Baytown: Erica Enders preview

Enders brings best Mopar-powered car to Houston race in 'Mach 1' speed HOUSTON (March 29) -- Houston native Erica Enders arrives at this weekend's 20th annual O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals ready to show her hometown fans the quickest...

Enders brings best Mopar-powered car to Houston race in 'Mach 1' speed

HOUSTON (March 29) -- Houston native Erica Enders arrives at this weekend's 20th annual O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals ready to show her hometown fans the quickest Hemi-powered Dodge Stratus R/T Pro Stock car in the field. Appropriately, the gleaming factory hot rod will display the colors of associate sponsor Mach 1 Air Services in a primary position this weekend in support of the freight forwarder's Houston office.

"We're not quite reaching Mach 1 on the racetrack but we're going to take them along for a ride with us on the doors this weekend," said Enders, who routinely covers the quarter-mile drag strip from a standing start in 6.6 seconds at 210 mph. "This is a special one-race deal for them so it's exciting that we come into this race as the quickest Dodge in the entire class. Now all we need is a win."

Born and raised in the Houston suburb of Spring, Texas, Enders currently is the only Mopar driver provisionally qualified for the NHRA's Countdown to the Championship. She holds that distinction despite failing to qualify for the season opener in Pomona. Since that misstep, her red and black car has been one of the quickest and fastest in the field, including leading the way outright in a few elimination rounds.

"Our crew chief and engine builder David Nickens has been around this sport for a long time and everyone knows that when he finds a combination that works he can be very dangerous," Enders said. "Credit him and all the guys up in Conroe (Texas) at his engine shop because they are flat-out making horsepower right now.

"The pressure's on this weekend because I know all the guys from the shop will be at the race so I need to show them first-hand how cool it is to put big numbers up on the scoreboard. The driver gets on TV but it's the hard work of the crew that makes her car go. It'll be a blast having everyone here."

Enders and team will entertain their Mach 1 Air Services guests as well as their legion of friends and family members with great food from Lupe Tortilla, the Houston-based chain of Mexican restaurants that have supported Enders since her start.

"There's always a lot going on when you race at home," said Enders who won numerous races and track championships during her Junior Dragster days at Houston Raceway Park, which prompted Disney to make a movie about her career entitled Right On Track. "I plan on making the most of it and having fun."

-credit: er

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Series NHRA