Erica Enders: 2016 Autoweek Driver Award

From Autoweek

NHRA superstar passed legend Shirley Muldowney for most career wins by a woman

Erica Enders continued her assault on drag racing’s record book in 2015 with an impressive run to a second straight NHRA Pro Stock title.

The 32-year-old Texan racked up nine wins, including three in the playoffs, giving her 21 for her career. She clinched the championship with a race weekend to spare and along the way passed NHRA legend Shirley Muldowney, who won 18 times, for most career wins by a woman.

Enders’ 58-14 elimination record over 24 national events easily topped all professional categories. Her nine 2015 wins broke three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Angelle Sampey’s NHRA single-season record (seven in 2001) for a female driver.

“To actually top what we did in 2014 in what started out as a very challenging year for us with the new tire and fuel they made us use, it’s really satisfying and says so much about this Elite Motorsports team,” Enders said. “The 20-plus years it took to get to this point, all the heartache and struggle, it was all worth it to feel like this again.

“By our standards, we struggled at the first four races, and when we qualified dead last in Charlotte, we knew something had to give. We stayed after and tested the wheels off our Rick Jones race car and finally we found something that worked.”

The challenges continue for Enders in ’16 as Pro Stock transitions to fuel injection. With all the teams on equal footing, 2016 provides yet another chance for her to prove her mettle.