Enders saves best run for final qualifying session in Atlanta
ATLANTA -- Coming off her best run of the weekend, ZaZa Energy driver Erica Enders carries a lot of confidence – and plenty of speed – into Sunday's eliminations at the 31st annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals.
Enders grabbed the eighth qualifying spot after going 6.637 at 208.01 mph in Saturday's final Pro Stock qualifying session. The Cagnazzi Racing driver will now square off against fellow Cagnazzi-powered driver Steve Kent in the first round.
"I'm really glad we finished up the qualifying session with such a great run," Enders said. "It was pretty warm out and the sun was on the track. I know tomorrow is supposed to be a little cooler, but it'll be similar conditions with the sun on the track. To be able to run as well as we did, we had to be pretty good.
"That excites me going into tomorrow and surely makes my Saturday night sleep a little easier. Sunday is a new day and we'll be ready."
Enders got better in each qualifying pass at Atlanta, except for the third session when a mechanical issue halted what started out as another solid run.
The Houston native ran 6.676 at 206.83 mph in Friday's first round, followed by a 6.658 at 207.27 mph in Round 2. Overnight, car owner Victor Cagnazzi, crew chief Dave Connolly, and the rest of the ZaZa Energy crew continued to adjust Enders' Chevrolet in preparation for a better numbers Saturday.
"Dave and Vic and the guys have been doing a great job setting the car up," Enders said. "We struggled a little bit Friday, but they worked hard and figured out what they needed to do. The third session, I let the clutch out and it felt awesome, and then we had a mechanical issue. In the fourth session, I let out the clutch and it was awesome again and that time it went down the track perfectly and we put a .63 on the board. It was a perfect ending.
"Mike Edwards went .62 and (Greg) Anderson went .62 (in the final qualifying session), so we were right in the mix with the big boys. I'll be on my game tomorrow and we'll see what happens."