Erica Enders

ERICA ENDERS<br>Pro Stock

Vital Statistics
Residence: New Orleans, Louisiana
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Date of birth: October 8, 1983

Personal
Married: Husband, Richie Stevens Jr.
Height/weight: 5'8", 130 lbs.
Hobbies: Racing, working out, shopping, bowling, traveling and watching football

ERICA ENDERS


 

 

Pro Stock
2017 car: Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro
Crew chief: Rick Jones
Team owner: Richard Freeman
Career wins: 21
Career final rounds: 35
2016 points finish: 9th
Best points finish: 1st (2014, 2015)
First start: Pomona 1 2005
Career-best elapsed time: 6.461 seconds (Dallas 2015)
Career-best speed: 215.55 mph (Englishtown 2014)

2016 Season Highlights

  • Raced to three semifinal finishes
  • Qualified for the Countdown for the sixth consecutive season
  • Finished ninth overall in points

Career Highlights

  • 2015: Won her second consecutive NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock world championship
  • 2015: Raced to a category-best and career-high nine victories, the most of any female driver in a single season in NHRA history
  • 2015: Took sole possession of second place on the all-time list of professional female competitors
  • 2015: Posted six No. 1 qualifying efforts
  • 2015: Doubled up in Las Vegas, winning the event and the K&N Horsepower Challenge bonus event at the spring event
    2014: Won her first NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock world championship title; Became the first woman to win a championship in Pro Stock and the third to win a professional title in the Mello Yello Series; Claimed a career-high and class leading six victories on the season; Posted six No. 1 qualifying positions; Won the K&N Horsepower Challenge bonus event at Las Vegas 1; Reset the national record in both time and speed
  • 2013: Raced to two season victories; Runner-up at the K&N Horsepower Challenge bonus event
  • 2012: Made NHRA history at Chicago by becoming the first female to win an NHRA Pro Stock race; Became one of two women to claim wins at the same event (Seattle); Collected four wins (Chicago, Seattle, Brainerd, St. Louis); Recorded two No. 1 qualifying positions (Brainerd, Indianapolis); Advanced to playoffs; Finished career- best fourth in the Mello Yello Series points standings
  • 2011: Raced to three runner-up finishes; Recorded two No. 1 qualifying positions; Was the fan vote-in for the K&N Horsepower Challenge bonus event
  • 2008-10: Competed in a limited schedule with Jim Cunningham Motorsports
  • 2007: Raced to a semifinal finish in a limited season of racing
  • 2006: Earned her first career No. 1 qualifier at Topeka; Posted runner-up finish at Gainesville; Collected a career-high 10 round-wins
  • 2005: Became first female to reach a final round in Pro Stock (Chicago 2); Nominee for Auto Club Road to the Future Award, given annually to the season's top rookie; Battled a shaky start to win eight rounds in her rookie season

Notable: 

Most successful female Pro Stock driver in NHRA history; Has raced in Super Gas and Super Comp divisions in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series; Earned first national event victory at Houston in Super Gas; Former NHRA Jr. Drag Racing League participant; was the subject of the Disney Channel's original movie, Right on Track.

BIOGRAPHY

No driver — male or female — has had a better two-year run in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series than Erica Enders.

The 31-year-old from Houston who now lives in New Orleans won back-to-back Pro Stock world championships in 2014-2015, going to victory lane 15 times. The two incredible seasons have punctuated a long career that started when she was an 8-year-old, begging her father to race a Jr. Dragster.

Now, she joins Team Mopar for the 2016 season, driving a Dodge Dart for Elite Motorsports as she chases her third championship in a row in what is blossoming into a hall-of-fame career.

That career took a long, winding path from the scale dragsters, with which she won numerous races and her first championship. That first race car, in fact, is on display at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum in Pomona, Calif.

Enders later caught the eye of Hollywood filmmakers, who turned her story and that of younger sister Courtney into a Disney Channel movie, Right on Track, which debuted in 2003.

Right on Track was a success and was voted Most Awesome Sports Movie of the Year by more than 1.5 million viewers while remaining the second-highest-rated Disney Channel original movie in history.

Enders' racing career stayed on track as she moved through the NHRA Sportsman ranks, earning Sportsman Driver of the Year honors in 2000. She continued winning in the Sportsman ranks before joining Cagnazzi Racing to compete in Pro Stock in 2005.

Enders raced to her first final round in Chicago that year and then earned her first No. 1 qualifier spot a year later in Topeka, Kan.; finished second in Gainesville, Fla.; and won 10 rounds over the course of her sophomore season. From 2007 to 2010, she competed on a limited basis. Then in 2011, she returned to Cagnazzi Racing, reaching three final rounds in a solid season.

Enders' breakthrough season came in 2012, the year she became the first woman to win in Pro Stock when she went to victory lane in Chicago. That triumphant day was capped by longtime boyfriend Richie Stevens' marriage proposal, and the two were married later that year. Enders won four times and finished fourth in the points standings that year, followed by two more victories in 2013.

She moved to Elite Motorsports for the 2014 season, and the pairing proved to be perfect for both sides. Enders won six races, but she saved the best for last: She took over the points lead at the penultimate race of the season in Las Vegas and then had to beat Jason Line in the final round of the final race in a winner-take-all battle for the championship.

Her star continued to rise in 2015 with one of the most impressive seasons in Pro Stock history: She led the ultra-competitive class with nine victories, 11 final-round appearances, and six No. 1 qualifiers. Along the way, she had an impressive streak of three consecutive victories, all on holeshots, a first in NHRA history.

She closed 2015 in even more impressive fashion, winning five of the final eight races, including three of the six Countdown to the Championship events. Enders clinched her second title in a row in Las Vegas, winning her ninth race of the season. Her nine victories broke Angelle Sampey's single-season mark of victories by a female (seven) set in 2001.

Enders has 21 career victories, 39th all time. She is second among women in victories, trailing only Sampey (41). Her 19th career win passed Shirley Muldowney on the all-time win list for women.

"Finally, I feel like I'm home with this group of guys," Enders said. "I couldn't have dreamed up a better crew. We truly get along, we have such great chemistry, and most importantly we have fun together. That's why we're so successful on the racetrack. Horsepower doesn't hurt, but we don't have the biggest budget. We get it done because of the people. It's been a long road, but I'm glad to be where I'm at. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world."