Enders looking for a win at Charlotte II

Enders Racing press release

Enders has history on her mind as NHRA playoffs start

Erica Enders
Erica Enders

Photo by: Ted Rossino

CHARLOTTE (Sept. 12) – Erica Enders and the ZaZa Energy Pro Stock team have two goals as the NHRA's Countdown to the Championship begins this weekend at zMax Dragway.

For starters, after three runner-up finishes this year, Enders still hopes to make history as the first woman to win in the ultra-competitive Pro Stock division.

Plus, Enders and her Cagnazzi Racing team have a bigger picture in mind: Win the 2011 Full Throttle Pro Stock championship.

"Charlotte starts crunch time," Enders said. "We go into this race 60 points out of first place, and that's only three rounds, so not much separates us from being in the No. 1 spot. We’re going to test our butts off before we get there and figure this car out. Then we're going to come out swinging in Charlotte."

The Pro Stock points standings were reset after the final regular-season race, putting Enders 60 points behind leader Greg Anderson in fifth place. She's in the midst of her best season as a professional, qualifying No. 1 twice and reaching the finals at Bristol, Chicago and Joliet.

Enders will be making her first appearance in the NHRA playoffs so getting off to a good start in Charlotte is "huge," Enders said.

"We need to start off on the right foot and get the momentum rolling," Enders said. "We've got a top-four car. If we race smart and get down the race track, and I keep driving the way I'm driving, we'll be consistent on Sunday, and that's key. That's what will get us through these last six races.

"It'll be a battle to the very end. That's the way it always is. May the best woman come out on top."

Enders and the ZaZa team, which receives support from Toreador Resources (NASDAQ:TRGL), tested recently at zMax, a short drive from the headquarters of Cagnazzi Racing, which is based in Mooresville, N.C.

"Charlotte's our home track, being that our team is from there and based there," Enders said. "We've got a lot of test runs there, too. I have high hopes for these last six races. There's no reason why we can't go out there and compete for the championship. We have a great race car, and I'm driving well. I'm racing with my whole heart, and I want this more than anybody out here."

State-of-the-art zMax Dragway is the newest facility in NHRA and one of the crown jewels of Bruton Smith's Speedway Motorsports Inc. empire. Enders, who lives in New Orleans after growing up in Houston, knows there will be a feeling of home this weekend at the race track.

"It'll be nice," Enders said. "Everybody's family and friends will be there, and we'll have a huge hospitality there, on top of my ZaZa guys and my family. Charlotte's a great facility. Bruton did an amazing job, and we always look forward to going back there, especially since it's in our back yard."

The fourth annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals begin with two rounds of qualifying at 4 and 6:30 p.m. on Friday in Concord, N.C.

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Greg Anderson
Tags charlotte, chevrolet, enders