Topeka: GM Racing Saturday summary

Team Chevy's Erica Enders Drives Cobalt to First Career NHRA Pro Stock Pole Becomes First Woman to Qualify No. 1 in Factory Hot Rod Category Team Chevy's Erica Enders reached another quarter-milestone today in her relatively young NHRA Pro...

Team Chevy's Erica Enders Drives Cobalt to First Career NHRA Pro Stock Pole

Becomes First Woman to Qualify No. 1 in Factory Hot Rod Category

Team Chevy's Erica Enders reached another quarter-milestone today in her relatively young NHRA Pro Stock career by capturing her first ever raceday pole at the 18th annual O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka. The 22-year-old native Texan, and business major at Texas A & M University, drove the Slammers Ultimate Milk Chevy Cobalt to a 6.785 second e.t. at 203.06 mph, and became the first woman in the history of the sport to earn pole qualifying honors in the factory hot rod category. Enders' qualifying elapsed time was three-hundredths of a second quicker than the next best car slotted in the 16-car field.

"This is pretty cool, and just a bonus really because I'm excited to be doing what I'm doing," said Enders. "To qualify No. 1 in a category as competitive as NHRA Pro Stock is just huge and a testament to the hard work of everyone on this race team. The performance of our Slammers Chevy Cobalt has been great these past few weekends, but unfortunately I haven't. This weekend might be different though. I've been working on my lights, and they've been green so that's been good. The car also has performed almost flawlessly. Last night when I dropped the clutch I could tell immediately that this Chevy Cobalt was on a good run. I just hit my shift points and enjoyed the ride."

Although this will mark Enders first start from the No. 1 qualifying spot, already this season she has entered raceday qualified in the No. 2 position twice (Pomona, Phoenix), and twice in the No. 3 slot (Houston, Las Vegas). She has also qualified fifth or better in eight of the first nine races contested this season and was runner-up in March at the ACDelco Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla. Enders is currently fourth in the NHRA POWERade Pro Stock standings and a prime candidate on Sunday to become the category's ninth different winner in 2006.

"The guys have worked non-stop on this deal to get us in these great qualifying positions," said Enders. "Last year when we had all the DNQs, everybody kept a positive attitude, and just kept working, which was really important. All of that has played a key role in where we are now because the chemistry is great, everybody has meshed well together, and even when we weren't doing well we were having fun. That makes the good times even better. It's all the more rewarding now."

-gm racing-

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Series NHRA