By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Alexis DeJoria has announced she will retire following the conclusion of the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. She has three races left in her racing career.
The first of the three will be at the Texas Motorplex this weekend. Then, she’ll have a race in Las Vegas and Pomona remaining.
She’s the latest high-profile driver to retire at the end of the season. Allen Johnson announced before the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, the biggest race of the season, that he was stepping away, as well.
“It’s one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make and I will miss everyone so much,” DeJoria said. “My reasoning behind this decision is simple, it’s time for me to switch my focus towards my family.
“I’ve accomplished great things throughout my NHRA career. Working with Kalitta Motorsports and driving for Connie Kalitta has been an absolute honor, the man is a legend. He’s been the best boss I could have ever hoped for, as a professional Nitro Funny Car pilot. I can’t say enough about Jim O [Jim Oberhofer], Nicky [Boninfante], Tommy [DeLago] and the entire organization. I’ve had the pleasure of working with these [the] last six-plus years. I got to work with and learn from the best.”
DeJoria has been racing in the NHRA since 2005. She made her Nitro FunnyCar debut at the Texas Motorplex for the Texas NHRA Fallnationals in Sept. 2011.
She had to miss some time last season after dealing with concussion-related symptoms. She missed last season’s finale with Jeff Arend stepping in due to the concussion issue.
DeJoria won five national events, including her last at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minn. in Aug. she also won the prestigious Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals.
She also had four No. 1 qualifiers and made it to the final round eight-times. DeJoria was also the first female Funny Car pilot to surpass the four second barrier.
She was also the first female to compete in a 100 Funny Car national events.
“I am very proud that she is taking the time to spend with her family,” Kalitta Motorsports Vice President of Operations Jim Oberhofer said. “I know very well how precious that time is and how easily it can get away from you. Alexis will always be a part of our Kalitta family, and we wish her nothing but the best.”
She has one daughter and one stepdaughter. She wed Jesse James in 2013.
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