Enders strong heading into NHRAs Countdown to the Championship
Saturday, Sep. 08, 2012
Theres no hotter driver on the National Hot Rod Associations Full Throttle series than Erica Enders.
Entering this weekends rain-postponed Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Enders had won three of six events in the NHRAs Pro Stock car division.
And not only are Enders victories coming at an opportune time the NHRAs Countdown to the Championship begins next weekend at Concords zMax Dragway but theyre also historically significant.
When Enders, 29, won at Chicago on July 1, she became the first woman to win in Pro Stock history. A few weeks later, she did it again joining Funny Car driver Courtney Force that day as the first pair of women to win at the same NHRA event.. Then, two weeks later, Enders won for a third time at Brainerd, Minn.
It all seems to be coming together at the right time, Enders said. I dont think theres any one answer for it. The guys back at the shop are working really hard to find more horsepower, and they keep finding it. Weve got a really good hot rod now.
Its almost becoming habit. Enders had the top time entering Saturday nights qualifying at Indianapolis (which was postponed from last weekend by rain), with the finals and a potential fourth victory coming Sunday.
A native of Houston, Enders has been a trailblazer in a sport that has long embraced diversity. She was the first woman to qualify No. 1 in a Pro Stock event in 2006, and was runner-up that season at the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla. Shes even had a Disney movie, titled Right On Track, made about her.
Enders is fifth in the Pro Stock car standings, trailing Allen Johnson, Jason Line, Greg Anderson and Mike Edwards. She hopes any momentum shes got going over the past two months translates into Countdown success.
Im taking the highs as they come, Enders said. I know how short-lived they can be. Right now, its just a bunch of hard work paying off.
Enders and several other Pro Stock drivers have their eyes on next weeks event at Concord. They tested for two days at zMax earlier this week before returning to Indianapolis for this weekends races.
Were getting all the data we can, she said. That first race in the countdown is important.