Enders has best outing of 2012 season
LAS VEGAS (April 1) – GK Motorsports driver Erica Enders had her best weekend of the 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season, racing to the semifinals of the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Along the way, Enders was terrific behind the wheel, leaving first in all three Pro Stock elimination rounds Sunday. Her three reaction times were .015, .026 and .027 seconds, and she won on a holeshot in the first round against Ronnie Humphrey.
"After Gainesville, where I hit the Tree and it turned out to be on the wrong side, I had to come back here and get my confidence back," Enders said. "We left on everybody today, so that's a plus."
Enders fell to eventual race winner Allen Johnson in the semifinals, but her solid performance moved her into the top 10 of the Pro Stock points standings.
"It is early, but we need to stay in the top 10," Enders said. "That's money every weekend, and it's important for how it sets up for the Countdown to the Championship. We're going to race hard all year and hopefully build some consistency. I've got all the faith in the world in my guys. We've hired the best people you can hire. We're going to be OK."
After qualifying 10th, Enders faced No. 7 qualifier Humphrey in the first round. She cut a .027 light, beating Humphrey off the line by a gigantic .072 seconds. Enders made a pass of 6.661 seconds at 206.42 mph, beating Humphrey to the finish despite his faster pass of 6.647 seconds at 206.95 mph.
In the second round, Enders faced Larry Morgan, who upset No. 2 qualifier and three-time Vegas winner Mike Edwards in the first round. Enders left first again with a .015-second light, then beat Morgan with a pass of 6.728 seconds at 205.63 mph to Morgan's 6.743 at 205.16 mph.
Against No. 3 qualifier Johnson, Enders left first again, .026 to .047, but Johnson's car was faster, going 6.659 seconds at 206.89 mph to Enders' 6.735 at 206.01 mph.
"We've been fighting our hot rod all weekend," Enders said. "That's evident by the elapsed times we put up there. We're going to sort her out. We're going to test before Charlotte and be ready to go there.
"I'm proud of my guys. We fought a good fight this weekend. It was nice to make it to the semifinals."
Enders will take a break next weekend, enjoying some time off with her family and with boyfriend Richie Stevens.
"It'll be nice to get away a little bit and take some much-needed time off," Enders said. "We'll head to Charlotte fresh."