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Taking In My First NHRA Race With Patron Funny Car Driver Alexis DeJoria

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When Alexis DeJoria Racing invited us up to Englishtown to meet NHRA nitro funny car driver Alexis DeJoria and watch her compete in the NHRA Mello Yello drag racing series, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, as I had never attended an NHRA race before. But after my Baptism by Nitro, I was totally hooked!

They say your first nitro experience is unforgettable, and that’s a fact. The rumble of 10,000 horsepower side-by-side action and the smell of the nitro-burning cars launching down the drag strip at more than 300MPH are sensations that can only be experienced at an NHRA national event. Die-hard fans flock to the open pits and watch the buildup and teardown of every race car competing during the weekend. The exhilarating action and fan accessibility are just a few of the many reasons why NHRA drag racing has developed an incredible fan base, one of the most loyal in sports.

We came out to Englishtown NJ a few weeks ago to meet Alexis DeJoria, driver of the Tequila Patrón nitro Funny Car. If her last name sounds familiar, that’s because she is the daughter of world-famous billionaire John Paul DeJoria, owner and co-founder Paul Mitchell hair care systems and The Patron Spirits Company. She’s also married to Monster Garage star Jesse James. Needless to say, she’s not your typical nitro driver.

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Pilot of one of the world’s most powerful race cars, NHRA superstar Alexis DeJoria brings a different energy to the sport with her rock ‘n roll vibe. She was bitten by the racing bug early on and currently drives a 10,000 horsepower nitro Funny Car. These nitro-burning, fire-breathing machines accelerate from 0-100MPH in less than one second, and can cover 1,000 feet in less than four seconds and speeds in excess over 300MPH!

While DeJoria could have used her considerably resources to jump right into NHRA nitro cars from the word go, she instead worked her way up from the bottom, starting her NHRA career in 2005, first competing in the Super Gas category and then moving into a rear engine Super Comp dragster. From there, she moved in to a Top Alcohol Funny Car, and after achieving her goals in TAFC, she made the highly-anticipated leap to nitro Funny Car, where she’s been making headlines ever since.

As for her famous husband, he’s actually a full-on part of the team now, wrenching on the car with the rest of the crew. I wasn’t aware of his involvement beforehand, so when I saw him casually walk by, I was more than a little surprised. Fans on the other hand are well aware of James’ involvement with the team, crowding the Patrón XO Café trailer in hopes of catching a glimpse of him, with the occasional onlooker even asking for an autograph from him. But when the crew is racing against the clock to get the engine rebuilt before the next round, it’s all business with James.

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The two seem to be a good match for each other given their mutual interests in motorcycles, cars (among her collection are a ’67 Chevy Chevelle SS, a chopped ’49 Merc, and a Murcielago), motocross, skydiving, and tattoos, just to name a few. And the fact that they get to spend so much time together (even displaying some brief public display of affection in between all the work) is just icing on the cake.

So what did I think of my first NHRA race? It was freaking intense! There’s no way to describe the sound (and feeling) of 10,000 horsepower as these cars roar by you at hundreds of miles an hour, it’s just something you have to experience for yourself. Just make sure you bring some ear protection and some sunscreen. You can thank me later.

There are plenty of races left in the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, so be sure you come out to a race when they come through your area.

Photos courtesy of Gary Nastase Photography and Cesar Andre Photography

Sujeet Patel is the founder of Guys Gab, and one of the biggest automotive enthusiast you'll ever meet. He's been fortunate enough to turn his passion for cars into a full-time job. Like they say, "If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life."

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Aaron

    June 17, 2015 at 11:18 am

    You lucky dog!

  2. Pingback: दुनिया की भेनकर अमिर पांच महिला खिलाडी | Bhiya ka Blog

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Which Genesis G70 Should You Get, The 2.0T Or The 3.3T?

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2019 Genesis G70

The all-new 2019 Genesis G70 is the company’s first attempt at taking on the midsized luxury sports sedan segment, and in particular face off against the BMW 3-Series. We’ve been eagerly awaiting a chance to drive this vehicle since it was unveiled at the New York Auto Show earlier this year, and a few weeks ago at IMPA Test Days, we finally got our chance to do so.

We were fortunate enough to sample both the affordable G70 2.0T (which is powered by a 252-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder) and the more powerful G70 3.3T (powered by a 365-hp 3.3-liter twin-turbocharged V-6) variants.

Both of these may be trim levels of the same car, but which one drives better? Here are our non-instrumented, seat-of-the-pants findings:

Acceleration Winner: 2019 Genesis G70 3.3T

This one should be fairly obvious, but when it comes to outright acceleration, the base model 2.0T doesn’t stand a chance against the 365-horsepower 3.3T, which rockets from 0-60 in just 4.5 seconds. Although the 2.0T puts out a more than adequate 252 horsepower, the 3.3T’s acceleration is just nuclear, pinning you to the back of your seat.

In normal driving, the 2.0T feels perfectly fine, but crest 4,000rpm and it quickly runs out of steam. Luckily, that’s not the case in the more powerful G70. The twin-turbo V6 is a missile, producing meaningful thrust all the way to redline.

2019 Genesis G70

Handling Winner: 2019 Genesis G70 2.0T

Although the 3.3T is much faster, the lighter 2.0T just feels better to drive. The 3.3T we tested had Hyundai’s H-Trac all-wheel-drive system, which coupled with the heavier V6 made the front end feel much heavier than the RWD 2.0T.

The 2.0T is more fun to whip into turns and exercise the superb chassis, while the 3.3T is more of a point and shoot affair. Sure, they share the same platform , but adding a heavier engine and AWD really changes the character of a car and the general sensations of driving.

Value Winner: 2019 Genesis G70 2.0T

With a starting price of only $34,900, the base Genesis G70 2.0T undercuts the more expensive G70 3.3T H-Trac by over $10,000 as the 3.3T AWD starts at $45,750. Between the base 2.0T and the 3.3T H-Trac we drove, it was clear that the base model is anything but base. This little premium sedan is hugely impressive at the $35K mark. The interior is sophisticated and well appointed, while the exterior’s taught body and sleek styling cocoons a well-sorted chassis.

Other Genesis G70 trim levels have a lot to offer as well. Forego AWD, and the most affordable 3.3T can be had for only $43,750. For those of you looking to row your own gears, there’s even a 6-speed manual option (for the 2.0T only) that will set you back $37,900 and comes with a limited slip differential and other performance-oriented goodies. If you want all the bells and whistles, a fully loaded 3.3T Dynamic Edition clocks in at $52,250.

2019 Genesis G70

Overall, we think Genesis really knocked it out of the park with the new G70 sedan, delivering a dynamic vehicle that’s a ton of fun to drive. If you’re in the market for a luxury sports sedan, you owe it to yourself to test drive one today.

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Pricing For The 2019 Hyundai Veloster N Released, Starting At $26,900

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2019 Hyundai Veloster N

While the previous generation Hyundai Veloster was nothing to write home about, the all-new 2019 Veloster is an absolute blast to drive, with plenty of power and great handling dynamics. I recently took the Veloster Turbo out on some twisties, and I couldn’t wipe that grin off of my face, that’s how much fun I was having with the car.

But for those who want to dial up the excitement to 11, the 2019 Hyundai Veloster N takes it to a whole other level, raising the car’s horsepower from 201HP to 250HP (or 275HP with the Performance Package), along with a variety of chassis, tuning and other upgrades that are sure to impress even the most hardcore driving enthusiasts.

Hyundai has been teasing us about the 2019 Veloster N for some time now, and we’ve all been speculating about how much this hot hatch would ultimately cost. And yesterday, we finally got our answer. As it turns out, it’s considerably less than we had expect.

2019 Hyundai Veloster N

Pricing for the 2019 Veloster N starts at $26,900, with the Performance Package model coming in at $29,000. That’s a LOT of bang for the buck, and it should put the other hot hatches out there on notice. (We’re talking to you, GTI, WRX and Civic Type R)

To me, spending the extra $2,100 for the Performance Package is a no brainer, as it gives you 275 horsepower (versus 250 horsepower on the standard Veloster N), N corner carving limited slip differential, a variable exhaust valve system, 19″ wheels with Pirelli P Zero summer tires, and better brakes front and rear.

One thing to note about the Veloster N – It’s only offered with a manual transmission. While I can appreciate their reasoning for doing this, it does limit the number of potential buyers, as many enthusiasts don’t know how (or don’t want) to drive a stick.

2019 Hyundai Veloster N

The 2019 Hyundai Veloster N will begin arriving at dealerships in December.

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7 Ways To Improve Your Car’s Perfomance

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When I drove a 1996 Mustang GT, I thought it was the fastest thing on the road, with a 4.6L V8 that put out 215HP, and a 0-60 time of 6.7 seconds. But by today’s standard, that’s considered rather slow, with many family sedans (like the 2018 Camry V6) packing 250-300 horsepower, and sports cars putting out 400+ HP. Pretty crazy stuff, right?

So what can you do if you own an older sports car and you want to give it a little performance boost? Or go all out and turn it into a race car? From the laws of speed and motion, here are 7 surefire methods you can use to improve your car’s performance:

1) Aerodynamics and Weight:

Aerodynamics deal with how bodies move through the air. Physicist Sir Isaac Newton proved that the force executed by any car depends on its mass and acceleration. The higher the mass, the higher the force. This eventually increases the drag. Something like an aero kit can help your car slip through the air faster.

You can cut a car’s weight by removing heavy mechanical components. The components may include your air conditioning, heater, speakers, or even your backseats. You can also remake the interior using lighter materials, like replacing your glass windows with polycarbonates, which are strong, tough and lightweight.

2) Bushing Replacements

Most cars leave the factory with rubber bushings in their suspension. They are cheap, absorb shocks and vibrations, let the suspension turn freely, and won’t bind easily. The downside is that they compromise your car’s handling somewhat. But if you are willing to give up a little civility in the name of better handling, replacing your bushings with polyurethane ones will give you more responsive handling and acceleration.

Upgraded bushings are a quick and easy way to breathe some new life into your old ride.

3) Check Your Air Filter

Your car’s air filter is it’s first line of defense against contaminants. But it can get dirty over time, and many people neglect to replace them when they should. This can negatively affect your car’s performance, as it struggles to pull in air. So if your a mechanic recommends that you replace the car’s air filter, change it.

There are a number of aftermarket air filters (like K&N) that reportedly deliver improved air flow, which in turn leads to more power. These require more maintenance (periodically oiling your filter, making sure not to foul your MAF sensor), but it’s just another way to squeeze a few more horsepower out of your ride.

4) Use High Quality Components

You know that saying “You get what you pay for”? Well it’s true. When you’re working on your car, you want to use high-quality components from reputable sources, not some random part from eBay that you bought because it was cheap. Stick with an established brand that has a long history in the business for that piece of mind.

The same holds true for aftermarket parts. If you’re upgrading your older Porsche, you want to stick with a name like Fabspeed, who offer Porsche 996 performance upgrades that will make your car feel stronger than ever, along with a warranty on their parts.

5) Install A Supercharger

By compressing air supplied to a car’s engine, superchargers give room for more oxygen to enter the engine. In reality, a car can have a lot of fuel. But without enough oxygen, the car will hardly accelerate.

Installing a supercharger will give you an immediate boost to your vehicle’s performance, with more horsepower both off-the-line and during acceleration. It’s a great way to take your car’s performance to the next level, though it’s a costly (and complicated) upgrade.

6) Enhance Performance Using Computers

Unlike classic cars, which you could tune with a basic set of tools, today’s cars are increasingly complicated, relying on computers for things like fuel delivery, spark, and more. What’s more, cars are tuned from the factory rather conservatively, and the car’s ECU can be reprogrammed to give you better performance.

There are plenty of resources where you can learn to program your car’s engine management program. Or you can go to a professional tuner, who can put your car on a dyno and give you a custom tune. These prove especially beneficial if you’ve got a turbocharged car.

7) Install Quality Tires

What connects your car to the road? Tires. Most mechanics would agree that tires are in fact the most important part of your car. If you’re looking for faster acceleration, better braking, and overall stability, you should invest in a quality set of Ultra High Performance tires, which will dramatically change the demeanor of your car.

You should always make sure that the tires are properly inflated as well, as too much or too little air pressure can dramatically affect a car’s performance.

As you can see, speed isn’t the only factor that defines a high-performance car. Hopefully these tips will help you turn your tired ride into a high-performance car that’s able to hang with the competition on the streets.

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