Gainesville: Erica Enders preview

Enders aiming for one step further at historic Gatornationals GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Erica Enders is making strides toward becoming a fiercely competitive Pro Stock driver. With every race, she and the Cagnazzi Racing Chevy Cavalier team gain ...

Enders aiming for one step further at historic Gatornationals

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Erica Enders is making strides toward becoming a fiercely competitive Pro Stock driver. With every race, she and the Cagnazzi Racing Chevy Cavalier team gain confidence and the experience necessary to be a threat to win races on Sundays.

Enders didn't qualify in Pomona, but she did two weeks later in Phoenix. Now it's time for the 36th annual Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway, March 17-20, and Enders is ready to go one step further -- at least.

One more thing, Gainesville Raceway is the site of the team's two-week offseason test session. So yes, they have seen this track a time or two.

"We were in Gainesville for two weeks and I made more than 50 passes there already," Enders said. "We are very familiar with this track and it's where we made our 6.60 passes when the air was real good.

"Hopefully we will have similar conditions and it's nice and cool for us all weekend. This is going to be the first time we've raced somewhere that we have good data so I'm even more excited for Gainesville. I think the test session is going to prove to be an advantage for us when it comes to making that first qualifying pass on Friday."

The 21-year-old Houston resident has added confidence from the two-week break. The engines were sent back to the shop for some adjustments and she feels the work will pay off.

"I think this team is capable of going rounds and I don't think we have come close to reaching our early potential," she said. "We had some time off to go back to the shop and get things sorted out and we're happy with what we've seen already."

Enders -- the winner of 37 Jr. Dragster events -- has been to Gainesville Raceway for the Frank Hawley School and other categories, but her first time down the track as a pro will sure to be memorable.

"The Gatornationals is one of my favorite races and it was one that I was looking forward to being at with this team," Enders said. "We also have a lot of the crew guys' families that are coming to this race, so that will be cool having everyone there."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Frank Hawley