POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 13) – The best season of ZaZa Energy driver Erica Enders’ career ended a tad too soon Sunday in the Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway.
Enders, who finished sixth in the final Pro Stock points standings, fell to Ronnie Humphrey on the first round for the second consecutive race. But unlike Las Vegas, where she shook the tires, Enders went down swinging in Pomona.
Enders made her best pass of the weekend, 6.572 seconds at 210.64 mph, and even left first on Humphrey. But Humphrey was a tick quicker down the track, going 6.556 seconds at 210.34 mph.
“We finally had a race car first round for the first time in a few weeks,” Enders said. “We didn’t finish as strong as we could’ve. Having said that, I have the best team in the business. We’ll be back next year, and we’ll come out swinging. It’s gonna be our year.”
Enders set personal single-season records with three final-round appearances, four semifinals, 11 quarterfinals, two No. 1 qualifiers and a 28-22 won-loss record. Falling in the final race stings, but Enders knows she’s fortunate to drive for one of the best Pro Stock teams in the sport, Cagnazzi Racing.
“I really have to step back and look at the whole picture to appreciate and know how blessed I was to be in this position to do this deal this year,” Enders said. “Did I want to do better? Am I a little disappointed today? Yeah, but there’s a reason for it, I’m sure.”
Enders and her entire ZaZa Energy team, led by owner Victor Cagnazzi and crew chief Dave Connolly, already have their sights set on 2012.
“After we leave here, everything’s going back East,” Enders said. “They’re a few months into R&D stuff that we’re working on for next year. We’ll get a week off, and then head to the PRI show. After PRI, we begin a week of testing at Bradenton. We’re not wasting any time. We’re going to get on it as soon as we keep back. That’s shows how committed we are to wanting this.”
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