Gainesville: Erica Enders final summary

Enders ready for homecoming in Houston GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- A homecoming event is just what the Cagnazzi Racing team is looking for and luckily, it's right around the corner. Erica Enders and the Cagnazzi Chevy Cavalier team posted a DNQ at...

Enders ready for homecoming in Houston

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- A homecoming event is just what the Cagnazzi Racing team is looking for and luckily, it's right around the corner.

Erica Enders and the Cagnazzi Chevy Cavalier team posted a DNQ at the NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway over the weekend. But now they can look ahead to one of the tracks that Enders knows best: Houston Raceway Park.

The 21-year-old rookie Pro Stock driver is a Houston native and has spent most of her career blazing down the Houston Raceway surface. Soon she will do something there she has never done: Race as a professional driver. Enders has been racing since she was eight years old, earning 37 Jr. Dragster victories as well as logging time and wins in Super Gas and Super Comp.

Now she is racing in the Pro Stock category and Enders is the first to admit there is comforting feeling about going home, especially after the Gatornationals.

"Gainesville was just a disappointing weekend, especially because we had such high expectations," Enders said. "We spent 15 days testing there during the offseason and we confirmed those numbers just two days before the race with a test session in Georgia. We ran good times during both test sessions, but we didn't get it done during the national event."

If the expectations were high in Gainesville, they are likely to be even higher for the hometown crowd.

"We have a lot of time before the (April 8-10) race in Houston and I don't want to go there without a great package," Enders said. "I think everyone on the team feels the same way and we are all going to work to make sure we're ready for Houston. It's important to run well there and we have plenty of time to get the motors and the car ready to be competitive."

Regardless of the outcome, Enders said the team still managed to take a positive look at the Gatornationals.

"We had trouble during Friday's sessions and we made a good pass on Saturday morning and that was the first good batch of data that we had," Enders said. "The last qualifying run we were on a killer run and when I shifted into fifth gear, it broke.

"Last year this team didn't qualify for the first three races of the season and they still finished in the top 10 in Pro Stock points. We're disappointed and are motivated to work even harder, but since we qualified in Phoenix, we're still ahead of the game and I know it will get better."

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Series NHRA