Photo: Chris Graves / CompetitionPlus.com
DENTON, TX — Two-time defending Pro Stock champion Erica Enders completed a successful first test with her new Elite Motorsports Mopar Dodge Dart on Saturday at North Star Dragway.
The Pro Stock class will switch to fuel-injected engines with a 10,500-rpm limit, and wheelie bars will be shorter. Plus, Enders and her team have a new manufacturer with Mopar and Dodge, which meant a new RJ Race Cars Dart built in the shops of crew chiefs Rick and Rickie Jones.
The first full day of testing, though, could not have gone any better.
“I was really impressed,” Enders said. “It was a pretty awesome experience. I feel like my expectations were a little tainted by what other people had reported about EFI and I didn’t know what to expect, but then to experience it first-hand with my guys, I’m very optimistic. Things went well, and I’m excited about the season.
“We accomplished a lot in one day, and we did that because of the preparation and hard work of all my Elite guys.”
Enders drove her new Dodge through a full day of testing, learning many of the differences between the former Pro Stock configuration and the new one.
“The drivability is absolutely different,” Enders said. “It’s definitely challenging, but change always is. I couldn’t have asked for a better first experience with it. We had a great track to test on, and with a brand-new race car and all the new EFI stuff, we went out and went right down the racetrack — no blips, no hiccups, nothing. It was great.”
Enders didn’t notice much of a change with the removal of the hood scoop on the new car, made necessary because of the elimination of carburetors.
“I’ve never raced with an open windshield like that,” Enders said. “I’ve always had a hood scoop or a blower or something, so it was definitely different to have a wide-open view. That was a big change, but I ignored that aspect of it because I was so focused on doing my best in the race car. That wasn’t even a thought.”
Enders and her Elite Motorsports team continue preparation for the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season with testing at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Ariz., starting next Sunday.