MORRISON, Colo. — It's one of the most challenging tracks in the country, but that's what keeps drivers coming back to the Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway each July.
"This track is kind of special because it's a mile above sea level and things are very different here," Alexis DeJoria said. "We have a completely different setup that we don't use anywhere else."
Also completely different? The driver herself. Alexis DeJoria is in a league of her own.
"At the moment, I am the only female in nitro funny car," she said.
And even though there's nothing funny about the sport, she jokes that the men around her wouldn't want to be left in her dust.
"I wouldn't want to lose to the only female in the class!"
But all jokes aside, DeJoria never even considers her gender when she's stepping behind the wheel.
"This car doesn't realize if you're a female or not," she said. "And these guys, I've been racing with them for so long that I just consider myself another driver."
Instead, she gives a nod to the men who helped elevate her to a top-10 national ranking.
"My dear friends that are my crew chiefs, Nicky Boninfante and Del Worsham, I've been racing with them since day one and just the support group I have here, that gives me confidence, that makes me feel like I've got something for the guys," DeJoria said.
But she still hopes her visibility can inspire one young driver in the future.
"Any day that you can inspire young children to go for their dreams and for their passions in life and make it their profession, then I've done my job," she said.
DeJoria advanced to the finals of Mile-High Nationals, but fell in a first-round upset on Sunday afternoon. She remains in the top-10 nationally.
Leah Pruett claimed her first win of 2022 and her first win as a member of Tony Stewart Racing, the team assembled by her husband, the NASCAR Hall of Famer.