DeJoria Breaks Into NHRA Win Column

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, February 23 2014

Alexis DeJoria is a NHRA winner.

Alexis DeJoria won her first national NHRA Funny Car event Sunday when she beat Robert Hight in the finals of the Arizaon Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park near Phoenix.

Also winning Sunday were Antron Brown in Top Fuel and Allen Johnson in Pro Stock.

To get her first victory, DeJoria had to beat Jeff Arend, Del Worsham, defending Funny Car champion John Force and Hight.

The victory came just a race after she became the first woman ever to run a sub-four second pass in Funny Car competition in her Toyota-powerd flopper. Making the feat even more impressive was DeJoria defeated three drivers in the top five in points.

“When we won, I couldn’t believe it,” said DeJoria. “I know we can do it, but it’s such a shock at the same time. It’s surreal. It’s really amazing. I don’t think I’m going to be able to sleep. What a great feeling. I’m just so proud of the whole Patrόn XO Café Toyota team.”

In the final against Hight, a former champion, DeJoria had a pass in 4.043 seconds and at 309.63 mph.

Brown beat Brittany Force in the Top Fuel final while Johnson, the reigning Pro Stock champion, beat V. Gaines.

For Brown, the victory was his third in the last six years at Phoenix and gave him a victory in each of the last seven seasons, the longest active streak in Top Fuel racing today. The 2012 world champion defeated Richie Crampton, Shawn Langdon, Doug Kalitta and Brittany Force on the way to his 26th Top Fuel victory.

“Phoenix holds a special place in my heart for what we’ve been through and what we’ve accomplished here,” said Brown. “None of these teams come out here to play games. It’s not recess no more. School is in, and you better be ready.”

Brittany Force avenged her 2013 loss to David Grubnic out running him in the first round and in the second round the sophomore driver defeated 7-time Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher posting a winning elapsed time of 3.805 to his 5.017 seconds. It was Force’s first win over Schumacher and it was a bucket list moment for the young driver.

“That round win will definitely be a highlight of my season until we get that first win. Tony Schumacher is awesome he is the champ. He has beaten my butt many times so I was happy to go out there and get the win. That is a round win I always wanted to get. To win against him was awesome,” said Force.

The last woman to win in Top Fuel was Hillary Will on June 1, 2008 at Topeka where she beat Larry Dixon in the final. Brittany Force is the 10th different drive to take a JFR fuel car to the final round after John Force, Tony Pedregon, Densham, Eric Medlen, Robert Hight, Ashley Force Hood, Courtney Force, Mike Neff and Phil Burkart Jr.

“She’s at a young stage in her career, and you can tell that she’s getting better and better,” Brown said. “She was consistent all day to get those round-wins. None of these teams come out here to play games. It’s not recess no more. School is in, and you better have your thinking caps on and be ready to do the work. I look at her as a tough, top competitor. They stepped up in the final. You look at her car and see Castrol on the side, and that’s John Force Racing. We go after them like we go after everyone else.”

Johnson scored his 21st career Pro Stock win and second at Phoenix by defeating Gaines with his final round effort of 6.543 at 212.23 in his Team Mopar Dodge Avenger.

“We fought the car all weekend,” said Johnson, who qualified sixth and beat Jimmy Alund, Jason Line and Dave Connolly en route to the win. “I’m only here because we have a great crew. I can’t say enough about my guys. They worked and got it right, and this is a great way to send this Mopar Express Lube Dodge Avenger out on a winning note.”

Johnson was happy to rebound from a disappointing weekend at Pomona two weeks ago, where he lost in the first round of eliminations.

“Pomona was probably the worst performance by me in 18 years in Pro Stock,” Johnson said. “It made me want to get it right this time. I still didn’t do my best here. I was responsible for one round-win, and my crew was responsible for the other three.”

Gaines moves into the series points lead in the factory hot rod category for the first time in his 21-year career with his back-to-back final round appearances.

The Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues in Gainesville, Fla. with the Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals, March 13-16. The event will feature the season debut of the Pro Stock Motorcycle class.

Final finish order (1-16) at the 30th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park. The race is the second of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.


1. Antron Brown; 2. Brittany Force; 3. Doug Kalitta; 4. Steve Torrence; 5. Shawn Langdon; 6. Spencer Massey; 7. Khalid alBalooshi; 8. Tony Schumacher; 9. David Grubnic; 10. Leah Pritchett; 11. Richie Crampton; 12. Clay Millican; 13. Scott Palmer; 14. Bob Vandergriff; 15. Terry McMillen; 16. Troy Buff.


1. Alexis DeJoria; 2. Robert Hight; 3. Tommy Johnson Jr.; 4. John Force; 5. Bob Tasca III; 6. Jack Beckman; 7. Tim Wilkerson; 8. Del Worsham; 9. Jeff Arend; 10. Matt Hagan; 11. Chad Head; 12. Ron Capps; 13. Courtney Force; 14. Cruz Pedregon; 15. Tony Pedregon; 16. Jeff Diehl.


1. Allen Johnson; 2. V. Gaines; 3. Dave Connolly; 4. Vincent Nobile; 5. Jason Line; 6. Shane Gray; 7. Erica Enders-Stevens; 8. Shane Tucker; 9. Chris McGaha; 10. Jimmy Alund; 11. Rodger Brogdon; 12. Greg Stanfield; 13. Larry Morgan; 14. Steve Kent; 15. Matt Hartford; 16. Jeg Coughlin.

Sunday’s final results from the 30th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park. The race is the second of 24 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:

Top Fuel — Antron Brown, 3.755 seconds, 324.20 mph def. Brittany Force, 3.793 seconds, 322.04 mph.

Funny Car — Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Camry, 4.043, 309.63 def. Robert Hight, Ford Mustang, 5.491, 142.19.

Pro Stock — Allen Johnson, Dodge Avenger, 6.543, 212.23 def. V. Gaines, Avenger, 8.042, 115.10.

Top Dragster — Val Torres Jr., Dragster, 6.694, 198.55 def. Phil Unruh, Dragster, 6.548, 210.77.

Top Sportsman — Ed Olpin, Chevy Camaro, 7.366, 187.13 def. Paul Mitsos, Dodge Stratus, 7.355, 185.08.

Super Stock — Dan Fletcher, Chevy Camaro, 10.296, 124.41 def. Scott Pearson, AMX, foul.

Stock Eliminator — Mark Faul, Chevy El Camino, 11.691, 102.95 def. Robert Pond, Ford Fairlane, 10.133, 124.87.

Super Comp — Shane Thompson, Dragster, 8.916, 169.13 def. Chad Langdon, Dragster, 8.887, 172.83.

Super Gas — Aaron Kinard, Chevy Corvette, 9.903, 160.75 def. Craig Anderson, Corvette, 9.891, 156.75.

Super Street — Gary Reust, Chevy Bel Air, 10.943, 125.55 def. Dave Gotts, Chevy Camaro, foul.

Final round-by-round results from the 30th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, the second of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series:


ROUND ONE — Khalid alBalooshi, 3.778, 325.14 def. Leah Pritchett, 4.416, 234.00; Brittany Force, 3.821, 316.97 def. David Grubnic, 3.826, 320.13; Tony Schumacher, 3.779, 326.56 def. Terry McMillen, 10.390, 81.69; Doug Kalitta, 3.781, 324.67 def. Scott Palmer, 6.351, 106.79; Steve Torrence, 3.775, 325.22 def. Troy Buff, 17.163, 28.71; Shawn Langdon, 3.745, 320.36 def. Clay Millican, 6.132, 100.48; Antron Brown, 3.825, 314.83 def. Richie Crampton, 5.067, 149.48; Spencer Massey, 3.826, 319.90 def. Bob Vandergriff, 6.546, 90.13; QUARTERFINALS — Force, 3.805, 322.58 def. Schumacher, 5.017, 179.06; Kalitta, 4.458, 250.04 def. alBalooshi, 4.563, 216.31; Torrence, 3.793, 319.98 def. Massey, 4.223, 230.17; Brown, 3.771, 322.34 def. Langdon, 3.851, 291.95; SEMIFINALS — Force, 3.814, 319.75 def. Torrence, 4.187, 247.02; Brown, 3.782, 321.81 def. Kalitta, 3.794, 322.96; FINAL — Brown, 3.755, 324.20 def. Force, 3.793, 322.04.


ROUND ONE — Jack Beckman, Dodge Charger, 4.057, 312.71 def. Matt Hagan, Charger, 4.135, 306.53; Del Worsham, Toyota Camry, 4.121, 303.03 def. Courtney Force, Ford Mustang, 4.499, 291.95; Tommy Johnson Jr., Charger, 4.095, 313.37 def. Tony Pedregon, Camry, 6.848, 92.26; John Force, Mustang, 7.501, 94.53 def. Jeff Diehl, Toyota Solara, broke; Robert Hight, Mustang, 4.484, 262.69 def. Cruz Pedregon, Camry, 4.903, 241.15; Alexis DeJoria, Camry, 4.065, 309.27 def. Jeff Arend, Charger, 4.105, 305.49; Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 4.263, 266.95 def. Chad Head, Camry, 4.401, 211.46; Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.090, 312.42 def. Ron Capps, Charger, 4.411, 260.66; QUARTERFINALS — Johnson Jr., 4.098, 308.64 def. Wilkerson, 4.186, 300.26; Hight, 4.059, 314.97 def. Beckman, 4.127, 306.81; J. Force, 4.106, 312.78 def. Tasca III, 4.120, 306.88; DeJoria, 4.123, 298.21 def. Worsham, 4.900, 183.12;

SEMIFINALS — DeJoria, 4.052, 311.41 def. J. Force, 5.899, 127.64; Hight, 4.047, 316.08 def. Johnson Jr., 4.083, 311.49;

FINAL — DeJoria, 4.043, 309.63 def. Hight, 5.491, 142.19.


ROUND ONE — V. Gaines, Dodge Avenger, 6.573, 210.28 def. Rodger Brogdon, Chevy Camaro, 6.589, 210.54; Dave Connolly, Camaro, 6.551, 211.30 def. Jeg Coughlin, Avenger, 6.993, 163.91; Allen Johnson, Avenger, 6.558, 211.76 def. Jimmy Alund, Camaro, 6.587, 210.97; Shane Gray, Camaro, 6.576,211.43 def. Greg Stanfield, Camaro, 6.612, 209.26; Jason Line, Camaro, 6.569, 211.56 def. Steve Kent, Camaro, 6.634, 209.98; Shane Tucker, Chevy Cobalt, 6.627, 209.39 def. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.571, 211.53; Erica Enders-Stevens, Camaro, 6.531, 212.09 def. Matt Hartford, Avenger, 6.645, 209.49; Vincent Nobile, Camaro, 6.563, 210.44 def. Larry Morgan, Ford Mustang, 6.629, 209.01; QUARTERFINALS — Gaines, 6.584, 210.83 def. Tucker, 7.337, 145.67; Nobile, 6.577, 210.57 def. Gray, 6.572, 210.64; Johnson, 6.543, 212.16 def. Line, 6.556, 210.93; Connolly, 6.561, 211.10 def.

Enders-Stevens, 6.617, 210.54

SEMIFINALS — Gaines, 6.581, 211.00 def. Nobile, 7.282, 205.51; Johnson, 6.550, 211.99 def. Connolly, 6.629, 210.41

FINAL — Johnson, 6.543, 212.23 def. Gaines, 8.042, 115.10.

Point standings (top 10) following the 30th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, the second of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series –

Top Fuel

1. Doug Kalitta, 191; 2. Khalid alBalooshi, 165; 3. Antron Brown, 156; 4. Steve Torrence, 155; 5. (tie) Brittany Force, 127; Spencer Massey, 127; 7. Shawn Langdon, 124; 8. Tony Schumacher, 92; 9. (tie) Richie Crampton, 84; David Grubnic, 84.

Funny Car

1. John Force, 225; 2. Robert Hight, 159; 3. Alexis DeJoria, 156; 4. Tommy Johnson Jr., 136; 5. Del Worsham, 132; 6. Matt Hagan, 129; 7. Bob Tasca III, 124; 8. Jack Beckman, 92; 9. Ron Capps, 88; 10. Tim Wilkerson, 84.

Pro Stock

1. V. Gaines, 191; 2. Jason Line, 180; 3. (tie) Allen Johnson, 161; Vincent Nobile, 161; 5. Dave Connolly, 128; 6. Shane Gray, 127; 7. Erica Enders-Stevens, 120; 8. Jeg Coughlin, 88; 9.

(tie) Larry Morgan, 82; Shane Tucker, 82.

| , RacinToday.com Sunday, February 23 2014
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