Alexis DeJoria on Saturday became the first woman in NHRA drag-racing history to make a pass of under four seconds in a funny car, one of the sport’s two elite classes.
During the third round of qualifying for the Circle K Winternationals, DeJoria made a sizzling run of 3.997 seconds at 318.32 mph at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona.
That was the quickest time for a woman driving funny cars since the National Hot Rod Assn. in mid-2008 went to 1,000-foot races for funny cars and top-fuel dragsters, the other 300-mph class in its premier Mello Yello Series.
The races were shortened from the conventional quarter mile, or 1,320 feet, on safety grounds so that the 7,000-horsepower dragsters would have a greater distance to slow down in case of an accident.
This is the third full season in funny cars for DeJoria, 36, the daughter of billionaire John Paul DeJoria. He’s the chief executive of the Paul Mitchell haircare products company and tequila maker Patron Spirits, the latter being a major sponsor of Alexis DeJoria’s Toyota-powered dragster.
DeJoira’s record run placed her third overall among the 21 funny car drivers competing for the top 16 spots. After one more round of qualifying later Saturday, those 16 drivers advance to the final eliminations Sunday that decide the event’s winner.
In top fuel, Brittany Force, daughter of funny car legend John Force, had a career-best run Saturday when she made a pass of 3.778 seconds at 326.24 mph. That placed her eighth in the top-fuel field after three rounds of qualifying.