Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Two-time winner Enders anxious to add to her totals

KLR Group driver Erica Enders has accomplished her lifelong goal two times over now, having won two of the last four NHRA Pro Stock events.

But that doesn't mean Enders and her GK Motorsports team will simply kick up their heels and relax. Hardly, as the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series championship is clearly in their sights.

"It's very important to us," Enders said as she prepares for this weekend's Lucas Oil Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway. "We've got a couple race wins under our belts so now we want to keep pressing forward. There's no better time than the present to capitalize on our good race car and the momentum we have.

"It certainly is my goal to win the championship. Like everything else I set my out for, I will work hard to accomplish it."

Enders, sixth in the Pro Stock standings, has already clinched a spot in the Countdown to the Championship, NHRA's version of the playoffs. But coming off her second career victory, scored in the most recent race in Seattle, Enders is looking for more.

"We're all excited to win, but you start over every week," Enders said. "Does it give you added confidence? Sure, knowing that we can do it now. But it's a new weekend, and we all start from scratch."

The Countdown starts in Charlotte in September, but there is still plenty of work to be done before then. First, there's this weekend's race in Brainerd and then the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. With her two wins, Enders is positioned well for the Countdown, and she'd like to stay on a roll.

"We've got a really good car right now and things are going well," Enders said. "The next two races are important before we head into the Countdown because it positions you for those final six races."

In the last five races, Enders has two victories and has qualified in the top half of the field five times, including fourth or better three times. Crew chiefs Dave Connolly and Tommy Utt have her Chevrolet running well, just like it was at Brainerd last year.

In that race, Enders qualified eighth, beat Ron Krisher in the first round, took out Jason Line on a holeshot in the second round and beat Rodger Brogdon in the semifinals to reach her third final round of the year. But she lost to Greg Anderson in the finals, giving her motivation for this season's race.

"Last year we had a good race there," Enders said. "We almost got it done. We've got a lot of data for BIR, and track conditions and weather should be similar to last year. It gives us a little more confidence going into the weekend knowing that we did well there last year." 

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