Another Pro Mod weekend meant another world record and another impressive result for Erica Enders. This time, the standout driver advanced to the final quad of the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway on Sunday, once again showing remarkable progress for a Pro Mod team with barely a year under its belt.
Enders also broke the speed record she set two weeks ago in Houston with a blistering pass of 260.41 mph in her turbocharged Elite Motorsports Camaro, and moved into the top 10 in points, adding up to another monumental weekend for Enders and her team in Charlotte.
“I’m excited and this is something we can build on,” said Enders, who is now ninth in points. “We’re still learning and trying to get the car to go as fast we can down the track. It’s been a learning curve, but to race in the finals and see the progress we’ve made, we’re all pretty happy about it. The car continues to goes A to B and make strong passes, and that’s the big thing.”
Enders continues to top herself at each NHRA Pro Mod race, continuing that progression this weekend at the third of 12 races during the 2019 season.
After just missing out on qualifying in Gainesville, Enders set the speed record in Houston and followed it with a round win. This weekend, Enders and her team, led by tuner Shane Tecklenburg, Modern Racing’s Justin Elkes, Jake Hairston and the rest of the Elite Motorsports group, qualified eighth with a run of 5.755 at 260.41, setting the speed record and putting her in the best position for raceday this year.
She ran 5.836 at 259.96 to finish second in the first round quad, moving to the final quad with a 5.861 at 258.22. Enders lost to defending world champion Mike Janis in a final round that also included points leader Stevie “Fast” Jackson and three-time world champ Rickie Smith, but the two-time Pro Stock champ again showed signs that her team is becoming a force to be reckoned with in the Pro Mod ranks.
“It’s a feat just to qualify in this class and the list of names we’re up against is stout,” Enders said. “They’re all good racers with fast cars and to have our names in the mix with them, it’s just really cool. It’s all about the people on this team. (Team owner) Richard (Freeman) has given us all the tools we need to succeed, and we’ve got some big names on our roster. I think it’s just going to get better.”
The last two races were Pro Mod-focused, as Pro Stock didn’t race in Houston or Charlotte. That’s allowed Enders to get even more locked in on succeeding with her turbo Camaro, a scenario that will happen again next weekend in Atlanta.
That race – the Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway – will mark the fourth of 12 races during the 2019 NHRA Pro Mod season, and Enders sees it as another chance to take a step forward.
“It’s definitely cool to see the progress we’ve made and set the (speed) record,” Enders said. “We continue to go faster and that’s exciting. We went almost 260 in the heat of the day (on Sunday) and that speaks volumes about our engine program and what we’re capable of.”