ZaZa Energy pro Enders earns third runner-up result of the season
BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 21) – Erica Enders and the ZaZa Energy Pro Stock team made a valiant effort in Sunday's final eliminations of the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway, racing from the No. 8 qualifying position to a spot in the finals.
But Enders came up .011 seconds short of her first Pro Stock victory, falling to Greg Anderson in her third final-round appearance of 2011.
Enders made a pass of 6.614 seconds at 208.10 mph but was just behind Anderson, the race's No. 2 qualifier, who went 6.599 at 209.26 mph.
"Close again," Enders said. "We had a really great race car. My guys busted their rear ends this weekend for me. We fell short by just a little bit again. The Summit guys are the ones to beat out here, but we're going to get 'em one of these days."
Enders qualified eighth in Brainerd, and then beat Ron Krisher in the first round when Krisher red-lighted. She then raced Anderson's teammate, Jason Line, in the second round. Facing the No. 1 qualifier, Enders beat Line on a holeshot, with a reaction time of .026 seconds to win with a 6.622 at 207.91 mph to Line's 6.591 at 209.04 mph.
That put Enders the semifinals against Rodger Brodgon, who like Enders uses Cagnazzi Racing horsepower. But Enders left first again, this time with the best R/T of eliminations (.013 seconds) to beat a tire-spinning Brogdon. She also continued to improve on her elapsed time, going 6.613 in the semifinals.
Enders, a 27-year-old from Houston, is having the best season of her career, reaching three finals, qualifying No. 1 twice and ranking fifth in the Pro Stock standings, just 12 points out of fourth.
"There's a plan bigger than mine," Enders said. "We'll go to the next race – 'the Big Go.' Maybe it's holding out for that one."
The "Big Go" is the 57th annual Mac Tool U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil. The historic race runs from Sept. 2-6 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis.
"All the stars are lined up for us," Enders said. "We've just got to go win more round and continue to execute the way we have been. It's getting to that point in the year where every thousandth of a second is going to matter. We've got our stuff together.
"We get to go test the Monday and Tuesday before Indy, so we'll have all our ducks in a row heading into the race. I can't be more excited about it."