BELLE ROSE, LA — Two-time Pro Stock world champion Erica Enders will return to her racing roots this weekend behind the wheel of the ORTEQ Energy Technologies Super Gas car at the NHRA Division 4 race at No Problem Raceway Park.
Before moving to the professional ranks, Enders raced Super Gas and won an NHRA national event in Houston in 2004. She’ll be driving for car owners Buddy Wood and Cody Ortowski this weekend in the first of several Sportsman races she’ll compete in this season.
“Fortunately, this race fell on an off weekend for us, so I’m able to drive,” Enders said. “Buddy Wood and Cody Ortowski have set me up with a great race car, and (crew chief) Cody Wampler will be setting it up for us this weekend, so we’ll definitely have a chance.
“I’m really excited. No Problem is one of the tracks I grew up at because it’s so close to Houston and we raced there a bunch. I can just drive up there from New Orleans, so it feels really comfortable.”
Enders is coming off a semifinal finish in Pro Stock at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, winning her second-round race on a holeshot. She had reaction times of .006, .009, and .021 in Las Vegas, and she’ll need similar lights in the cutthroat Sportsman class.
“I’m sure everyone will bring their A-game to the starting line,” Enders said. “I’ll try my best to hold them off and go some rounds. It’s been 12 years since I’ve raced Super Gas, and like anything else, to be good at something you need to do it a lot, but it’s not like I haven’t been drag racing.
“We’ll get some test runs in (Thursday) and then get after it Friday. Hopefully, it all comes back to me really fast. I’m pretty confident it will.”
Wood and Wampler will race alongside Enders as her teammates this weekend.
“Both Buddy and Cody (Wampler) are racing, so our pit will stay busy,” Enders said. “It’ll be fun. That’s really my biggest goal, to have some fun and get back to my roots. I’m also excited to spend the weekend with Stan and Sheila Mae Holt, my longtime friends from Houston who own Lupe Tortilla Mexican Restaurants. They’ve been with me since I started racing, and it’ll be fun to race with them.”