Alexis De Joria Topeka preview

Armed with new car, De Joria heads to Topeka with new hope TOPEKA, Kan. - With a brand new Brad Hadman chassis and countless hours under her belt in the team's cockpit simulator, NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car rookie Alexis De Joria heads into this...

Armed with new car, De Joria heads to Topeka with new hope

TOPEKA, Kan. - With a brand new Brad Hadman chassis and countless hours under her belt in the team's cockpit simulator, NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car rookie Alexis De Joria heads into this weekend's O'Reilly Summer Nationals presented by Castrol GTX at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kan., with more hope than ever. The Tequila Patron/Jack O'Bannon Racing team's new car is identical to teammate Sean O'Bannon's car which produced solid numbers at an event in Fontana, Calif., earlier in the month.

De Joria, 29, daughter of Paul Mitchell Hair Care Products and Patron Spirits Company founder John Paul De Joria, hopes the combination of her new car and the time she has spent working with her teammate O'Bannon will help her take another step along the proverbial 'learning curve' of driving a Funny Car. De Joria hopes to use the Top Alcohol Funny Car class as a learning ground to make a future move into the Nitro Funny Car ranks.

"I'm excited to see how this new car runs," said De Joria. "I've really worked on my foot work and Sean helped point out some mistakes I was making positioning my foot on the throttle. It would be nice to come out here and be a champion right away, but that's not reality. I'm in this class to learn, and Jack O'Bannon Racing has given me some great people to learn from in Sean and my Crew Chief Randy Anderson. I'm committed to becoming a better driver and improving every time out, so hopefully we'll take another step in that direction with this Tequila Patron car."

Qualifying begins on Friday for the alcohol cars. Qualifying will resume Saturday morning with one final session, followed by first round of eliminations in the afternoon. Final eliminations will conclude the event on Sunday.

-credit: jor

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Paul