De Joria qualifies strong in Medford Loses close decision in first round MEDFORD, Ore. - NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car rookie Alexis De Joria had the best outing of her young career behind the wheel of the Tequila Patron/Jack O'Bannon Racing Dodge...
De Joria qualifies strong in Medford
Loses close decision in first round
MEDFORD, Ore. - NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car rookie Alexis De Joria had the best outing of her young career behind the wheel of the Tequila Patron/Jack O'Bannon Racing Dodge Charger during this past weekend's Division 6 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Champion Raceway in Medford, Ore. De Joria qualified for her first event in the No. 3 position before losing a close match in round one.
De Joria, 29, of Venice, Calif., qualified the Randy Anderson tuned machine third in the field with a 5.964 second elapsed time at 243.59 mph. That time put her on the provisional pole after Friday's first qualifying session, but was bumped back to third following the second attempt. In round one, she squared off with former Division 6 Champion Randy Parker. Parker gained enough of a jump off the line that his 6.064 at 240.17 mph was enough to hold off De Joria's quicker-but-later 5.974 at 241.20.
Despite not going deeper into eliminations, De Joria was pleased with the progress the team made over the weekend.
"This weekend was a big confidence builder," said De Joria. "We got the car down the track more times than not. We ran good numbers for that track. It was very exciting being the No. 1 qualifier after the first session. We were the only one in the five's then. We shook the tires on the second session and a couple of cars ran better than us, so that put us back to third, but it was the first time we qualified for a race this year, so it was a big step in the right direction."
"We had the second quickest time of the first round, but I got beat on a holeshot," De Joria continued. "I still need to work on my reaction times. I'll just have to keep working on that. After so many times of not making it down the track, you start to anticipate a bad run. Now that I'm doing better getting the car off the line, I can focus on the other things I need to be doing instead of worrying about another bad run."
De Joria and the Tequila Patron/Jack O'Bannon Racing team won't have long to wait as they will head straight to Woodburn, Ore., for this weekend's Division 6 event there.
"I can't wait to get back into the car," stated De Joria. "I want to be able to make more runs like that. We've been testing on Thursdays, and that really seemed to help this past weekend. Hopefully the testing we'll do on Thursday in Woodburn will help us have another good weekend."