You might assume that someone who regularly goes from 0-300 mph in four incendiary seconds on the pro drag car circuit would be a thrill-seeker. And that’s definitely the case with Alexis DeJoria, a race-car driver and mom to 9-year-old Isabella. The daughter of rags-to-riches businessman/philanthropist John Paul DeJoria (of Paul Mitchell fame), DeJoria, who races for Kalitta Motorsports on the Tequila Patrón Toyota Camry Funny Car team, seeks adventure both on the racetrack and off it. Celebrated Living caught up with her to find out how she rolls.When I was a kid: I wanted to be a fighter pilot. It seemed like the most extreme thing possible. I’ve always been somewhat of a thrill-seeker.
The need for speed: I got hooked taking rides in my dad’s Porsche or Ferrari. He was a very good, safe driver, but I was around very fast cars growing up.
My first cool car: When I got to junior high, I gravitated toward guys building their own hot rods, and then I got a ’67 Chevelle SS and raced that around.
Team Patrón and the 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag racing series: Under the Kalitta Motorsports umbrella, I’ll be doing 23 races between February and November, right across the U.S. from Florida to California. And Team Patrón’s coming out there — guns blazing!
Success unshared is failure: My dad came from very modest means, worked his way up, and built his empire, but he gives back because he can. If you become successful and you don’t contribute to the world, you’re going against what brought you there in the first place.
Best recent vacation: After I won the Northwest Nationals last summer, I took my daughter to France, visiting Monaco and St. Tropez. We even biked all over Paris, which was super cool because you get to see all the side streets and feel the culture up close. After dinner and some champagne I went up the Eiffel Tower stairs at night in 6-inch platforms. The Tower’s lights were so amazing. What a magical experience!
I’m inspired by: Challenges motivate me. If something is very challenging, it makes me want to do it even more and be successful at it.
My daughter keeps me: Present. We have all this technology and social media, but when I start to get a little wrapped up in things she’s like, “Mum, right here!” She just reminds me to be in the moment. She also keeps me laughing. She’s hilarious.