Archive for the Race Preview Category

Houston native Enders-Stevens in search of hometown victory

ee4Erica Enders-Stevens is easily the most successful woman in NHRA Pro Stock history. After a stellar 2012 season behind the wheel of her GK Motorsports Chevy that produced four wins in seven final rounds and a fourth-place points finish, there is one thing that would make her even more proud: to win a Wally in front of her hometown crowd at the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals presented by Super Start Batteries at Royal Purple Raceway.

“It would be amazing to win at home,” Enders-Stevens said. “We were able to get it done in Super Gas at the national event in 2004. I’m hopeful that we can seal the deal in Pro Stock as well. Not only am I from Houston, but my sponsors are also. It would be twice as special.”

Enders-Stevens is hoping that the momentum her team produced from winning the NHRA Arizona Nationals in Phoenix in late February will help push her to a second victory this season in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Morgan Lucas (Top Fuel), Mike Neff (Funny Car), Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock), and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are the defending winners of the event that will be televised on ESPN2HD.

Enders-Stevens practically grew up at Royal Purple Raceway, where she got her first taste of speed behind the wheel of an NHRA Jr. Dragster.

“I obviously love racing at home,” Enders-Stevens said. “I made my first pass at RPR back in 1992 in my Jr. Dragster, and prior to that, I grew up there watching my dad race. We had a lot of success in my JDRL and Sportsman days at RPR. That track and the Angel family [track owners] mean a lot to me.”

Enders-Stevens is already off to a great start this season with one win in three final-round appearances as well as a runner-up finish in the lucrative K&N Horsepower Challenge, a specialty bonus event that took place in Las Vegas. Currently sitting third in the points standings, she is looking forward to more positive results in Houston and throughout the 2013 season.

“I’m pleased with our efforts so far this season, but being the perfectionist and eternal optimist that I am, I know we can do better,” Enders-Stevens said. “We let a big double-up win in Vegas slip through our fingers. We have been testing nonstop since then, and I’m confident that we are bettering our new Chevy Camaro and ourselves. One thing is for certain: When we go up to the line, I know we have all given 150 percent.”

If the Pro Stock fan favorite is going to add a Royal Purple Raceway victory to her list of accomplishments, she’ll have to hold off a tough group of challengers, including two-time defending event winner Nobile, defending world champ Allen Johnson, series points leader Mike Edwards, and Summit Racing’s Jason Line and Greg Anderson, among others.

[Source: NHRA.com]

Erica Enders-Stevens Debuts New NHRA Pro Stock Camaro

enders-gored-camaroDETROIT – NHRA Pro Stock driver Erica Enders-Stevens debuts an all-new Camaro SS-bodied race car this weekend at the Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals, in Gainesville, Fla. It features a bold graphics package calling attention to the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women campaign for heart disease prevention.

Coming off a win at the Phoenix race on Feb. 24, she rolls into the Gatornationals second in the NHRA Mello Yellow Championship Pro Stock standings, 16 points behind Vincent Nobile. Along with Chevrolet Performance, Enders-Stevens and GK Motorsports-supported Cagnazzi Racing have a longstanding relationship with the American Heart Association.

“Erica is a great competitor and with her win in Phoenix, she is poised to do well at the Gatornationals in her first outing with the new Camaro,” said Jim Campbell, General Motors U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “Heart disease is a tough competitor, too, and the awareness Erica and the Cagnazzi Racing team bring to the subject through Go Red For Women is an important reminder to never slow down in the race to beat it. We’re proud to partner with her on this important topic.”

Enders-Stevens is the latest of a growing number of Pro Stock racers to campaign a Camaro-bodied race car. NHRA approved the body last year, after Chevrolet supplied a production model on which the bodywork was based. Time in General Motors’ wind tunnel was also donated to ensure the race car body performed well at 200+mph top speeds reached by modern Pro Stock cars in quarter-mile competition. The bodies resemble a production Camaro SS, but are aerodynamically optimized to minimize down force for speed.

Camaro bodies are also becoming increasingly popular in sportsman-level drag racing, including Pro Mod, while Chevrolet offers factory-built COPO Camaros designed for Stock Eliminator classes. All classes are represented this weekend at the Gatornationals.

“If you’re a Camaro fan, you’ll have plenty to cheer about in Gainesville – especially if Erica Enders-Stevens can pull off back-to-back wins in her new race car,” said Campbell.

Fans can learn more about Chevrolet race cars and the drivers behind them at theblock.com, the online automotive community powered by Chevrolet Performance, or by signing up for Chevrolet Performance’s FUEL e-newsletter at chevroletperformance.com.

Heart help

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for American men and women. In fact, more than 600,000 Americans die from heart disease-related causes every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s 25 percent of all deaths. In women, however, heart disease accounts for one in three deaths.

“It is an eye-opener to learn how many women are affected by heart disease, and how the symptoms of a heart attack can go overlooked until the situation gets worse,” said Enders-Stevens. “It’s a privilege to work with Chevrolet and the American Heart Association to help make a difference. Go Red is something everyone can benefit from to improve awareness and even save lives.”

The GM Foundation and Chevrolet Performance have donated more than $1 million to the American Heart Association over the years – contributions that have been used to increase awareness of heart disease and its prevention, as well as research into treating it.

“Erica’s passion for racing is parallel to the American Heart Association’s lifesaving goal to beat heart disease in women,” said Kathy Kauffmann, executive director and vice president of the Metro Detroit American Heart Association. “The Association commends Erica for bringing Go Red For Women to the forefront, educating women about their No. 1 health threat. She won’t be stopped and realizes neither will heart disease unless it becomes the front-and-center issue for women – and the Go Red For Women movement is the call to do just that.”

More information about Go Red For Women, including how to donate to heart disease research and prevention advocacy, is available online at goredforwomen.org and facebook.com/GoRedForWomen, as well as Twitter: @GoRedForWomen.

Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.5 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

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