BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 17) - The roll continues for KLR Group driver Erica Enders.
Coming off a victory in the most recent NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event, in Seattle, Enders stormed to the provisional No. 1 and a track record in Pro Stock qualifying for the Lucas Oil Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway on Friday.
Enders sped to a lap of 6.550 seconds at 210.37 mph that broke the record of 6.593 seconds set by Mike Edwards in 2010.
"My guys are awesome," Enders said of her GK Motorsports team. "They gave me the best hot rod I ever had (in Seattle), and we were able to take it right to the winner's circle. It's carrying over to here, and I'm just really hopeful we can continue this momentum through the rest of the season.
"It's so significant right now, before we head into the Countdown. I just couldn't be more proud, and I'm so blessed to be driving this car. I'll do my job to the best of my ability, and there's no reason why we can't win a few more this year."
Enders' team is peaking at the right time, as Brainerd is the penultimate race before the Countdown to the Championship, NHRA's playoffs. Plus, NHRA's biggest race, the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, will begin later this month.
"The guys back at the shop have been doing a lot of hard work on R&D stuff in the engine department," Enders said. "It's showing on the scoreboard. I'm really proud of them, and the hard work is starting to pay off. It couldn't be coming at a better time."
Enders has won two of the last four Pro Stock races and holds the track record for elapsed time at two of the last three venues, here and Sonoma. Plus, Enders halted Allen Johnson's streak of leading Pro Stock qualifying sessions at 12.
She's hopeful her No. 1 holds during Saturday's two qualifying sessions.
"There's certainly no lack of confidence in my guys," Enders said. "We run early tomorrow, so it'll probably be a little bit cooler. We put a hundredth on A.J. tonight. I don't know what kind of run he made; ours was pretty good, but we do have room for improvement. We'll set up tomorrow like we're defending it and see if we can stay on top."
If it holds, the No. 1 would be Enders' first of the season and fourth of her career. She was second after Friday's first session with a pass of 6.571 seconds at 210.50 mph, but crew chiefs Dave Connolly and Tommy Utt tuned up the Chevrolet Cobalt for Q2.
"This morning, we kind of just wanted to get down the race track and gather everything and see where we stood," Enders said. "Tonight, we tried to swing for the fence, and it worked." --30--