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Elite Motorsports Geared Up for Countdown Competition

The Elite Motorsports Pro Stock team is red-hot and ready for action as they enter the first race of the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s version of the playoffs, at this week’s Pep Boys NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway. The competition in Pro Stock has been outstanding this year as six different drivers claimed victories in the 12 events contested through the regular season. 

All eight of the Elite Motorsports Pro Stock pilots are in contention for the championship. Points reset coming into the Countdown which means it’s anybody’s game now and the largest professional team in drag racing is hitting their stride at the right time. Now is the time to amp up the momentum and make every run count. The Elite Motorsports team plans to eagerly and earnestly vie for every possible point as they power through the final stretch of the season with renewed vigor. 

All eyes are on reigning and five-time Pro Stock world champion Erica Enders, who is looking for a repeat triumph after winning this event in Reading, Pa. last year. At the midpoint of the season, she was 15th in the points standings, but she and her powerful Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage / Melling Performance / SCAG Power Equipment Camaro catapulted to third by the time they completed the regular season two weeks ago in Indianapolis. Now, with only 32 points separating her from the lead, Enders is ready to do what she does best – embrace the pressure and race to victory. 

With two wins and one No. 1 qualifier to his credit this season, Troy Coughlin Jr. enters the Countdown from the fourth spot, only 41 points behind the first. There’s nowhere Coughlin would rather be than behind the wheel of his JEGS / White Castle Camaro, tearing up the track. Coughlin has proven his on-track aptitude time and time again, across multiple categories, and he plans to make some big moves this weekend. 

Aaron Stanfield knows what it takes to win and he is poised to pursue his first victory of the season in his Janac Bros / Melling Engine Parts / J3 Energy Camaro. He was recently crowned the overall Pro Stock winner of the Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty challenge, a specialty event that provided semifinalists a rematch at the next event. That winning momentum will serve him well as he enters the Countdown from the No. 6 spot.

Rounding out the Elite Motorsports drivers currently in the Top Ten is Cristian Cuadra, who is ranked tenth in the Countdown standings. He’s been diligently testing in his Corral Boots Mustang to find additional power. His natural ability on the tree gives him a competitive advantage against whoever may be in the lane beside him, even (or perhaps especially) if it’s his brother or father.

Bo Butner claimed the Pro Stock world championship in 2017 and he would like nothing more than to land his Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage Camaro in the winners circle this weekend. While he is currently ranked 11th in the standings, Butner knows how to compete strategically thanks to years of experience competing in sportsman categories.

Coming off of the first final round of his career at the prestigious U.S. Nationals two weeks ago, Fernando Cuadra Jr. is voracious in his resolve to elevate his position in the Countdown and finish the season on a high note. The talented driver wants to be the first Mexican-born driver to achieve a victory in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series and with a new combination including the Camaro formerly piloted by multi-time world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr., he knows it’s coming soon. 

Pro Stock Rookie Jerry Tucker has experienced a stellar season, one that most rookie drivers would love to have. He’s qualified at every event and has defeated some of the best drivers in the category. As he enters the Countdown from the No. 13 position, Tucker knows that now is the time to amp things up in his Outlaw Mile Hi Light Beer Camaro.

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Elite Motorsports driver and patriarch of the Cuadra family, Fernando Cuadra Sr., has experienced a few bumps in his Pro Stock journey this season but that hasn’t stopped him from enjoying every minute of it. Getting to compete alongside his sons makes it all worth it. That said, he’s been looking for the right combination in his Corral Boots Mustang and the team feels they are on the right path.

In the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, David Cuadra will once again be competing in the Top Sportsman category. With stellar reaction times and a powerful machine underneath him, D. Cuadra has made a big statement among the sportsman ranks and he’s aiming to finish the season on a high note. 

NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying for the Pep Boys NHRA Nationals will feature two rounds at 2 and 5 p.m. ET on Friday, Sept. 15, and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 17. 

This story was originally published on September 13, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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