Alexis De Joria Pomona preview

De Joria hoping to close rookie season on a high note in Pomona POMONA, Calif. - NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car rookie Alexis De Joria is looking forward to changing her status to 'sophomore' following this weekend's season-ending Auto Club of ...

De Joria hoping to close rookie season on a high note in Pomona

POMONA, Calif. - NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car rookie Alexis De Joria is looking forward to changing her status to 'sophomore' following this weekend's season-ending Auto Club of Southern California Finals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif. De Joria and the Tequila Patron/Jack O'Bannon Racing team hope to put their rookie trials and tribulations behind them and build some momentum for next year's campaign.

De Joria, 30, of Venice, Calif., has experienced all of the cliche's of a rookie season. "Steep learning curve," check. "School of hard knocks," check. One could even go as far as saying her 3000 horsepower Dodge Charger welcomed her to the Top Alcohol Funny Car ranks with some rookie hazing in the form of severe tireshake on occasion. The daughter of Patron Spirits Company and Paul Mitchell Hair Care Products founder John Paul De Joria, takes it all in stride. She entered the season knowing it was going to be a tall mountain to climb. In fact, De Joria's desire to compete runs so deep she claims the toughest part is having to wait for the next race.

"We've come a long way this year," said De Joria. "Learning how to drive one of these cars has been a struggle at times. Jack O'Bannon has given me a great car to drive and a great team to learn from. When I make a mistake, I can't wait to get back in the car and get another chance to get it right."

"That's what this year was all about," De Joria continued. "I still have a ton to learn. I don't think you can ever stop learning in racing and life in general."

While she is normally pumped to get to any race, this race has her and the Tequila Patron team a little more excited than usual. Not only is it the team's hometown event, but the team enters the race on the heels of a very strong test session.

"We had a very good test session in Phoenix," said De Joria. "Randy [Anderson] and Sam [Shockley] made some changes to the car the cars really responded. We made several runs with zero tireshake, which we haven't done in a while. The numbers to half track were very strong and we posted our best 60 ft. times. I think it's just awesome Jack showed the commitment to go rent the track for us and give our team the time and resources to get these cars figured out. We were able to try some new things and it seems to be working. This is our home race, so hopefully it will all come together this weekend."

-credit: jor

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