Brainerd, MN – Erica Enders has been around Pro Stock long enough to know that things go in cycles. Heading to Brainerd this weekend for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, Enders is plenty ready for that cycle to swing in her favor.
It hasn’t yet this season, as Enders is still seeking her first win of the 2019 NHRA Pro Stock season, but the veteran isn’t lacking confidence, in part because of how her team continues to work.
“We prepare the best we can and if we continue to work hard, I feel good that it’s going to work out,” Enders said. “I think our time will come and we’ve got the tenacity to work through it. We’re not running poorly, we just need a little luck. There’s definitely a little pressure with just two races before the Countdown, but I’m confident we’ll be ready this weekend.”
Enders finished the Western Swing in her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro with a quarterfinal showing in Seattle, and she’ll look to take a big leap at Brainerd International Raceway.
KENT, WA – With a pair of strong qualifying runs last Saturday, Erica Enders felt confident she had a car capable of winning in Sonoma. While that didn’t happen, that belief has continued to the final race of the NHRA Western Swing.
The two-time Pro Stock world champion will head to Seattle for this weekend’s NHRA Northwest Nationals eager to pick up her first victory of the 2019 season. After what she saw in Sonoma, she’s hopeful she can end the Western Swing on a positive note in her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro.
“My car was consistent and it was consistently fast (in Sonoma),” Enders said. “We were low (E.T.) in the third qualifying session and the third-quickest in the fourth session. That gives you some confidence and I was driving well. We totally could have won that race. But the good news is we have a good, fast and consistent car. I feel good with the handle we have on it, and it definitely gives us some confidence heading to Seattle. We’ll be ready.”
SONOMA, CA – Before Erica Enders takes to the track at Sonoma Raceway for this weekend’s NHRA Sonoma Nationals, the two-time Pro Stock world champion has an important task she hopes gets the entire Elite Motorsports team on track.
“I requested to have a team meeting and hopefully it’s going to be a momentum-building and morale-boosting type of meeting,” Enders said. “It’s just going to be about getting back to where we started and get back to what we know.
“What we do comes with a lot of pressure and stress, so this meeting can help us get in the cracks of what’s going on. It gives us a chance to hit the reset button and get our swagger back.”
Enders booked a conference room at the hotel the team is staying at for the Thursday meeting, which she hopes proves to be a pivotal point in the team’s 2019 NHRA season.
Racing for the first time in NHRA Pro Stock, Matusek qualified fifth with a 6.956 at 197.65 mph in the Elite Motorsports Ford Mustang during last weekend’s Mile-High NHRA Nationals in Denver. And despite a first-round loss to three-time world champion Jason Line, there were nothing but positives coming out of Bandimere Speedway for the veteran.
“It was almost a picture-perfect weekend,” Matusek said. “We intended to go rounds and we had a good car, but that’s okay. There were a lot of positives to build on. My comfort level in the car, the team, the power they’ve made in the car, how competitive we were, and how under control and comfortable I was, every aspect of it was a positive experience for me.”
What will make that even better is if the two-time world champion can start reeling off wins in that span.
She’ll get her first crack this weekend at Bandimere Speedway in Denver, as the NHRA kicks off the famed three-race Western Swing with the Mile-High NHRA Nationals. Racing at an altitude of nearly 6,000 feet poses one of the biggest challenges on the circuit, but Enders is eager to get back behind the wheel of her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Camaro, especially as the team tries to get back to its winning ways.
“There’s definitely a sense of urgency,” Enders said. “We have to make sure we have our ducks in a row and for us, we don’t want to be timid. We can’t change the way we race and we have to get our consistency back to where we’ve been before. We’ve worked hard and done a lot of testing in the time off, so we’re excited to head out West and see what we can do in Denver.”
San Antonio, TX – VP Racing Fuels, Inc., having powered countless race wins and championships for years in the NHRA’s Pro Stock Class, will sponsor Pro Mod turning Pro Stock racer Steve Matusek and feature their Madditive® and Small Engine Fuel products on the famed Western Swing.
“Steve Matusek’s highly regarded for his work in the racing industry with Aeromotive Fuel Systems and Waterman Racing Components, and we are glad to support his first endeavor in NHRA Pro Stock. VP will also provide support with VP Racing Fuels for his NHRA Pro Mod team for the balance on the 2019 season,” said Chris Wall, Senior Director, VP Racing Fuels. “We think Matusek and Madditives will be the talk of the tour out west and we look forward to showcasing our performance fuels and chemicals.”
Matusek’s NHRA Pro Stock car, a 2019 Ford Mustang fielded by Elite Motorsports, will carry VP Madditives chemical and additive line and VP Small Engine Fuels logos along with the Mad Scientist®, VP’s mascot and symbol of the company’s relentless passion for developing products that outperform the competition.
Thermo-Tec Joins Steve Matusek’s NHRA Pro Stock Debut, Named Partner for Entire Three-Race Western Swing
LENEXA, KS – Steve Matusek today revealed the first partner for his venture into NHRA Pro Stock. Matusek, the president at Aeromotive and longtime Pro Mod standout, announced that Thermo-Tec, the original developer of heat and sound insulation technology, will be a sponsor on the Elite Motorsports 2019 Pro Stock Ford Mustang for all three races during his venture on the NHRA’s Western Swing.
Matusek’s first career Pro Stock race will take place next weekend at Bandimere Speedway in Denver, and the growing buzz surrounding his debut made it an easy decision for Thermo-Tec to jump on board.
“It’s very exciting for us and honestly it was a no-brainer,” Thermo-Tec Director of Sales and Marketing Brian Prior said. “I’ve known Steve a long time, it’s his first foray into Pro Stock and he’s doing it with a great car, so it’s all very exciting and we’re glad to be a part of it. Elite Motorsports is a top team, Steve and Aeromotive make the top fuel systems in the industry, and we believe at Thermo-Tec we’re the top company when it comes to heat and sound insulation technology. It was absolutely a no-brainer.”