Alexis DeJoria will reach a milestone in Pomona by becoming the first female driver to make 100 NHRA Funny Car events.
The 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will kick off this weekend with the 56th annual Circle K NHRA Winternationals, with qualifying airing at 10:30 p.m. ET Friday on FS1 and 1 a.m. ET Sunday on FS1. LIVE racing will be shown beginning 5 p.m. ET Sunday on FS1.
DeJoria, who has picked up three national event wins in 99 events, became the first female to break the three-second Funny Car barrier and has earned three No. 1 qualifiers.
DeJoria set her goal of piloting a Funny Car when she went to watch the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona at the age of 16. After graduating high school, she began working for her father’s company, John Paul Mitchell Systems, before leaving to pursue a career in drag racing. In 2005, she began her NHRA journey, slowly working her way up the drag racing ranks. DeJoria raced in the Super Gas category before transitioning to a Super Comp dragster and then to a Top Alcohol Funny Car (TAFC) before making her Funny Car debut with Kalitta Motorsports in 2011.
“When I found out that Pomona would be my 100th race, it kind of took me back,” said DeJoria. “I just can’t believe I’ve already competed 99 times in a Funny Car. It went by pretty fast.
“I’ve learned so much over these first 99 races and I think it really does take about 100 races before you feel settled in that race car. When there are things that come up — and there always will be — I feel much more acclimated to my race car, to my team, and to my series. It’s been a short but long journey, and I’m really proud to be in this position and say that after this weekend, I’ve been able to compete in 100 NHRA Funny Car events.”