Archive for the Race Preview Category

Haney, Enders-Stevens head to Houston with momentum

haney-pink

HOUSTON (Oct. 17) – After Keith Haney Racing swept the Legal Pro Mod class at the Throw Down in T-Town last weekend, team owner/driver Keith Haney wasn’t sure how he could top that, but then he thought about the ADRL World Finals IX this weekend at Royal Purple Raceway, where he and NHRA star Erica Enders-Stevens will be racing.

“You know what could top it?” Haney said. “If Erica and I meet in the final round. That’d be cool.”

Haney faced teammate Monroe Guest in last weekend’s Throw Down final in Tulsa, Okla., and scored his first victory in four years but hopes not to wait that long for his next win.

Haney will bring his two RacingJunk.com/Lucas Oil Camaros to Houston, Enders-Stevens’ hometown. Haney’s car carries a new Reher-Morrison engine that powered him to victory in Tulsa.

“With the new motor we’ve got in my car we can get it to go low,” Haney said. “We can make the other car go faster, but how much more depends on the power that’s underneath it. It’s not a No. 1 qualifier, but we want to be in the top half of the field. Our driving abilities are good enough to win races. You don’t always have to have the best car, but you have to have the best package.”

The package this weekend includes pink paint schemes on both cars to support National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

“I’m excited to drive the Pro Mod car again,” Enders-Stevens said. “It should be a really fun weekend to be back home in Houston. We’re sporting a pink paint scheme, and I’ll be the only girl in Pro Mod driving a pink car.”

Enders-Stevens was born and raised in Houston, and though she lives in New Orleans with her husband Richie Stevens, she is always eager to race in her hometown.

“I’m always pumped to race at home,” Enders-Stevens said. “I love Texas and I love racing in front of the hometown crowd. I’m excited that we’ve got two competitive race cars this weekend. We’ll see how it turns out.”

Haney is excited, too, especially because he’ll be racing where he won his first NHRA race, a Top Sportsman event in 2009.

“I’m going back to where I won my very first Wally,” Haney said. “We’re excited about it.”

Enders-Stevens confident her team can contend for Pro Stock title

husky-stl-burnout

READING, Pa. (Oct. 3) – After winning at Gateway Motorsports Park last weekend, Husky Liners driver Erica Enders-Stevens said the Pro Stock field would have to take the championship away from her and her Cagnazzi Racing team.

Enders-Stevens moved up to fourth in the Countdown to the Championship standings with the victory – her second of the season – as she clearly has the title in her sights heading into the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals this weekend at Maple Grove Raceway.

“That’s the attitude we need to have,” Enders-Stevens said. “If we don’t have that attitude, then we shouldn’t be out there. You have to believe in what you’re doing.”

Enders-Stevens has blossomed in the six-race Countdown, rising from ninth place in the points with a victory, a semifinal appearance, and a No. 1 qualifier in the first three races.

She is 60 points out of first place, a deficit that can be made up in one race because 20 points are awarded for each round victory. But there are also qualifying points given for the three quickest drivers in each of four qualifying sessions, making every pass vital.

“Every round is important, but qualifying is also important,” Enders-Stevens said. “We were able to gain five baby points from qualifying last weekend, and all of those little points add up. It’s not just round by round.”

Enders-Stevens knows continuing to move forward in the points standings won’t be easy, given the stiff competition in the Pro Stock class.

“Reading is going to be tough,” Enders-Stevens said. “There are 10 great cars out here in Pro Stock week in and week out, and you just fight for those few top spots.”

Maple Grove is one of the fastest tracks on the NHRA tour, even with warmer-than-usual weather predicted for this weekend.

“The lanes are pretty even in Reading, so lane choice isn’t an issue,” Enders-Stevens said. “It should be interesting. Weather looks great as far as temperatures go. It’s going to be really fast.”

Qualifying for the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals gets under way at 1:15 p.m. EDT from Maple Grove Raceway and resumes at 11:15 a.m. on Saturday. Eliminations start at 11 a.m. on Sunday. ESPN News will air the qualifying show at 11:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday and ESPN2 will broadcast the eliminations show at 8 p.m. on Sunday.

Defending champ Enders-Stevens looks for strong St. Louis showing

erica-seat-husky

ST. LOUIS (Sept. 24) – Husky Liners Pro Stock driver Erica Enders-Stevens will have a wider smile than usual this weekend because she’ll enter the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park as the defending event champion.

Enders-Stevens beat Shane Gray, Cagnazzi Racing teammate Dave Connolly, Jason Line, and Allen Johnson en route to her fourth victory of the season in 2012.

“I’m excited to go back to St. Louis,” Enders-Stevens said. “It’s always been one of my favorite tracks to go to, even before I started racing Pro Stock. I have a lot of great memories there, and the best one was last year when we won our fourth race of the season. That was just a really exciting day.”

NHRA returned to Gateway after a brief absence while the track changed ownership, and Enders-Stevens took full advantage. The final-round victory over good friend Johnson was special, too.

“We won the final against Allen on a holeshot,” Enders-Stevens said. “It’s crazy how I remember this stuff. We’re the defending champions there, so we go in with a lot of confidence and a positive attitude. I’m excited to go back.”

Enders-Stevens sits sixth in the standings after two of six Countdown to the Championship races. Though she knows there is plenty of time to make up the 118-point deficit to points leader Line, she also knows time can’t be wasted if she hopes to win the Pro Stock championship.

“It’s still within reach,” Enders-Stevens said. “We need to go rounds because the Countdown is almost half over.”

Enders-Stevens and her Cagnazzi Racing team’s assault on the Pro Stock standings begins with qualifying, where points are up for grabs in each of the four sessions. Three bonus points are awarded to the quickest car in each session, two to the second-quickest, and one to the third-quickest.

Points are also available for qualifying higher overall; Enders-Stevens earned eight points for her No. 1 in Dallas last weekend.

“Getting those baby points in every round of qualifying certainly adds up,” Enders-Stevens said. “There are 12 points up for grabs for low e.t. of every qualifying session. They’re important and we want to go after them, too.”

Qualifying for the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals gets under way at 2:45 p.m. CDT on Friday from Gateway Motorsports Park and continues at 11:45 a.m. on Saturday. Eliminations will be at 11 a.m. on Sunday. ESPN2 will air the eliminations show at 8:30 p.m. EDT on Sunday.

Enders-Stevens ready for big weekend in her native state

husky-launch

DALLAS (Sept. 18) – Husky Liners Pro Stock driver Erica Enders-Stevens had a solid start to the Countdown to the Championship, but she’s looking for more at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals this weekend at Texas Motorplex.

Enders-Stevens reached the semifinals in Charlotte, showing that her Cagnazzi Racing team’s brief layoff did nothing to impede its competitive fire. She gained ground on all but three drivers in the Countdown and moved up to seventh in the Pro Stock standings.

“It’s the second race of the Countdown and is just as important as the other five,” Enders-Stevens said of the Dallas race. “I’m ready. My family and friends are going to be there, and it’ll be an exciting weekend all the way around.”

Enders-Stevens is a Texas native, having been born and raised in Houston. Though she currently lives in New Orleans with husband Richie Stevens, she considers Texas her home state and smiles a little wider when she gets to go home.

Plus, she’s looking for a little redemption from the Dallas race in 2012, when she lost in the final to good friend Allen Johnson.

“I’m a Texas girl through and through, and I’m excited to be going back to my home state to try to take back a win we let slip through our fingers last season,” Enders-Stevens said. “We runner-upped to Brutus (Johnson) in the final when we had an electrical issue and gave the race to him.”

That was with the team’s Chevrolet Cobalt, which has since been replaced by a bright-yellow Husky Liners Camaro that has captured the imagination of her many fans. Of course, Enders-Stevens likes her race car, too, and is hoping to get back to victory lane for the second time this season.

“We’ve certainly got a race car that’s capable of winning if we remain consistent,” Enders-Stevens said. “It’s just getting the car down the racetrack every time, and I hope to drive it to the winner’s circle from there.

“Yes I’m confident in my car and myself. I’m ready to go. I’m glad to be back in my home state.”

Qualifying for the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals gets under way at 2:15 p.m. CDT on Friday from Texas Motorplex and continues at 11:15 a.m. on Saturday. Eliminations will be at 11 a.m. on Sunday. ESPN News will broadcast the qualifying show at 11:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday and ESPN2 will air the eliminations show at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Enders-Stevens, Husky Liners ready to race for NHRA title

CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 10) – Erica Enders-Stevens is certainly counting her blessings now that Husky Liners has given her an opportunity to return to her Cagnazzi Racing Pro Stock Camaro, but the five-time NHRA winner wants to do more than race: She wants to win the 2013 championship.

With new title sponsorship from Husky Liners, Enders-Stevens will compete in the Countdown to the Championship, which begins with this weekend’s sixth annual Carlyle Tools NHRA Nationals at zMAX Dragway.

“We’re excited and optimistic about the weekend,” Enders-Stevens said. “We’re so blessed to have Husky Liners on the side of the car.”

Enders-Stevens missed six of 18 regular season races because of sponsorship issues but had such a strong season that she still qualified for NHRA’s playoffs. She won a race and reached the final at three others during the regular season to earn the No. 9 seed in the Countdown.

“Everyone knows we’ve got a great team and a great car and really good horsepower,” Enders-Stevens said. “I’m looking forward to getting back behind the wheel and giving the guys a run for their money.”

Her Cagnazzi Racing team returns with Tommy Utt and Dave Connolly serving as crew chiefs. The Victor Cagnazzi-owned team is based in Mooresville, N.C., not far from zMax Dragway, though the team is still looking for its first win at its home track.

“Starting off the Countdown at our team’s home track in Charlotte is going to be important,” Enders-Stevens said. “We certainly have a lot of test runs there, and the last time through this spring we runner-upped. We’ve had a lot of success there, and we’ll see if we can finally get it done at zMax. It’s the only track left on the tour where Cagnazzi Racing hasn’t won.

“To be able to do that this weekend would be awesome, but we’re going to take it one day at a time, one run at a time, and see how it goes.”

Enders-Stevens was fourth in the Pro Stock standings before her team missed six of the last eight races. In the interim, she drove in two ADRL Pro Mod races for Keith Haney Racing to stay sharp.

“I missed out on a lot of seat time but it’s like riding a bike, and I’m hungry and going after it,” Enders-Stevens said. “I went from a few days ago thinking we were going to sit out the Countdown, to now where we’ve got a real shot to chase the championship.

“We’re the underdog. I’m in the ninth position and we’ve got our work cut out for us, but if anybody can do it, we can. My guys are awesome.”

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.

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.

Erica Enders and BLACK iGUANA Frozen Ritas to Debut Pro Stock Partnership in Kansas

Erica Enders BLACK iGUANA Camaro

Erica Enders BLACK iGUANA Camaro

TOPEKA, KS (May 15) — Erica Enders’ Pro Stock car will return to it’s stealth-black paint scheme when she takes to Heartland Park Topeka in her new BLACK iGUANA-backed Chevrolet Camaro this weekend at the 25th Annual NHRA Kansas Nationals.

Enders has inked an initial two-race marketing partnership with Tomball, Texas-based DGI Beverage, creators of the innovative pouch drink. The wildly popular NHRA racer will continue her Championship hunt with Cagnazzi Racing, introducing the BLACK iGUANA brand of packaged cocktails to drag racing fans nationwide.

“We’re very excited to bring BLACK iGUANA the national exposure and marketing horsepower it deserves. They’ve been huge supporters of ours and couldn’t be a better group of guys to work with. It’s a great product with a taste, look and convenience that can become a major player in the industry,” said Enders. “As they work on growth and investment as a company, we’re looking to prove our program and the loyal NHRA fans can play a huge role in achieving their corporate goals. If we do our job, and the fans respond well, this is just the beginning of a very exciting marketing partnership.”

BLACK iGUANA’s line of premium ready-to-drink margarita cocktails are packaged in fun, single-serving, pouches. With four flavors: Classic Lime, Strawberry, Peach and Pina Colada, the company started in 2005 and has been a catalyst for the fast-growing pouch beverage segment.
BLACK iGUANA Frozen Rita flavors
The patented BLACK iGUANA pouch features a convenient resealable spout for easy drinking and portability. There’s no blender, no mix, and no mess. Whether chilled or frozen, they are a perfect for on-the-go activities, from the beach to tailgating to backyard barbeques. With no metal or glass, they create less waste and go where other containers can’t be enjoyed.

Plus, with it’s distinctive black packaging and smirking iguana logo, fans of Erica’s history-making flat black racecar will be happy to see it’s full return as part of the BLACK iGUANA Camaro’s new look.

With their entry into NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing, DGI Beverage looks to grow the BLACK iGUANA brand with a national marketing program that follows the same grassroots philosophy of promotion that got them their start. The family-run company regularly sponsors and supported local festivals, music and community events across the South.

“We came up with the idea for BLACK iGUANA while enjoying time spent outdoors with family and friends. And that’s what going to the races is all about,” said co-founder Earl Castor. “We fell in love with Erica and how the drag racing community supports products that support NHRA teams. It’s fans get an experience and level of access to their favorite drivers that’s unlike anything else in motorsports. We want to be a part of that.”

BLACK iGUANA joins a winning combination with Enders and Cagnazzi Racing in the competitive Pro Stock class. In the last 18 races, Enders has been to nine finals, winning five and finishing 2nd in this year’s K&N Horsepower Challenge. In the past eight years, Cagnazzi has accumulated 64 NHRA National Event wins and are two-time NHRA Pro Stock World Champions.

Look for Erica behind the wheel of the BLACK iGUANA Camaro during qualifying for the NHRA Kansas Nationals beginning at 5:00 PM CDT at Heartland Park Topeka and continuing Saturday at 12:15 PM. Sunday eliminations are set to begin at 11:00 AM.

ESPN2’s broadcast of qualifying will begin at 4:30 PM on Saturday, with eliminations airing at 8:00 PM Sunday, May 19th.


www.BLACKiGUANA.com
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