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DeJoria Is Back In Fast Compay

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, May 16 2021

The Four-Wide Nationals are back in Concord and so is Alexis DeJoria. (Photo courtesy of the NHRA)

CONCORD, N.C. – Four years ago, five-time NHRA Funny Car winner Alexis DeJoria knew her daughter needed her and as much as she loved drag racing a hiatus from the sport was necessary.

Her daughter didn’t want her to stop racing, but DeJoria knew it was the path they both needed.

“It was really hard to step away from a very good team, great crew chiefs, working with the Kalittas. That was not an easy thing to do. It was something that I had to do,” DeJoria said Saturday at zMAX Dragway during the NGK NTK NHRA Four-Wide Nationals. 

“I brought my daughter into this world and it’s my responsibility to make sure that she turns out as best as I can help her to be.” 

Now with DeJoria’s daughter heading to college and a field of study determined, she has returned to NHRA Funny Car with her own team. It’s the first time since her NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car days that she has been a team owner. Del Worsham and Nicky Boninfante are co-crew chiefs and a few crew members from her former team are on board.

“It’s been really nice to be able to connect again with the guys that really brought me into this sport,” DeJoria said. “Nicky Boninfante, I got clutch parts from him when I was racing (Top) Alcohol Funny Car.”     

Due to the pandemic, the reboot of DeJoria’s career last year didn’t get the attention it deserved since fans were limited in their attendance. 

“It kinda sucked having a late start and sporadic races, but I really didn’t care as long as I was just back in a race car and we were racing,” DeJoria said. “We did pretty damn good for a new team, first year back (advancing to four semifinal round appearances). I’m ready to get back to the back-to-back races. I love it, but I know it’s hard on the teams.”     

In addition to focusing on her daughter, DeJoria’s off-time afforded her the time she needed to heal from the three concussions in four months she suffered in 2016.

“When you have had multiple concussions, you really have to take certain steps to make sure you don’t have any long lasting damage so I take magnesium, Omegas,” DeJoria said. “If I do have a bad tire shake, I’ll ice the back of my neck for 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off. I’ve worked with specialists to make sure I stay as solid as I possibly can.” 

DeJoria entered the NGK NTK NHRA Four-Wide Nationals eighth in the standings. She ended Friday night’s qualifying session in the No. 1 position with an elapsed time of 3.930 seconds. However, after two more qualifying rounds on Saturday she found herself second to John Force. The 16-time Funny Car champion claimed his 161st No. 1 position Saturday with an E.T. of 3.902 seconds, 330.55 mph. 

Force’s achievement on Saturday coupled with daughter Brittany’s No. 1 qualifying run in Top Fuel meant that for the second time in NHRA history, a parent and child had claimed the No. 1 positions. Brittany Force took No. 1 in Top Fuel with a 3.662-second run Friday night. The first time the father-daughter duo accomplished the feat was 2019 in Houston. 

Four-time Pro Stock champion Greg Anderson held on to the No. 1 position in that class with the 6.524-second pass he made Friday night in cooler track temperatures.

Three riders in Pro Stock Motorcycle became the first to ever exceed 202 mph in second round qualifying Saturday. They were Matt Smith, 202.18; Andrew Hines, 202.15; and Eddie Krawiec, 203.37. In the final qualifying round, Krawiec went 203.49 mph. By the time the matchups for Sunday had been determined six riders had exceeded 200 mph. Scotty Pollacheck emerged as the No. 1 qualifier with a 6.736-second run, 201.16 mph.  

Eliminations are scheduled to begin at noon on Sunday. They will be shown on the same day, tape-delayed on FS1 starting at 6 p.m., ET. 

 

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Sunday, May 16 2021
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