BRAINERD, Minn. — Alexis DeJoria and the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car team will not compete in the NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minn., this weekend while DeJoria recovers from a pelvic fracture.
The injury to the Kalitta Motorsports Funny Car pilot was sustained during a crash at the Toyota NHRA Sonoma Nationals. On July 31 during the first round of eliminations, DeJoria’s car lost traction and made contact with the retaining wall in her lane. The powerful impact caused a high-energy fracture to her left iliac wing, and forced DeJoria to miss the NHRA Northwest Nationals in Seattle the following week.
While she had her sights set on returning to the seat of her Patrón Toyota Camry at this weekend’s NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event in Brainerd, DeJoria remains sidelined, under the advice of her treating physician.
“I was hoping and planning on being at Brainerd. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen,” said the four-time Funny Car winner, who has already claimed one win in 2016.
“With it being a fracture, the healing time is six-to-eight weeks and as much as I wanted it, the harsh reality is there just wasn’t enough time between Sonoma and Brainerd for that area to be healed properly. Even though I feel better, and yes, I’m physically able to return to the seat, the fact of the matter is, I have a cracked pelvis. Any slightly concussive movements could make that fracture develop into a full-blown crack, and if that were to happen, that would cost me and my team the whole season.”
“It’s a tough pill to swallow but it was a decision that had to be made. My doctor, my crew chief and I assessed the situation and determined that the risk right now for further injury is too great. When you weigh it out, missing one more race is better than missing the entire season, and the reality is, if I were to go out there and shake or have any intense movements, that could very well be the final straw.”
DeJoria is eager to get back to the track in order to retain her position in the top 10 and qualify for the NHRA Countdown to the Championship. She currently sits in 10th with 765 points. In order to have an opportunity to make a run for the Championship, DeJoria must be locked into a top-10 spot by the conclusion of the NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, the next event after Brainerd.
Although not definite, DeJoria, along with her doctor, feel confident that by the U.S. Nationals, Sept. 2-5, her body should be healed enough to safely absorb the rigors of racing.
“I’ll keep chipping away at it,” she said, adding, “I’m getting better every day. My sights are set on Indy. By then, that will be five weeks of healing time and I should be at 90%, pretty healed and ready to go. I’m working hard to ensure I achieve that goal.”
“Not only does this decision give me more time to heal and recover, but it also gives my team sufficient time to get my chassis and Camry bodies to 110 percent performance ready. We’re all chomping at the bit. It’s hard to miss one race, and even harder to miss two, but it’s something that comes with the territory.”
“I can’t let my ego dictate my recovery. I’m extremely grateful it wasn’t worse and I came out of it able to race another day.”