DeJoria returns to LVMS in preparation for comeback season
Alexis DeJoria is back - and while the sponsor logos on her car and the team she races for may have changed, she's hoping to quickly return to the form that once elevated her to one of the top Funny Car drivers in the world.
When DeJoria walked away from full-time Funny Car racing in 2017, she had finished in the top 10 of the NHRA standings three of the past four seasons - with the other finish being 11th.
She took a break from racing to spend time with her family, but now she's back and ready to roll.
"I'm thrilled to be back here at this preseason test session," DeJoria said Thursday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. "It's a big deal getting to see all my former competitors and it's exciting seeing all the other cars out here. I've had two previous test sessions, where it was just our team, to knock the dust off and get re-acclimated to everything. I feel really good and really comfortable in the car."
DeJoria is one of many NHRA big names descending on The Strip Thursday through Saturday to get some reps in before heading to Pomona, Calif., for the first event of the 2020 season next week.
Rejuvenated, DeJoria is hoping her best racing years are still in front of her. She's turning to an old friend to re-start her racing career - Del Worsham and his DC Motorsports team.
Worsham, the 2015 Funny Car world champion, was DeJoria's crew chief during her rookie campaign in 2011. He will assume the same role now for DeJoria's new ride, sponsored by ROKiT Phones and ABK Beer.
"I'm really excited to introduce our sponsors to the world of drag racing," DeJoria said. "We have a great team with Nicky Bonifante and Del Worsham. I've worked with them before, so this is really a dream come true."
Taking two years off from the hyper-competitive drag racing scene doesn't concern DeJoria.
"I'm looking forward to getting back up to speed - these guys never stopped racing, so they're good," she said of her competitors. "It's about getting back to where I left off and having that consistency in the car. Good reaction times and good input, and focused forward."
DeJoria said she and her daughter were going to try to attend a Cirque de Soleil show this weekend. But on the track, it was all about business.
"We are going to try to make as many runs as we possibly can, that the temperatures will allow," she said. "We're going to keep pushing and try to make some hot laps."
DeJoria and all the other NHRA competitors will be in Las Vegas April 3-5 for the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. Tickets are available here.