Phoenix: Erica Enders preview

Enders plans to keep it simple at Firebird PHOENIX (Feb. 22) -- Pro Stock racer Erica Enders has a modest goal for this weekend's 23rd annual Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals at Firebird International Raceway -- Keep it simple. After ...

Enders plans to keep it simple at Firebird

PHOENIX (Feb. 22) -- Pro Stock racer Erica Enders has a modest goal for this weekend's 23rd annual Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals at Firebird International Raceway -- Keep it simple.

After missing the cut at the season-opening Winternationals by thousandths of a second due in large part to missing two of the four qualifying sessions, Enders and her David Nickens-led race team know if they simply execute their regular race program, a berth in Sunday's eliminations will be at hand. After that, as anyone in the class will say, the sky is the limit.

"You have to be in the top 16 to have a chance," Enders said. "We didn't get that done in Pomona. It sounds simple to say, but the No. 1 goal is always just to qualify for the race. We've been the top qualifier before and we've been the last one in, to me it doesn't matter that much. But you do need to be in it to win it.

"We had a simple issue with an oil cap that forced us to give up one qualifying pass and we lost another one when the engine backfired. You just can't survive with those kinds of things happening, not when everyone else is running all four sessions. We're going to do better this weekend and I have every confidence we'll be in the show come Sunday."

Enders' 2007 campaign is her first as a team owner and driver. Her and her father Gregg bought their team outright in September of 2006, thereby fulfilling a lifetime dream. The next step is a logical one.

"Daddy and I always talked about having our own team," Enders said. "Now that we have it and we've experienced all the growing pains, it's time to start having some success on the racetrack. Hopefully, it'll all start this weekend in Phoenix.

"The fans at Firebird have been awesome to me over the past few years and I can't wait to get out there and give them something to cheer for. I love working hard and I'd love to have a long, hard weekend in Phoenix."

-credit: enders racing

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