Erica Enders just took a huge step toward her third Pro Stock world championship. She earned the 150th win for women in the National Hot Rod Association and extended her lead to 92 points over teammate Jeg Coughlin Jr. by beating him in the final at the Dodge NHRA Nationals.
In the process, she captured the 200th win for the Chevy Camaro in the Pro Stock category in her Elite Motorsports Chevy Camaro. The long list of milestones, which include her 25th victory in the category, will pale in comparison to the one that lies in front of her: The potential of another championship.
Coughlin left second against Enders, who cut an .018-second reaction time. That all but ended the contest as Enders outran her teammate by .003-second after leaving on him by .044-second when the bulbs dropped.
"I was just kind of second-guessing myself with my clutch linkage setup today and they were like, 'Hey, man, we're going after it, you gotta go after it too,'" said Enders about her reaction time in the final round. "So, we flirt with thousandths of a second up there and you live and die by it. My guys do the best that they can and I do the best that I can and it turned out great today.
"I don't think complacency is a word in our vocabulary. We work hard and we're going to go out to Pomona to win the race. We're not going to just put 30 points or 60 points up on the board because it's 30 points a round out there. You know anything can happen."
Greg Anderson, who qualified on the pole and won the last race on tour (the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals) fell to teammate Jason Line in the second round. Line took out Matt Hartford, who entered the event in second place, to shake up the points in the first round. The K.B. Racing teammates battled in the second round for the second-straight event with Line getting the best of this matchup.
Line was not able to get past Coughlin, who advanced to his third final of the season. Coughlin also defeated Fernando Cuadra Sr. and Aaron Stanfield after qualifying in the No. 5 position.
Enders reached her fifth final of the season from the No. 2 position. She defeated Steve Graham, Matt Hartford and Bo Butner en route to a matchup with Coughlin. Her victory extended her lead in Pro Stock, which started at 28 points at the beginning of the Dodge NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil.
Enders will enter the final race of the season, the Auto Club NHRA Finals, with a 92-point lead over Coughlin. She is looking for her first title since the 2015 season, when she went back-to-back in her Elite Motorsports Chevy Camaro.
The Auto Club NHRA Finals are set to begin on Nov. 14. You can get your tickets here to see all four titles decided.