Manicures aside, Enders getting dirty to win Pomona POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 7) -- The most successful female racer in Pro Stock history, Revive-USA Dodge driver Erica Enders, admits to being a girlie girl at times. But she also knows that auto...
Manicures aside, Enders getting dirty to win Pomona
POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 7) -- The most successful female racer in Pro Stock history, Revive-USA Dodge driver Erica Enders, admits to being a girlie girl at times. But she also knows that auto racing can be a dirty business, literally, and she's been gumming up her manicured fingernails with engine grease since the tour's last stop in Las Vegas to help her team prepare for a big weekend at the season-ending 42nd annual Auto Club NHRA Finals.
"Ever since I was a little girl, I've never been afraid of getting a little grease on my hands," said Enders, 23, a former Junior Dragster standout who was so successful that Disney made a movie about her time in the category entitled Right On Track. "That's never changed. There are times we get cleaned up for TV deals or sponsor appearances, and I definitely won't turn down an hour at the spa, but I like to stay involved with the car and the engine also. I really think it's important."
Enders is in her second full year in the Pro Stock class and she recently purchased her own race team. Ever since she took control of her racing operation and moved it to crew chief David Nickens' shop in her hometown of Houston, she's had a lot more time to hang around the crew, look over their shoulders, and jump in where needed.
"As a young driver, even one that's been driving since she was 8 years old like Erica, it helps tremendously if the know the inner workings of the car," Nickens said. "The more detailed information Erica can give us when she returns from a run, the better we'll be able to adjust the car and make it better.
"She may be a pretty girl, but she sure doesn't mind getting in there and doing whatever needs to be done. She's also a very eager student, asking a lot of questions, and I believe that's a real good thing. She's racing against guys like Warren Johnson who have literally made thousands of passes so any extra stuff she can learn will only make her a better driver."
Only five women have competed in Pro Stock over the years and Enders is by far the most successful. In just 26 race day starts, she has two final-round appearances, 18 elimination-round wins, and one low qualifier award. Now she'll turn her attention to Pomona.
"We have a new car coming next week but this one we're racing now still went 210 mph in testing just a few weeks ago in Virginia so we know it can run," Enders said. "We'll line 'er up and see what happens. I'm excited. The fans in Pomona really love the sport and the pits are full all weekend so it's fun."