Just in time for the biggest yearly race in drag racing, the 61st annual NHRA U.S. Nationals next weekend (Sept. 2-7), Erica Enders is back where she wants to be: leading the NHRA Pro Stock point standings.
The defending Pro Stock champ, the first woman to ever capture that category’s top title, Enders will have double incentive to do well at the U.S. Nationals, in Brownsburg, Indiana.
First, she wants to win the race and head in to the subsequent Countdown to the Championship with a ton of momentum.
But there’s added incentive and a great honor to go with it:
“Chevrolet has asked me to be the grand marshal for the U.S. Nationals, which is going to be a huge honor for me,” Enders said in an NHRA media release. “We’ll do our best as a team to have an awesome weekend there.”
In addition, NHRA is adding incentive to pro drivers in next week’s marquee event by increasing the available points to be earned with a 50 percent bonus.
“It’s the first time it’s going to be worth a point and a half, so every round is going to be crucial,” Enders said.
Enders won last weekend’s race at Brainerd, Minn., her fifth triumph of the season, putting her back atop the Pro Stock standings.
“I had a really good feeling coming in (to Brainerd), even before the weekend started,” said Enders, who had struggled in the previous five races, winning just six total rounds since winning at Bristol. “I felt like it was our turn and the tables were about to turn.
The Brainerd triumph was Enders’ 17th career victory, putting her one win away from tying three-time Top Fuel champion Shirley Muldowney for No. 2 on the NHRA all-time win’s list by a female driver.
“I think we’re working our way back to having our awesome race car, and this is definitely a great step in the right direction, at the right point of the season,” Enders said. “We’re going to do our best to continue this momentum in Indy. It’s definitely going to be a dogfight in Indy.”