ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 10) — Two-time Pro Stock world champion Erica Enders will begin her quest for back-to-back victories on the NHRA tour out of the No. 9 position in the elimination field of the 48th annual NHRA Summernationals. Enders coaxed a best of 6.598 at 210.54 mph out of her Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro in the fourth and final qualifying session.
“We ran our best pass in the final round so we finally have this thing working right this weekend,” Enders said. “It’s crazy how you can go from one race to the next and the car reacts so differently but that’s the way it’s been for us. God bless my crew guys because they have worked extremely hard this weekend to get us straight.”
Because there are only 14 Pro Stock cars on the property, the usual 16-car elimination ladder has been modified, pitting Enders against her Elite Motorsports teammate, No. 6 qualifier Jeg Coughlin Jr., who had a best pass of 6.589 seconds at 210.64 mph.
“You never want to race your teammate unless it’s in the finals,” Enders said. “Jeggie has been good all year and we obviously know what that JEGS.com car can do, even in the heat here this weekend. Both of us are very close as far as our qualifying times go so it should be a driver’s race. We’ll see who gets bragging rights for the next few days.
“We’ve had a different kind of weekend so far. Q1 I had a really crazy burnout but I kept my foot in it because we didn’t want to lose the round. We ended up running a 6.63. In Q2 the thing shook really hard so I had to give up the run. Today it was hotter but we closed in on the tune-up with a 6.61 and then the 6.59. We’re moving in the right direction.”
Interestingly, despite Old Bridge Township Raceway Park being one of her favorite tracks, Enders has only raced as far as the semifinals on just one occasion here. She’ll try to remedy that stat Sunday.
“Yeah, I’m not sure why we’ve struggled here, even in my championship years,” Enders said. “It’s just been one of those tracks for us, but it doesn’t mean anything. We’ve had other tracks where we thought the same thing but then we go there and win so over time we know these things work themselves out.
“Right now we’re focused on improving what we did in qualifying and we think there is room to do that so we’re excited.”
Pro Stock eliminations begin at noon, Sunday. FOX Sports 1 will feature live elimination coverage from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Sunday. There also will be an elimination show running from 6-7:30 p.m., Sunday evening. (Times are local and subject to change.)