PHOENIX — Defending Pro Stock event champion Erica Enders-Stevens and her Elite Motorsports team arrived in Phoenix with hopes of backing up her 2013 win during the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.
As the number two qualifier, with one of the hottest cars on the track, conditions were shaping up for it to become a reality.
However, a tough launch would put an early end to those hopes on race day.
The Elite Motorsports Camaro had posted spectacular ETs during qualifying, placing Erica just .001 behind number the number one spot with a 6.531 @ 211.66 mph.
“The car was running fantastic,” said Enders-Stevens. “We are all really happy with how the program is progressing. It just keeps getting better.”
During their first round matchup Sunday against Matt Hartford, Erica backed up her best qualifying run with a 6.531 @ 212.09 mph. That pass would go on to be the fastest of the day.
Yet during the Round 2 match-up against her former crew chief, Dave Connolly, the car made an abrupt move to the right during the launch, costing precious time to recover.
“I worked it back into the groove, but by that time it was too late,” said Enders-Stevens. “We had the performance, but unfortunately it wasn’t our day.”
Allen Johnson would go on to defeat Connolly and then V. Gaines to bring home the Wally.
Erica and Elite Motorsports head to Gainesville in three weeks for the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals March 14th – 16th.