Share this:

" />

Erica Enders on the verge of clinching fifth NHRA Pro Stock championship at Las Vegas this weekend

by Mike Haag | Posted on Thursday, October 27th, 2022

By Mike Haag, Raceday San Antonio

NHRA Pro Stock driver Erica Enders will attempt to clinch her fifth NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Pro Stock championship this weekend at the 22nd NHRA Nevada Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Erica Enders. Photo courtesy of the NHRA

The 39-year old Houston, Texas native currently holds a 165-point lead over teammate Aaron Stanfield with two races remaining on the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season schedule.

“It’s been a dream season for us to accomplish what we’ve accomplished,” Enders said. “I can’t do it without our tremendous sponsors like Melling Performance, Gallagher and Peoplease. All of these people stand behind us, they make it possible, and we couldn’t do it without them. It’s been a tremendous year and I’m just super hopeful to just finish strong with these last two races in Vegas and Pomona.”

Erica Enders. Photo courtesy of the NHRA

Enders has been virtually unstoppable this season in her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, scoring nine wins this season, which ties her career-best for a single season.

Two weeks ago at the 37th annual Texas NHRA FallNationals in Dallas at the Texas Motorplex, Enders recorded the quickest run in every round of qualifying and eliminations, defeating Fernando Cuadra Jr., Matt Hartford, and Troy Coughlin Jr. to reach the final round on Sunday.

Erica Enders. Photo courtesy of the NHRA

Enders then faced rival Greg Anderson in the final round and defeated him by running 6.537 at 209.63 mph. The victory gave her a Texas two-step sweep of races in her home state in 2022 after winning the NHRA SpringNationals at Houston Raceway Motorsports Park earlier this year.

“Winning two of the Countdown races of the three entering Dallas, we just wanted to come here and have a successful weekend,” Enders said. “It was awesome. Coming out on Friday night going low, collecting that $7,500 bonus, and then going on to win the race just the icing on the cake. We were able to get around my teammate T.J. Coughlin in the semifinals and then beat our arch-rival Greg Anderson in the final. So, it was just a really great day for our entire operation.”

Erica Enders. Photo courtesy of the NHRA

Enders has a history of being dominant in Las Vegas. She won here at the spring race and has won at least one race in Las Vegas for the past four years.

But her road to Victory Lane this weekend will not be an easy one. Enders faces a stacked field of racers, including defending world champ Greg Anderson, who has eight Vegas wins. She will also be challenged by Aaron Stanfield, who won in Charlotte, Dallas Glenn, Troy Coughlin Jr., and Kyle Koretsky, all who have a history of dominant performances at Vegas.

Erica Enders. Photo courtesy of the NHRA

Plus Anderson and Enders have a storied racing NHRA Pro Stock racing history. In July 2012 Enders upset Anderson at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill. to become the first woman to win an NHRA Pro Stock final race. Anderson is NHRA Pro Stock’s all-time winner with 100 national event wins, which is 58 more than Enders. He is also a five-time world champion in the class.

“Las Vegas has been very great to us,” said Enders, who has won three of the four Countdown to the Championship races. “We have nine wins there and awesome success on that racetrack. Going back there is always exciting and I feel like my guys always have a handle on that track. If I can just do my job behind the wheel, there’s no reason why we can’t go on to win there.”

Erica Enders. Photo courtesy of the NHRA

A Vegas win would be the 10th career victory at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend, which will not only extend her winning streak, but it would make her the winningest professional driver in track history and it would also mark her 43rd career victory.

“I know what were capable of and how we lost the championship last year.” Enders said. “It lit a fire under our tails to go get some stuff done. We came out swinging this year but not just me as a driver but this entire operation. Our team camaraderie is something that you cannot buy. I am super thankful for the blessings that we have had. The competition is tough and I know they want to kill us as much as we want to kill them. This year has been tremendous.”

The NHRA Nevada Nationals event will be broadcasted on Fox Sports 1 (FS1). Eliminations are at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30 and this is the 21st race of the 2022 season and the fifth of sixth races in the Countdown to the Championship.

About the Author

Mike Haag has covered motorsports in San Antonio and South Texas for more than 35 years. In addition to covering motorsports for the San Antonio Express-News for nearly 28 years, Mike also has co-hosted TrackSmack with Dawn Murphy for 18 race seasons. In addition to being a writer, Mike taught high school English and Journalism for 30 years before retiring in May, 2020.