National Hot Rod Association Champion who captured the No. 1 qualifier position four times, became the first woman to break the four-second barrier, was the first female to compete in 100 Funny Car events, and finished in the Top 10 three times.
Alexis DeJoria spent more than a decade behind the wheel of a high-horsepower race car as a competitor in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), and is regarded as one of the most accomplished and influential female athletes in motorsports. Her legacy includes breaking barriers in a male-dominated industry, and racking up a stunning list of achievements both on and off the race track.
A native of Southern California, DeJoria’s racing career began in 2005, but her love for ‘all things fast’ started when she was in high school. She was bitten by the racing bug at 16 when a friend brought her to Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California. From the first time she laid eyes on the fire-breathing monsters known as Funny Cars, DeJoria knew she would someday pilot one. She started learning the ropes and worked her way through the NHRA’s non-professional Sportsman classes, learning every aspect of drag racing and earning the respect of her peers for taking a slow and methodical approach to becoming a professional racer.
She started her career by competing in NHRA’s Super Gas category before moving into a rear engine Super Comp dragster. A year later, DeJoria moved into a Top Alcohol Funny Car and in 2009, she built her own team, Stealth Motorsports. She co-owned and operated the team for three years, and is one of the few females ever to do so. With Stealth, she claimed the 2011 NHRA Northwest Nationals Top Alcohol Funny Car crown, and became the second female to win a national Top Alcohol Funny Car event.
In 2010 she earned her professional nitro Funny Car license and spent a year making test passes behind the wheel of a 10,000-horsepower ‘big show’ race car. DeJoria made the leap from Top Alcohol Funny Car to Funny Car at the 2011 Texas NHRA Fall Nationals.
Behind the wheel of the Tequila Patrón nitro Funny Car, DeJoria regularly exceeded speeds of 330-miles-per-hour and would cover a 1,000-foot dragstrip in less than four seconds, clocking a career-best run of 3.863 seconds at 333.16 mph.
From 2012 to 2017, DeJoria raced to victory five times, including the prestigious NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, aka the Super Bowl of Drag Racing. She captured the No. 1 qualifier position four times, became the first woman to break the four-second barrier, was the first female to compete in 100 Funny Car events, and finished in the Top 10 three times.
DeJoria is also highly regarded for her humanitarian efforts off the race track. In October 2013, DeJoria launched the ‘Free Mammograms for the Fans’ program, where she partnered with Nevada Health Centers and Baylor Health to provide free mammogram screenings via a mobile mammography unit to any female ticketholder in attendance at the NHRA Toyota Nationals in Las Vegas and the Texas NHRA Fall Nationals in suburban Dallas. Over the course of five years, more than 500 free mammograms were performed at an NHRA race thanks to DeJoria and her team.
DeJoria hung up her helmet at the conclusion of the 2017 season, but recently announced she was coming out of retirement and would begin competing again full-time starting with the 2020 NHRA season. DeJoria’s ultimate goal is to become the first female Funny Car world champion.
Alexis DeJoria was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 2019.