Hometown: Houston, Texas
Born: Oct. 8, 1983, Houston
College: Texas A&M University, MAYS Business School
High School: 2002 graduate of Cy Springs High School (Texas)
Career-Best elapsed time: 6.502 seconds
Career-Best mph: 213.57 (former world Pro Stock speed record holder)
2012 Car: GK Motorsports Chevrolet Cobalt
Team Owner: Victor Cagnazzi
Years Pro: 7
Pro Stock Finals: 8
Pro Stock #1 Qualifier: 5
Pro Stock Wins: 3
Jr. Dragster wins: 37
Super Comp wins: 6
Super Gas wins: 1
“I'm just Erica, doing what I love and following my dream.”
That simple statement from Pro Stock sensation Erica Enders, encapsulates her life and her goals in the 200+ mph world of professional Pro Stock drag racing. Although Enders is only 28 years old, she is a veteran driver, having driven racecars for 20 years, since the age of eight.
In 1992, Enders joined the first wave of kids to race a new class, called Jr. Dragster. The category was formed by the National Hot Rod Association to help foster tomorrow's drag racing stars, while also giving families a fun activity to do together on weekends. She won the second event of her career, in an all female final. The cars are miniature versions of full size dragsters, and can reach speeds up to 85 mph. Her first car is in the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum.
Erica's father Gregg, a technology company CEO, was already an established racer of many different types of cars, boats and motorcycles, when the Jr. Dragster class was formed. Gregg abandoned his own racing activities to focus exclusively on Erica's new interest. “My dad is the person who made this happen for me,” Erica said. “Without his love, dedication and support, I wouldn't be where I am today and we will race together the rest of our lives”
Erica's Jr. Dragster career proved to be a successful one, winning 37 times in the eight years she competed in the category. Her experience was even made into the Disney Original Movie “Right on Track” in 2003. “Right on Track” was shown over 100 times on the Disney Channel, remaining the second highest rated Disney Channel Original Movie of all time.
Enders' need for speed continued after her Jr. Dragster years came to an end. In 2000 Enders began competing in both Super Gas and Super Comp categories. In these classes Enders was reaching speeds over 180 mph, more than twice the speed of her Jr. Dragster. From 16 to age 20, Enders earned an additional six victories in Super Comp, and won the 2004 O'Reilly Spring Nationals in her home town of Houston in Super Gas. Earlier that year she earned her T/A Funny Car license at Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School.
Then the foresight of NHRA came full circle and in late 2004 Erica realized her life long dream of being a professional race car driver. Enders became a professional driver in 2005 having worked her way up from a Jr. Dragster to NHRA Pro Stocker. From the WinterNationals in February of that year, until the Mid South Nationals in June of 2006, the newest star in Drag Racing campaigned the Slammers Ultimate Milk Pro Stock entry to every new NHRA record in the books for a female Pro Stock driver.
For the second half of 2006, Erica drove for Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) in partnership with her own team Enders Racing, LLC. In 2007 Erica and her Father campaigned their own team. In 2008, Erica was called to fill in for Jim Cunningham at the US Nationals. Later that year, Cunningham and Enders inked a deal for her to drive in 2009 and beyond.
With her return "home" to Cagnazzi Racing in 2011, Erica made more history by reaching 3 finals and earning the #1 qualifier position 2 times. Furthermore, Erica finished the season in the #6 spot in the 2011 Pro Stock standings, the highest finish ever by a female in the history of NHRA Pro Stock.
And, on July 1, 2012, Erica Enders became the first female to EVER win in the ultra competitive Pro Stock class outrunning Greg Anderson in the final. Two additional wins have followed this season, at Seattle and Brainerd. In Sonoma and Brainerd, Erica set new track ET records for Pro Stock.
Cagnazzi Racing & Erica