NHRA - National Hot Rod Association


Pro Stock Countdown preview: After a dominant 2022, what's next for Enders?

History is on the side of Erica Enders because five times in the last six years, and six times overall, the top seed entering the playoffs has delivered a championship in the Pro Stock class.
14 Sep 2022
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor
Erica Enders

During her near 20-year career as a Pro, Erica Enders has seen just about everything when it comes to winning (and not winning) the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Pro Stock title. During her first championship run in 2014, Enders entered the Countdown to the Championship as the No. 2 seed but won the title in a memorable winner-take-all final round in Pomona against incoming leader Jason Line.

A year later, Enders took over the points lead with a win in Brainerd in mid-August and never relinquished it. She won five of the last eight events of the season to win the title by a whopping 220 points over Greg Anderson.

Enders also rallied from fifth place to win in 2019, and her most recent championship in the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season did not feature a Countdown.

Anderson has six NHRA Pro Stock titles, but only two have come during the Countdown era. In 2010, he came from the No. 4 spot to earn the title, and then last year, he led from start to finish, grabbing the lead at the season opener in Gainesville and never relinquishing it throughout the 17-race season.

Other than Enders and Anderson, the only other driver to win a Pro Stock championship among the 15 that are eligible is Bo Butner, who won as the top seed in 2017. Butner also entered the Countdown as the leader in 2019 but slipped to third at the end of the season, in large part due to Enders’ late-season dominance.

Observations and predictions from some of this year's Countdown participants:

Erica Enders (first place): “Our mindset as a team was to come out swinging this year, and I think we’ve done that with Elite winning 10 of the first 12 races. That said, it’s all about capitalizing on the final six races. We’ve got a new motor in my car, and we tested in Tulsa [Okla., before Indy], and we saw some promising results.”

Aaron Stanfield (second place): The third-generation prodigy knows a thing or two about winning championships, having delivered back-to-back titles in the Constant Aviation NHRA Factory Stock Showdown. As a sidenote, don’t be surprised to see him make a run at the championship in Top Dragster presented by Vortech Superchargers. He’s ranked in the Top 10 with plenty of races left to improve.

Greg Anderson (third place): “Everybody worries me, but we should be worrying the right now. Earlier this year, we were an afterthought. They [the Elite team] made big gains, but I’m proud of the recovery we’ve made. It’s going to be a dogfight. Of the Top 10 cars, if eight of them aren’t favorites to win, I’ll eat my hat. I can’t pick a favorite.”

Kyle Koretsky (fourth place): Look back a year ago and recall that he won a Countdown race in Charlotte and finished the season as the No. 4-ranked driver in the class. With a bit more consistency, it wouldn’t be difficult imagine a championship run, although he’ll have to find a way to knock out the three drivers currently seeded above him.

Dallas Glenn (fifth place): If not for a narrow -.002 red-light in the Indy final, Glenn might be heading into the Countdown with momentum on his side. That being said, he’s definitely one of the favorites because he’s just 50 points out of the lead, and he might trail only Enders when it comes to the ability to perform under pressure.  

Troy Coughlin Jr. (sixth place): Winning two events earlier this season had to do wonders for his confidence, but winning a Pro Stock championship from the No. 6 spot presents a whole new challenge because that has never been done before. If Coughlin lacks motivation, he need not look far as his uncle, Jeg Jr., won five Pro Stock championships during his amazing career and won them under various championship formats.

Mason McGaha (seventh place): Sometimes, it’s easy to forget he’s just 19 and figures to have a lot of competitive years ahead of him. Quite honestly, it’s hard to imagine someone who has yet to win a race making a run at the championship, but then again, this is Pro Stock, and sometimes it’s best to expect the unexpected. At this point, the greater likelihood is that he’ll crush someone else’s Countdown dreams with a timely holeshot victory.

Camrie Caruso (eighth place): “I am excited about the Countdown. Jim [Yates, crew chief] suggested I adjust my goals when we started this season because they were extremely high, but we have six races to get some wins and race for the championship. Those are still my goals.”

Matt Hartford (ninth place): A veteran of numerous Countdown battles, Hartford has a 90-point deficit to make up in order to made a run at the title. A feat of that magnitude would almost certainly require two or three Countdown victories or at least that many final rounds.

Fernando Cuadra Jr. (tenth place): There are some Pro Stock insiders who think Fernando Cuadra Jr. will be NHRA’s next first-time Professional winner, and after his semifinal performance in Indy, it might be time to take them a bit more seriously. Winning a championship from 10th place is a stretch, but winning a Countdown race is entirely possible.



Top Seed (Season Finish)

World Champ (Starting Seed)


Greg Anderson (2nd)

Jeg Coughlin Jr. (3rd)


Jeg Coughlin Jr. (5th)

Mike Edwards (3rd)


Mike Edwards (3rd)

Anderson (4th)


Greg Anderson (3rd)

Jason Line (2nd)


Allen Johnson (1st)

Johnson (1st)


Mike Edwards (4th)

Coughlin (3rd)


Jason Line (2nd)

Erica Enders (2nd)


Erica Enders (1st)

Enders (1st)


Jason Line (1st)

Line (1st)


Bo Butner (1st)

Butner (1st)


Tanner Gray (1st)

Gray (1st)


Bo Butner (3rd)

Enders (5th)


No Countdown



Greg Anderson (1st)

Anderson (1st)