Delray Beach, Florida (September 12, 2012)— NHRA driver Alexis DeJoria is looking forward to making her second appearance at zMAX Dragway this weekend, as she and the Kalitta Motorsports Tequila Patrόn Toyota Camry Funny Car team prepare for the second of two scheduled NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series races in Charlotte this season. After making her Charlotte debut at the infamous ‘4-wide’ race earlier this season, DeJoria, a Rookie of the Year contender, returns to the Southern track to compete in the 5th Annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals presented by Super Start Batteries.
The team, which is fresh off the ‘extended’ Mac Tools US Nationals, had just a few days to prepare for the upcoming Charlotte race before hitting the road again. At the US Nationals, Team Patrόn made some very good runs during the first weekend of qualifying, but during the second weekend, the air conditions changed dramatically which caused the engine to be a bit more responsive, leading to a more responsive clutch. According to Jim Oberhofer, VP of Kalitta Motorsports, the plan in between the Indianapolis and Charlotte races was to focus on how to improve upon their runs from the second weekend of Indy qualifying, and work to achieve the success that they had during the first weekend of qualifying. “Going into Charlotte, Del [Worsham, crew chief] will just continue to build off of what the team has learned up until Indy. Of course Charlotte is a completely different racetrack and the air conditions will be completely different as well. As we always do, we will just ‘set up shop’ at the track on Thursday, analyzing the weather data and track conditions, and compare notes from past races with similar track conditions in regards to track temperature,” he said.
“zMAX Dragway is traditionally a fast track. It’s a great facility. Bruton Smith [owner of zMAX Dragway] takes good care of it and ensures that we always have the best possible racing surface,” said Oberhofer, adding “Team Patrόn should look really good this weekend- the car is running well and Del has a good tuning strategy in place. We have six races left, and even though we’re not in The Countdown [NHRA’s playoff system], we still want to focus on going rounds at these last few events- there’s still six more chances for us to bring a home a Wally during her rookie season. We’re also going to use these last couple of races to start preparing for next year, and maybe try some different things to make the car run a little better.”
DeJoria, pilot of the black-and-green Toyota Camry, is happy about the quick racing turnaround. “I’m really excited to be getting back into the driver’s seat so quickly. We raced the 4-wide there earlier this season, which was a really cool experience for me. zMAX is a great facility, and the fans there are awesome. I’m looking forward to going out there, having some fun, and making our sponsors proud!”
Source: Alexis DeJoria media