A year ago at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, Erica Enders enjoyed one of the biggest moments in her storied Pro Stock career. After a crushing loss in the final round of drag racing’s biggest race in 2019, Enders more than redeemed herself, rolling to the win at the Dodge//SRT NHRA U.S. Nationals en route to her second straight world championship and fourth in her career.
It was a triumphant moment for Enders and her Elite Motorsports team, and she would love to repeat the feat at this weekend’s 67th annual Dodge//SRT NHRA U.S. Nationals. Racing on drag racing’s grandest stage has often brought out the best in the popular Enders, who has two wins at the Big Go. She’ll look for a third win in her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro, knowing full well what back-to-back victories at Indy would mean heading into the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.
“In drag racing, we often get to redeem ourselves at the next race the following weekend, but you only get one shot at Indy a year,” Enders said. “It’s a big deal and we take it very seriously. It would be absolutely incredible to go back-to-back and bring home the U.S. Nationals Wally in 2021. We have all hands on this weekend, with five cars total [for Elite Motorsports]. Every employee we have is on the property so you can bet Team Elite will be out in full force. My team is the best in the world and my money is always on us.”
Indy is also the final race of the regular season, meaning Enders wants to put her best foot forward with a chance to race for a third straight world title.
She’s turned in a solid season, winning twice and sitting third in points behind teammate Aaron Stanfield and leader Greg Anderson, and has a chance to enter the playoffs in second. But her immediate focus is performing well on the huge stage at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis, where Enders will also have to take on the likes of rookie standout Dallas Glenn, Matt Hartford, Kyle Koretsky, Troy Coughlin Jr., Chris and Mason McGaha, and Deric Kramer.
“The U.S. Nationals will always be the most prestigious accolade to put on my resume,” Enders said. “I’ve been racing at this track since the inaugural Junior Drag Racing League Nationals in 1994 and every time I roll under that arch, it hits the same. When I was a kid racing, I dreamed of being on the list of U.S. Nationals champions and I’m blessed to have two of them so far in my career.”