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Fernando Cuadra Jr. Scores Third Semifinal Appearance for Elite Motorsports in Indy

The Elite Motorsports Pro Stock team had two semifinal finishes today at the prestigious Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Fernando Cuadra Jr. and Erica Enders raced to the semifinals on opposite sides of the ladder thanks to solid performances round after round at the Big Go.

In his third semifinal appearance of the season, Cuadra Jr. started race day from the No. 12 position on the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Pro Stock ladder, facing his Elite Motorsports teammate, Bo Butner, who was driving his new Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage Chevrolet Camaro. Cuadra Jr. defeated Butner on a holeshot with a pass of 6.623 seconds at 206.54 mph. In the next round, he knocked off Matt Hartford in his Corral Boots Ford Mustang before being bested by Greg Anderson in the semifinal. Anderson went on to win the event.

“The whole weekend was amazing,” said Cuadra Jr. “It was like a roller coaster. In qualifying, we were struggling because we knew that the car could perform better than it did in qualifying. Then in the first round, it was like, ‘OK. It’s getting better.’ In two it got better again. Here, in round 3, something failed on the car but it that’s racing. Parts fail.

“To go this many rounds at the U.S. Nationals was amazing because it got me into the Countdown – in the Top Ten. I may be number ten or nine. I don’t know. But it was really good. It helped a lot in the emotional part, to go rounds. It gave me a lot of confidence.”

Enders powered her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports to defeat Mason McGaha with a run of 6.609 at 208.30. She then faced Pro Stock rookie Camrie Caruso. Caruso left a bit too early giving Enders the quarterfinal win. In the semifinal round, Enders faced the 2021 NHRA Rookie Of The Year Dallas Glenn who cut an impressive light to snag a holeshot win.

Troy Coughlin Jr. went two rounds in his Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro defeating Deric Kramer in Round One before losing to Anderson in the quarterfinal.

Cristian Cuadra, Aaron Stanfield and Fernando Cuadra Sr. experienced first-round losses today but each of their Elite Motorsports Pro Stock machines performed consistently throughout the weekend. The team is ready for the Countdown To The Championship and plans to come out of the gate strong at the Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, N.C., September 23-25.

This story was originally published on September 6, 2022. Drag Illustrated

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