Alexis DeJoria drove her Bandero Premium Tequila ROKiT Toyota Camry Funny Car to the No. 1 qualifier position today at the 20th Thunder Valley Nationals at historic Bristol Dragway. It was the fifth career No. 1 for DeJoria and her first since the Charlotte Four-Wide Nationals in 2016. The qualifying effort is the best of the season for DeJoria after six No. 2 qualifiers.
“This is the first No. 1 qualifier for DC Motorsports since Del Worsham and I began in 2020 and I’m so happy that it came at the same track where I went to my first Funny Car final with Del as my crew chief in 2012,” said DeJoria, a five-time national event winner in Funny Car. “Everything’s going to come together and we’re going to break through for a win very soon. This track has a lot of very good memories for me. To come back here with our own team and get a No. 1 qualifier is huge. We have had so many No. 2s and I am not complaining but this No. 1 is so gratifying. It means so much. It kind of feels like a win. This is a huge weight lifted off our shoulders.”
The No. 1 time of 3.907 seconds at 326.79 mph was almost five hundredths quicker than her nearest competitor in qualifying. The cooler track temperatures throughout the day made it tricky for all the teams. Following the run DeJoria shared with the media how close that run came to not happening.
“That run has a couple hiccups down track, but I just stayed in it and I drove through it,” said DeJoria. “I didn’t think it was going to be a 3.90. I did not think it was going to stick. It feels good right now but tomorrow is a new day. It is a confidence booster going into tomorrow. We didn’t make it down the track the first two runs. Hopefully we can build on what we did tonight.”
DeJoria will face No. 14 qualifier Paul Lee in the first round. Final eliminations will begin tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. ET with Top Fuel followed by Funny Car.