READING, Pa. (Sept. 29) – Heading into this weekend’ s Auto-Select NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway, ZaZa Energy driver Erica Enders sits a lofty third in the Pro Stock standings.
She’s behind only KB Racing’s Jason Line and Greg Anderson, which in some people’s minds makes her “first in class.” But Enders doesn’t think that way, and neither does anyone on the Cagnazzi Racing team.
“I don’t want to be second to anybody,” Enders said. “We want to beat everybody, not just those two guys. We’re pretty close to them, so we’re excited.”
Enders is in the midst of her best season as a professional, racing to three final rounds this year and qualifying No. 1 twice. She also set the national record for speed earlier this year in Gainesville, Fla., of 213.57 mph.
That and the national elapsed-time record could be in jeopardy this weekend, as Reading is usually ideal for low ETs and high speeds.
“I hope it’s hot so they don’t take my records away,” Enders said. “And if somebody does set a new record, I hope it’s me and the ZaZa guys.”
The weather could be ugly this weekend, as rain is in the forecast for parts of Friday and Saturday when qualifying is scheduled. That could put pressure on Pro Stock teams who may only get one or two qualifying sessions in the books.
Crew chief Dave Connolly and the entire ZaZa team will keep a close watch on the weather, hoping to get their Chevrolet Cobalt down the track as quickly as possible.
“We go up there every round putting the same importance on the run, whether it’s qualifying or the finals,” Enders said. “I don’t think the weather will affect us. We’ve just got to get the job done, no matter how many rounds of qualifying we have.
“I’ve got a lot of confidence in Dave and my entire team, no matter what the circumstances are.”
Setting an elapsed time record would be a 20-point boost in the standings for Enders as she chases her first Pro Stock championship.
“Of course it’s always on our mind, round by round,” Enders said. “Every point is going to matter. But we’ve got to do our job and do the best we can, and the points will come. We did well in Charlotte, getting up to third place. That was exciting for us.
“We’ve got our work cut out for us every week, and all we can do is do our best. The cards are going to fall where they’re going to fall.”