Enders-Stevens, Biondo capture doubles at Vegas
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (March 30, 2014) -- Erica Enders-Stevens and Peter Biondo each won twice in the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a rare double-double for the straight line sport.
Both drivers race exclusively on Goodyear tires.
All told, Goodyear-shod drivers won eight of 10 categories in Las Vegas. The professional winners in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series included Tony Schumacher (in Top Fuel), Alexis DeJoria (Funny Car) and Enders-Stevens. Nick Januik (Top Alcohol Funny Car), Joey Severance (Top Alcohol Dragster) and Lou Ficco Jr. joined Biondo in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series for sportsman racers.
Enders-Stevens won the K&N Horsepower Challenge, a special event for Pro Stock teams on Saturday before winning the Pro Stock final on Sunday. Biondo won the Stock Eliminator and Super Stock finals on Sunday.
Sunday’s weather conditions, which included a heavy cross wind, forced the NHRA to take the unusual step of sending the Pro Stock teams to the pits rather than have them make their first round runs. The Pro Stock cars are lighter and lack the down force that Top Fuel and Funny Car entrants have. The Pro Stockers finally started their first round after the nitro cars completed their semifinal round.
“This is storybook, this is unbelievable,” Enders-Stevens said Sunday. She added, “I’ve never won a championship but next to winning a championship this is the best thing in the world.”
Enders-Stevens finished the weekend with the points lead. She has 344 points. Jason Line, who lost to Enders-Stevens in the final, is next with 329.
Schumacher beat Doug Kalitta in the Top Fuel final. “I liked it when I heard it would be windy this weekend,” Schumacher said. “That separates the top drivers from the rest.”
Kalitta leads the Top Fuel standings with 412 points. Antron Brown is second with 339.
DeJoria’s win gave her two for the 2014 campaign. She beat Robert Hight in the final. Her career record against the former champion improved to a spotless 4-0. Robert Hight leads the Funny Car standings with 367 points, while teammate John Force is next with 358.
Courtney Force sped to a Funny Car track record during qualifying, 4.006 seconds. The time would have been a national record but she was unable to run another pass at a speed fast enough to back it up. Force was knocked out in the second round of eliminations.
Goodyear employs about 69,000 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.