READING, Pa. (Oct. 3) — Slowly cutting into the deficit of the Pro Stock points leader, Elite Motorsports driver Erica Enders-Stevens captured the No. 1 spot late in qualifying Friday for the NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.
Earning critical bonus points during both rounds of qualifying, Enders-Stevens ended Q1 No. 2 after a solid 6.541-second pass at 211.30 mph. It wasn’t until Q2 that her Elite Motorsports Chevy Camaro landed in the top spot with low e.t. and top speed of the day, a 6.513 at 211.76 mph.
“All those baby points are definitely helpful at this crucial point in the Countdown,” Enders-Stevens said. “I’m really excited and really proud of my team. We had a couple issues in the first round but we also wanted to go out there and be conservative considering there is a chance of weather tomorrow. We didn’t want to be on the outside looking in, so we got in a good baseline run in the first round. We were able to stay No. 2 then, but then we were able to go out there and go after it in the next round.
“I’m really proud of my crew chiefs Rick and Rickie Jones; they do a great job. All my guys just work so hard, so it’s really nice when a big number comes up on the scoreboard like that. We’ll see what we can do tomorrow.”
Looking to bag her fifth No. 1 qualifier of the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello season, Enders-Stevens is confident that there is still more Elite Motorsports horsepower under her hood to get the job done Saturday. With weather looming though, there is a chance for a record-setting day at Maple Grove Raceway for the team.
“The Pro Stock Motorcycles are the same as us,” Enders-Stevens said. “When they run well, we run well. We’re naturally aspirated, so our cars like cool, dry air. I think the rain should be out of here by the mid-morning, so we’re expecting some cooler temperatures. If the air dries up the weather will definitely be conducive for some record-setting runs. I talked about it being a crucial time in the Countdown right now, and to reset the e.t. record is an extra 20 bonus points.
“You never really know with the weather; it could be the same as it is today or after the storm it could be really humid and it won’t be conducive at all. We’ll just have to see what the good Lord deals us as far as weather goes and we’ll set up accordingly. I’m really excited, optimistic, and proud of my team.”
Qualifying sessions are scheduled for 11:15 and 2:15 p.m., Saturday. Eliminations will start at approximately noon, Sunday, with both qualifying and elimination action broadcast on ESPN2 on tape-delay basis.