Alexis DeJoria returning to NHRA Funny Car ranks after hiatus

Alexis DeJoria, the first woman to record a sub-4-second pass in an NHRA Funny Car, will return to full-time competition in 2020, ending a two-year hiatus, it was announced Tuesday.

DeJoria will reenter the sport at the Feb. 6-9 season-opening NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California.

"I honestly knew deep down when I made the announcement to retire at the end of the 2017 NHRA season that it was going to be sort of an open-ended retirement," the 42-year-old DeJoria said in a statement.

"I've been blessed spending time with my family these past two years off. This was a decision I made with their support."

DeJoria has teamed with Nicky Boninfante and Del Worsham to form the Funny Car operation. Boninfante and Worsham will serve as co-crew chiefs. Her partners, including her primary sponsor, will be announced at a later date.

DeJoria's history with Boninfante and Worsham extends back nearly a decade. Worsham signed off on DeJoria's Funny Car paperwork when she obtained her NHRA license in his car in 2010. He then became her crew chief during her rookie season in 2012. Boninfante worked alongside DeJoria at Kalitta Motorsports before taking over the tuning duties on her car in 2017.

"I now have this incredible opportunity to build a team with two of the people who were by my side when I started my nitro Funny Car career," said DeJoria, winner of five nitro Funny Car events.

"Del is my mentor and the person whose car I licensed with in the first place, and Nicky was one of the first people at Kalitta [Motorsports] who I talked to when I made the transition from Top Alcohol Funny Car to nitro Funny Car. Del and Nicky, they're the 'dream team' for me, and I'm eager to embark on this new adventure with them."