St. Louis could be next place for Enders to show her stuff
MADISON, IL – KLR Group driver Erica Enders takes her pursuit of the 2012 Pro Stock championship to Gateway Motorsports Park for this weekend's AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals.
Fresh off a final-round appearance at Texas Motorplex in her home state last weekend, Enders is fourth in the ultra-competitive Pro Stock standings. She's 144 points behind leader Allen Johnson but only 22 out of third place and 51 out of second.
"Our heads are high," Enders said. "We've got four races left. We're two rounds out of second. We need to get AJ early and try to beat him. But we've got the big picture in mind, and we're going to keep digging deep and walking toward it."
The championship, of course, is the big picture, and Enders has her best shot since she began racing. She finished sixth in the Pro Stock standings in 2011, but she and her GK Motorsports team have stepped up their game this year.
Enders has three victories, three other final-round appearances, two No. 1 qualifiers and two track records for elapsed time. Much of those gaudy numbers have come in the last nine races, which earned her a third-place finish in third-quarter voting for the Driver of the Year Award, a prestigious prize that covers motorsports in the United States.
IndyCar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay was first in the voting, with NASCAR Sprint Cup points leader Brad Keselowski second in voting by a panel of 21 broadcasters and journalists. Enders grabbed two first-place votes.
"It's really cool to be considered for that award, especially with my name on the list with names like Ryan Hunter-Reay and Brad Keselowski," Enders said. "It definitely proves how our season has really come together since the first win in July. We had two wins following that and two more final-round appearances. It definitely says a lot for the hard work and consistency we've had."
Enders last raced at Gateway in 2010, but she's in a much better position to do well at the track this time around.
"It's always been good to me, even in the Sportsman days," Enders said. "We were always lucky there. And it's always a fun city, too."
Professional qualifying sessions for Pro Stock will take place at 3 and 5:30 p.m., Friday, and 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., Saturday. Eliminations start at noon, Sunday. All action will be shown on ESPN2.