The defending Pro Stock world champ rolled to the victory in spectacular fashion, running an impressive 6.606-seconds at 208.55 mph in the final round in her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro to claim the victory at the NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.
It gave Enders her second career win at the world’s biggest drag race, and the perfect way to make up for last year’s final round, when a mechanical failure prevented her from the victory. This time, everything was spot on, from Enders’ .009 reaction time on the starting line to a car that was quick and consistent all day. It all led to another magical moment in the winner’s circle, as Enders celebrated her 27th career victory.
“This is really sweet,” Enders said. “This win means the world to me. You never know when your last Indy is and you work your entire life for something life this. I’ve drag raced for 30 years and raced in Pro Stock for 16 years, and it’s a dream come true.”
INDIANAPOLIS – It’s been nearly five months since Erica Enders last competed in a NHRA race. But that one went pretty well for the reigning Pro Stock world champion, which means the goal is to pick up right where she left off after winning in Phoenix way back in February.
The COVID-19 pandemic put NHRA racing on hold since then, but the 2020 campaign officially restarts this weekend in Indy with the E3 Spark Plugs NHRA Nationals. It’s just the third race in the Pro Stock season during a year that been like no other, but the mindset remains the same for Enders. She ran impressed in Phoenix in her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Camaro en route to the win, and the team aims to keep that up this weekend in Indy.
“It was a great start to the year for our team. It shows the hard work everyone on the team has put in is paying off, and that’s been exciting,” Enders said. “We have the points lead and our goal is to never relinquish it. It’s a tall order, but we’re going to come out swinging.”
That’s already been evident in testing at Lucas Oil Raceway leading to Saturday’s first qualifying session. The Elite Motorsports team, well-represented with six Pro Stock entries this weekend, looked strong right off the bat with Jeg Coughlin Jr. leading the way. Enders ran a strong 6.640 in the heat of the day, the second-quickest in the class, putting her in a good spot heading into Saturday.
A group of crew chiefs, team members and drivers from Elite Motorsports were there to congratulate the Pro Stock newcomer, celebrating a new career-best run of 6.623 at 207.94 mph in his Curing Kids Cancer Mustang during testing for this weekend’s Drag Illustrated World Doorslammer Nationals presented by CTech Manufacturing.
Robertson lowered it on Friday before the first round of qualifying, but Thursday’s run also represented another significant step in his development and improvement when it comes to driving in the new class.
“We were pretty pleased,” Robertson said of the run. “The crew came down to the top end to congratulate me, so that was pretty awesome. We’ve been able to get quicker and quicker, and that’s been exciting. Erica (Enders) and Jeg (Coughlin Jr.) have been very encouraging, so I have to give them a lot of kudos for their help.”
ORLANDO – Coming off a dominant performance in Phoenix, defending Pro Stock world champion Erica Enders has her sights set on a different prize this weekend, and that’s a $75,000 payout for the winner of the Drag Illustrated World Doorslammer Nationals presented by CTech Manufacturing.
Spearheaded by Elite Motorsports team owner Richard Freeman and Drag Illustrated Founder Wes Buck, the inaugural event takes place at Orlando Speed World Dragway, putting the spotlight on the standouts in Pro Stock and Pro Mod.
The winner in Pro Stock nets $75,000 – the most ever for a single race in class history – and that is more than enough to motivate Enders, who will look to keep rolling in her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro.
“Every week you start with a clean slate, so you just have to continue to work hard,” Enders said. “Right now, we have some excellent mojo going on. Our race cars are fast, and the guys are just working flawlessly together. We were lights out in Phoenix and I’m really pleased.
PHOENIX – It didn’t take long for the defending Pro Stock world champion to reach the winner’s circle in 2020.
Erica Enders rolled to the win on Sunday in Phoenix in her Melling Performance Chevrolet Camaro, putting together four dominant performances in eliminations at the NHRA Arizona Nationals, notching her first victory of the year with a run of 6.531-seconds at 210.44 mph in the final round against Bo Butner.
The impressive showing also provided Elite Motorsports team owner Richard Freeman with the ultimate birthday gift.
“It was Richard’s birthday and we were able to get it done,” Enders said. “He said this morning at breakfast, ‘Hey, you don’t have to buy me a present, just get me a Wally today,’ and we really wanted to get him one. For the entire operation, I’m just excited. I’m thrilled with the group we have and I’m proud of my guys. It’s really awesome.”
With the win at the second of 18 races in 2020, Enders continued her impressive momentum from the end of 2019, which culminated in her third world championship.
By picking up her 26th career win in her 52nd final round, Enders also earned her first regular-season win since 2018, putting her on a strong path to open Pro Stock’s 50th anniversary season.
From making his first full pass to getting licensed to making his Pro Stock debut, Robertson was motivated to get it done. Next up on the list is qualifying for his first NHRA Pro Stock race, something he’ll get a chance to do at this weekend’s NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.
“It’s a commitment, it really is,” Robertson said. “My whole life has been about overcoming challenges. That’s what motivates and drives me. It’s definitely exciting, but all of this is humbling and overwhelming as well.”
Robertson didn’t qualify at his Pro Stock professional debut in Pomona, as his best run of 6.719-seconds at 207.50 mph in his Curing Kids Cancer Chevrolet Camaro wasn’t quite enough in another stout Pro Stock field. Continue reading
POMONA, CA – Shawn Langdon kicked off the 2020 season opener in style, grabbing the Top Fuel provisional No. 1 qualifier spot on Friday at the 60th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals presented by ProtectTheHarvest.com after making the switch from Funny Car back to Top Fuel dragster.
Matt Hagan (Funny Car) and Jeg Coughlin Jr. (Pro Stock) also claimed provisional No. 1 qualifiers in their respective categories at the first of 24 races on the 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.
Langdon knocked off Brittany Force during Q2 to claim the quickest run with a pass of 3.699-seconds at 322.42 mph in his DHL Toyota Top Fuel Dragster to kick off the season. Langdon is looking to start off the season strong after a two year hiatus in the Top Fuel class to run Funny Car. Langdon is chasing his third No. 1 qualifier at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, and 19th of his career.
“There are tracks you go to and it seems like everything just clicks. I could stage this thing in reverse and it seems like it just works out. There are tracks you go to and it feels like you fall out of bed awkwardly. Pomona is one of those tracks I feel like I’ve had good success at. I’m just excited about today. It’s a good start,” said Langdon. “Every run we’re making small little changes trying to get me more comfortable. It’s a big change going back from a Funny Car to a dragster. We feel confident right now. For Connie (Kalitta, owner and crew chief), I know he’s excited.”