LAS VEGAS (Oct. 31) – Looking to grab her third No. 1 qualifier in a row and sixth of the season, Elite Motorsports driver Erica Enders-Stevens ended Friday’s first two qualifying sessions for the NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on top of the leaderboard.
Laying down a fast time of 6.647 seconds at 208.01 mph, the Royal Purple Camaro continues to earn to earn those crucial qualifying bonus points.
“I’m really proud of my entire Elite Motorsports team,” Enders-Stevens said. “Those baby points are going to matter. They’re very significant, especially with as tight as Jason (Line), Dave (Connolly) and myself are right now. Glad to end the day with four.
“We were really conservative the first session. If you look at our 60-foor time, we were ninth and then went straight to the top of the page. We’ll throw something at it tomorrow and see what happens.”
Entering the Las Vegas race second in points, 35 outof the lead, Enders-Stevens wants to gain as many of those extra points as possible when she can. However, Enders-Stevens is more focused on having fun the remainder of the season and letting the chips fall where they may.
“I try to not focus on what’s out there,” Enders-Stevens said. “We all know what’s at stake, and of course I want that more than anything – and so does my team. But coming here, three weeks out of the car is a significant time. I feel like it’s been a year, but I’m glad to be back in the race car.
“The mindset is the same as any other race, the same as it was when we walked in the gate here in the spring race. It’s take it one round at a time and do the best we can.
“We had a team meeting, and my team owner, Richard (Freeman) said, ‘We’re going to stick to our main game plan as when we started this year. That’s to have fun. No stress, no drama.’ We’ve been able to do that all year long, and there are two races left, and we’re going to continue it.”
After sweeping the Las Vegas race weekend earlier in the year with both a Sunday win and the K&N Horsepower Challenge win, Enders-Stevens is glad to be picking back up where she left off last.
“I’m excited about the weekend,” Enders-Stevens. “I felt good when we walked in the gate here today, and it’s a really exciting time for us all. This is the first time any of us have been in this position. We’re going to try to execute the best we can and let God do the rest.”
Qualifying sessions are scheduled for 1 and 4 p.m. PT, Saturday. Eliminations will start at approximately noon, Sunday, with both qualifying and elimination action broadcast on ESPN2 on tape-delay basis.