News

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

erica-in-car

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.

Tire Shake Cuts Englishtown Short for BLACK iGUANA Racer Enders

launch-etown

ENGLISHTOWN, NJ (June 3) — Erica Enders-Stevens was dealt a frustrating 2nd round loss when her BLACK iGUANA Frozen Rita Camaro shook the tires during the 44th Annual NHRA Toyota Summernationals in Englishtown, New Jersey.

The number-three qualified Enders made a solid 6.601 @ 209.62 mph pass in round one, defeating Frank Gugliotta who fouled out at the line with a -.010 red light start.

But it was the second round match-up against reigning series champ Allen Johnson that would cut her quest for another Wally trophy short.

With Enders and Johnson kicking off round two, the BLACK iGUANA Camaro immediately succumbed to tire shake during the launch, causing the car to cut hard right and forcing her to push in the clutch and call off the pass.

“As I felt it start to shake I quickly pulled 2nd, but it wasn’t enough to calm the car down,” said Enders.

As elimination rounds progress with each class, track conditions begin to change. Even seemingly minor shifts can have a big impact on how a crew chief makes their decision on what to tweak in order to get the car down the track.

“Being the first pair out, you also don’t have the opportunity to watch other cars go down ahead of you,” she explained. “It’s an extra challenge for crew chiefs, especially in this heat. Unfortunately, we missed our mark today and we took our lumps for it.”

Johnson would go on to a pass of 6.646 @ 209.65 mph and eventually take his Mopar Dodge Avenger to a runner-up finish against number the one qualifier, Mike Edwards.

Enders wasn’t the only one to be shook out of contention this weekend. Topeka winner Jeg Coughlin Jr. and hometown favorite Vincent Nobile would also experience similar fates.

“As a driver you want to get down the track, and you can sometimes fight your way through it. This just wasn’t one of those times for us,” Enders said. “It’s frustrating as we’ve had a fast car in qualifying, but haven’t been able to translate it into more round wins on Sunday.”

With Englishtown on the books, Enders remains 4th in overall points. The NHRA heads next to Bristol, Tennesse June 14th – 16th for the 13th Annual Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.

Enders Charges to another Top-3 Qualifying Finish at Englishtown

ENGLISHTOWN, NJ (June 1) — If you asked anyone at Old Bridge Township Raceway how they are feeling at this weekend’s NHRA Toyota Summernationals, the answer would more often than not be “HOT”.

With searing temperatures in the mid 90’s, crews and racers have had to contend with 130+ degree track temps and all of the slick and slimy traction challenges that come with it.

But if you asked Erica Enders-Stevens how she’s feeling, the answer is “Ready”.

“It’s been brutal out there, and a 15-layer fire suit doesn’t make it any easier,” Enders joked. “But I’m ready. The car is running well, we’re in a groove, and I want to put this Black Iguana car in the winner’s circle tomorrow.”

Erica’s first pass of 6.569 @ 210.50 mph on Friday started her off in the #2 spot before Shane Gray clicked off a pass just .004 thousandths quicker in Q2, sending Enders to the #3 spot that she would hold on to through Saturday’s sessions.

This weekend’s qualifying follows a number two qualifying effort in Topeka for her Cagnazzi Racing team. However, Kansas dealt an early exit for the Black Iguana Chevy when transmission problems caused it to fall in the first round to Rodger Brogdon.

“Topeka was a gut check. We had an awesome car going in to Sunday. But in the first round, on the first shift, we broke. It was a huge disappointment, but you have to shake it off, fix the problem, and keep the momentum up for the next race,” said Enders.

“We’ve been a top three qualifier for two races in a row, proving we’ve got a hot rod that’s capable of going rounds and has the potential to get us into the winner’s circle. Now it’s just up to us to get it there.”

No doubt the hot temps will continue to be a factor with Sunday’s high remaining in the 90’s.

“We won in Seattle last year when it was unseasonably hot, and we can do it again here,” recalls Enders. “Tommy Utt and Dave Connolly have a knack for the hot track setup.”

Final eliminations for the NHRA Toyota Summernationals begins at 11:00 AM Eastern time. ESPN2’s elimination broadcast begins at 4:30 PM Eastern.

NHRA Now: Team Mello Yello Visits Erica & Talks Black Iguana

During last weekend’s NHRA Kansas Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka, the guys from Team Mello Yello were given hosting duties for the latest edition of NHRA Now. Their lead story: Erica Enders’ new sponsor BLACK iGUANA. Check it out.

Enders Unleashes Her BLACK iGUANA Camaro to the Number 2 Qualifying Spot in Topeka

Erica Enders-Stevens Black Iguana in Topeka

Erica Enders-Stevens Black Iguana in Topeka

TOPEKA, KS (May 18) – Coming off a disappointing weekend in Atlanta, Erica Enders-Stevens and her Cagnazzi Racing team have regrouped and charged their way to the number two qualifying spot in their newly-sponsored BLACK iGUANA Frozen Rita Camaro at the 25th Annual NHRA Kansas Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka.

“We’re really excited to be racing this weekend in Topeka. It was uncertain if we’d even be here,” said Enders. “But in the 11th hour the deal came together with BLACK iGUANA and we’re super happy to be able to debut our new sponsor on a weekend when our car is running near the top of the pack.”

With a flat black paint scheme that has become an instant crowd favorite, the BLACK iGUANA Pro Stock Chevy proved it had the performance to back up its looks during all four rounds of qualifying.

Friday’s first session sent Enders to the number four spot with a 6.656 at 207.62 mph pass. But it was the second session, taking place in the cool evening air, that would lock Enders in as the number two qualifier for the weekend.

Nipping at the heels of class-leading Mike Edwards, Erica posted a 6.625 @ 208.30 mph pass, just .007 seconds behind Edwards and .008 seconds ahead of both Allen Johnson and Jeg Coughlin.

Enders continued to stay up front Saturday as she nabbed the fastest pass of the third session with a 6.655 @ 207.15 mph, besting Edwards’ 6.659 @ 207.30 mph. She would follow up with the 2nd fastest pass of 6.676 @ 206.86 mph in the final session, behind Allen Johnson’s run of 6.674 @ 207.08 mph.

“I’m so proud of my guys,” said Enders. “After coming off a couple of rough weekends, we knew we needed to reassess our approach. They’ve been working really hard to sort this car out, and our performance so far shows we are going in the right direction. These cars are a challenge to tune as well as drive, so putting together a string of four consistent runs has us optimistic about Sunday.”

Erica will face Rodger Brogdon in round one of eliminations at the NHRA Kansas Nationals on Sunday.

Eliminations are set to begin with Top Fuel at 11 a.m. Central Time. ESPN2’s eliminations broadcast begins at 7 p.m. CDT.

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