ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 2) – Erica Enders and the KLR Group Chevrolet continue to inch their way toward the front of the Pro Stock field.
Enders qualified No. 4 for this weekend's 43rd annual Toyota NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park with a lap of 6.533 seconds at 211.63 mph. Englishtown marks the fifth consecutive race – and the seventh time in nine races this year – she's qualified in the top half of the field.
Enders was fourth-quickest in the third qualifying session and third in Q4, and her GK Motorsports Chevy moved to within two-hundredths of a second of the top car in the Pro Stock field.
"We've been working really hard to figure some things out, and it's definitely coming together," Enders said. "We're proving that on the scoreboard. It's really exciting to be able to improve every single session and gain that much more confidence in my car and my team."
Enders stepped up in nearly every session, starting from her run of 6.555 seconds at 210.50 mph in Q1. She went 6.543 at 211.39 mph in Q2, 6.546 at 210.97 mph in Q3, and then had her best pass of the weekend in the final session.
"I'm really excited," Enders said. "It was cool. We were all high-fiving. To be the third-quickest run of the session with such big names out here is saying a lot. We're just making really good, consistent runs that feel really nice. We're all pretty optimistic."
Enders has been driving well, too, with one reaction time of .001 seconds (.000 is perfect), another of .005, and all four under .034 seconds.
"I've been leaving good and shifting good," Enders said. "Between all of us and how well we work together, I'm really excited about what's to come. I've got a good feeling about the weekend.
"It'd be really cool to get it done here in Englishtown. It's kind of a home race for some of my guys, being that (car owner) Victor Cagnazzi is from Long Island, and the KLR Group guys are in New York City. We'd love to have a good showing."
Enders starts final eliminations racing No. 13 qualifier Kurt Johnson, whose best pass was 6.564 seconds at 210.41 mph.
Her first victory in Pro Stock would cap a busy and productive week for Enders. Wednesday, she participated in the NHRA press conference at the Chart House in Weehawken, N.J., across the Hudson River from Manhattan. Thursday, she led a tour of the city for crew chief Dave Connolly and his girlfriend.
"It was fun," Enders said. "We showed him a bunch of the famous, touristy spots like Grand Central Station, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Empire State Building, Times Square, Radio City Music Hall and Rockefeller Center. We did a three-hour power walk, so I was trying to burn calories while I was being a tour guide. We also did some shopping, hitting up Louis Vitton and some of the fun stores. But two days in the city is enough for me. I'm still a country girl at heart."