DENVER, CO — Allen Johnson may be the king of the mountain, but the queen of Pro Stock is ready to knock him off his perch.
Johnson has been to the final round seven years in a row at Bandimere Speedway — winning five times — but Erica Enders-Stevens and her Elite Motorsports team are looking to end his two-year winning streak at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals this weekend.
“I’m going to do everything I can to stop him,” Enders-Stevens said.
Enders-Stevens and her husband Richie are good friends with Johnson and his wife Pam, but friendships are put aside when helmet visors are closed.
“They’ve been the king of the mountain for a lot of years, and the Mopars always run really well at altitude, Jeg (Coughlin Jr.) and V. Gaines included,” Enders-Stevens said. “But our job is to do our best every weekend and make a run for the trophy. That plan won’t change for this weekend.”
Enders-Stevens leads the Pro Stock standings by 241 points over Johnson and is coming off her class-leading fourth victory of the season in Norwalk, Ohio, on July 6.
Bandimere Speedway is a different animal than every other track because its mile-high altitude affects horsepower and the tune-up, but Enders-Stevens and her team are ready for anything.
“It’s a challenge racing at altitude from a tuning standpoint and from a driving standpoint,” Enders-Stevens said. “It’ll be a very interesting weekend. We need to stay focused on the task at hand, and that’s to be consistent and go rounds. Going rounds gets more points, obviously, and that’s very important.”
Denver is one of Enders-Stevens’ favorite stops on the NHRA schedule, as she has raced there for years, dating back to her Sportsman days.
“We’ve been friends with the Bandimere family a long time,” Enders-Stevens said. “What they’ve done for our sport has been awesome, and the hospitality they offer is second to none.
“It’s going to be a hot weekend, but their cooling system in the track will help keep track temps at a manageable level. I’m appreciative to the Bandimere family for always providing us with a great facility, and we look forward to coming to Denver every year.”
Enders-Stevens will also participate in the Go Red For Women Track Walk at 10 a.m. local time on Saturday morning in support of the American Heart Association.
“It raises awareness for heart disease, the No. 1 killer of women,” Enders-Stevens said. “Everybody is invited and be sure to wear red!”
Qualifying for the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals is held at 4:45 and 7:15 p.m. MDT, Friday, and at 3:15 and 5:45 p.m., Saturday. Final eliminations begin at noon, Sunday. ESPN2 will broadcast all qualifying and elimination action, including live coverage of the final two rounds.