CONCORD, NC — Pro Stock points leader Erica Enders-Stevens arrives at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals gunning for the Wally that has narrowly escaped her grasp the past two years.
If her last race is any indication, the third time could be the charm.
Hot off a $100,000 weekend in Vegas where she doubled-up to win both the K&N Horsepower Challenge and the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals, Erica and her Elite Motorsports crew are looking for their first Four-Wide win and back-to-back Wally’s.
“We’ve got a great team, and they’ve given me a great hot rod,” said Enders-Stevens. “It’s exciting to be in the points lead for the first time ever, and we’re going to carry that momentum right into this weekend.”
The Four-Wide Nationals, however, is not without its quirks.
The unique once-a-year race pits four drivers against each other during every round, creating headaches for some and heartache for others. With three other cars to race, staging troubles and red lights can plague a driver not prepared for the added pressure. It’s the only race of its kind, and as such, even veteran racers must readjust to the format each year.
“Consistency is such a huge factor in drag racing, so when you have a race that changes things up, it demands an even greater focus and situational awareness than what we’re normally used to,” said Enders-Stevens. “It tests us as drivers, and sometimes you’ll see it get the better of someone right when it matters most.”
Erica has stepped up to the challenge in past years with runner-up finishes in both 2012 and 2013.
“I was runner up last year in the K&N Challenge and the Vegas race, and we saw what happened there,” noted Enders-Stevens. “Maybe we’ll be able to start a trend and do the same here.”
Pro Stock qualifying for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway gets underway at 1:15 p.m. (ET) and 4:15 p.m. (ET) Friday and Saturday, with Sunday eliminations beginning at 11:00 p.m. ESPN2 will carry both qualifying and elimination post-race broadcasts.