GAINESVILLE, FL — It was a near-storybook weekend for Erica Enders-Stevens and Elite Motorsports with another number two qualifying effort, a new national speed record, and a runner-up finish. These are the results the team has been building toward since the start of the 2014 season, and it arrived at the Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals.
The drive kicked off during the first round of qualifying, where Enders-Stevens captured the new Pro Stock nationals speed record with a 6.483 @ 214.69 mph.
“That was a huge way to kick off the weekend,” said Enders-Stevens. “The conditions were great for breaking records, and we’re pumped we could take advantage of it. Nick Ferri and the guys at the engine shop have been busting their butts to deliver horsepower and it’s an awesome feather to have in their caps.”
The Elite Motorsports Camaro continued to charge through the remaining qualifying session, backing up the record speed to secure it’s place in books, and posting the lowest ETs during Saturday’s two sessions.
Race day proved to deliver the results that had eluded the team during the first two events. Erica easily beat Robert Patrick in the first round before eliminating V. Gaines and Vincent Nobile to reach a final round match-up against none other than long-time friend, Allen Johnson.
However, it would be AJ’s day when he shot off the line first to take the holeshot victory. His 0.030 second advantage and 6.566 @ 211.73 mph run managed to hold off Erica’s 6.551 @ 211.96 mph pass to the finish line.
“We had fast and consistent race car all weekend and I’m so proud of my team,” said Erica. “It didn’t end up the way we had hoped, but if we have to lose, I pick Brutus to win. It’s awesome to have the fastest hot rod in the world and we will do our best to keep going rounds!”
Erica heads to Las Vegas next for the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals from March 28-30. There, she’ll be competing for $50,000 during that Saturday’s K&N Horsepower Challenge after securing her spot by qualifying in Gainesville.