HOUSTON, TX — Two-time Pro Stock World Champion Erica Enders is a tried-and-true Texas girl, so racing at her home track this weekend is a special treat.
Enders, who grew up in Houston, will return to Texas for the 29th annual NHRA SpringNationals, a race she has won the last two years.
“Houston was the place where I won my first national event in the Sportsman ranks,” Enders said. “And 10 years later, we were able to get it done in Pro Stock and then do it back to back.”
Enders started her career in the NHRA Jr. Dragster program, racing successfully with her younger sister Courtney. As Erica got older, she moved to the Sportsman classes, winning her first national event in 2004 in Houston in the Super Gas category.
Eventually, she landed in Pro Stock, winning her first race in 2012, but winning at home in Houston was always a priority, and she finally got it done in 2014 with Elite Motorsports. Enders’ success continued last season, when she repeated as the Houston winner.
“We faced a lot of adversity at those two events,” Enders said. “Things happened to our car; we hurt some engines and had to do an eleventh-hour engine change (in 2015). To be able to ignore all of the distractions that come with a hometown race and win is pretty cool.
“I know it can be done, and with the strides we’re making in the right direction, I’m hopeful we can have another good showing there.”
Enders has two chances to win this weekend, as she returns to the Super Gas ranks when she gets behind the wheel of the ORTEQ Energy Technologies car for owners Buddy Wood and Cody Ortowski. Plus, Enders will be rooting for Mike De Palma Jr. in the Comp class.
“I’m driving Super Gas and Pro Stock,” Enders said. “We’re going to have our C/Altered car in Comp Eliminator, which is my 2014 championship car with a new Elite Performance motor. That should be pretty exciting and should be a fun weekend.”
Pro Stock qualifying sessions are scheduled for 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. CT, Friday, and 1 and 3:30 p.m., Saturday. Eliminations start at noon, Sunday. FOX Sports 1 will carry qualifying action from 7 to 8 p.m., Friday, and 11 p.m. to midnight, Saturday. Eliminations will air from 4 to 7 p.m., Sunday.