signings. The bottle signings are the perfect opportunity for fans to meet the NHRA superstar, pose for a picture, and get the autograph of their favorite driver- a feat that can be somewhat challenging at the racetrack due to the massive crowds of fans that are constantly seen surrounding her pit. Later that evening, she will join her colleagues at the well-attended NHRA Fanfest on Fremont Street.

At the conclusion of the race weekend, DeJoria and her fellow Kalitta Motorsports teammates will remain in Las Vegas for the 2012 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show. DeJoria will participate in several autograph signings, as well as have the opportunity to show off her Tequila Patrón Off-Road Pre Runner Tundra, her entry in the Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge. As part of the challenge, she is competing against three other professional drivers on behalf of her selected non-profit organization, Safety Harbor Kids. The winner of the challenge will be revealed at the SEMA show. “I’m excited to see what the results of the build competition will be,” she said. “We’ve all been working really hard on this project, and I’m excited for fans to see the completed truck up-close and in-person. “

Alexis DeJoria and the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car team compete this weekend, October 26th-28th at the 12th Annual Big O Tires NHRA Nationals in Las Vegas, Nevada. Funny Car qualifying begins at 1PM on Friday. For more information on the Tequila Patrón bottle signings and Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge, please visit www.alexisdejoriaracing.com or follow the Alexis DeJoria fan page on Facebook.

About Alexis DeJoria

Alexis DeJoria, daughter of the famed John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems and proud owner of Tequila Patr?n, is a professional NHRA race car driver, competing in the Nitro Funny Car class on the Kalitta Motorsports team. She is their second Nitro Funny Car driver and fourth member of the team. Alexis drives a Tequila Patr?n-sponsored 2012 Toyota Camry.

 

Alexis had a successful career in the Top Alcohol Funny Car category where she co-owned and operated her team, and was one of the few females ever to do so. She left the TAFC category holding the title of Top Female Top Alcohol Funny Car Racer and 2011 NHRA Northwest Nationals TAFC event champion. She is the 2nd woman ever to win a TAFC race. She is currently the female world record holder for the fastest and quickest TAFC speeds. Alexis is also well-known for her infamous 2009 Englishtown, NJ crash.

 

Alexis, who had all the opportunity in the world to pursue any type of career, felt strongly about following her passion, and her need for adrenaline drove her to pursue the unlikely profession of auto-racing. The determination to ‘blaze her own trail’ continues to drive her and push her to higher levels in male dominated sport of drag racing.