News

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

erica-enders-adrl-memphis

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

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.

Page 45 of 47« First...102030...4344454647