Even in adversity Erica Enders finds encouragement after quarterfinal finish in Dallas

Erica Enders | Dallas NHRA 2017

DALLAS, TX – Two-time NHRA Pro Stock world champion and proud native Texan Erica Enders, driver of the bright red Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, raced to a second-round finish today in eliminations of the AAA Texas NHRA Fallnationals at the Texas Motorplex.

With only two events remaining in the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series in Las Vegas and Pomona, Calif., Enders is optimistic she’ll visit the winner’s circle again this season, but she also laments on a very close loss to Greg Anderson Sunday.

“The car’s running better,” said Enders, who recently turned 34. “That was my round to win for sure. I gave it up on my end, both at the Christmas Tree and with my lapse in driving skills. It’s just one of those deals. Sometimes you’re the windshield and sometimes you’re the bug, and today I’m the bug. I’m disappointed in myself because my guys gave me a really great car that was capable of winning the round and capable of fighting for the event win.”

Along with getting the customary winner’s Wally trophy for winning the event, the folks at the Texas Motorplex offer up a couple of more reasons to race for a victory in the Lone Star State.

“I want to do well everywhere I go, but I really wanted to do well here in Texas,” Enders said. “The cowboy hat and belt buckle incentives for winning are very cool, but my head wasn’t completely in the game today. I’m disappointed for my team because they worked their butts off and I didn’t do my part behind the wheel.”

Despite her critical self-assessment, Enders is encouraged by the performance of her entire Richard Freeman-owned Elite Motorsports team, which includes Jeg Coughlin Jr., Brian Self and Alex Laughlin.

Enders defeated Kenny Delco in the opening round after Delco jumped the start with a red light.

“We got down the track all four qualifying sessions,” Enders said. “We were third after Friday. Today we had a slight mishap in the first round, it shook the tires and I had to pedal and get it down there but we got the round win. In the second round, we went out and threw up a pretty good number on the board, one that was good enough to win, so it’s disheartening.

“We are headed to my favorite track on the circuit, definitely my luckiest track, so we’ll see if we can turn it around in Vegas.”