Archive for the Press Release Category

Enders-Stevens, Keith Haney Racing make improvements in Rockingham

dragstock-purge

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (Sept. 8) – RacingJunk.com/Lucas Oil driver Erica Enders-Stevens dropped a first-round matchup Sunday against the Pro Mod No. 1 qualifier, but her Keith Haney Racing team made marked progress during ADRL’s Dragstock X at Rockingham Dragway.

Pro Mod cars are notoriously difficult to get a handle on, and with a new, lighter driver they become more recalcitrant. But Haney, Lethal Acceleration’s Brandon Pesz, and the team made the right adjustments to allow Enders-Stevens to get down the track on two consecutive runs, including Sunday’s pass in hot, slick conditions.

“We’re making progress,” Enders-Stevens said. “We’ve been fighting the car for a few weeks, but we made a good run last night and then getting down a 135-degree racetrack today was a feat in itself. Of course we wanted to win, but we took a good swing at it.

“I’m proud of the team. We put our heads down and worked through it, and we won’t give up. It’s encouraging to improve like that.”

The team made an adjustment for Sunday’s hotter conditions, and Enders-Stevens made a clean pass of 4.161 seconds at 185.64 mph, but that wasn’t enough to overcome No. 1 qualifier Chris Rini’s pass of 3.954 at 189.26 mph.

Now, though, the team has something to build on for the ADRL season finale in Houston at Enders-Stevens’ home track.

“I look forward to maybe some more testing and then heading to Houston for the final ADRL race,” Enders-Stevens said. “Thanks to RacingJunk.com and Lucas Oil for helping us get here. I’m appreciative of Keith and all of his guys for the opportunity to drive their hot rod.”

Team owner Keith Haney, who failed to qualify for Sunday’s eliminations, was appreciative of Enders-Stevens and the attention the five-time NHRA Pro Stock winner brought to his team and sponsors.

“The crowd loved her,” Haney said. “She sold out all of her hats and we sold out of T-shirts. ADRL and Kenny Nowling made us feel so welcome. She was on the cover of the local paper here, which was pretty cool.

“We need to step back and regroup with my car and look at some of the things we’re doing. We need to get better.”

Enders-Stevens will race for NHRA title with new sponsor Husky Liners

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WINFIELD, Kan. (Sept. 6) – One of the most popular drag racers on the NHRA tour, Erica Enders-Stevens, will run for the 2013 championship with new title sponsorship from Husky Liners.

Enders-Stevens successfully qualified for the Countdown to the Championship two races ago in Brainerd, Minn., but was facing the prospect of watching the six-race playoffs from the sidelines until team owner Victor Cagnazzi struck an eleventh-hour deal with Husky Liners founder Bob Tyler.

“This is very exciting for us,” Tyler said. “There’s not a lot of things you can do that can make an instant impact on your sales, but we know that vehicle sales are on the upswing and this is the time of year that historically we do pretty well. To have Erica and Cagnazzi Racing promoting our line of Made In America products now is just an unbelievable opportunity for us.”

Cagnazzi and Tyler got together at the recently completed U.S. Nationals in Indy when the two COPO Camaros they own met in the final of the NHRA Factory Stock Showdown with drivers Dave Connolly and Todd Patterson going head-to-head. It was the second year in a row the two drivers met in the money round.

“We got to talking about Erica and I told Victor I felt she’s someone that should be out there,” Tyler said. “She’s so good for the sport. Of course, we’re always interested in getting more exposure for Husky Liners, so after a few texts back and forth we struck this deal. I think it’s going to be great. I can’t wait to see how it goes.”

Enders-Stevens certainly has proven herself a worthy title contender. She qualified for the Countdown despite missing six of the 18 regular-season races due to funding issues, winning her fifth career title during the Phoenix stop and taking runner-up honors in Las Vegas, Charlotte, and Bristol, Tenn.

“I can’t believe how fortunate we are that Mr. Tyler and his company have signed on to support us,” Enders-Stevens said. “It’s pretty crazy because I’m a Texas girl and in high school I had a 4×4 pickup truck that had floor mats and mud flaps from Husky Liners. Their stuff is awesome. I know from first-hand experience.

“The guys are super pumped. This has given us new life, for sure. I think everyone in the class knows what we’re capable of doing and at the same time we know what it takes to compete at this level. We all kind of feel like we need to make a statement, and winning some races and contending for the championship would say a lot about us. We went to the final in Charlotte last time through, and that’s the home track for Victor Cagnazzi Racing, so we hope to get off to a fast start. We’ll be ready.

“I encourage everyone that supports drag racing and my team to go to HuskyLiners.com and check out their products. And when they order something, tell them thanks for the support. Sponsors are so hard to get, and I want to make sure these guys get their money’s worth from us.”

The team will unveil their Husky Liners Chevrolet Camaro Sept. 13-15 at the Carlyle Tools NHRA Carolina Nationals presented by NAPA Auto Parts at zMAX Dragway.

Keith Haney Racing, Enders-Stevens ready to rock at ADRL Dragstock X

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ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (Sept. 5) – A recent test session has Keith Haney and Erica Enders-Stevens pumped about ADRL Dragstock X this weekend at Rockingham Dragway.

Haney and Enders-Stevens tested Keith Haney Racing’s Chevrolet Camaro at Osage Casino Tulsa Raceway Park last week, with Enders-Stevens testing two days in the black Racing Junk/Lucas Oil Camaro and Haney one in the Lucas Oil Chevy.
Keith Haney and Erica Enders-Stevens will team to race at Dragstock X.

“After adjusting chassis and making corrections on a lot of the nitrous setup, we finally did really well,” Haney said. “We found a couple of issues that we had in the black car. We believe we’ve fixed the issues from Memphis (Tenn.), so we obviously found a lot of things in the test that will allow us to do real well at The Rock.”

Haney said wiring issues with Enders-Stevens’ car were causing some problems, but once those were discovered crew chief Brandon Pesz of Lethal Acceleration was able to put in a solid tune-up.

“I’m feeling a lot more comfortable in the car,” Enders-Stevens said. “We’re getting closer with the setup. It’s always a challenge with a new driver and having to move weight around to get the car optimized for the best performance, but the test session definitely helped.

“Having Racing Junk on the car is pretty cool, too. I know how hard it is to get sponsorship these days, so for them to come on board is a feather in Keith’s cap. We’re excited to run well for them this weekend.”

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Enders-Stevens made her first appearance in a nitrous race car in Memphis last month, though she lost in the first round. Expectations are higher this time around.

“I’m excited,” Enders-Stevens said. “I wasn’t nervous the first run of the test session. I feel a lot better in the car, and I’ve gotten acquainted with the car. As a driver that is always helpful when it comes time to go racing.”

Enders-Stevens certainly knows Rockingham Dragway, as she has tested there for years while racing in NHRA Pro Stock.

“That is our home test track for Pro Stock,” said Enders-Stevens, a five-time winner in the ultra-competitive NHRA class. “I’ve been testing there for the last 10 years, at least a few times a year. I’m very familiar with the track and the personnel. It was one of ADRL’s biggest events in the past, so I’m looking forward to a packed house this weekend.”

Enders-Stevens’ appearances in ADRL has drawn plenty of attention for the league, Keith Haney Racing, and its sponsors: Lucas Oil, Pro Torque, Racing Junk, Five Star Bodies, Monroe Guest Motorsports, Regional Hyundai, Suburban Chevrolet, Classic Chevrolet, Miami Chevrolet Buick GMC, Nissan of Muskogee, and Tulsa Raceway Park.

Haney also sends a special thank-you to Kenny Nowling and the ADRL for the support he and the league have given Haney and Enders-Stevens.

“She’s a lot more confident,” Haney said of Enders-Stevens. “We were real happy with the whole test session. We had Brandon Pesz from Lethal Acceleration just concentrating on her and I and it went real well. We’re real excited about it.

“We’re going in with a chance to win. That’s what matters.”

Haney and Enders-Stevens will test on Friday in Rockingham, with three rounds of qualifying on Saturday and eliminations on Sunday.

Pro Stock winner Enders-Stevens to drive for Keith Haney Racing in Memphis

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (July 31) – Five-time NHRA Pro Stock winner Erica Enders-Stevens will drive for Keith Haney Racing in this weekend’s ADRL Memphis Drags IV at Memphis International Raceway. Led by team manager John Collins, Keith Haney Racing will compete in the Pro Modified class in Memphis, with Enders-Stevens and Haney driving Chevrolet Camaros.

“It’s good for Keith Haney Racing to have a racer of Erica’s caliber sitting in the seat of one of the cars,” Haney said. “It’s big for me and big for her. She stays in front of the public eye with her stature and her reputation, and she gets to deliver to her fans and potential sponsors.

“My team couldn’t be more excited, and it’s a perfect fit for what we’re doing.”

Haney has ties to NHRA Pro Stock racing through fellow Oklahoman Mike Edwards, and several Pro Stock teams test at Tulsa Raceway Park, co-owned by Haney and Todd Martin.

Enders-Stevens, who won the NHRA Pro Stock race in Phoenix earlier this year, has been sidelined because of a lack of funding for the Cagnazzi Racing team, so when Haney asked if she could drive for him in Memphis, she jumped at the chance.

“He sent me an text telling me I could drive his Pro Mod car in Memphis if I wanted to,” Enders-Stevens said. “I wrote him back with one word, ‘Seriously?’ ”

Haney was serious, and after the two talked and Enders-Stevens got approval from Pro Stock car owner Victor Cagnazzi, the deal was done.

“It’s a competitive car, and Keith has a first-class operation,” Enders-Stevens said. “I remember being at ADRL races last year when Richie (Stevens, husband) was driving Extreme Pro Stock and just admiring how awesome his cars looked. Those two Camaros he has are really nice cars.

“I’m appreciative to Keith for the opportunity, and I’m excited to see what the weekend holds.”

Haney, a driver/owner in ADRL and X-DRL, was looking for a driver since regular shoe Monroe Guest had shoulder surgery. When he first considered Enders-Stevens, he called Lethal Acceleration co-owner Brandon Pesz, who tunes Haney’s race cars.

“She’s good on the Tree and she can drive a race car,” Haney said. “Brandon has known her since she was little, and he’s from Texas. I called him first and said, ‘Hey, if I offer Erica a ride in the car, what do you think?’ He said, ‘Get her in it. She can wheel any type of race car.’

“It’s a one-race deal, and I’m sure she’ll be back in a Pro Stock car very soon, but for now Keith Haney Racing is fortunate enough to have a five-time national event winner wheeling one of its Camaros.”

Enders-Stevens is ready for the challenge, too.

“I’ve never driven a Pro Mod car, never driven a nitrous car,” Enders-Stevens said. “It will definitely be a learning experience, and I’m sure the learning curve is significant, but it’s nothing I can’t handle.

“I’m going into it with an open mind. I give speeches to kids about following their dreams, jumping on every opportunity possible and not letting fear stand in the way of anything they do. I’m taking my own advice in this instance. I’m a professional race car driver, and I’ll do the best I can. We’ll see what happens.”

Haney has the backing of Lucas Oil, a longtime supporter of his race team, as the two companies have worked together for many years. Haney uses Lucas Oil products in his race cars, and the company co-owned by Forrest and Charlotte Lucas has been a big proponent of Pro Mod racing.

Presidio to Sponsor Erica Enders-Stevens in Chicago NHRA Nationals Event

presidio-camaro

CHICAGO, IL, Jun 27, 2013 (Marketwired via COMTEX) — Erica Enders-Stevens will return to NHRA Mello Yello Pro Stock action behind the wheel of her Cagnazzi Racing Pro Stock Camaro for this weekend’s running of the 16th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals, outside of Chicago. The popular driver will compete with sponsor support of a one-race partnership with Presidio, allowing Enders-Stevens to defend her historic first win last season.

“We are very excited to take advantage of this unique opportunity,” said Robert Murphy, North Area President. “Chicago is a very important market for us and NHRA Drag racing is certainly different from the traditional customer events we get involved with, I believe our customers will really enjoy the experience. The fact that Erica is the defending event champion in Pro Stock only adds to the excitement level for our guests and the Presidio Team. We are proud to support her and Cagnazzi Racing with our 2,400 employees all pulling for a win on Sunday!”

Presidio is the leading provider of professional and managed services for advanced IT solutions. They are passionate about driving results for their clients and delivering the highest quality of service in the industry.

“Presidio is a national company with a heritage of empowering high performance technology solutions for their clients,” said Owner Victor Cagnazzi. “As the connected world accelerates, Presidio is leading the race and driving cutting edge technology solutions, we’re excited to have them on the team this weekend and hope to put Erica and the Presidio Chevy Camaro into the winners circle! We want to show them how exciting our sport can be, not only on the track but in the marketplace as well.”

Presidio joins a winning combination with Enders-Stevens and Cagnazzi Racing in the competitive Pro Stock class. In the last 21 races, Enders-Stevens has been to ten finals, winning five and finishing second in this year’s K&N Horsepower Challenge. Enders-Stevens currently sits fifth in the National Points standings. Since its inception in 2001, Cagnazzi Racing has accumulated 64 NHRA race wins and two NHRA Pro Stock world championships.

About Presidio

Presidio is the leading provider of professional and managed services for advanced IT solutions. By taking the time to deeply understand how our clients define success, we architect enduring technology solutions that address their business needs. Our approach blends the credibility to deliver practical results today, with the creativity to drive the business visions of tomorrow. More than 2,400 Presidio IT professionals, 1,500 of which are engineers with over 2000 industry leading certifications, are based in 50+ offices across the US. We serve our clients through a unique, local delivery model while capitalizing on our scale as a multi-billion dollar industry leader. We are passionate about driving results for our clients and delivering the highest quality of service in the industry. For more information visit: www.presidio.com.

Lack of Funding Relegates Pro Stock Frontrunner Enders to the Sidelines

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NEW ORLEANS (June 21) – Pro Stock ace Erica Enders-Stevens is looking to the future after her team was forced to the sidelines prior to this weekend’s inaugural Auto-Plus New England Nationals at New England Dragway.

Enders-Stevens currently is a lofty fourth in the Pro Stock points standings and is coming off another final-round appearance at the most recent NHRA race in Bristol, Tenn. But sponsorship issues have forced the Cagnazzi Racing team to discontinue racing until funding is found.

“We’re very hopeful of getting back out there and competing as soon as we can,” Enders-Stevens said. “I’d love to be back next week for Chicago, which obviously holds a lot of great memories for me after winning there last year.

“My phone has been ringing non-stop and I’m telling all the reporters and all of our friends that we’re doing everything we can to be there. I appreciate all the fans and people asking about us. It means a lot that so many people care.”

Enders-Stevens scored an historic victory at Route 66 Raceway last July when she became the first woman to win in the ultra-competitive Pro Stock class. After her victory circle celebration, her day got even better when long-time boyfriend Richie Stevens proposed. The two were married in the offseason.

Since that victory Enders-Stevens has been one of the hottest drivers in the entire sport. Already one of the most popular drivers in NHRA, Enders-Stevens served noticed she would be a consistent threat on the race track, too. Proving the point, she has won five times and raced to 10 final rounds in the last 23 races, including a victory at Phoenix earlier this year.

“It’s a shame because I feel like we are a true contender for the championship,” Enders-Stevens said. “All the pieces are in place for us to win races and contend for the championship, but we just don’t have the funding it takes. That’s the nature of our sport right now.”

Enders-Stevens, 29, and the rest of the management of her team continue to look for sponsorship to return to racing as soon as possible.

“Not being in Epping is certainly not because of a lack of effort on anyone’s part,” Enders-Stevens said. “Me, my dad and Victor (Cagnazzi) have worked as hard as I’ve seen anybody work to try to get something done. It’s progressing nicely, but it’s not happening in the time frame we’d like it to happen.

“This is the toughest thing any of us have ever had to do. My heart is broken for all my guys. Pro Stock racing in the NHRA is just a very tough sell.”

Pro Stock’s Enders Narrowly Misses Victory at Bristol

Erica Enders-Stevens vs Rodger Brogdon Bristol 2013

BRISTOL, TN (June 16) — With less than a foot separating them at the finish line, first time Pro Stock winner Rodger Brogdon squeaked past the Charter Communications / Black Iguana Camaro of Erica Enders-Stevens during the final round at the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.

Brogdon’s pass of 6.745 seconds at 205.48 bested Enders’ 6.752 at 205.66. During that run, Enders’ car slowed by nearly five-hundredths over the previous round, giving Brogdon just enough momentum to defeat Enders by just .0026 seconds, or roughly nine inches at the finish line.

“We missed the clutch setup and it slowed us down. Had we ran in the 6.700’s as we did in the semis it would have been a different story. These cars run so close together you can’t afford to miss your mark,” said Enders.

The number three qualifier Enders would outrun Larry Morgan in round one, then out-drive the venerable Jeg Coughlin with a holeshot victory in round two. A semi-final victory over Greg Anderson would sent her to the final round against the underdog Brogdon.

She ran a 6.680, a 6.694, and a 6.706 second pass during those first three rounds.

Brogdon, who had only once before ever reached a Pro Stock final, took out V. Gaines in round one before defeating number one qualifier Mike Edwards in round two when Edwards’ motor broke. Next, Jason Line spun in the semifinals, setting up the showdown between the two Texas natives.

“I don’t think anyone expected we’d face each other in the finals,” said Enders. “Mike had all of us on the run in qualifying, so it would take something big to get around him. Rodger was able to capitalize on it, and he was able to do the same against Jason. I’m sure it surprised a lot of people, but as drivers we know everyone has a chance on Sunday.”

Enders and Brogdon both hail from the Houston area, and have a long history as friends and rivals, dating back to when Erica was a teammate with Brogdon while running for MOPAR, and she and her father, Gregg raced sportsman cars with Roger.

“Rodger and I have known each other for a very long time,” said Enders. “Of course we would have liked to have been in his shoes today, but I haven’t forgot what it was like to win my first last year, so I’m happy he gets to experience it too.”

With Bristol complete, Erica remains 4th in the overall Pro Stock points standings with 687, behind Mike Edwards (921) and a tie between teammates Allen Johnson and Jeg Coughlin (757). If funding for Black Iguana gets finalized this week, she will race Next weekend, June 20th – 23rd, for the Inagural NHRA New England Nationals title at New England Dragway in Epping, New Hampshire.

Enders to Represent Charter Communications in Thunder Valley

Enders to Represent Charter Communications in Bristol

Enders to Represent Charter Communications in Bristol

BRISTOL, TN (June 13) — Cable TV and Internet provider Charter Communications will be emblazoned along the side of Erica Enders-Stevens’ Pro Stock Chevrolet Camaro when it enters Bristol Dragway for this weekend’s Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.

Charter, a long-time marketing partner of the Cagnazzi Racing team, serves customers in Bristol and the surrounding region, making the unique dragstrip, flanked by the rolling hillsides of the Smoky Mountains, an ideal venue for the nation’s 4th largest cable provider to promote its brand.

Followers of Erica’s season will recognize the Charter livery from its appearances in Charlotte and Houston earlier this year. Charter is also a recurring associate sponsor on Enders’ Chevy.

For this weekend’s race, Erica’s latest sponsor, BLACK iGUANA Frozen Ritas, will remain a presence on the Camaro. The hood, scoop and rear deck will feature the Texas-based on-the-go pouch margarita brand as it continues to work towards establishing a fully-funded program.

Enders and her crew arrive in Bristol after back-to-back top-three qualifying performances that has her nipping at the heels of Pro Stock leader, and last year’s event winner, Mike Edwards.

“Mike has been on a hot streak. He’s forcing everyone to step up their game,” said Enders. “So far this year we’re tied 1-1 against him in the finals, with us winning in Phoenix and him in Charlotte. If we find ourselves there again this weekend, I’m looking to tip that record in our favor.”

With her car running among the top of the pack, Erica and her team have strong expectations for Bristol. Expectations that are further bolstered by recent history, including a semifinal appearance during last year’s event, and a trip to the final round in 2011.

“We’ve done well here,” said Enders. “Now’s our chance to be able to say we’ve won here, too.”

Qualifying at Bristol kicks off Friday evening, starting at 5:30 p.m. Eastern. Saturday qualifying begins at 12:30 p.m., with Sunday eliminations getting under way at noon. ESPN2’s qualifying broadcast will air starting at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Saturday, and eliminations airing at 1:00 p.m. Sunday.