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Elite Fleet Aims to Accelerate at zMAX Dragway

The Elite Motorsports team is looking forward to the second race of the Countdown to the Championships, the betway NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway, just outside of Charlotte. Not only will the eight Elite Motorsports Pro Stock entries be taking to the track in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series, but two Mountain Motor Pro Stock machines piloted by Erica Enders and Richard Freeman will compete as well. Not to mention, David Cuadra in Top Sportsman. 

After securing the top three qualifying positions last weekend in Reading, Pa., Elite Motorsports, the largest professional team in drag racing, aims to continue making big moves in the Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s version of the playoffs.

Reigning five-time Pro Stock world champion Enders had a phenomenal performance in qualifying, She was the low qualifier of all but one qualifying round, gaining her valuable bonus points. Troy Coughlin Jr. also had a solid qualifying performance and was the low qualifier of the one round that Enders did not get. Both talented drivers moved up a position in points. Enders was the No. 1 qualifier at this event last year and she’s won the event two times. After a few setbacks earlier in the season, the fan-favorite driver is more motivated than ever to land her Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage / Melling Performance / SCAG Power Equipment Camaro in the winners circle again. 

The Pro Stock field is packed with heavy hitters and the competition is ferocious. Aaron Stanfield won the fall race at zMAX last year and he’s looking for his first win of the season. He’s gaining consistency and valuable momentum coming into this event. As is his Elite Motorsports teammate Bo Butner. 

Having made the fastest pass of his career during qualifying last week in Reading, Jerry Tucker is turning up the heat at the right time. The Pro Stock rookie laid down a stout run of 6.535 seconds at 210.14 mph and he’s eager to ride that momentum into this week’s event in Charlotte. While this may be his first season in Pro Stock, his performance in his Outlaw Mile Hi Light Beer Camaro keeps getting better, not unlike his teammates, The Cuadra Boys. 

Fernando Cuadra Sr. made consistently smooth runs throughout qualifying in Reading, each pass faster than the last. His sons, Fernando Jr. and Cristian, are also finding more speed and consistency. In the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, David Cuadra is coming off of a No. 1 qualifier and looks to amp things up this weekend. 

NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature one round at 6:00 p.m. ET on Friday, Sept. 22, and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, Sept. 23 at 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11:00 a.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 24. Television coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 9:30 a.m. ET on Saturday and 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, and then eliminations on FS1 at 2:00 p.m. ET on Sunday.

This story was originally published on September 21, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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