Eric Enders Racing
Enders jumps to fifth, secures playoff berth
SEATTLE (Aug. 7) – Erica Enders and the ZaZa Energy Chevy Cobalt had an eventful and successful Sunday afternoon at the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals.
Enders raced to the semfinals in Pro Stock, moved from seventh to fifth in the class points and locked up a spot in the Countdown to the Championship, the NHRA's version of the playoffs.
"It was a big weekend," Enders said. "The second round win was a huge one for us. To move up two spots in the points this late is awesome. I've never been a part of the Countdown, so that's really exciting for me.
"We've got a great race car."
Enders nearly reached her third final of the year but Greg Anderson stopped her progress in the semifinal round.
"Greg left the door open on me," Enders said. "That loss is on me. You have days like this. We've got to keep our heads up and move on."
The two cars were dead-even at the 330-foot mark before Anderson slowed pulled away to a finish of 6.562 seconds at 210.44 mph. Enders was right there with a 6.570 second pass at 209.88 mph.
"We've got very important races on the horizon," she said. "We're going to get a chance to regroup. We've been out here for three weeks, shipping motors all over the country. It's going to be nice to have all our assets in one spot."
In what was a crucial second-round matchup with Allen Johnson, Enders started the race at a slight disadvantage, but it was the last time the ZaZa Energy Cobalt trailed in the race. She crossed the line in 6.573 seconds at 209.88 mph, with Johnson just behind with a pass of 6.609 at 210.60 mph.
That was the win that put Enders into the Countdown and around Greg Stanfield and Johnson in the points.
To open the day, Enders took out Kurt Johnson easily. She cruised through with a 6.564 second pass at 210.44 mph, while he finished in 7.709 at 153.47 mph.
Sunday's finish wraps up the three-race Western Swing that saw Enders reach the semifinals in back-to-back races.
"This stretch is challenging," Enders said. "It's hard on everyone, it's hard on parts. It's a tough three weeks. I'm sure everybody is ready to get home.
"If you would have told me at the start of the Swing, we would have two semis at the end, I'd take that. There are 10 other guys who'd gladly take my place."
Next on the NHRA Full Throttle Series Schedule is the Aug. 18-21 Lucas Oil Nationals in Brainerd, Minn.