Story By: ALLISON MCCORMICK / DC MOTORSPORTS – POMONA, CA – Alexis DeJoria opened her 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series campaign by earning the No. 5 qualifying seed in a loaded Funny Car class which saw 20 teams vie for a spot in the Sunday elimination show.
DeJoria raced the new Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota GR Supra Funny Car to a 3.945-second at 326.95-mph pass in the season’s first qualifying session, which held strong throughout Saturday’s two qualifying rounds and earned DeJoria the advantage of lane choice over Jim Campbell, her round-one competitor.
DeJoria and Campbell were the first pair of Funny Car racers to take the track on Sunday morning, allowing the Austin, Texas-based driver the opportunity to snag the first NHRA win light in the newly-introduced Toyota GR Supra body. Against Campbell, DeJoria was out of the gate first and clocked her best run of the weekend, a 3.917-second E.T. at 327.35-mph pass, to capture the round win and secure a bid to round two. In her quarterfinal meeting with Cruz Pedregon, DeJoria once again posted another solid run (3.981-seconds) but Pedregon was able to pull ahead and edge past DeJoria with his 3.962-second effort.
“It’s the first race of the new year, and we’ve got our new Toyota Supra body that we were able to put to the test in competition this weekend here in Pomona,” said DeJoria, a six-time Funny Car winner. “We made a good pass on Friday night and qualified in the top five. Went out and won the first round of eliminations with an awesome 3.91. We had Cruz (Pedregon) in the next round, and I think we were being maybe just a little too cautious with our tune-up. We didn’t want to smoke the tires, and it ended up that we just got outran. But, it was still a good race; we stayed close with him all the way down the track.”
The DC Motorsports’ team solid weekend outing follows a dominant performance in 2021, which saw the team lock-up a win, a runner-up finish, and two No. 1 qualifier awards at the final three events of the season, and DeJoria views the team’s weekend performance at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona as another step in the right direction.
“We’re a team to be reckoned with,” she added. “We showed everyone that last year. We’re progressively getting better every single season, and it’s on; I’m excited. There’s still 21 races left and plenty more opportunities for a Wally trophy.”