What a show that Erica Enders and Camrie Caruso gave the Houston faithful on Sunday to close out the final NHRA Camping World event at Houston Raceway Park. While some were hoping for a passing of the Pro Stock torch, others were fully behind the hometown hero.
There was more than enough drama to go around at Houston Raceway Park but the Pro Stock final stole the show as Erica Enders topped rising star Camrie Caruso in the first all-female final in the factory Hot Rod class. Enders won her third race of the season and, perhaps more importantly, won for the final time at her home track.
Enders grew up racing Jr. Dragsters in Baytown and earned her first win in Super Gas in 2004. She’s since followed with three Pro Stock victories. Caruso was slightly quicker off the starting line, but Enders powered to a 6.568 for her 37th win to cover Caruso’s 6.624.
“I wanted it bad. This morning did not start out terrific for me. I wanted to work all day long to prove to people that I’m everything they say I’m not and I can do everything that they say I can’t. This one is for team Enders and for Team Melling. I just watched a lot of the people I grew up with just win. We all just wrecked house here in H-town.”
Although she qualified No. 2 behind Caruso, Enders’ Elite Camaro was clearly the class of the field on race day as she powered past Cristian Cuadra, Matt Hartford, and Kyle Koretsky to reach the final for the 66th time in her career. Enders also did what she does best with a holeshot win against Hartford, a two-time Houston Pro Stock winner.
As for Caruso, she’s exceeded even her own lofty expectations by qualifying No. 1 and reaching the final in just her fifth start in the class. Caruso drove her Jim Yates-tuned Camaro to wins against Fernando Cuadra Sr., Bo Butner, and world champ Greg Anderson to run her record to an even 5-5 on the young season.
Enders successfully defended her title from the Four Wide Nationals in Las Vegas three weeks ago and so did Top Fuel champ Brittany Force, who gave Justin Ashley a tasted of his own medicine with a holeshot victory. Force, who has clearly addressed the starting line issues that plagued her for much of 2021, left first with a competitive .041 light and powered to a 3.767 to 3.763 victory.
RPM Round By Round:
Round 1 - Erica Enders is 33-5 in round 1 when she qualifies in the number 2 position. Enders faced Cristian Cuadra in the opener and he was the runner-up to Erica at the Las Vegas 4-Wide event. Enders is 5-0 against Cuadra in prior events. Enders had the starting line advantage and never trailed for the win. Enders' MOV: 0.0178 seconds which is approximately 5 feet. She had the quickest E.T. of race day and will have lane choice over Matt Hartford in the next round. Cuadra had the third quickest pass of the round in the losing effort.
Round 2 - Enders is 17-5 against her second round opponent, Matt Hartford in prior events. Enders had the starting line advantage and the power to hold on for the hole shot win. Erica Enders' MOV: 0.0286 seconds which is approximately 9 feet. Erica earns lane choice in the semifinal.
Round 3 – Enders was 3-1 against round 3 foe, Kyle Koretsky, in prior events. Koretsky had the starting line advantage but Enders had the difference made up by the time they go by the Christmas tree and never trails from there on for the win. Erica Enders' MOV: 0.0322 seconds which is approximately 10 feet. Enders advances to her 64th Pro Stock final round.
Round 4 – Enders faced off against Camryn Caruso. With the home crowd solidly behind Enders, it was an emotional final for many with this being the first Pro Stock final ever to feature two women. After Caruso had troubles getting the car staged, the two had a great race with Enders getting the storybook win at the end of the day
See a full recap of the full day:
See Sundays photo gallery from NHRA National Dragster:
#NHRA / #DragRacing / #SPRINGNATS / #Houston / #Texas / #ThankYou / #Finale
Photo: NHRA National Dragster