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Living Her Dream! An Interview with NHRA’s Erica Enders-Stevens

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Chandler, ARIZ. (February 28, 2014) – Last weekend I had the pleasure of interviewing NHRA Pro Stock driver Erica Enders-Stevens. Erica has many fans here in the valley that are familiar with her racing history. As many of you know, she won the Pro Stock category in 2013 here in Phoenix during the NHRA Arizona Nationals. Unfortunately, even as the number two qualifier, she was not able to hold on to that title this time around. There is no stopping her though, I’m sure we will see more great wins from this veteran driver.

Day Two of Qualifying for the 2014 CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals is Over and the Ladders SetErica is very happy with the newly renovated track at Wild Horse Pass Mortorsports Park. She had the opportunity to make some test passes before last weekend’s race. “The track is really great, they have made big improvements,” she stated. Erica ran a 6.531 at 212.09 mph in her first round matchup on Sunday, which was her fastest pass of the day.

Erica’s fastest official time recorded is 6.502 @ 213.57 mph, a national speed record set in Gainesville during the 2011 season. She held on to this record for 11 months, it was reset only by a couple tenths of a mile.

Enders-Stevens is working with a new team this year. She feels like she’s the new piece of the puzzle but stated, “It’s been a really smooth and easy transition. The guys treat me great which is really refreshing because that’s not always the case.”

Erica married in December 2012 to Pro Stock driver Richie Stevens. They are not looking to start a family any time soon; racing is their priority right now. At times they feel like they are being selfish, but she would like a few wins under her belt. (I think this an exception, it’s okay to be selfish at times. I personally would like to thank Erika for being selfish in this matter 🙂

This racer’s only accident was in 2004 while she was learning to drive Pro Stock. Going 165 mph, the car got loose on her at half track. After rolling, the car came to rest on all four tires. She had a fire in the engine which also ignited the windshield. She made it very clear to me that she HATES fire. Thankfully, she was able to walk away with minor injuries. After the accident her father told her if she wanted to quit racing she could go back to school. He let her know he would support her in whatever she decided. Her response was, “Give me my gloves!” In hind sight she believes that incident made her a better driver, “…it was the best thing that happened to me.” She always says a short prayer before launching the Elite Motorsports Camaro down track.

What is Erica’s advice for young women looking to get in this sport? Through hard work and understanding the importance of an education, make a plan and focus. “It’s a challenge! Dream big, anything is possible!”

I would like to thank Erica for taking time out of her busy schedule for this interview on such short notice. It was an honor to interview one of the fastest women on the planet. Good luck and we’ll see you next year!

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