Bristol: Erica Enders preview

Enders set to debut Chevy Cobalt at Thunder Valley Nationals BRISTOL, TN -- If you pass by the Cagnazzi Racing pit area you might wonder why the driver is just staring at the car. Don't mind Erica Enders, she's just admiring her new wheels. The...

Enders set to debut Chevy Cobalt at Thunder Valley Nationals

BRISTOL, TN -- If you pass by the Cagnazzi Racing pit area you might wonder why the driver is just staring at the car. Don't mind Erica Enders, she's just admiring her new wheels. The 21-year-old Pro Stock rookie is one of several drivers set to debut the new Chevy Cobalt this weekend for the April 29- May 1 NHRA POWERade event at Bristol Dragway.

"It's a gorgeous car," Enders said. "I can't believe how awesome it turned out. I love it already. We figured out that Todd Bevis and the guys spent about 4,000 hours on the new Cobalt and I'm pretty sure that it was worth it. Only time will tell if this Cobalt will be better than the Cavalier, but so far it's a flawless car."

Enders and the Cagnazzi team have spent the days leading up to the O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals testing to make sure the new car is up to the challenge of qualifying in one of the most competitive categories in racing.

"The guys were up before dawn working on this car for the last few months and didn't leave the shop until late at night, just to make sure it was ready for this race," Enders said. "Now it's time to take it out on the track and see what it can do in competition. I'm excited about the performance possibilities."

This weekend Enders has a new sponsor to go with the new car. The Cagnazzi Racing group will fly the SunCom wireless company colors for the next two NHRA events.

"SunCom is a leading wireless service provider in the Southeast and is an industry leader in customer service," Victor Cagnazzi, team owner, said. "They truly get it, and we bring those same attributes to our sponsors in NHRA Pro Stock racing. We're a good match and we're proud to showcase the SunCom brand."

She has a new car and a new sponsor and she's headed to a new track. Enders has 37 Jr. Dragster victories and seven sportsman wins as well as she has spent more than 10 years in the drag racing arena. Still, Bristol Dragway will be a new experience for the Houston resident.

"It's going to be pretty cool because everyone has told me how great Bristol is," Enders said. "They call it the Thunder Valley Nationals for a reason and I can't wait to hear the cars go down the track. It is also the home track for (crew member) Tommy Lee and a few other guys so we are going to have a lot of friends and family out at the race track.

"The shop is in Mooresville and Bristol is as close to a home track as it gets. This is basically their version of Houston, which was my big home race. We know we are going to have a lot of support, so we're striving to make sure we can do well this weekend."

All the action can be seen on ESPN2. This weekend ESPN360, ESPN's broadband service, will air free live coverage of pro qualifying, including the Friday night session held under the lights of Bristol Dragway. Part of ESPN360's "All-Access Week," this will be the first time computer users can get a look at the Friday night session.

-cr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tommy Lee