One of the most engaging racers in the NHRA’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series is returning to full-time competition in the 2020 season, starting with the season-starting Winternationals on the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona dragstrip next February.
Following a two-year hiatus, Alexis DeJoria returns to the Funny Car wars. “I honestly knew, deep down when I made the announcement to retire at the end of the 2017 NHRA season, that it was going to be sort of an open-ended retirement,” she said.
DeJoria debuted at the 2011 Texas NHRA Fall Nationals. She has accrued five victories, including her prestigious 2014 Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals victory at Indianapolis. She acknowledged, although enjoying a slightly slower-paced lifestyle for the past two years, her longing to get behind the wheel of a Funny Car once again.
“I’m beyond excited to get back out there. I’ve been blessed spending time with my family these past two years off. This was a decision I made with their support,” DeJoria acknowledged, “and we are all looking forward to my return to the driver’s seat.”
This will be a new venture for DeJoria,who joins together with Nicky Boninfante and Del Worsham. They have formed an independent team with Boninfante and Worsham as co-crew chiefs on DeJoria’s Funny Car.
The trio’s history extends back nearly a decade, when Worsham signed off on DeJoria’s Funny Car paperwork as she licensed in his car in 2010. Worsham served as crew chief during her 2012 rookie season and Boninfante worked alongside DeJoria during her tenure with Kalitta Motorsports, before taking over tuning duties on her car in 2017.
“I now have this incredible opportunity to build a team with two of the people who were by my side when I started my nitro Funny Car career,” she said. “Del is my mentor and the person whose car I licensed with in the first place. Nicky was one of the first people at Kalitta who I talked to when I made the transition from Top Alcohol Funny Car to nitro Funny Car,” DeJoria said.
“Del and Nicky, they’re the ‘dream team’ for me and I’m eager to embark on this new adventure with them.” DeJoria has a singular goal for her return to the sport of nitro Funny Car NHRA drag racing and that is to become the first female Funny Car world champion. Her partners and her primary sponsor will be announced at a later date, she said.
By Anne Proffit