Photo Credit: Erica Enders Facebook
Houston native Erica Enders closed out her final race in Houston Raceway Park in style, picking up the win in front of a sold-out crowd at her home track on Sunday at the 35th and final NHRA Spring Nationals. It was a story written for Hollywood — as the four-time Pro Stock world champion Erica Enders won the final race at Houston Raceway Park, beating rookie Camrie Caruso.
Enders clocked a 6.568-second elapsed time at 210.24 mph to defeat Caruso’s 6.624-second lap at 209.26 mph. Brittany Force (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car) and Steve Johnson (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also won the fifth of 22 races during the 2022 season as the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series enjoyed consecutive days of sellout crowds to close out racing at Houston Raceway Park.
It’s also Enders' third Pro Stock win at Houston Raceway Park, where Enders grew up racing. Her first national event win came in Super Gas in 2004 at HRP and she finished her racing at the facility with an impressive Pro Stock win thanks to round wins against Cristian Cuadra, Matt Hartford, and Kyle Koretsky.
“I grew up drag racing here and I don’t know if I can put this into words," Enders stated. "I made my first passes down the racetrack when I was eight years old, and my first Wally came here. To do this here in Houston means the world to me. We were able to execute perfectly today and I’m so proud of this team. It was just an unbelievable day. It was challenging to get focused and get my emotions under control, but I tried to put all of that on the backburner and get it done. To be able to execute and have such a great team and great car today, this is one of my proudest moments.”
Who is Erica Enders?
Erica Enders is a female racecar driver that has gained worldwide recognition. Starting at just eight years old, she has earned multiple championships — dating back to 1992.
In 2005, she was the first woman to compete in the Pro Stock category since 1993, which she then followed up with milestones, such as becoming the first woman qualifying in the top half of her field and the first woman to reach a final round. By the end of 2005, Enders had collected more round wins than all of the previous Pro Stock female drivers in NHRA history.
In September 2020, Erica found victory at the U.S. Nationals with a 6.606-second final round run in the Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro. She followed that up with her fourth Pro Stock world championship, which she picked up in Las Vegas in November 2020.
A True Winner: Erica Enders
Dominating a male-dominated profession, Erica Enders is true winner. She is a three-time world champion. In fact, the 36-year-old has not only won three NHRA World Championships but has also broken several records — more than any other female racer in the sport’s history.
Enders, who advanced to her second consecutive win and third win of the season in her Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro in front of a sold-out crowd at the legendary facility, finished the final NHRA national event at Houston Raceway Park as humble as ever. It was a weekend full of memories as the Pro Stock veteran reflected on how much the iconic racetrack has meant to her throughout the years.
“We’ve had so many wonderful memories at this racetrack,” stated Enders, upon clinching her 36th career win in the Pro Stock category. “Starting before I even got behind the wheel of anything, just watching our dad drive and growing up with a lot of the people who won today in the sportsman ranks. It was just an unbelievable day. I mean my first passes in a Jr. Dragster were at this racetrack. I won my first national event Wally in Super Gas here. It’s huge. It’s an emotional day because it’s the last time we’ll ever have the chance to win here but I’m glad we went out with a bang.”