Enders returns to record-setting Englishtown
As NHRA Pro Stock drag racer, Erica Enders prepares for the 46th Annual Toyota Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, she carries the memories of last year’s record-setting performance – an added measure of confidence for this year’s event
Enders and her Elite Motorsports team set the national elapsed time and speed records in Englishtown, New Jersey a year ago with a 6.464 second performance at 215.55 mph, with the speed mark still intact today.
“There’s a lot of history at Raceway Park,” said Enders, the 2014 Pro Stock champion. “I’m excited to go back because we set both ends of the national record there for e.t. and mph. The E.T. record was just broken by Jason (Line) in Charlotte, but we still hold the mph record. Definitely some fond memories there for me: My husband Richie (Stevens) has won there a handful of times, so it’s a lucky track for him.”
Plus, Englishtown is a favorite stop for Pro Stock competitors because fans in the area truly love the class.
“It’s Pro Stock country up there,” Enders said. “People there love Pro Stock, so it’s always exciting to get back to a racetrack where the whole grandstands want to see us race. The back of the pits are packed, and you get a lot of educated questions. It’s nice.”
Weather may not be favorable for any record-setting runs this year, but Enders expects to be among the fastest drivers. Fresh off a victory at Heartland Park Topeka, she was the quickest in all three rounds of qualifying and in all four rounds of eliminations. The weather forecast calls for temperatures in the low 80s this weekend with a slight chance for rain.
“Englishtown and Reading are always two of the most likely tracks to have weather conditions conducive for record-setting runs,” Enders said. “If the conditions are there, I definitely put our money on us. We’ve certainly got a good handle on our hot rod right now, and I’ve been driving really well. We’ll see what the good Lord deals us with the weather, and we’ll go up there and do our best. Record or not, our goal is to win the race. Coming off a win in Topeka, I’m very excited to get back behind the wheel.”
The Topeka victory put Enders back on top in the points standings for the second time this year, and she leads Jason Line by 58 points. But her focus isn’t on points at this stage of the season.
“It’s always exciting to lead the points, but it’s a long season,” Enders said. “We’re only a third of the way through it, and we’ve got a lot of races left. There are a lot of tough competitors out there in Pro Stock, and it’s going to come down to the wire. With the Countdown format, it doesn’t mean a whole lot to get very far ahead. We were 250 points ahead last year, and it came down to the final round of the final race.”
Qualifying for the 46th Annual Toyota NHRA Summernationals takes place at 3:45 and 6:15 p.m. ET, Friday, and 1:15 and 3:45 p.m., Saturday. Elimination round racing begins at noon, Sunday. ESPN2 will broadcast the action.