Remember that heartbreaking 2019 U.S. Nationals final round where Erica Enders lost an almost certain victory when her Elite Camaro broke in the final round against Alex Laughlin? That’s now a distant memory for Enders who has recovered quite nicely by winning the last two Dodge//SRT U.S. Nationals titles.
Enders won for the third time at The Big Go when she stopped Kyle Koretsky in the final round of this year’s Dodge//SRT U.S. Nationals. Enders, no stranger to high pressure final rounds, got off the starting line first and drove to a 6.626 to edge Koretsky’s quicker 6.613.
Enders has now won three times this season and 32 times in her very successful career, but few of those wins can compare to a victory at drag racing’s ancestral home at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, the home of the U.S. Nationals since 1961.
“This is a dream come true,” said an emotional Enders. “In 1994 I came here [to Indy] for the first time as a 9-year-old in the first Jr. Dragster Conference Finals. I red-lighted in the final and I was devastated. This race means so much. It’s so hard to explain to everyone what it means to us.
“Mark [Ingersoll, crew chief] gives me all the confidence in the world. He told me the right lane don’t mean anything. He said we’re going to go right down that lane and kick his butt. My Elite team is bad to the bone and I could not be more proud.”
Enders came from the No. 3 qualifying spot to earn wins against two-time Comp champ Bruno Massel, and Matt Hartford, who has been a thorn in her side lately. Enders also scored a crucial semifinal win against Greg Anderson, who came into Indy as the top seed in the class.
Koretsky joins his father, Kenny, as a runner-up at NHRA’s showcase event. The elder Koretsky reached the Indy final in 2004 where he lost to Anderson.
In his second season in the Pro Stock class, Kyle has been steadily building towards his first victory, and he’s likely to get it soon. Koretsky, who also lost to Enders in his first final in Las Vegas last year, wheeled his Lucas Oil/Nitro Fish Camaro to victories against veteran Larry Morgan, Chris McGaha, and Dallas Glenn, the winner of the most recent Pro Stock event in Topeka.