Gaining ground on Johnson and Line is Enders' top priority in Reading
MOHNTON, PA – The pressure is on for contenders of the 2012 Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock championship as the NHRA tour turns to this weekend's 28th annual Uni-Select Auto Plus Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.
But that's exactly how KLR Group driver Erica Enders likes it.
"I definitely think we thrive under pressure," Enders said. "Our performance is showing that week in and week out. I say it over and over, but consistency is the key. On Sunday in St. Louis, my guys were able to get my car down the race track every single time within seven or eight thousandths of each other. They've definitely got the setup down.
"Every track is going to throw different challenges at us, but I'm confident in my guys - and I'm confident in myself."
Enders is coming off a victory at Gateway Motorsports Park last weekend when her elapsed times during eliminations varied only by .007 seconds. The win was the fourth of the season in what is Enders' best year as a professional.
The four wins have come in the last 10 races, when she also has one other final-round appearance, two No. 1 qualifiers and two track records.
A national record is on everyone's mind in Pro Stock as the class races at Maple Grove, which is traditionally one of the quickest tracks in NHRA. Jason Line set the national record of 6.477 seconds at Reading last year, and Enders could use the 20 bonus points for lowering the ET mark in her pursuit of the championship.
She's currently in third place in the ultra-competitive class, 17 behind second-place Line and 126 behind leader Allen Johnson.
"Getting that record seems to be what everybody's asking me about," Enders said. "We go to Reading every year, and it's usually mine-shaft conditions like when the world record was set last year, and it'll probably be reset there this year. We'll see what happens."
Enders qualified eighth and made the third round at Reading last year, only to run into Line's record run. Plus, crew chief Dave Connolly has two victories at Maple Grove, so the GK Motorsports team should have plenty of information to run well this weekend.
"It's a track we've got a lot of data at," Enders said. "Not just from Dave, but from my car, too. He won a couple years ago and we had a good run there last year. We were the second-fastest car to Jason but we had to run him in the semis. I'm looking forward to going back.
"It's going to be a crucial race, especially with the 20 points for the national record up for grabs. We're going to have to keep doing what we're doing. The consistency is what's important. If it's meant to be, it'll happen."