Erica Enders-Stevens

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Erica Enders-Stevens
CE & EE NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston 2013.jpg
Erica (left) and her sister Courtney at the NHRA Spring Nationals in Houston, 2013
Born Erica Lee Enders
(1983-10-08) October 8, 1983 (age 33)
Houston, Texas, U.S.
Related to Richie Stevens Jr.
Courtney Enders
NHRA Pro Stock career
Years active 1992-2006, 2010, 2011–present

Erica Lee Enders-Stevens (born October 8, 1983 in Houston, Texas) is an American NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock driver.[1]

Career[edit]

Enders-Stevens started racing in 1992 at the age of 8. Her original Enders Racing Junior Dragster car is on display at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum.

In 1993, Enders-Stevens won the Division 4 Jr. Dragster championship in the 8 to 9 year old class, and in 1995 she was named Junior Dragster Driver of the Year. In her eight years of junior dragster competition, she had 37 career wins.

In 2000, at age 16, she advanced to her first national event final (Houston) to become the youngest NHRA national event finalist. She was named NHRA Sportsman Rookie of the Year.

In 2004, Enders-Stevens became the 35th woman in NHRA history to earn a national event victory, in Super Gas class at Houston. In 2005, she became the first woman to compete in the NHRA's Pro Stock Category since 1993, the first woman in NHRA history to qualify in the top-half of a Pro Stock field, and the first woman to reach a final round in Pro Stock (at Chicago). Enders-Stevens achieved more round wins in 2005 than all other female drivers in NHRA Pro Stock history combined, and was a finalist for the “Road to the Future” award for the season’s top rookie.

In 2006, Enders-Stevens became the first woman to qualify No. 1 in Pro Stock (at Heartland Park, Topeka, Kansas), and recorded another runner-up finish at the Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla.

After returning to Cagnazzi Racing in 2011, she broke the national speed record in Pro Stock at 213.57 mph (343.71 km/h) at the Gainesville round, and defeated 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kurt Busch in Round One of that meet.

On July 2, 2012, Enders-Stevens became the first woman to win in NHRA Pro Stock, beating four-time champion Greg Anderson in the finals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill.[2] Her winning time was 6.627 seconds for the 1,320 foot run.

In 2012, Enders-Stevens finished a career best fourth in the points in the Countdown to the Championship in NHRA Pro Stock and followed that up with a sixth-place finish in 2013.

It was announced following the 2013 season that Enders-Stevens would leave Cagnazzi Racing and join Elite Motorsports for the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, driving the team's new Camaro.

She currently holds both sides of the NHRA National Record for Pro Stock, 6.464 seconds and 215.55 mph (346.89 km/h), set at Englishtown, NJ in 2014.[3]

In 2014, Enders-Stevens became the first woman to win the NHRA Pro Stock World Championship, winning six races for the year (an NHRA event win requires winning four, consecutive wins over competitors drawn from the sixteen quickest cars at that event), including the season-ending Auto Club NHRA Finals to clinch the title.[4]

In 2015, Enders-Stevens broke 2 records for female NHRA drivers. At Charlotte's zMax Dragway in September, she scored her 19th career win, surpassing a record previously held by Shirley Muldowney in Top Fuel for the most NHRA national event wins by a female driver.[5] At the Texas Motorplex in October, Enders-Stevens claimed her eighth victory of the year, breaking Pro Stock Motorcycle rider Angelle Sampey’s single-season record of seven wins in 2001.[6]

Enders-Stevens won the NHRA Pro Stock World Championship for a second straight year in 2015.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Enders-Stevens is the older sister of Courtney Enders, who was a junior dragster driver; they both attended Cypress Springs High School. After winning her first national event in Pro Stock, her boyfriend Richie Stevens, Jr. (also a drag racer) proposed.[8] The two were married on December 7, 2012.

Film[edit]

In 2003, Enders-Stevens and her sister had their life story turned into a Disney Original Movie, Right on Track. Erica was portrayed by Beverley Mitchell, while Courtney was portrayed by Brie Larson.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Fallas, Bernardo (April 1, 2007). "O'REILLY SPRING NATIONALS / Fast lane speeds up for Enders". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved November 8, 2009. 
  2. ^ Montgomery, Lee. "Enders knocks down Pro Stock barrier". Archived from the original on 2013-12-26. 
  3. ^ NHRA. "NHRA National Record Holders". NHRA. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  4. ^ Fox Sports. "Erica Enders-Stevens wins NHRA Finals at Pomona, becomes first woman to win Pro Stock world championship, third woman to win NHRA world championship". FOX Sports. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  5. ^ Selig, Jay. "Erica Enders makes more history by winning in Charlotte for first time". RPM2Night.com. Retrieved 19 October 2015. 
  6. ^ "Enders Sets NHRA Record In Texas". National Speed Sport News. Turn 3 Media LLC. Retrieved 19 October 2015. 
  7. ^ "Brown & Enders Lock Up Championships". NationalSpeedSportNews.com. Turn 3 Media LLC. Retrieved 3 November 2015. 
  8. ^ Geiger, Rob (July 23, 2012). "Fast Five: Erica Enders". Autoweek. 62 (15): 75.