NHRA: Alexis DeJoria to miss 2nd race in row; hopes to return at Indy in 2 weeks

(Photos courtesy of Gary Nastase Photography)

NHRA Funny Car driver Alexis DeJoria will miss this weekend’s Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minnesota.

DeJoria is still recovering from an accident July 31 at Sonoma, California, when she suffered a fractured left pelvis after her Funny Car crashed into a retaining wall.

“I was hoping and planning on being at Brainerd,” the four-time Funny Car winner said in a statement released Thursday morning. “Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen.

“With it being a fracture, the healing time is six-to- eight weeks and as much as I wanted it, the harsh reality is there just wasn’t enough time between Sonoma and Brainerd for that area to be healed properly.

“Even though I feel better, and yes, I’m physically able to return to the seat, the fact of the matter is, I have a cracked pelvis. Any slightly concussive movements could make that fracture develop into a full-blown crack, and if that were to happen, that would cost me and my team the whole season.

Drag Racing“It’s a tough pill to swallow but it was a decision that had to be made. My doctor, my crew chief and I assessed the situation and determined that the risk right now for further injury is too great. When you weigh it out, missing one more race is better than missing the entire season, and the reality is, if I were to go out there and shake or have any intense movements, that could very well be the final straw.”

With two additional weeks of healing now ahead of her, DeJoria has hopes that she’ll be medically cleared to race again in the U.S. Nationals in suburban Indianapolis, which runs from Sept. 2-5. That race is pivotal as it is the final event to qualify for the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoff.

DeJoria is still in the running to be one of the 10 Funny Car drivers to reach the Countdown. She’s currently scored 10th in the Mello Yello NHRA Drag Racing Series Funny Car point standings.

“I’m getting better every day (and) my sights are set on Indy,” she said. “By then, that’ll be five weeks of healing time and I should be at 90 percent and pretty healed and ready to go. I’m working hard to ensure I achieve that goal.

“Not only does this decision give me more time to heal and recover, but it also gives my team sufficient time to get my chassis and Camry bodies to 110 percent performance ready. We’re all chomping at the bit. It’s hard to miss one race, and even harder to miss two, but it’s something that comes with the territory.

“I can’t let my ego dictate my recovery. I’m extremely grateful it wasn’t worse and I came out of it able to race another day.”

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NEOM McLaren Formula E announces Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast for 2023 season

McLaren Formula E Hughes
McLaren Racing

Doubling down on their commitment to electric auto sports, McLaren Racing announced Jake Hughes will join Rene Rast to compete in the 2023 Formula E Series (FE), which completes their driver lineup.

The NEOM McLaren FE team was formed by the acquisition of the Mercedes-EQ Formula E team that won the 2021 and 2022 championships with Stoffel Vandoorne and Nyck de Vries behind the wheel.

“Today’s announcement feels like a long time coming,” said Ian James, managing director of NEOM McLaren Electric Racing in a release. “Since May this year, when we first announced McLaren Racing’s entry into Formula E, we have been working tirelessly to get in place the best possible team and structure for sustainable success.

“On the one hand, we have been working on the retention of the amazing talent that already was in place before going into the transitional phase. I’m proud to say I think we’ve done a great job on that front.

“On the other hand, we have been focusing on putting in place new processes and new talent – and the latter includes the drivers.”

The driver lineup clasps the two hands together.

Hughes brings 10 years racing experience in single seater cars, including a role with the acquired Mercedes-EQ team as a reserve and development driver for the past two seasons. He is the 2013 BRDC Formula 4 champion and has multiple wins in Formula 2, including two in 2020.

Announced in August, Rast joins the team after earning two podium finishes and six top-fives in 22 career Formula E starts for Audi Sport ABT before returning to the DTM Series last year. Rast’s best finish in Formula E came in the Puebla E Prix when he finished second to teammate Lucas di Grassi by less than a half second.

McLaren’s commitment to Formula E comes one year after they entered the Extreme E rally series in 2022 with Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour in the driver lineup. After a modest start to the season, the McLaren XE drivers crossed the finish line first in Round 4 in Chile, but were assessed a time penalty that dropped them to fifth. Last week in the season finale in Uruguay, they held onto a hard-earned second place finish.