DALLAS (Sept. 17) — The weekend at Texas Motorplex is shaping up to be an historic one for Pro Stock driver Erica Enders-Stevens.
The Texas native is debuting a new partnership with Mach 1 Global Services, which is backing her powerful Elite Motorsports Chevrolet for the remainder of the season.
Plus, Enders-Stevens is the No. 1 qualifier for the Pep Boys NHRA Carolina Nationals, which will be completed this weekend before getting another shot at a Wally with the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals.
“Dallas should be an exciting weekend,” Enders-Stevens said. “Not only is it my home state, but we’re debuting a new sponsor there, too. To top all of that off, we qualified No. 1 for the Charlotte race, and we didn’t finish first round there, so it will be a race within a race.”
Enders-Stevens has a chance to repeat her success from The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway from March, when she won the special K&N Horsepower Challenge before winning the NHRA national event.
“That would be cool,” Enders-Stevens said. “We’ll have to see how things go. It’s going to be totally different conditions in Dallas. The track is a narrow-groove facility, so we’ve definitely got to be on our toes there. We get one qualifying hit before we start racing, so we’ve got to have it together when we step on the property.”
Enders-Stevens had a stellar weekend in Charlotte before the race was postponed. She was quickest in each of the four qualifying sessions, earning the No. 1 spot and cutting into Jason Line’s points lead.
She’ll get one qualifying pass down Texas Motorplex on Friday before the continuation of the Charlotte race, which also counts as Q2 for Dallas. Enders-Stevens is slated to race No. 16 qualifier John Gaydosh in Charlotte’s first round.
Dallas’ Q3 and Q4 will also be Charlotte’s second round and semifinals, respectively, with the final being an additional round on Saturday.
Then there’s the Dallas race itself, an event no woman has won in Pro Stock.
“It’d be really neat to win,” Enders-Stevens said. “I make it known everywhere I go how much I love Texas, and to be back in my home state on front of friends and family is very exciting.
“I remember racing A.J. (Allen Johnson) in the final in 2012, and we had an electrical issue. My car shut off when I let the clutch out, so I didn’t even have a chance.
“But it’d be cool to win there. I really want to get that cowboy hat.”
Pro Stock qualifying sessions are scheduled for 2:15 and 5:15 p.m., Friday, and 11:15 a.m. and 2:15 p.m., Saturday. Eliminations begin at noon, Sunday. ESPN2 will carry all qualifying and elimination action.