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Texas FallNationals win would be massive and possibly historic for Erica Enders

14 Oct 2023
Posted by NHRA.com staff
Erica Enders

There’s plenty on the line this weekend as Erica Enders looks to stay in the Pro Stock points lead at the 38th annual Texas NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex, the main event of the legendary track’s Stampede of Speed.
Another win could give the defending world champion the most by any female in NHRA history, breaking a tie with Angelle Sampey, who is also making her Top Alcohol Dragster debut this weekend in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.
There’s also the matter of defending her event win at the Texas Motorplex – a genuine big deal for the Texas native – and maintaining the points lead in her Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage/Melling Performance Chevrolet Camaro. She enters the Countdown to the Championship with a slim 25-point lead over rival Greg Anderson and a 38-point advantage against Matt Hartford, looking to pick up her first playoff win this year.
“We’re obviously excited to come back to Dallas,” Enders said. “It’s been good to us and we’re looking to get another win here as well. We’re coming in with the lead and the goal is to keep it and extend it this weekend. The start of the season has really made me want to enjoy it more because it is so hard to get there. I would put my guys against anyone in the world. I have the absolute best guys on the planet and I wouldn’t want to do this with anyone else. It’s definitely going to be a dogfight, but I’m excited to see how these last three races go.”
Justin Ashley (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car), Enders (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle) took home victories last season. This year’s race will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 (FS1) and marks the fourth of six events in the Countdown to the Championship. The weekend opens with "Friday Night Live,” as the quickest pass under the lights on Friday at the famed Texas Motorplex will net Top Fuel and Funny Car stars $15,000 each in bonus money, with $7,500 going to the top Friday qualifier in Pro Stock and $5,000 in Pro Stock Motorcycle.
It also marks the 350th career Pro Stock race for Enders, a five-time world champion, adding another major milestone to this weekend. But she also enters with plenty of momentum, picking up three straight No. 1 qualifiers in the playoffs.
While she’s been consistent – moving into the points lead in St. Louis – Enders is also seeking her first finals appearance in the Countdown to the Championship. Should it happen in Dallas, Enders will have to get past the likes of Anderson, Hartford, Dallas Glenn, who is 64 points out of first, Aaron Stanfield and Troy Coughlin Jr.
Anderson has won the last two playoff races to get within striking distance of Enders, setting up what could be another marquee showdown for the two five-time Pro Stock world champions.

“I definitely love going to battle with him,” Enders said. “We finished last year first and second, and that’s how it is right now going into these last three races. If I had to bet my own money, I’d bet it’s going to come down to us at the wire, but there’s a lot of other great drivers, too, and it’s going to be cutthroat. I think our class has been in the best shape it’s been in for quite some time. It’s really awesome to see so many great drivers and this class is thriving."

To purchase tickets to the Texas NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex, call 800-668-6775 or visit tickets.texasmotorplex.com. Children 12 and under are admitted free in general admissions areas with a paid adult.