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Erica Enders Picks Up Second Consecutive Win at Nevada Nationals

Elite Motorsports standout Erica Enders earned her second consecutive victory today at the NHRA Nevada Nationals, effectively extending her lead in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Pro Stock category. Enders, the winningest woman in motorsports, has more wins at this facility than any other professional driver.

“You can’t do this alone,” said Enders. “No matter how much negativity surrounds you, if you don’t let it in your boat, it can’t sink you. I think that’s the biggest lesson from this weekend. When our backs are against the wall, that’s when these guys perform flawlessly. Greg’s right on my heels and that was a big round win for us. I’m just really proud. I give God all the glory. When you dig deep and play with all the heart that you have, they can’t get you.”

All nine Elite Motorsports Pro Stock entries successfully secured spots on the eliminations ladder at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Enders started race day from the No. 2 position as she began her hard-fought journey to the winners circle. 

Elite Motorsports teammates Troy Coughlin Jr. and Bo Butner lined up against each other in the first of two all-Elite first-round matchups. Troy Jr. got the starting line advantage and took the win with an impressive pass of 6.573 seconds at 208.26 mph in his Camaro. 

It was an interesting battle to the finish line when Fernando Cuadra Sr., in the black Corral Boots Mustang, faced his eldest son, Fernando Cuadra Jr., in his yellow Corral Boots Camaro. While F. Cuadra Jr.’s car lagged at the starting line, he was able to get in front of his father by the half-track point to advance to the next round. 

The third Corral Boots machine, piloted by Cristian Cuadra, defeated Deric Kramer for a first-round win advancing him to the quarterfinals. C. Cuadra’s killer reaction time of .006 seconds secured the holeshot win for the talented young driver. 

Jeg Coughlin Jr. started his return to Pro Stock on a high note with a win against Dallas Glenn. The five-time Pro Stock world champion took his new SCAG Power Equipment Camaro to the stripe with a run of 6.595 at 207.43. Reigning five-time Pro Stock world champion Enders powered her Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage Camaro to a win against Mason McGaha. 

The first round of eliminations also paired No. 8 qualifier Greg Anderson against Elite Motorsports standout Aaron Stanfield who qualified No. 9 behind the wheel of his Janac Bros. / Melling Engine Parts Camaro. Both cars had great runs but it was Anderson who crossed the finish line first. Stanfield’s Elite teammate Jerry Tucker was the only other Elite driver to make a first-round exit against a non-Elite entry.

While Stanfield made an uncharacteristically early exit in the Pro Stock category, he clinched his third consecutive world championship in the Flexjet Factory Stock Showdown. 

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As one side of the ladder was stacked with Elite Motorsports entries, the quarterfinal round of competition was an intense one for everyone still in the game. C. Cuadra faced his new teammate Jeg Jr. in the first matchup. Jeg Jr. launched off the starting line with a .004-second reaction time to defeat C. Cuadra on a holeshot. Enders faced Troy Jr. in yet another all-Elite pairing. Enders went 6.570 at 208.36 to get the win. F. Cuadra Jr. did not have enough to get by Matt Hartford.

After watching Anderson defeat Hartford in the first semifinal pairing, Elite Motorsports teammates Enders and Jeg Jr. lined up against each other. They launched within four-thousandths of a second as Enders left with a reaction time of .014 seconds and Jeg Jr. had a light of .018 seconds. Ultimately it was Enders who crossed the finish line first. 

In the finals, Enders and Anderson faced each other for the 54th time in their careers. Enders got the starting line advantage and soared past the finish line to pick up her fourth win this season and the 10th at this facility. 

The final event of the season takes place November 9-12 when the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series rolls into Pomona Calif. for the In-N-Out Burger NHRA Finals at NHRA In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip. 

This story was originally published on October 31, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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