POMONA, CA – Erica Enders showed a glimpse of what could be special year for the Pro Stock standout when she was the No. 1 qualifier after the first day of the season-opening Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona on Friday.
Enders also displayed a killer performance on the starting line with reaction times of .001 and .014 during the first two rounds of eliminations on Monday.
But we also saw just how competitive things are expected to be this year in Pro Stock, as Enders suffered a narrow defeat to eventual event winner Bo Butner in the semifinals, as Butner’s 6.518 at 211.53 mph clipped Enders’ 6.527 at 211.93.
“Today, my car was fast. The first two rounds I was .001 and .014, but I missed it in the semifinals,” said Enders, who had a .070 reaction time against Butner. “As soon as I get back in the swing of things, we will be just fine. More than anything, I hate letting my guys down – win as a team, lose as a driver. But we will head to Phoenix with a positive attitude and see where race two puts us.”
POMONA, CA – Equipped with a new car and an ultra-productive offseason, Erica Enders is thinking big heading into the 2019 NHRA Pro Stock season, which begins at this weekend’s Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
She’ll debut a new Elite Motorsports/Melling Performance Chevrolet Camaro from RJ Race Cars at the race, adding to an excitement level that is apparent after an offseason full of activity.
“It was probably one of the most productive offseasons we’ve had,” Enders said. “We added another Pro Stock team with Rodger (Brogdon). We made the best of the time we were testing and we’re getting our feet wet with this new chassis right off the bat. Rick and Rickie Jones do an amazing job and we’re really pleased with the car we have.”
Enders is confident the car can perform at a high level to open the season as she takes on a full field in Pomona. With the contingent of talent among the Elite Motorsports team, she’s also not worried about any potential bumps in the road that usually come with a new car.
LENEXA, KS – With an eye on outside-the-box and innovative thinking, Steve Matusek and Elite Motorsports’ Pro Mod operation announced a key partnership with Turbosmart, a leading worldwide manufacturer of performance accessories for forced induction vehicles, that will stretch across the entire Elite Motorsports Pro Mod group.
On the heels of the recent announcement utilizing Garrett Advancing Motion turbochargers, this represents another major move for Matusek, Elite Motorsports, crew chief Shane Tecklenburg and Modern Racing’s Justin Elkes as they prepare for the 2019 NHRA Pro Mod season. Tecklenburg’s previous relationship with Turbosmart was instrumental in putting together the deal between the company and Elite Motorsports, and Turbosmart’s creative and forward-thinking designs and applications will be apparent on Matusek’s turbocharged Mustang. It adds up to another exciting incentive for the veteran standout heading into the upcoming year.
“We want to create a package that is the best package available and it’s exciting to team up with a company like Turbosmart,” said Matusek, who is also the president of Aeromotive, Inc. “We’re finding manufacturers that want to be involved with us, looking at the talent involved with this team, and they’re not going to get involved if they don’t have something to offer that moves the needle. This is the best of the best with what Turbosmart does. They have innovative ways to do things, they want to learn and they want to evolve their product line, and those are the things that excite me.”
LENEXA, KS – With championship aspirations heading into the 2019 NHRA Pro Mod season, veteran driver Steve Matusek today revealed a major partnership with Garrett Advancing Motion and its technology-driven line of turbochargers.
Matusek will team up with the turbocharger powerhouse, adding a proven and innovative name to an already impressive list heading into the NHRA Pro Mod campaign. Matusek, who also joined Elite Motorsports’ burgeoning Pro Mod camp in the off-season, will run Garrett Advancing Motion turbochargers on his Pro Mod Mustang as he enters the season with big expectations.
“We want to work with companies that want to work with us and learn with us, and we have a great opportunity to work with a real high-tech company like Garrett Advancing Motion that will give us good feedback to advance our program quickly,” Matusek said. “It’s a very good, very safe product that will help us reach our goals and I’m very excited to work with Garrett in 2019.”
MOORESVILLE, NC — The quickly expanding conglomerate formed by Elite Motorsports and Modern Racing has taken another step forward. The team is proud to announce the addition of record-setting tuner and engine management expert Shane Tecklenburg to the braintrust led by Modern Racing’s Justin Elkes.
The arrangement calls for Tecklenburg to supply the team’s three turbocharged NHRA Pro Modified entries piloted by Erica Enders, Alex Laughlin and Steve Matusek with complete vehicle management systems.
“I look forward to combining the resources of my firm, ST Consulting, with those of Elite Motorsports and Modern Racing. I think each business compliments the other and each brings a high level of expertise in their respective fields,” Tecklenburg stated. “I look forward to working with Justin Elkes to help ensure the team is on the leading edge of technology and performance each time we pull to the starting line.”
Although he has never competed directly in E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod presented by J&A Service, Tecklenburg has worked behind the scenes to supply teams in the series with his custom software for the MoTeC engine management system.
Outside of NHRA Pro Mod, Tecklenburg’s experience in writing custom software and tuning record-setting drag racing vehicles spans from the sport’s quickest and fastest doorslammer, the EKanoo Racing Lexus RCF, which covered the quarter mile in 5.379 seconds at 278 MPH earlier this year, to the Team Tekno Toys Modified Pro Compact Nissan Silvia S15, which just last month claimed the title of the world’s fastest 4-cylinder doorslammer with a 6.228-second pass at 229.55 MPH.
WYNNEWOOD, OK – Signaling a further progression in their growing Pro Mod operation, Pro Stock and sportsman racing powerhouse Elite Motorsports announced today it has formed a strategic alliance with Modern Racing and its founder, noted tuner guru Justin Elkes.
Elite Motorsports will campaign three Pro Mod cars driven by Erica Enders, Alex Laughlin and Steve Matusek for the full 2019 E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by J&A Service season and Modern Racing will help oversee that transition. Elkes’ Modern Racing, whose expertise and track record is well knowing within the industry, will help facilitate the operation, aid in tuning and handle the construction and assembly of the three turbocharged entries, which include two Camaros and one Mustang, which will be driven by Matusek.
“Justin fits really well with our group and it’s kind of a magic deal for us,” said Richard Freeman, Founder, Elite Motorsports. “I’ve known Justin for a long time, and he’s just methodical in what he does and thinks outside the box. We have some really good people on our team and when you add Justin to that mix and you have magic. It’s going to be a really great addition to our program.”
POMONA, CA – Two-time Pro Stock champion Erica Enders found herself getting emotional as the race day ladder for the 53rd annual Auto Club NHRA Finals came together and she realized she’d be facing retiring pro and fellow champion Allen Johnson in the opening round of Sunday’s eliminations.
“Me and Allen, his wife Pam and (my husband) Richie took a photo right before that last qualifying session and it was definitely emotional,” Enders said. “He’s my best friend out here and after his final qualifying run I watched him do an interview at the top end and he was crying. It was very hard to watch because I love him and Pam so much.
“It will definitely be emotional to race him but, like we say every time we race each other, may the best man or woman win.