Elite Motorsports, the largest professional race team in the NHRA, is ready to continue the momentum they gained at the first event of the Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s version of the playoffs, as they travel to the Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway this weekend.
The powerful Pro Stock team dominated the Pep Boys NHRA Nationals last weekend at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa. Erica Enders won her seventh event title of the season and 40th of her career in an all-Elite final round against her teammate Troy Coughlin Jr. while Bo Butner picked up his first No. 1 qualifier of the season.
As they return to zMAX this week, the team is in a great position. Enders is experiencing the best season of her career so far, and pulling out ahead of the competition early certainly helped as the four-time Pro Stock world champion is focused on earning her fifth world title.
“We were absolutely thrilled to start the countdown off on the right foot,” said Enders. “As in most sports, momentum is huge for us. We hope to carry that through the remaining five events of the season. We always enjoy running in Charlotte as it serves as a home base for our major sponsors, Gallagher and Peoplease. We have a great race car right now and I’m driving well. So we’re are going to capitalize on that every chance we get.”
Every round counts right now as the Pro Stock field is incredibly competitive this year. With Coughlin’s runner-up finish in Reading, he moved up to fourth in the points standings and the talented driver is as focused as ever on making a strong Countdown performance.
Bo Butner got a new car a few races ago and clearly that was the change that the former Pro Stock world champion needed. He dominated qualifying at Maple Grove, moving him up a couple spots in the points.
Aaron Stanfield has been a consistent performer all week and will be one to watch in the Countdown as his quiet focus and ability to remain calm under pressure will certainly come in handy through the weeks to come.
Fernando Cuadra Sr., the patriarch of the fan-favorite Cuadra Boys, debuted a new car in Reading. And his Corral Boots Camaro is in the process of being completely rewired before it rolls through the gate at zMAX Dragway for the second race of the Countdown. His sons, Fernando Jr. and Cristian, have been improving all season and they will definitely be ones to watch as the season continues.
FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by D-Wagon
After struggling in the first part of the season, Pro Mod standout Lyle Barnett is coming off a monumental win at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. Barnett plans to parlay that momentum into a stellar performance this weekend in North Carolina. zMAX Dragway is the home track for Barnett and he’s looking forward to turning on win lights in front of a hometown crowd. The Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals will take place at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C. September 23-25.