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Elite Motorsports No. 1 & 2 Heading Into Race Day at NHRA New England Nationals

In front of a sold-out crowd Saturday at New England Dragway, Erica Enders and the Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage /Melling Performance / SCAG Power Equipment team and Troy Coughlin Jr. in the / White Castle machine secured the No. 1 and No. 2 qualifying positions for the second consecutive race weekend.

With her 6.488-second pass at 211.79 mph from Friday night, Enders earned the 37th No. 1 of her career, third of the season and first at New England Dragway. Enders started qualifying with the quickest pass of the first session at 6.510 seconds and 211.63 mph earning her six bonus points on Friday.

Securely qualified in the field, Enders and the JHG / Melling team pushed in the first session on Saturday but found the edge smoking the tires to coast to a 16.055 second pass. The six-time world champion closed qualifying efforts Saturday afternoon with a 6.564 run at 211.89.

“The guys have been studying up and they were hard at work the past week. We’re running the car just a bit different. Yesterday with the sundown and cooler temperatures we knew we would be able to get after it and we were able to throw that 6.48 on the board,” Enders said. “We didn’t get the numbers we would have liked today but it helped to give us a race day tune up for tomorrow with the warmer conditions. The biggest challenge will be the tricky racetrack. I’m thankful that’s my crew chief’s job and I just have to try to stay focused on my job. We’ll just put our heads down and go to work.”

Troy Coughlin Jr. earned his No. 2 spot after having the second quickest pass in the second session at 6.510 seconds and 211.46 mph to earn two bonus points. Coughlin Jr. started the race weekend handling the / White Castle hot rod to a 6.537 pass at 210.57 that temporarily had him fourth. On Saturday, Coughlin Jr. had two solid runs of 6.557 at 210.80 and 6.578 at 210.93.

“The / White Castle Elite Camaro has consistently run well through all four sessions of qualifying. Tim Freeman and the boys are working hard and making great choices in these conditions,” Coughlin Jr. said. “I like where we are headed for race day. We have great confidence as a group and a great plan, we just need to execute and race our race.”

Sitting No. 1 Enders will face-off with teammate Fernando Cuadra Jr. in the first round of eliminations on Sunday while Coughlin Jr. will line up against Brandon Miller.

Eliminations at the NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway will begin Sunday at 11 a.m. with Pro Stock first round slates for noon. Television coverage of the event will continue on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) with a second qualifying show Saturday at 7 p.m. ET. Eliminations will air Sunday with two shows at 1:00 and 7:00 p.m. ET.

This story was originally published on June 2, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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