(Photo courtesy NHRA)

NHRA: Erica Enders goes from Pro Stock champ to superhero

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When Erica Enders captured her second consecutive NHRA Pro Stock championship last month in the season-ending Auto Club Finals, she further established herself as one of the best drag racers the sport has seen in quite a long time.

Now comes word that Enders has been named to ESPNw’s Impact 25 list of 25 of the most influential females in sports.

Enders joins a list that includes UFC fighter Ronda Rousey, tennis star Serena Williams, gymnast Simone Biles, WNBA stars Tamika Catchings and Elena Delle Donne, dancer Misty Copeland, snowboarder Chloe Kim, golfer Lydia Ko, swimmer Katie Ledecky and soccer player Carli Lloyd.

In addition, Marvel (the folks known for comics and movies) decided to take the Impact 25 honor to the next level: creating caricatures of all 25 honorees and turning them into real-life superheroes.

How cool is that?

Enders’ new alter ego is known as Racer XX – and the moniker certainly fits her. Ask her fellow competitors and they likely will say Enders and her Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro have proven to be faster than a speeding bullet and more powerful than a locomotive.

Enders has been a refreshing breath of fresh air in the NHRA ranks and has quickly become a fan favorite and star in her own right.

She is the first female to ever win one Pro Stock championship (2014), let alone a second in 2015.

She also broke two key records for a female racer in 2015:

* She passed Shirley Muldowney for second place on the NHRA all-time wins list for a female racer. Muldowney had 18 national event wins and three championships in her Top Fuel career. Enders now has 21 Pro Stock wins and two titles in her own career.

* Enders also broke Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Angelle Sampey’s record for most wins in a season by a female racer (seven) by earning nine victories in 24 starts in 2015. Sampey continues to hold the record for most wins in a career by a female (41); Enders is now 20 wins away from tying that mark.

But Enders wants to be known solely for her prowess behind the wheel, not her gender.

“I’ve always just wanted to be a racer,” she told ESPNw. “That’s exactly what I am. I’m not just the best female Pro Stock driver, I’m the best Pro Stock driver right now.”

Indeed she is, and likely will continue to be for a long time.

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Keating stripped of Le Mans GTE-Am win; No. 68 Ganassi entry also disqualified

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FIA stewards announced Monday that two Ford GT entries have been disqualified from this year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, including the GTE-Am class-winning No. 85 entry from privateer Keating Motorsports.

Also DQ’d was the factory No. 68 Chip Ganassi Racing entry of Joey Hand, Dirk Mueller and Sebastien Bourdais, which initially finished fourth in the GTE-Pro class.

Both entries were found in violation of fuel capacity regulations, with the No. 85 entry also failing to meet the minimum refueling time during pit stops.

The refueling system on the No. 85 entry, driven by Ben Keating, Jeroen Bleekemolen and Felipe Fraga, measured a time of 44.4 seconds during a stop, just shy of the minimum required time of 45 seconds.

As a result, the team was initially issued a 55.2-second post-race penalty by officials, which elevated the No. 56 Team Project 1 Porsche 911 RSR of Joerg Bergmeister, Patrick Lindsey, and Egidio Perfetti to the class win.

The time penalty was calculated by the difference in the refueling time (0.6 seconds) multiplied by the amount of pit stops made by the team (23), then multiplied by four.

The No. 85 entry was set to finish second in class, but then received an outright DQ after its fuel capacity was also revealed to be 0.1 liters above the maximum permitted capacity of 96 liters.

As for Ganassi’s No. 68 entry, it was found to have a fuel capacity of 97.83 liters, which is above the maximum allowed capacity of 97 liters for the GTE-Pro Fords.

The No. 67 Ford of Andy Priaulx, Harry Tincknell, and Jonathan Bomarito subsequently moves up to fourth, and the No. 69 Ford of Scott Dixon, Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook moves up to fifth.

Follow Michael Eubanks on Twitter