Gainesville: Erica Enders preview

Enders brings quickest Pro Stock car in field to Gainesville GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 13) -- Pro Stock pilot Erica Enders had the quickest racecar during eliminations at the last stop on the POWERade Drag Racing Series in Phoenix. Although her...

Enders brings quickest Pro Stock car in field to Gainesville

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 13) -- Pro Stock pilot Erica Enders had the quickest racecar during eliminations at the last stop on the POWERade Drag Racing Series in Phoenix. Although her impressive performance numbers didn't translate to win -- she lost in the semis on a holeshot -- it did give the 23-year-old movie star good reason to be excited about this weekend's ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.

After qualifying third on the Phoenix ladder, Enders posted a 6.66, 6.67, and 6.68 in consecutive rounds on Sunday en route to a semifinal finish. Her Round 2 and 3 runs were the quickest of those sessions.

"I've got a racecar!" said Enders, who had a movie entitled Right On Track made about her life, which to date is the Disney Channel's most watched movie ever. "My crew chief David Nickens and the guys really felt like they had something to prove this year and they've been working around the clock to make us fast. We got our first peek at what they've been able to accomplish in Phoenix and it has us all pumped up.

"There is no secret to success in this category. It's all about hard work and long hours spent finding that extra hundredth of a second or even thousandth of a second in some cases. Any time you can leave a race and say you had the quickest car it's a real confidence boost. Now we need to repeat what we did in Phoenix in Gainesville."

The main thing that has the Enders Racing crew excited is the fact they ran their best under the worst conditions, when increased heat caused fits for many of their peers. Enders zoomed up to third in qualifying in Saturday's midday session in Phoenix, under cloudless skies, and their two class-leading runs Sunday also came during the middle of the day when temperatures where at their highest.

"The NHRA traditionally stacks our races in the summer months so if we've got a car that runs well in the heat, that's really something to be proud of," Enders said. "We'll see yucky conditions lot more than cool conditions. And what's not to say we'll run well at the cooler tracks? I guess you could say I like where we're at right now."

Enders and her father Gregg brought their own operation in September of last year. In just 28 race day starts, the former Junior Dragster star owns all the marks for female Pro Stock racers including final-round appearances, elimination-round wins, low qualifying efforts, and races entered.

-credit: er

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