Enders-Stevens doubles up at Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (April 12, 2015) – Like many folks visiting the western United States, Erica Enders-Stevens stopped here for a double-double, but drag racing’s Pro Stock champion did it the NHRA way.
Enders-Stevens doubled up for the second time in as many years in the NHRA Las Vegas Nationals. She won the K&N Horsepower Challenge, a special event for Pro Stock racers, on Saturday and then won the main event on Sunday.
Enders-Stevens did the same trick a year ago and, for good measure, won the 2014 fall race here.
“It’s really surreal,” she said later.
Enders-Stevens was one of five racers to win on Goodyear tires during Sunday’s eliminations at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series for professional teams Richie Crampton won in Top Fuel and John Force won in Funny Car. Annie Whiteley won in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series’ Top Alcohol Funny Car category and Richard Okerman won in Top Sportsman.
“This was a great weekend for our Goodyear Eagles,” Goodyear’s Bryce Jones said. “In addition to the two sportsman categories where we won, we saw cars with our tires make it to the finals three other times.”
Enders-Stevens, who was feeling ill on Sunday, said her crew chief Rick Jones acted as her cheerleader during the long race day.
“I had to get out there and be positive,” she said. “I asked my crew chief to keep me positive on the radio.”
Enders-Stevens beat Vincent Nobile in both the special event and Sunday’s final round.
Jason Line leads the Pro Stock standings with 426 points and Enders-Stevens is next with 391.
Force won for the NHRA-best 142nd time in his NHRA-best 248th final round appearance. All those wins have come on Goodyear tires.
“We’re not real fast,” Force said. “We got lucky today, some cars smoked their tires. I’ll take luck every time … it buys us time to make progress.”
In the final round, when Force had to beat teammate Robert Hight, it was a close race.
“Right now Robert is my best team because they’ve been together,” Force said.
Matt Hagan leads the Funny Car standings with 369 points. Del Worsham is next with 360.
Crampton grabbed his first victory of the 2015 season and remained undefeated in his three final round appearances. He beat Larry Dixon in Sunday’s final.
“To win at the fifth event … it’s a huge boost for our entire team,” Crampton said. “We’ve got a great hot track race car.”
Antron Brown has 385 points and leads the Top Fuel standings. Tony Schumacher is next with 375.
Goodyear employs about 67,000 people at manufacturing plants and facilities in 22 nations. Based in Akron, Ohio, Goodyear is among the largest tiremakers in the world and is the worldwide leader in race tire innovation.