Posts Tagged Topeka

From No. 2 for No. 100? Enders-Stevens: ‘Yes, please’

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TOPEKA — Elite Motorsports driver Erica Enders-Stevens missed her second consecutive No. 1 qualifier by a mere .006-second at this weekend’s NHRA Kansas Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka.

Though Enders-Stevens would have joined fellow female drivers Brittany and Courtney Force as pole-winners in Topeka, ending up No. 2 is just fine for her

“I love it,” Enders-Stevens said. “Before last weekend in Atlanta, we had qualified No. 2 four times and we’ve done well each time. Being a racer, you’re naturally slightly superstitious. To get back to the No. 2 spot, it’s good for us. You can win from anywhere.”

The last three times Enders-Stevens has qualified No. 2, she ended up in the final round. In Houston two races ago, she qualified second and won the race. She’d love nothing more than to repeat that feat this weekend, especially since it would also be the 100th national event victory by a woman.

“No. 2 for No. 100 — yes, please,” Enders-Stevens said.

She leads the Pro Stock points standings thanks to two victories and two other final-round appearances in seven races to date.

Enders-Stevens’ best run in qualifying was 6.606 seconds at 208.68 mph (run in Saturday’s first session), though she duplicated that elapsed time in the final session with a speed of 207.98 mph. Both Saturday runs were low of the round, and they followed her Q1 e.t. of 6.611 seconds at 208.81 mph.

“We’ve got a consistent race car again,” Enders-Stevens said. “Tomorrow is going to be about going A to B and not losing sight of our goals. I hope it’ll be a long day.”

The weekend has been long for Enders-Stevens and her Elite team, as rain canceled the second session Friday and delayed Saturday’s activities.

“I’m just proud of my team,” Enders-Stevens said. “They’ve worked really hard this weekend. These rain weekends really stink because it’s hard to go from down to up, from sitting around to rushing and whatever else. They’ve done a great job.

“We had a 15-minute turnaround between today’s two runs, so we were hustling, We were down two guys this weekend, and for as much adversity as we’re facing, we’re doing well and I’m proud of my team.”

Confidence, momentum on Enders-Stevens’ side heading to Topeka

Erica Enders-Stevens Elite Motorsports Camaro NHRA Southern Nationals

TOPEKA — Elite Motorsports driver Erica Enders-Stevens carries more than the Pro Stock points lead into the NHRA Kansas Nationals this weekend at Heartland Park Topeka.

She’s bringing confidence and momentum, as Enders-Stevens’ Chevrolet Camaro was the quickest car in all six rounds she ran last weekend at Atlanta Dragway.

“I’ve got all kinds of confidence in my team,” Enders-Stevens said. “They’re awesome, they’ve got my back, and they’re good people. Our group of guys is a true definition of what a team is. They pick me up when I’m down and vice versa. They work their tails off for me, and every time I get in that car I have 100 percent faith that we’re going to get down, it’s going to be safe, and we’re going to do well.

“To have a group like that is a true blessing. I love them. We’re going to continue to have a great year, and we’ve got to take these races one at a time and do our best. That’s what we’ve done all year.”

Enders-Stevens has two wins — not including her K&N Horsepower Challenge victory — and one No. 1 qualifier in seven races, and she has a 110-point lead on the Pro Stock field heading to Topeka.

Plus, she still has an opportunity to claim the 100th national event victory by a female this weekend. She scored wins No. 98 and No. 99, so getting No. 100 would be fitting.

“It would be awesome,” Enders-Stevens said. “It’s a huge milestone for our sport and would certainly be an added bonus for us to get that done for all the women. It would mean a lot to us, but regardless, we’re going to do the best we can this weekend and at every race.”

Enders-Stevens has fond memories of Heartland Park, for it was there as a 22-year-old that she claimed her first No. 1 qualifier.

“That was pretty cool,” Enders-Stevens said. “I was a new driver back then, and I don’t really think I understood how awesome that was to be that new and to be on top of such a competitive class. That was a neat accomplishment.

“We’ve got the car and the team to beat right now, and we’re going to carry that into Topeka and see what happens.”

Pro Stock qualifying sessions are scheduled for 4:30 and 7 p.m., Friday, and 1:30 and 4 p.m., Saturday. Eliminations begin at noon, Sunday. ESPN2 will carry all qualifying and elimination action.

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.

Enders Unleashes Her BLACK iGUANA Camaro to the Number 2 Qualifying Spot in Topeka

Erica Enders-Stevens Black Iguana in Topeka

Erica Enders-Stevens Black Iguana in Topeka

TOPEKA, KS (May 18) – Coming off a disappointing weekend in Atlanta, Erica Enders-Stevens and her Cagnazzi Racing team have regrouped and charged their way to the number two qualifying spot in their newly-sponsored BLACK iGUANA Frozen Rita Camaro at the 25th Annual NHRA Kansas Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka.

“We’re really excited to be racing this weekend in Topeka. It was uncertain if we’d even be here,” said Enders. “But in the 11th hour the deal came together with BLACK iGUANA and we’re super happy to be able to debut our new sponsor on a weekend when our car is running near the top of the pack.”

With a flat black paint scheme that has become an instant crowd favorite, the BLACK iGUANA Pro Stock Chevy proved it had the performance to back up its looks during all four rounds of qualifying.

Friday’s first session sent Enders to the number four spot with a 6.656 at 207.62 mph pass. But it was the second session, taking place in the cool evening air, that would lock Enders in as the number two qualifier for the weekend.

Nipping at the heels of class-leading Mike Edwards, Erica posted a 6.625 @ 208.30 mph pass, just .007 seconds behind Edwards and .008 seconds ahead of both Allen Johnson and Jeg Coughlin.

Enders continued to stay up front Saturday as she nabbed the fastest pass of the third session with a 6.655 @ 207.15 mph, besting Edwards’ 6.659 @ 207.30 mph. She would follow up with the 2nd fastest pass of 6.676 @ 206.86 mph in the final session, behind Allen Johnson’s run of 6.674 @ 207.08 mph.

“I’m so proud of my guys,” said Enders. “After coming off a couple of rough weekends, we knew we needed to reassess our approach. They’ve been working really hard to sort this car out, and our performance so far shows we are going in the right direction. These cars are a challenge to tune as well as drive, so putting together a string of four consistent runs has us optimistic about Sunday.”

Erica will face Rodger Brogdon in round one of eliminations at the NHRA Kansas Nationals on Sunday.

Eliminations are set to begin with Top Fuel at 11 a.m. Central Time. ESPN2’s eliminations broadcast begins at 7 p.m. CDT.

Erica Enders and BLACK iGUANA Frozen Ritas to Debut Pro Stock Partnership in Kansas

Erica Enders BLACK iGUANA Camaro

Erica Enders BLACK iGUANA Camaro

TOPEKA, KS (May 15) — Erica Enders’ Pro Stock car will return to it’s stealth-black paint scheme when she takes to Heartland Park Topeka in her new BLACK iGUANA-backed Chevrolet Camaro this weekend at the 25th Annual NHRA Kansas Nationals.

Enders has inked an initial two-race marketing partnership with Tomball, Texas-based DGI Beverage, creators of the innovative pouch drink. The wildly popular NHRA racer will continue her Championship hunt with Cagnazzi Racing, introducing the BLACK iGUANA brand of packaged cocktails to drag racing fans nationwide.

“We’re very excited to bring BLACK iGUANA the national exposure and marketing horsepower it deserves. They’ve been huge supporters of ours and couldn’t be a better group of guys to work with. It’s a great product with a taste, look and convenience that can become a major player in the industry,” said Enders. “As they work on growth and investment as a company, we’re looking to prove our program and the loyal NHRA fans can play a huge role in achieving their corporate goals. If we do our job, and the fans respond well, this is just the beginning of a very exciting marketing partnership.”

BLACK iGUANA’s line of premium ready-to-drink margarita cocktails are packaged in fun, single-serving, pouches. With four flavors: Classic Lime, Strawberry, Peach and Pina Colada, the company started in 2005 and has been a catalyst for the fast-growing pouch beverage segment.
BLACK iGUANA Frozen Rita flavors
The patented BLACK iGUANA pouch features a convenient resealable spout for easy drinking and portability. There’s no blender, no mix, and no mess. Whether chilled or frozen, they are a perfect for on-the-go activities, from the beach to tailgating to backyard barbeques. With no metal or glass, they create less waste and go where other containers can’t be enjoyed.

Plus, with it’s distinctive black packaging and smirking iguana logo, fans of Erica’s history-making flat black racecar will be happy to see it’s full return as part of the BLACK iGUANA Camaro’s new look.

With their entry into NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing, DGI Beverage looks to grow the BLACK iGUANA brand with a national marketing program that follows the same grassroots philosophy of promotion that got them their start. The family-run company regularly sponsors and supported local festivals, music and community events across the South.

“We came up with the idea for BLACK iGUANA while enjoying time spent outdoors with family and friends. And that’s what going to the races is all about,” said co-founder Earl Castor. “We fell in love with Erica and how the drag racing community supports products that support NHRA teams. It’s fans get an experience and level of access to their favorite drivers that’s unlike anything else in motorsports. We want to be a part of that.”

BLACK iGUANA joins a winning combination with Enders and Cagnazzi Racing in the competitive Pro Stock class. In the last 18 races, Enders has been to nine finals, winning five and finishing 2nd in this year’s K&N Horsepower Challenge. In the past eight years, Cagnazzi has accumulated 64 NHRA National Event wins and are two-time NHRA Pro Stock World Champions.

Look for Erica behind the wheel of the BLACK iGUANA Camaro during qualifying for the NHRA Kansas Nationals beginning at 5:00 PM CDT at Heartland Park Topeka and continuing Saturday at 12:15 PM. Sunday eliminations are set to begin at 11:00 AM.

ESPN2’s broadcast of qualifying will begin at 4:30 PM on Saturday, with eliminations airing at 8:00 PM Sunday, May 19th.


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