If you’ve gone to see the movie Rush, you’ve seen a bygone world of fast cars, macho drivers, and the women who watch (and love them). But the current world of motorsport is more and more a female pursuit. There’s Susie Wolff in Formula One, Danica Patrick in NASCAR, and legions of female fans who are creating knowledgeable content and following motorsports with the best of the boys. They’re also out in record numbers at events.
That’s why Alexis DeJoria, professional National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) racecar driver who competes in the nitro Funny Car class as part of the Kalitta Motorsports team, is offering free mammograms to fans at the Las Vegas NHRA Toyota Nationals this weekend.
Yep, you read that right: DeJoria—Austinite and daughter of famed John Paul DeJoria (co-founder of John Paul Mitchell Systems and proud owner of Tequila Patrόn)—has arranged for a mobile mammography unit to be set up at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The “mammovan” will be located directly behind the Alexis DeJoria Racing pit throughout the duration of the race weekend. It’s open for screenings at the start of each race day, and any woman over the age of 40—regardless of her health insurance status—is encouraged to stop and take advantage of the free screenings.
DeJoria debuted her special pink Tequila Patrón hot rod in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness month at the Reading, Penn., race at the beginning of the month. But it’s important to the racecar driver to do more than simply go pink. “At any given race, you see just as many female fans as you do males. People don’t typically think of auto racing as a sport that attracts a large female audience, but it does, which is why I was so intent on doing something like this,” explained DeJoria. “Adding pink accents to race cars and selling specialty pink merchandise is great, but we wanted to take it a step further and be an active supporter of the fight against breast cancer. When planning what we were going to do to support National Breast Cancer Awareness month, we decided we wanted to do something that would be a direct benefit to our fans.” The team partnered with Nevada Health Centers to bring the mammovan, which is a semi-truck that houses a complete mobile mammography unit, to the track.
Woman with insurance should bring that information to the mammovan though, again, no health insurance is required. “According to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, lack of health insurance is one of the main reasons women go without getting a mammogram,” stated DeJoria. “This is the perfect opportunity to have this important test performed, regardless of one’s insurance or financial situation.” No appointment or referral is needed, and test results will be sent out by mail in approximately ten days. DeJoria will be awaiting her results—she’s getting screened at the event this weekend along with her fans.
It’s important for DeJoria to be in top health and fitness. That Kalitta Motorports Tequia Patron 2013 Toyota Camry Funny Car that DeJoria drives has a 10,000 horsepower engine. It takes guts and skill to wrangle that beast, which can travel the length of more than four football fields in less than five seconds. DeJoria’s career best elapsed time is 4.027 seconds (Charlotte, North Carolina, September 2013), and her career best speed is 319.07 mph (Reading, Penn, October 2012); those results were achieved in a distance of 1,000 feet. Take a look at this video of DeJoria at the 2009 English Town races to get a feel for the excitement (and risk) that goes into this type of racing.
You can look for more information about Alexis DeJoria and how she works out to handle a 2,500-pound car as a full-time pro NHRA racer with a non-stop, nine-month-long season, in the February 2014 issue of Austin Fit Magazine. In the meantime, you can watch the races this weekend on ESPN2 and ESPN2HD—and, if you’re there and female, stop by for that mammogram. Who knows: You could be in line with the driver herself.