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Erica Enders emotional as race against retiring pro Allen Johnson looms

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.

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Erica Enders concludes 2017 season with renewed optimism for bigger things ahead

POMONA, CA – Returning to the site of her biggest single triumph — the 2014 title-clinching, final-round victory against Jason Line — Erica Enders is prepped to finish the year at this weekend’s 53rd annual Auto Club NHRA Finals with firm designs on a brighter future.

“For the second year in a row we didn’t quite have the season we wanted or expected,” said Enders, driver of the Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro. “But this season we made so many strides in the right direction that we have huge expectations for our future.”

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Melling Performance to expand sponsorship of two-time champ Erica Enders in 2018

LAS VEGAS – Following a successful multi-race major sponsorship deal with two-time Pro Stock champion Erica Enders in the second half of 2017, Mark Melling of Melling Performance has announced a new partnership with Elite Motorsports team owner Richard Freeman for 2018. Melling Performance will take up primary sponsorship of the racecar at 16 of 24 races next season, and serve as a major associate sponsor at the remaining eight national events.

“We’re thrilled to be expanding our relationship with such quality people as Erica and Richard,” Melling said. “Our involvement with this first-class team and our company being back in racing this past six months has really resonated with our customer base. It made it an easy decision to step up our program for next year.”

“Mell-Gear, our aftermarket replacement timing brand, also will come along for the ride throughout the year in addition to our Melling Performance engine parts brand. We’re all very excited.”

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Expired engine ends Erica Enders weekend  in opening round of Toyota Nationals

LAS VEGAS – It doesn’t happen often for Erica Enders and her Elite Performance race team but an expiring engine ended the six-time Vegas champion’s day in the opening round of competition.

“As hard as we push these motors it’s actually surprising it doesn’t happen more often but we got bit today and that ended our race,” Enders said. “We’ll be fine. It’s an easy fix and we have lots of spares so we’ll be prepared for Pomona, no problem.”

Had the motor survived through the finish line, the outcome could have been very different as opponent Allen Johnson was running close but was on the chase after Enders fashioned a .019-second starting line advantage after a great .010 reaction time.

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Six-time Las Vegas winner Erica Enders looking for lucky No. 7 in Sin City

LAS VEGAS – In a city that lives on numbers, Erica Enders is looking to roll “7” on Sunday when the 17th annual NHRA Toyota Nationals turn to elimination racing at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Enders won six consecutive races here in her championship years of 2014 and 2015, including both the spring and fall national events and back-to-back K&N Horsepower Challenges.

“We know the way to the winner’s circle here, that’s for sure,” Enders said. “It’s pretty crazy because this car feels just about as strong as the ones I had those two years. We made some big changes to the car after St. Louis and it has been working way better since then, both in Dallas and here this weekend. We’re kind of getting excited.”

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Nothing but positive Vegas memories  for multi-time champ Erica Enders

LAS VEGAS – In her championship years of 2014 and 2015, Erica Enders was untouchable at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, winning six straight events, including both the spring and fall national events and consecutive K&N Filters Horsepower Challenges.

The spunky Texan is hoping to recapture some of that magic this weekend when she returns to her favorite racetrack for the 17th annual NHRA Toyota Nationals, the penultimate race of the 2017 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

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Even in adversity Erica Enders finds encouragement after quarterfinal finish in Dallas

DALLAS – Two-time NHRA Pro Stock world champion and proud native Texan Erica Enders, driver of the bright red Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, raced to a second-round finish today in eliminations of the AAA Texas NHRA Fallnationals at the Texas Motorplex.

With only two events remaining in the 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series in Las Vegas and Pomona, Calif., Enders is optimistic she’ll visit the winner’s circle again this season, but she also laments on a very close loss to Greg Anderson Sunday.

“The car’s running better,” said Enders, who recently turned 34. “That was my round to win for sure. I gave it up on my end, both at the Christmas Tree and with my lapse in driving skills. It’s just one of those deals. Sometimes you’re the windshield and sometimes you’re the bug, and today I’m the bug. I’m disappointed in myself because my guys gave me a really great car that was capable of winning the round and capable of fighting for the event win.”

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