Posts Tagged Maple Grove Raceway

No Slowing Down for Enders-Stevens during NHRA Nationals Qualifying

Erica Enders-Stevens | Maple Grove Raceway | Reading, PA

READING, Pa. (Oct. 3) — Slowly cutting into the deficit of the Pro Stock points leader, Elite Motorsports driver Erica Enders-Stevens captured the No. 1 spot late in qualifying Friday for the NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.

Earning critical bonus points during both rounds of qualifying, Enders-Stevens ended Q1 No. 2 after a solid 6.541-second pass at 211.30 mph. It wasn’t until Q2 that her Elite Motorsports Chevy Camaro landed in the top spot with low e.t. and top speed of the day, a 6.513 at 211.76 mph.

“All those baby points are definitely helpful at this crucial point in the Countdown,” Enders-Stevens said. “I’m really excited and really proud of my team. We had a couple issues in the first round but we also wanted to go out there and be conservative considering there is a chance of weather tomorrow. We didn’t want to be on the outside looking in, so we got in a good baseline run in the first round. We were able to stay No. 2 then, but then we were able to go out there and go after it in the next round.

“I’m really proud of my crew chiefs Rick and Rickie Jones; they do a great job. All my guys just work so hard, so it’s really nice when a big number comes up on the scoreboard like that. We’ll see what we can do tomorrow.”

Looking to bag her fifth No. 1 qualifier of the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello season, Enders-Stevens is confident that there is still more Elite Motorsports horsepower under her hood to get the job done Saturday. With weather looming though, there is a chance for a record-setting day at Maple Grove Raceway for the team.

“The Pro Stock Motorcycles are the same as us,” Enders-Stevens said. “When they run well, we run well. We’re naturally aspirated, so our cars like cool, dry air. I think the rain should be out of here by the mid-morning, so we’re expecting some cooler temperatures. If the air dries up the weather will definitely be conducive for some record-setting runs. I talked about it being a crucial time in the Countdown right now, and to reset the e.t. record is an extra 20 bonus points.

“You never really know with the weather; it could be the same as it is today or after the storm it could be really humid and it won’t be conducive at all. We’ll just have to see what the good Lord deals us as far as weather goes and we’ll set up accordingly. I’m really excited, optimistic, and proud of my team.”

Qualifying sessions are scheduled for 11:15 and 2:15 p.m., Saturday. Eliminations will start at approximately noon, Sunday, with both qualifying and elimination action broadcast on ESPN2 on tape-delay basis.

Enders-Stevens Continues Championship Charge at Maple Grove

Erica Enders-Stevens helmet

READING, Pa. (Oct. 1) — The battle for the 2014 Pro Stock championship moves to Maple Grove Raceway for this weekend’s NHRA Nationals, and Elite Motorsports driver Erica Enders-Stevens is motivated to get to the top.

She has won four times this season and is third in the Pro Stock points standings at the halfway point of the Countdown to the Championship. She’s a little more than three rounds out of first place, though, with three races remaining this season.

“I’m really excited, really confident,” Enders-Stevens said. “Things are going to go down to the wire, and that’s what makes Pro Stock all the more exciting. It’s going to be a dogfight, and we’re right in the mix.”

Enders-Stevens is 67 points behind leader Jason Line and 41 behind second-place Dave Connolly after a semifinal finish at Gateway Motorsports Park last weekend.

She qualified No. 1 in St. Louis and had the quickest car in six of the seven runs over the weekend. She also drove well, leaving first on all three opponents at Gateway.

“I’m proud of my team,” Enders-Stevens said. “They give me a great, consistent race car. Everybody pulls their weight and digs deep when we’ve got quick turnaround times or it’s hot and you’re sweating and you’re hungry.

“They do a great job, and I’m driving up to that car. Together, we can accomplish anything. As long as I stay up on the wheel like I have been and they keep giving me a race car, we can accomplish a lot of great things together.”

One of those great things could be a national elapsed time record. Enders-Stevens holds the record of 6.464 seconds, set in Englishtown, N.J., earlier this year, but conditions at Maple Grove could bring another mark.

“The weather looks awesome,” she said. “It’s going to be chilly and hopefully conducive for a national record. We’ve certainly got the car and the team to do so, and we’ll be swinging for the fences there.

“It won’t change our game plan, but it is exciting looking ahead and knowing we’re capable of doing that.”

Qualifying sessions are scheduled for 1:15 and 4:15 p.m., Friday, and 11:15 and 2:15 p.m., Saturday. Eliminations will start at approximately noon, Sunday, with both qualifying and elimination action broadcast on ESPN2 on tape-delay basis.

Reading victory would be icing on Enders-Stevens’ birthday cake

ee-vs-richie

READING, Pa. (Oct. 5) – Husky Liners Pro Stock driver Erica Enders-Stevens celebrates her 30th birthday on Tuesday, and she’d love to have a Wally trophy from the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway next to her birthday cake.

Enders-Stevens won last weekend’s race at Gateway Motorsports Park, helping celebrate the birthdays of husband Richie Stevens and father Gregg Enders. She’d like a Maple Grove trophy for herself and her Cagnazzi Racing team.

“I got Richie and my dad a Wally for their birthdays,” Enders-Stevens said. “I’d like to get one for myself.”

Enders-Stevens qualified No. 7 with a best pass of 6.587 seconds at 209.98 mph, and her Husky Liners Camaro has been consistent.

Her runs were all within .034-second of each other, and she was in the top five in three of the four qualifying sessions.

Enders-Stevens could use a deep run at Maple Grove to continue her march up the Pro Stock points standings. She started the Countdown to the Championship in ninth place but her victory last weekend vaulted her to ninth.

Maple Grove marks the fourth event of the six-race Countdown, and she entered race weekend 60 points out of the lead.

“Tomorrow’s really important,” Enders-Stevens said. “There was some shuffling going on in that (final) round (of qualifying), and it changed the ladder a bit. We’ve definitely got our work cut out for us, but we’ve got a consistent race car and I’m driving well. I’ll put my faith on the big man upstairs and see what happens.”

Enders-Stevens faces No. 10 qualifier Buddy Perkinson in round one Sunday. Perkinson garnered that spot with a pass of 6.591 seconds at 210.21 mph.

A fun twist to Enders-Stevens’ weekend was lining up against her husband Richie Stevens in Q3. Husband and wife had never faced each other in Pro Stock, and Enders-Stevens got the better of her husband on the Christmas Tree.

Enders-Stevens left with a .005-second reaction time to his .074 light, and they ran identical elapsed times, 6.587. Stevens’ speed was better, giving him the higher qualifying spot, but Enders-Stevens was bragging about the win light.

“That was pretty cool,” Enders-Stevens said. “Apparently no husband and wife had ever run each other in Pro Stock, so that was a lot of fun. Our crews both had some side bets going. He outran us because of mile an hour, so he got ahead of us on the qualifying sheet, but I cracked him on the starting line and we got the win light. I guess that’s all that matters, but it was fun and I’m glad he’s out here running.”

Eliminations at the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals get under way at 11 a.m. EDT on Sunday from Maple Grove Raceway. ESPN2 will broadcast the racing on Sunday night starting at 8:30 p.m. EDT.