DeJoria Drives Camry to Final Round At NHRA Mile-High Nationals
DENVER, CO – Alexis DeJoria drove her Bandero Toyota Camry to the final round in Funny Car before falling to Matt Hagan in a match-up of the two top qualifiers to lead Toyota at Sunday’s NHRA Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in the first leg of the NHRA’s Western Swing.
DeJoria opened the day with a first-round victory over Jack Wyatt, where she took the lead by the 60’ mark and led the whole way with a stellar 4.042-second run, matching the second quickest time of the round. Up next was Funny Car point leader Bob Tasca. The two left the starting line side-by-side, but DeJoria pulled out to a healthy lead by 330’ on the way to running a 4.070 for the win.
In advancing to the semis for the second week in a row, DeJoria would square off with Tim Wilkerson. She had the starting line advantage and went straight down the groove for the win with her best pass of the day – a 4.034 at 313.22. With the win, she advanced to her first final round since coming out a two-year retirement in 2018-2019.
In the final round against Hagan, DeJoria lost cylinders early and, despite the lack of power, stayed in it and was there to take advantage of any mistake Hagan might make, but it wasn’t to be. Hagan won it with a 4.105 to a 4.227.
Also in Funny Car, J.R. Todd was matched up with Tasca in the first round and had a sizable advantage on the tree and had a .079-second lead at the 330’ mark only to lose multiple cylinders, with the car veering sharply toward the center line. Todd then turned in one of the most impressive driving performances of the day, recovering quickly as he appeared to be headed directly into Tasca’s lane. He was able to steer the car back into his lane, completing his run, but was disqualified after crossing the center line.
In Top Fuel, Doug Kalitta, Antron Brown and Shawn Langdon all lost in the first round. Kalitta fell to Leah Pruett, while Langdon lost to Clay Millican and Brown was defeated by Greg Carillo.
The Camping World Drag Racing Series heads to Sonoma Raceway for the NHRA Sonoma Nationals next weekend before closing out the Western Swing with the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, July 30-August 1.