Phoenix: Erica Enders final summary

Enders goes one step further in second event PHOENIX -- Erica Enders didn't qualify for the season opener at Pomona (Calif.) Raceway two weeks, but she qualified for this weekend's race at Firebird International Raceway. Next stop: A first ...

Enders goes one step further in second event

PHOENIX -- Erica Enders didn't qualify for the season opener at Pomona (Calif.) Raceway two weeks, but she qualified for this weekend's race at Firebird International Raceway.

Next stop: A first round victory.

The 21-year-old Pro Stock rookie lost in the first round, but was already looking forward to the next event of the season. Enders fell to Richie Stevens as Stevens went 6.748-seconds at 204.42 mph to beat Enders' 6.806 at 203.22 in the Cagnazzi Racing Chevy Cavalier.

Enders and Stevens are the first two former Jr. Dragster drivers to graduate to Pro Stock and have spent many years racing each other.

"Racing on Sunday for the first time as a professional driver was still exciting, even if we didn't get the win." Enders said. "We tried our best but Richie just had the better car today and he did a great job driving.

"It didn't go our way today, but this is just the second pro race of my career and I am sure I will have days when everything goes our way. That's what this entire team is working toward."

Now she's ready for round three -- the Mac Tools Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway in mid-March.

"We didn't qualify in the first race, but we did in the second race," Enders said. "We didn't win a round, but we're going to Gainesville knowing we are capable of winning a round, if not three or four.

"It was exciting making the show, now I want to know what it's like to win. I have the best team in the pits and we're going to get better and better each week."

The final eliminations of the CSK Nationals can be seen tonight on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. (ET) Sunday.

-gs-

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Series NHRA