NHRA: Erica Enders goes from Pro Stock champ to superhero

(Photo courtesy NHRA)
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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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