Posts Tagged ORTEQ

Pro Stock champ Erica Enders holds special memories of Topeka

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TOPEKA, KS — Heartland Park Topeka has a special place in the heart of Elite Motorsports/Mopar Dodge driver Erica Enders, the two-time Pro Stock champion.

Heartland Park, site of this weekend’s NHRA Kansas Nationals, is where Enders became the first woman to earn a No. 1 qualifier in Pro Stock, and it’s also the track where she scored a dominant victory in 2015, nine years after that first No. 1 qualifier.

Enders was in her second full year of Pro Stock in 2006, driving the Slammers car. In the second round of qualifying for the NHRA Summer Nationals, Enders made a pass of 6.785 at 203.06 mph to jump to No. 1. She held on to that spot to become the 52nd driver to earn a Pro Stock No. 1.

“It was a huge milestone for me and my young Pro Stock career,” said Enders, who was 22 at the time. “It was definitely exciting. The fans were crazy. I signed a lot of autographs that weekend and got a lot of congratulations from a lot of people: a lot of emails, a lot of phone calls. It’s definitely a neat memory.”

Enders got to share the memory with her father Gregg, who helped start Enders’ career as an 8-year-old driving a Jr. Dragster in her home state of Texas.

“It was cool to share that moment with my dad,” Enders said. “He’s the reason why I was in that position in the first place.”

Fast-forward to 2015, and Enders is now driving for Elite Motorsports. She had won in Las Vegas and Houston earlier in the year, repeating race victories from her 2014 championship, but her Topeka success had been limited to that No. 1 qualifier in 2006.

“At that point of the season, we had won the same races that we had won the year before,” Enders said. “Every race we went to where we hadn’t won, we were hoping to break that. Topeka was a track that we typically didn’t have much luck or success at, so to win in the fashion that we did was pretty cool.”

Enders was low for all three of the qualifying sessions (the fourth was rained out) and set the Pro Stock track record of 6.515 seconds at 211.43 mph to again win the No. 1 qualifying spot.

On race day, Enders was quickest in all four rounds, beating Greg Anderson in an early-evening final round to win the race.

“We were low for every session, No. 1 qualifier, and we beat Greg in the finals,” Enders said. “It was a rain delay on Sunday, and we finished under the lights. It was pretty cool.”

Rain had delayed the final, and the winner’s circle celebration had to be moved indoors — not that Enders or anyone on her Elite team minded.

“The winner’s circle was in the barn with the scales,” Enders said. “It was different, for sure, but still awesome.”

Pro Stock qualifying sessions are scheduled for 4:30 and 7 p.m., Friday, and 1:30 and 4 p.m., Saturday. Eliminations start at noon, Sunday. FOX Sports 1 will air qualifying from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. ET, Saturday. Elimination action will be broadcast live from 2 to 5 p.m. ET, Sunday.

Enders will also compete in Sportsman racing this weekend, as she returns to the Super Gas ranks behind the wheel of the ORTEQ Energy Technologies roadster for owners Buddy Wood and Cody Ortowski.

Pro Stock champ Erica Enders returns to Sportsman roots this weekend

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BELLE ROSE, LA — Two-time Pro Stock world champion Erica Enders will return to her racing roots this weekend behind the wheel of the ORTEQ Energy Technologies Super Gas car at the NHRA Division 4 race at No Problem Raceway Park.

Before moving to the professional ranks, Enders raced Super Gas and won an NHRA national event in Houston in 2004. She’ll be driving for car owners Buddy Wood and Cody Ortowski this weekend in the first of several Sportsman races she’ll compete in this season.

“Fortunately, this race fell on an off weekend for us, so I’m able to drive,” Enders said. “Buddy Wood and Cody Ortowski have set me up with a great race car, and (crew chief) Cody Wampler will be setting it up for us this weekend, so we’ll definitely have a chance.

“I’m really excited. No Problem is one of the tracks I grew up at because it’s so close to Houston and we raced there a bunch. I can just drive up there from New Orleans, so it feels really comfortable.”

Enders is coming off a semifinal finish in Pro Stock at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, winning her second-round race on a holeshot. She had reaction times of .006, .009, and .021 in Las Vegas, and she’ll need similar lights in the cutthroat Sportsman class.

“I’m sure everyone will bring their A-game to the starting line,” Enders said. “I’ll try my best to hold them off and go some rounds. It’s been 12 years since I’ve raced Super Gas, and like anything else, to be good at something you need to do it a lot, but it’s not like I haven’t been drag racing.

“We’ll get some test runs in (Thursday) and then get after it Friday. Hopefully, it all comes back to me really fast. I’m pretty confident it will.”

Wood and Wampler will race alongside Enders as her teammates this weekend.

“Both Buddy and Cody (Wampler) are racing, so our pit will stay busy,” Enders said. “It’ll be fun. That’s really my biggest goal, to have some fun and get back to my roots. I’m also excited to spend the weekend with Stan and Sheila Mae Holt, my longtime friends from Houston who own Lupe Tortilla Mexican Restaurants. They’ve been with me since I started racing, and it’ll be fun to race with them.”

Pro Stock ace Erica Enders to double down at several races with ORTEQ Super Gas roadster

Erica Enders to race ORTEQ Super Gas roadster

WYNNEWOOD, OK — Two-time and reigning Pro Stock champion Erica Enders will return to her Sportsman racing roots this season driving the ORTEQ Energy Technologies Super Gas car for Buddy Wood and Cody Ortowski at select races.

Enders earned her first NHRA national event victory in the Super Gas class in 2004 before moving into the professional ranks.

“ORTEQ has been a big part of our success with the Pro Stock car the last few years, and when Buddy and Cody asked if I wanted to drive their Super Gas car I jumped at the chance,” Enders said. “It’ll be great to get back to my Sportsman roots a little and to visit with and race all my friends that run Super Gas. I’m just going to have some fun with it. The car is good, it can win any race we enter, so I’ll do my best to put it in the winner’s circle.”

Wood is longtime friends with Elite Motorsports owner Richard Freeman, car owner of Enders’ Elite/Mopar Dodge Pro Stock Dart. The Wood Racing shop is 15 minutes from Elite’s headquarters in Wynnewood, Okla.

“It’s pretty awesome to have a driver of Erica’s caliber get behind the wheel of our car,” Wood said. “She’s a killer on the Christmas Tree, and we have no doubt she’ll be great in our car. It’ll be great to see what Erica can do.”

“We are ecstatic to have Erica drive our ORTEQ hot rod,” Ortowski said. “When I think about success, I think about character and execution. Erica displays both, week in and week out. We are proud to be aligned with the future of drag racing.”

Sportsman ace Tommy Phillips drove the same car to one national event and two divisional race victories in 2015.

“It won’t be easy; the Super Gas category is very tough and I’m sure my competition will be more than ready for me every race,” Enders said. “It’ll be no different than what we see every round in Pro Stock. You have to earn everything.”

Enders’ Super Gas schedule will be determined at a later date, though she’ll compete in eight to 10 national events in conjunction with her Pro Stock activities.

“My teammate, Jeg Coughlin Jr., has run two cars a number of times in the past, and he said it makes for a busier weekend for sure but that it also allows you a better chance to lock in on the Tree and make a bunch more passes, which keeps you in race mode,” Enders said. “By doubling up I’ll actually be cutting down on the distractions we all face at national events. I’ll be too busy.”