Las Vegas II: Erica Enders preview

Stunning test session has Enders excited about Vegas LAS VEGAS (Oct. 18) -- At 23 years old, Pro Stock rising star Erica Enders already knows enough to not get too excited about testing numbers. But even the top female Pro Stock racer of all...

Stunning test session has Enders excited about Vegas

LAS VEGAS (Oct. 18) -- At 23 years old, Pro Stock rising star Erica Enders already knows enough to not get too excited about testing numbers. But even the top female Pro Stock racer of all time admits the stunning 6.56 at 210 mph her Revive-USA Dodge Stratus R/T produced Monday during a practice run in Virginia is cause for excitement.

"You never put too much into testing numbers," Enders said cautiously. "But any time your car goes that quick and that fast it's hard not to get pumped up a little bit.

"The crew stayed after the Virginia race and wanted to try a new clutch combination they'd been working on. The car absolutely matched up perfectly with what they did and it just flew down the track. Sure it's testing, but we were legal weight and the track was pretty much identical to the day before so it's a legit run. Now we need to come to The Strip and duplicate it."

After an early season surge to third place in the standings, supported by a third-place qualifying effort and quarterfinal run in Las Vegas, Enders left the team she was on and joined Don Schumacher Racing on an interim basis. After Indy, she and her father Gregg bought the operation from Schumacher, realizing a lifelong dream of owning their own race team. Although they suffered in the points, the move is starting to pay off.

"We knew it would be a bit of a transition for this to happen but it's something we wanted to do," said Enders, the only female to race to the finals in Pro Stock, something she's done twice. "The point was to do it as soon as possible so we could use the rest of this season to get ready for 2007."

Enders Racing retained crew chief David Nickens and turned him and car chief Terry Adams loose in the engine department. The first, true Nickens motor was put between the frame rails in Virginia, where Enders qualified for the first time in six races, running career-best numbers in qualifying for the quickest Pro Stock field ever.

"It was such a great weekend," Enders said. "It felt like we took a huge step in the right direction because finally we have the team and the car and the motors the way we want them to be. Then we turn around in testing the next day and go even quicker. I can't wait for Vegas to start."

Although unofficial, Enders' testing numbers show the second quickest elapsed time and the fastest top speed in history.

"There are a lot of people and companies that stayed with us through this changeover," Enders said. "Plus, Revive-USA thought enough of us to get involved when we went out on our own. It's people like them, Stan and Audrey Holt at Lupe Tortillas. Mach 1 Air Services, Snap-on Tools, Aeromotive, Dodge, Jeg's Mail Order, and all the rest, that keep me focused. We will show them that their support was worthwhile, and the way this car's running now, it might happen in Las Vegas. We're excited."

Enders will be making a special appearance from 5-7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 26, in the third floor Sports Bar area at the Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino. Fans are encouraged to come by and meet her in person. Admission is free.

-credit: er

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Terry Adams , Don Schumacher