Posts Tagged Lupe Tortilla

Erica Enders coming home to race Lupe Tortilla/Elite Motorsports Pro Stock racecar

HOUSTON, TX — Winning her hometown race always has been a great talisman for native Houstonian Erica Enders, a trend she’d love to continue at this year’s NHRA Spring Nationals, which take place Friday-Sunday at Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown.

Enders, who was born and raised in Houston, won the Pro Stock title at her home track in 2014 and 2015, which propelled her to NHRA championships those same two years. Now, with sponsorship from Houston-based Lupe Tortilla Mexican Restaurants, Enders is hoping another Lone Star victory will spur a successful journey to this year’s Mello Yello world championship.

“We’re looking for nothing less than another win,” Enders said. “I love this race above all the others. It’s home, not only for me but for my guys as well because we’re close enough to the shop (in Wynnewood, Okla.) that all of our family members and friends are able to come to the race.

“We are all thinking about eating at Lupe Tortilla every day. Stan and Sheila Holt (Lupe Tortilla owners) have been my best friends forever. I love them so much and to have their support again for this race is extra special. We’ve won with Lupe Tortilla on the doors before so we know they are good luck!”

This year’s visit to Royal Purple Raceway will feature Enders racing the same Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro she piloted to the 2014 Houston title and world championship, giving her a real level of comfort.

“We’re definitely getting better,” she said. “I know none of us have been home very much because we’ve been constantly testing since even before the season started. We’re used to winning races and winning championships so anything less than that is not up to the standards we set for ourselves.”

Currently seventh in the championship points after four national events, Enders has a semifinal and two quarterfinal finishes to her credit. She also raced to the final four in the elite K&N Horsepower Challenge at the tour’s last stop in Las Vegas.

“We’ve got big horsepower,” Enders said. “We keep working at matching that power to the car. All this time we’re investing will pay off very soon. I can feel it. We’re ready to light up the scoreboard in Houston.”

Aside from her duties in Pro Stock, Enders will be competing in Super Gas in Buddy Wood and Cody Ortowski’s ORTEQ Energy Technologies Chevrolet Camaro roadster. “Another chance to win,” said Enders, who won Super Comp at the Houston track in the past.

Pro Stock qualifying sessions are scheduled for 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m., Friday, and 1:30 and 4 p.m., Saturday, with eliminations starting at noon, Sunday. Television coverage on FOX Sports 1 begins with a live qualifying show at 7:30 p.m., Friday, followed by elimination action at 4:30 p.m., Sunday. (All times listed in CDT).

Erica Enders to spotlight Shirley’s Kids charity at Houston race

Erica Enders | Shirley's Kids | NHRA

HOUSTON, TX — Shirley’s Kids, the charity headed by legendary drag racer Shirley Muldowney, will adorn Erica Enders’ Elite Motorsports/Mopar Dodge at the 29th annual NHRA SpringNationals this weekend at Royal Purple Raceway.

Shirley’s Kids’ mission is to lend a hand to children in need in the markets where drag racing has become a part of the community.

“Shirley’s Kids has already impacted the lives of two amazing kids and their families, and I’m happy to carry its logo this weekend,” Enders said. “Shirley did a lot for this sport, and she continues to help others through Shirley’s Kids.”

The Shirley’s Kids-adorned Dodge is made possible through the generous contribution of Lupe Tortilla Mexican Restaurants. None of the money donated to Shirley’s Kids goes to the sponsorship of Enders’ race car, as Lupe Tortilla is providing all of the funding.

Lupe Tortilla has been voted the No. 1 Tex-Mex restaurant in Texas on numerous occasions, with locations across Houston as well as San Antonio, Austin, Beaumont, Katy, and College Station.

“Stan and Sheila Holt have done so much for Shirley’s Kids,” Muldowney said. “I can’t thank them enough for helping the kids at the races we go to, and now to see Shirley’s Kids on Erica’s car is icing on the cake. They are trying their best to help us spread the word so we can help more children.”

Muldowney is slated to attend several NHRA national events in 2016 as Shirley’s Kids continues to help children in need. The next race on her schedule is this weekend in Houston. She also will attend races in Atlanta, Englishtown, Bristol, Denver, Indy, the second Charlotte event, Dallas, Las Vegas, and Pomona, as well as the Jr. Drag Racing Western Conference Finals in Tulsa, Okla.

For more information, visit www.ShirleysKids.org.

Shirley’s Kids is a 501(c)3 non-profit charity created to help children in need. Because its namesake, four-time world champion Shirley Muldowney, has lived her life in drag racing, the organization first seeks out deserving children within the drag racing community. Recipients may be struggling with medical issues or financial hardships brought on by a personal or family tragedy. Because of corporate support, 100 percent of all proceeds raised go directly to the designated children.

NHRA champ Erica Enders wins hometown race, powers into points lead

Erica Enders-Stevens wins Houston 2015

HOUSTON — Erica Enders won another drag race Sunday in her native Houston to barge into the championship points lead for this first time in her title-defense season. Enders beat Allen Johnson, Vincent Nobile, Jonathan Gray, and Chris McGaha for her second straight NHRA victory. It was also her second consecutive win at Royal Purple Raceway, where she began her racing career at the age of 8.

“I didn’t think anything could top winning here a year ago,” said Enders, who attended Spring-Cypress High School and Texas A&M University, “but this just might have done it. We ran a special-edition car with Lupe Tortilla Mexican Restaurants on the door. Stan and Sheila Holt (Lupe Tortilla owners) have supported me since I was racing Jr. Dragsters and they are like family to me. To win this one for them was over the top.

“I don’t know if we’ve ever worked harder for a win. We had a complete engine change before racing Jonathan. We went to warm up, and we realized there was a big problem with the motor. There was 10 minutes until we needed to be in the staging lanes and I thought we were done, but the guys got after it and pulled it off. They are unbelievable.

“Big thanks to everyone from all the other teams that jumped in and helped. That’s what’s special about drag racing: We all want to beat each other on the racetrack, but we’ll do anything to help the team you’re about to race if they need it.”

This was Enders’ 14th Pro Stock victory, although she quickly deflected any praise to team owner Richard Freeman of Elite Motorsports and crew chiefs Rick and Rickie Jones.

“I say it every time anyone asks and I’ll say it again, I have the best team in drag racing,” Enders said. “What we’ve been able to accomplish in the last year and half is nothing short of amazing. I always dreamt of winning here when I used to run my Jr. Dragster here with my dad and sister, and when I dreamed about winning, I would dream about being with a team just like this … the very best.

“I credit Richard for putting together an awesome group and constantly motivating them to push themselves every race. This is my dream and it continued today.”

By the numbers, Enders beat Johnson with a 6.562, ran a better 6.553 against a red-lighting Nobile, took out Gray with a 6.570, and dispatched McGaha with a 6.571. Her average reaction time was a stellar .017-second.

Enders will now take two weeks off before racing again May 15-17 at Atlanta Raceway in Commerce, Ga.

Erica Enders-Stevens gears up for Houston homecoming with Lupe Tortilla, Elite Motorsports

Enders-Stevens gears up for Houston homecoming

HOUSTON, TX — Coming home to Texas always puts an extra kick in Elite Motorsports driver Erica Enders-Stevens’ step, and she has even more reasons to be upbeat about the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals this weekend at Royal Purple Raceway.

For starters, she will be sponsored by her favorite restaurant, Lupe Tortilla Mexican Restaurants, and she’s coming off a second consecutive double-up at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Enders-Stevens won the special K&N Horsepower Challenge on April 25 in Las Vegas, then won the regular national event the next day. She became the first driver since Bob Glidden to pull off the sweep two years in a row, and now she’s coming to race in her hometown, where she won last year.

“Vegas was huge for us,” Enders-Stevens said. “We didn’t exactly start off the season the way we wanted to. Granted it wasn’t horrible, but we hadn’t gotten a handle on the tires and the fuel yet. Staying after Charlotte to test got things looking up for us. It was a huge confidence builder, and it was also pretty surreal to be able to double up two years in a row.

“That was an awesome experience. I believe we create our own momentum, and we’re on a high right now. I’m excited to carry that into Houston.”

She moved into second place in the Pro Stock points standings with the Las Vegas win and hopes to go back to back in her hometown. Born and raised in the Houston area, Enders-Stevens now lives in New Orleans with her husband, Richie Stevens.

The 2014 win in Houston was her first pro victory in her hometown.

“It was a really important race win to me, not only because it was my first professional win in my hometown but also because it’s sort of a home track for my team owner, Richard Freeman, as well,” Enders-Stevens said. “And it was the first Pro Stock race my dad ever got to see me win. It was really an exciting weekend and everything came together.”

Enders-Stevens hopes that happens again, especially after partnering with longtime friend Stan Holt’s Lupe Tortilla Mexican Restaurants.

“We’ve got a different name on the door this weekend, and it’s a great family-owned business in Lupe Tortilla,” Enders-Stevens said. “Stan Holt has been a big part of my career going back to Jr. Dragsters, and he’s been a longtime family friend. We’re really proud to fly his colors in Houston and support him. Hopefully we’ll get a bunch of people to go try the best food in the country.”

Qualifying sessions are scheduled for 4 and 6:30 p.m. CT, Friday, and 12:30 and 3:30 p.m., Saturday. Final eliminations will start at approximately noon, Sunday. Saturday qualifying will be broadcasted at 5 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and Sunday’s elimination action will air live beginning at 2 p.m.

Houston-based Lupe Tortilla Mexican Restaurants to sponsor reigning champ Erica Enders-Stevens

Lupe Tortilla Mexican Restaurants to sponsor Erica Enders-Stevens

HOUSTON, TX — Lupe Tortilla, routinely voted the top Mexican restaurant in Texas, will assume title sponsorship of the record-setting Pro Stock race car of reigning world champion Erica Enders-Stevens at the upcoming O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown, Texas.

A 31-year-old superstar in the world of professional drag racing, Enders-Stevens is a Houston native who attended Spring-Cypress High School and Texas A&M University. She has been supported by Lupe Tortilla founder Stan Holt, his wife Sheila, and their restaurants since she began her driving career at age 8, a relationship that continues to this day with her team owner Richard Freeman and his Elite Motorsports operation.

“Stan has always been a part of racing and my personal life for as long as I can remember,” Enders-Stevens said. “He has always been there for me and I consider him and Sheila part of my family. Stan even performed the wedding ceremony when Richie and I got married.

“We had the best year of our professional lives in 2014, winning six races and the championship. I was honored to become the first female Pro Stock champion and join my heroes Shirley Muldowney and Angelle Sampey as the only women in history to win a major motorsports title. The neat thing is that Lupe Tortilla was with us every step of the way.

“It would be another dream come true to win this race for Stan, his sons, Sheila Mae, and all of their employees across the state. No matter what, if we can remind people to go eat at one of their restaurants, then I’ll be super happy, and trust me everyone leaves that place happy. It’s the best Tex-Mex ever.”

Based in Houston, Lupe Tortilla boasts 17 locations across the greater Houston area as well as Austin, San Antonio, Beaumont, and College Station.

“It’ll be really neat to see the Lupe Tortilla car on the racetrack,” said Holt, who drag races himself at the Sportsman level. “We came up with the idea to support Erica and the Elite Motorsports team at this race since it’s in our backyard, and when I talked to my sons about it they thought it would be a lot of fun.

“We always have a good time at the races, and many of the professional drivers and crewmen come to visit and have lunch or dinner when they’re in town. We have great relationships with so many people out there, including the Angel family, who own the racetrack. The NHRA is really a big family and we’re happy to feed them all.”

The 28th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals takes place from April 24-26 at Royal Purple Raceway in Baytown.