Anyone that comes to Las Vegas knows that the numbers can mean everything and Erica Enders hit the jackpot at the Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals with some lucky threes.
After two tire-shaking qualifying efforts, it looked like the four-time world champ’s 300th career start might end up as a DNQ, but she raced her way from the “unlucky” 13th qualifying spot through three rounds to claim her 30th career Pro Stock victory.
Enders completed an impressive comeback by winning the four-wides for the second time in her career, powering the Elite Camaro to a 6.656 to finish ahead of Aaron Stanfield’s 6.667. Stanfield finished in the runner-up spot by holeshotting Deric Kramer’s 6.659 after Mason McGaha took himself out of contention with a -.009 red-light.
“I guess today is all about threes,” Enders said. “I really want to give a big thank you to my guys. It is frustrating to go out and shake your butt off (the first two qualifying) rounds. They got down to business today and that’s all that matters. I’m so proud of my team and I freaking love Las Vegas.”
Enders, who previously won the four-wide event in Charlotte in 2018 and also had a pair of previous runner-ups in the special event, finished second behind surprise first-quad winner Dallas Glenn and needed a holeshot to earn that second advancement berth as her 6.66 beat Troy Coughlin Jr.’s 6.64 for the transfer spot.
Enders also finished second in the semifinal quad behind Stanfield, 6.663 to 6.659, but well ahead of third-place Greg Anderson, the low qualifier, and Glenn. Anderson actually ran quicker than both Stanfield and Enders but his 6.655 was late off the line.
Stanfield got to the semifinals by finishing second behind Anderson but ahead of Val Smeland and Fernando Cuadra Sr.