INDIANAPOLIS, IN — The rewards are plentiful for Elite Motorsports Pro Stock driver Erica Enders during this weekend’s Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.
Enders, the 2014 Pro Stock World Champion, sits atop the points standings with one more race before the Countdown to the Championship begins, so a good showing at Indy could cement her status as the No. 1 seed.
She’s also coming off a victory at Brainerd International Raceway two weeks ago and is gunning for two wins in a row and her first U.S. Nationals title.
Enders has 17 Pro Stock victories in her brilliant career, and her next win would tie her with the legendary Shirley Muldowney, and she’d trail only Angelle Sampey on the all-time win list for women. Plus, Enders is the grand marshal for this weekend’s race.
“I’m real excited to head into Indy, our biggest race of the year,” Enders said. “Not only is it like our Super Bowl, but it’s double the jackpot and a point and a half this time. Being the last race before we head into the Countdown, it could solidify our No. 1 seed into the Countdown, providing we keep pace with the Summit cars.”
Enders leads Greg Anderson by 16 points after her Brainerd win, but NHRA is awarding 1.5 times the normal amount of points at Indianapolis.
“Going in as the No. 1 seed is definitely important,” Enders said. “That is one of our goals this weekend. We’re coming off a win in Brainerd, which certainly gives us a lot of confidence. Hopefully, we’ll keep the momentum on our side of things and continue the streak.”
Enders and her team tested at Gateway Motorsports Park in St. Louis earlier this week, trying to improve their already stellar performance this season. Enders has won five times in six final-round appearances, racing to the semifinals 11 times in 17 races. Plus, she has five No. 1 qualifiers.
“We learned a lot and things went well,” Enders said. “For a team that doesn’t test a lot, it was really nice to get to try some things. That’s all good stuff heading into the biggest race of the year.”
Muldowney, one of drag racing’s pioneers, will be at the U.S. Nationals this weekend, and she certainly supports Enders.
“She’s a legend of our sport and a huge personal hero of mine,” Enders said. “To be within one pro win of Shirley is surreal, and if we win Indy, we’d be tied with her and then only trailing Angelle. I remember like it was yesterday working so hard to get our first Pro Stock win, and in three short years, we’ve not only been able to score our first win but we’ve been fortunate to win 17 of them — and the world championship. It’s pretty incredible to look at that, knowing how long it took to get the first one.
“I’m beyond excited to have my name on the list with two incredible women like Angelle and Shirley, and it’s obviously my personal goal to become the winningest female of all time. We’re working on it.”