PRO STOCK STAR ERICA ENDERS CLAIMS ANOTHER WIN IN ST. LOUIS
by Tracy Renck; Photos by Roger Richards Mon, 2021-09-27 18:50
Reigning two-time NHRA Pro Stock world champion Erica Enders is right in the mix to win three in a row and the fifth of her career after her performance Sunday in St. Louis.
Enders won the NHRA Midwest Nationals for the third year in a row, beating Dallas Green in the finals.
Enders clocked a 6.572-second elapsed time at 207.24 mph to edge Green’s 6.583-second lap at 206.86 mph.
“St. Louis has always been great for me,” Enders said. “I have been coming here since I was 16 years old driving a Super Comp Dragster. Steve Torrence and I would load up our pickups and trailers and with our parents’ permission, come up here and race. It has always been great to me. We have won a lot in Pro Stock here. I think we won here in 2013, 2015 as well. I don’t know why this track has been so kind to us, but I’m grateful.”
This was Enders' 33rd career Pro Stock victory and fourth this season. She also had wins in Las Vegas, Norwalk, Ohio, and Indianapolis in her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Camaro.
Enders is now just 17 points behind class leader Greg Anderson.
“We are halfway through the Countdown to the Championship, and we put ourselves within striking distance of Greg and we just have to go to work,” Enders said.
Enders outlasted Bo Butner, Aaron Stanfield, Mason McGaha, and Green Sunday.
“I think it is magical and I think it is awesome,” Enders said about her success in St. Louis. “I think we work really hard to accomplish the things we accomplish and there are a number of tracks on our circuit that treat us very well. St. Louis is one of them, Las Vegas is one of them, Bristol is one of them, Houston is one of them. I’m glad that there are a couple of those within the Countdown. I not sure what it is, but I give the good Lord all the glory. I will take the wins as they come.”
The win also was a much-needed confidence boost for Enders.
“I didn’t have a lot of confidence at all coming in here because we feel like we are getting crushed on the racetrack right now,” Enders said. “We are racing a little bit differently than we have in the past and my guys continue to dig deep at it. It’s no secret, it was pointed out a handful of times today, but the numbers speak volumes. I have struggled behind the wheel and fortunately today we rose to the occasion as a group. I’m proud of it. I know it is going to take a lot of work to compete for this fifth championship, but I have the best guys in the world to be able to do that.”
Enders was on record that she wanted to have more fun again as she is in the midst of hopefully winning another world championship.
“Again, just going back to the fact we are racing a little bit differently than we have in the past,” Enders said. “I’m known for being really good on the tree and there been a lot of wholesale changes on the race car, stuff I can’t talk about, but things that make my performance on the starting line a little bit different. As a driver, I am responsible for 38 men and their families who work for us at Elite. It is a big burden, a lot of pressure. It means so much to me. This is all that matters for me, aside from family. I have given my entire life to this; I have sacrificed a lot. It means the world and I carry a huge load of pressure. I just need to get back to having fun. There are eight million people who would chew an arm off to have the opportunity to do what I do.
“I just need to take a deep breath and remember how blessed I am to do this. I’m thankful for it and I’m going to continue having fun doing it.”