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Erica Enders must hold off Jeg Coughlin Jr. to win third title

Erica Enders is on the verge of her third title, but Jeg Coughlin Jr. will have something to say about it.
12 Nov 2019
Jacob Sundstrom, NHRA National Dragster Associate Editor
Feature
Erica Enders

SECOND IN A SERIES

Erica Enders begins the Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona with a great opportunity to win her third Pro Stock world championship and first since 2015. She holds a 92-point lead over Elite Motorsports teammate Jeg Coughlin Jr. and is more than 100 points ahead of the remaining challengers in the Pro Stock field.

That doesn’t mean the race is over, it’s just a favorable position for the two-time champion. Enders is the only racer who controls her destiny; every other racer must have a little help to earn the 2019 Pro Stock world title. For example: Matt Hartford could be nearly perfect, score 186 points and still lose the title if Jeg Coughlin Jr. loses to him in the final and earns 161 points.

SEE ALL CHAMPIONSHIP SCENARIOS

All that to say there are hundreds of scenarios that can be considered ahead of the Auto Club NHRA Finals, but it’s simplest to consider every racer compared to the leader. Here are a few things to keep in mind before we get to individual scenarios:

-If a racer qualifies for the event, the fewest points they can earn are 48.

-The most points a racer can earn through qualifying (including the 30 points automatically earned by making it to the first round) are 71.

-The most points available at the Auto Club NHRA Finals are 191.

-The fewest points a racer can earn if they make one pass but fail to qualify are 15.

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Erica Enders

Needs 100 points to earn her third title. She can automatically clinch the 2019 Pro Stock world championship no later than the semifinals.

She is guaranteed at least 48 points if she qualifies for the race and can accrue as many as 71 by qualifying.

She can clinch as early as the first round and will eliminate Greg Anderson and Deric Kramer if she qualifies for the race.

Jeg Coughlin Jr.

Trails Enders by 92 points and can make up, at most, 23 points during qualifying and 120 on race day.

If he is perfect through qualifying, and Enders gets the bare minimum in points (48), he will trail Enders by 69 points on Sunday and will need to go three rounds further than her to win his seventh championship.

He can win the 2019 Pro Stock world championship by going three rounds further than Enders on race day. 

Bo Butner

Must earn within eight points of Enders during qualifying; must win the race; Enders must lose in the first round.

Jason Line

Must earn within eight points of Enders during qualifying; must win the race; Enders must lose in the first round.

Matt Hartford

Must earn within eight points of Enders during qualifying; must win the race; Enders must lose in the first round.

Greg Anderson and Deric Kramer

Erica Enders cannot qualify for the event. Then they have to win the race.