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Erica Enders Reaches NHRA Winternationals Final Round Before Rain Postponement; On Track for 50th Career Win

Erica Enders and her Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage/Melling Performance/SCAG Power Equipment team are one step away from the six-time world champion’s 50th career NHRA national event win. Enders reached her 82nd national event final round Sunday at the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternatioanls at In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip before the event was cut short due to consistent rain.

Enders, already the winningest female in motorsports history, is set to race against Dallas Glenn in the Winternationals final round that will be contested during the NHRA Arizona Nationals. It will be Enders’ 80th Pro Stock final and her 82nd career NHRA national event final.

Enders entered race day as the No. 2 qualifier with a 6.547 second pass at 210.73 mph during an abbreviated two sessions of qualifying. The JHG/Melling/SCAG team started their day driving past teammate Fernando Cuadra Jr. with a 6.679 second pass at 203.61 mph while F. Cuadra Jr. and his Corral Boots/Cuadra/Columbia Impex car had severe tire shake shutting off to coast to an 11.545 pass.

In the second round, Enders would face Brandon Foster. Enders left the starting line first and never trailed for a 6.583 pass at 210.77 while Foster started to drift towards the centerline and had to shut off to go only 6.966 at 159.25.

The semifinals would pit Enders against a familiar foe in veteran Greg Anderson. It was the 56th time the pair had faced each other. Enders would better her 29-26 record to 30-26 when she laid down her quickest run of the weekend at 6.523 seconds and 210.73 mph and she would need every bit of it with Anderson’s .009 second reaction time and 6.520 pass at 210.01.

“We had been fighting an uphill battle all day long. We really hadn’t put a number on the scoreboard that we were proud of. That semifinal run we, we finally put it together. That was a great run, just a little closer at the stripe than we would have liked. I put it in fifth gear, looked over and gritted my teeth hoping for that win light and thankfully it happened,” Enders said. “It’s exciting to be headed to another final for JHG, Melling, C-Tech, CHE, Gallagher, Team Elite and Randy and Maria from SCAG. We had a bunch of dealers out here from Versatran and BlueBird and we were really thrilled to have them. I wish we could have turned on one more beacon here in Pomona, but we’ll look to get the job done in Phoenix and hopefully double up.”

Enders will take on Dallas Glenn in the finals of the NHRA Winternationals during qualifying at the upcoming NHRA Arizona Nationals April 5-7 at Firebird Motorsports Park.

This story was originally published on March 25, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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