Coming off a dominant performance in Phoenix, defending Pro Stock world champion Erica Enders has her sights set on a different prize this weekend, and that’s a $75,000 payout for the winner of the Drag Illustrated World Doorslammer Nationals presented by CTech Manufacturing.
Spearheaded by Elite Motorsports team owner Richard Freeman and Drag Illustrated Founder Wes Buck, the inaugural event takes place at Orlando Speed World Dragway, putting the spotlight on the standouts in Pro Stock and Pro Mod.
The winner in Pro Stock nets $75,000 – the most ever for a single race in class history – and that is more than enough to motivate Enders, who will look to keep rolling in her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro.
“Every week you start with a clean slate, so you just have to continue to work hard,” Enders said. “Right now, we have some excellent mojo going on. Our race cars are fast, and the guys are just working flawlessly together. We were lights out in Phoenix and I’m really pleased.
“Coming into this race, I’m really excited about it. I got to see all the hard work and effort that went into putting this event together, and it’s cool to see the car turnout. With the optimism and performance we’ve had the last two races, it’s definitely exciting.”
Enders and teammate Jeg Coughlin Jr. have been nearly untouchable the last four races, dating back to the end of 2019. They each have a pair of victories in that span, with Enders also winning her third Pro Stock world championship. The victory in Phoenix gave her 26 career wins and the points lead early in the 2020 season, making it the ideal start to the year.
The goal now is trying to keep this momentum going as long as possible, and a strong showing in Orlando would certainly do that.
“I’m looking forward to it. It’s a great time for our team right now,” Enders said. “Pro Stock goes in cycles and I understand that, so we’re just going to try to enjoy it and do the best job we can every time we go up there. It’s definitely nice to win early, that’s for sure, but we have to make it last.”
The weekend provides a different feel from the typical race on the NHRA circuit, but Enders, who made a couple of test hits on Friday before the first round of qualifying, has enjoyed the unique atmosphere.
There’s no points on the line, but with a loaded field of cars – including all the usual heavy-hitters in Pro Stock – the action will be intense. Enders welcomes that, knowing it will be business as usual during eliminations on Sunday, especially with $75,000 on the line.
“It’s definitely a more relaxed environment, but when Sunday rolls around and you shut the door, it’s all business,” Enders said. “I don’t think my mindset will change because it’s not a points race. It will be a tall order, of course, but it would be pretty cool to bring home some of the money we helped raise.
“I think the vibe is definitely cool. That part of it, to me, is intriguing. I like that big crowd, people cheering and I think that’s cool. It’s what makes our sport so awesome.”
The first round of qualifying at the Drag Illustrated World Doorslammer Nationals presented by CTech Manufacturing takes place at 6 p.m. on Friday, followed by three rounds at 12, 3 and 6 p.m. on Saturday. Eliminations begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday, and all action will be broadcast live at SpeedVideo.com.