LAS VEGAS, NV (April 18, 2021) — The ROKiT Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota Camry Funny Car team and driver Alexis DeJoria rolled into The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway looking to continue their high level of performance. At the end of the 21st NHRA Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals DeJoria and the team knew they had a strong race car and positive momentum as the 2021 season got underway.
DeJoria steadily improved throughout qualifying on Friday and Saturday. In the final session the ROKiT Bandero Premium Tequila Funny Car blasted to the top with a blistering 3.912 second pass that moved her to No. 1 with one quad left to run. DeJoria settled for the No. 3 qualifier position after Robert Hight and John Force improved to close out Funny Car qualifying. The strong effort extended the team’s streak of top five qualifying positions to seven races and counting.
Heading into the first round of race day facing three competitors in the first quad DeJoria was focused on a first round win. As the drivers were staging Chad Green in the far right fourth lane had issues staging, ultimately timing out. DeJoria got to the stripe beside Tim Wilkerson and both drivers advanced to the second quad ahead of Terry Haddock. DeJoria’s advancing time of 3.950 seconds at 321.73 mph was a stout run for the first session.
In the second round the quad DeJoria and the ROKiT team faced was stacked with experience with the addition of world champions as Matt Hagan and John Force. All the race cars launched together and as DeJoria’s Camry Funny Car was charging her blower belt shredded as she approached half-track, robbing her race car of much needed power. The No. 3 qualifier was forced to watch Wilkerson and Hagan drive away from her.
“We have a great race car. This ROKiT Bandero Premium Tequila Toyota Camry continues to do really well in qualifying and on race day,” said DeJoria. “I am so proud of this team. We lost a blower belt on that last run at about 400 feet. I was on a great run and who knows what could have happened. I love getting in this race car because I know this Camry Funny Car has a chance to go to the top of the field on qualifying or win rounds on Sunday. The last run we made on Saturday was awesome and we got a strong first round win today. This team is going to keep grinding. I know Del and Nicky are the best and we will be ready for Atlanta.”
DeJoria will take the quarterfinal finish and her standings as the No. 8 Funny Car in the Top Ten and turn her focus to the NHRA Southern Nationals in two weeks.
Q1: 4.089 sec, 264.49 mph; Qual. 9
Q2: 3.976 sec, 318.77 mph; Qual. 6
Q3: 3.912 sec, 321.04 mph; Qual. 3
Bonus Points: +1 (3rd quickest of Q3)