TORRANCE, Calif., (Oct. 20, 2012) – Alexis DeJoria, one of only two women ever to win an NHRA Alcohol Funny Car race, is now the only woman in a different kind of competitive event – the Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge (www.ToyotaRacingDreamBuild.com
DeJoria, one of four accomplished drivers aiming to win the vehicle-modification build competition, has taken a stock Toyota Tundra full-size pickup and turned it into a race-ready desert "Pre-Runner.”
“I wanted to do the best possible off-road vehicle we could,” DeJoria said. “I think this is going to be the baddest vehicle at SEMA.”
Dale Dondel and his team at Racer Engineering made extensive modifications to the chassis and body. The team also fabricated long A-arms, trailing arms and installed massive racing shocks to achieve 20 inches of wheel travel in front and 24 inches in the rear, enough to tackle virtually any navigable stretch of desert race territory.
The burly Tundra sports a 5.7-liter TRD-supercharged V8 engine fed by a custom rear-mounted fuel cell. Inside, the Tundra Pre-Runner features an elaborate leather-wrapped roll cage, and to make things more pleasant on those long desert runs, a high-powered JBL sound system.
Second-year nitro Funny Car driver DeJoria pilots the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car for Kalitta Motorsports.
DeJoria’s Tundra Pre-Runner will make its debut, along with its competitors in the Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge, at Toyota's press conference at the Special Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas on Oct. 30 at 11 a.m. local time. Fans will be able to tune in live to watch the entire press conference on the Toyota Racing Facebook page
and see the winner announced in real time.
NASCAR driver Clint Bowyer produced a Tekked-Out Prius, NASCAR driver Kyle Busch created a “Rowdy” edition Camry, and NHRA Top Fuel points leader Antron Brown modified a Sequoia for maximum speed. All four are competing for the Toyota Racing Dream Build Challenge title and a $50,000 check from Toyota to the driver’s chosen charity.
A win by DeJoria will benefit Safety Harbor Kids, whose purpose is to enrich the lives of orphans, foster and homeless children through education.