READING, PA — Two-time Pro Stock champion Erica Enders is hoping for a little Mopar magic during the Dodge NHRA Nationals this weekend at Maple Grove Raceway.
Enders posted her best qualifying effort of the season at the Mopar Mile-High Nationals in Denver earlier this season, grabbing the No. 2 spot. She hopes for similar success at another Dodge-sponsored race, this time in Pennsylvania.
“At our last Dodge race this year, we had our best qualifying performance,” Enders said. “Hopefully that translates to Reading.”
Enders and her Elite Motorsports/Mopar team haven’t had the season they expected after switching manufacturers for 2016. Enders won 15 races and two championships over the 2014-15 seasons, but a raft of changes have hindered her efforts this season.
Behind Enders and her team all season, however, has been the backing of Dodge.
“We are appreciative of all of the support from Mopar,” Enders said. “They have definitely given us a great team of people and engineers and guys who are passionate about what they do like we are, so it’s refreshing to continue to work with people that go the extra mile.
“It’s a cool partnership, and I believe with the group of people we have, the sky’s the limit. It’s just going to take time to build this program.”
Enders sits 10th in the Countdown to the Championship after two races of the six-race stretch that closes the season.
“We’ll continue to work on it,” Enders said. “We’ll get better. It’s a brand-new engine program. I have the smartest, hardest-working guys in the business, so if anybody can figure it out, it’s them.”
As part of the Dodge sponsorship of the race, the Mopar Mega Block Party will be held at FirstEnergy Stadium in Reading on Thursday night.
“We have plans to go to the Mopar Block Party on Thursday, and we’ll enjoy that with all of the diehard Mopar fans,” Enders said. “It’s always a lot cooler in Reading, which is definitely a nice break from racing in the heat of the summer, and the cars run better up there. We look forward to going up there and probably running faster than we have run all season.”
Pro Stock qualifying sessions are scheduled for 1:15 and 4:15 p.m., Friday, and 11:15 a.m. and 2:45 p.m., Saturday. Eliminations start at 1 p.m., Sunday. FOX Sports 1 will broadcast qualifying action live from 6 to 7 p.m., Friday. Eliminations will air live from 2 to 5 p.m., Sunday. (All times listed in ET).