POMONA, Calif. — Alexis DeJoria will strap into her Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry nitro Funny Car for the last time at this weekend’s 53rd annual Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway.
The final event of the 2017 NHRA season also marks the final event of DeJoria’s 12-year NHRA career. DeJoria, who announced her retirement following the conclusion of the 2017 season last month, has strong ties to the historic Southern California race track.
DeJoria’s career concludes where it all began, Pomona, where she first experienced the heart pounding, soul shaking, fire-breathing monsters known as Funny Cars, and vowed to one day get behind the wheel of one. DeJoria, who has always had a love for hot rods and all things fast, was sixteen years old when a friend first brought her to the California drag strip for an NHRA event.
“Growing up in Southern California, Pomona was the track. It was my home track and where I first witnessed NHRA Drag Racing,” said DeJoria, a Venice Beach native who now calls Austin, Texas, home.
“As much as I’m looking forward to going back to Pomona this weekend, it’s bittersweet because it’s my final race,” she continued. “This track holds a lot of history for me. It’s where I became the first female in NHRA history to make a three second Funny Car run, and where I became the first woman to compete in 100 Funny Car events. I raced Division Seven here. It’s a special place for me.”
DeJoria hangs up her helmet following a six-year tenure as a Funny Car pilot, having won five events, including the prestigious U.S. Nationals, and breaking numerous records.
The fan favorite would like nothing more than to cap off her career with a win in her native Southern California.
“There’s going to be a lot going on this weekend. It will be exciting and fun but, of course, we want to go out with a bang and win our final race together,” she said of her Nicky Boninfante-Tommy DeLago led Funny Car team, “As much as that track means to me, a win there would be unreal.”