For the third straight race, Erica Enders will be solely focused on racing her turbocharged Elite Motorsports Pro Mod Camaro heading into this weekend’s Arby’s NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.
Judging by the improvement Enders and her talented team have made the last two races, something big could be in store for the two-time Pro Stock champ to finish out this Pro Mod-heavy stretch.
“I’m excited I’ve been able to race Pro Mod since Pro Stock has been missing the last couple events,” said Enders, referencing Pro Stock’s new 18-race schedule in 2019. “To have some of the baddest equipment on the property, and go out there and be extremely competitive in this class, it’s been great to see. I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished and it’s exciting, but I think it’s just going to get better.”
If it gets much better, Enders could be looking at her first career NHRA Pro Mod win to add to her 23 Pro Stock victories. That would be a major step, considering Elite Motorsports just jumped into the highly-competitive class a year ago, but the recent results have been hard to ignore.
Enders and her Elite Motorsports Pro Mod team, which also includes tuner Shane Tecklenburg and Modern Racing’s Justin Elkes, have set the speed record at the past two races, topped off by a 260.41 mph pass last weekend in Charlotte, while Enders also advanced to the final quad at zMAX Dragway.
It bumped Enders up to ninth in points heading to the fourth of 12 events during the 2019 NHRA Pro Mod season, putting the team on an impressive track this early in their Pro Mod careers.
While the turbocharged RJ Race Cars Camaro is far different than her Pro Stock car, there is still plenty Enders can lean on when it comes to trying to be successful in the talent-heavy class.
“Because of all our Pro Stock experience, we know how to race on Sundays (during eliminations),” Enders said. “We’re pretty methodical racers and hopefully we can take all the things we’ve learned in Pro Stock and apply them here when it comes to things like mindset, manpower and the tools we have.”
That’s a nod to the group team owner Richard Freeman has assembled, but Enders wants to keep the improvement coming in Atlanta. As the temperatures start to warm up, those conditions should favor the turbo cars and Enders showed potential on a warm track with 259.96 during eliminations on Sunday. But that also means she’ll have to ward off a number of top turbo cars, a challenge she’s ready to take on at Georgia’s House of Speed.
“We hurt a motor in the final round (in Charlotte), so we’re getting that taken care of,” Enders said. “It’s the first hotter race of the year, so we’ll have to learn how to manage the car, but we’re excited.”
The first of four E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service qualifying sessions take place at 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Friday, with the final two coming Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. The first round of Pro Mod eliminations are scheduled for 12:10 p.m. on Sunday.