Stevens to race with wife, points leader Enders-Stevens, during championship chase

August 5th, 2014  / Author: BTS

Once famously known as “the Kid,” the now 35-year-old Stevens has nothing to prove on the racetrack. Aside from his six victories in NHRA competition, the last of which came in 2006 at the fall race in Las Vegas, Stevens has won four IHRA events, one ADRL race, and two ADRL “Belts.” He’s the only driver in history to win Pro Stock titles in NHRA, IHRA, and ADRL sanction.Pro Stock points leader Erica Enders-Stevens will have some very familiar company in the Elite Motorsports camp for the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals and at least part of the six-race Countdown to the Championship as her husband Richie Stevens joins Richard Freeman’s front-running team in a second Elite car.SONY DSC

 

Stevens, a six-time national event winner from New Orleans, will be driving a brand-new Rick Jones-built Camaro with identical horsepower to his wife’s hot rod. Rick and Rickie Jones will tune both race cars, with two-time ADRL Pro Stock champion Cary Goforth handling clutch duties in the new entry. Stevens’ car will be branded with Elite Motorsports in the primary sponsor position, with associate funding from Pierson Construction. Tom Pierson also will serve as a crewman.

 

“We’re planning to run at least four races, and depending how we’re doing and any additional funding that comes up we may add some more events,” Stevens said. “This started as a way to shake down the new car for Erica. Believe it or not, Rick says this car will be even better than the one Erica’s been driving. It’s the next-generation chassis from their shop, and obviously their cars are the best.

 

“Once we decided to run some races, we thought it would be a perfect way to have a little fun and race alongside Erica as she fights for the championship. I’m really excited to race again, and with this car and engine combination I’d say this will be the best race car I’ve ever driven.”

 

The schedule so far includes the national events in Indianapolis, Charlotte, Dallas, and Reading.

 

 

“I plan to go out there and have a bunch of fun,” Stevens said. “There’s no pressure on me. I don’t feel like I have anything to prove. If I can win some rounds or maybe a race or two along the way, then that will be awesome.”

 

Stevens, who like his wife got his start in NHRA’s Jr. Dragster ranks, noted there will be plenty of space on his black and red race car for additional sponsors to take this special ride with him.

 

“The way this car will run, I expect we’ll get a good deal of TV time, especially if we can knock off some of the big teams,” Stevens said. “And I’ll be testing a bunch before Indy in this new car and Shane Tucker’s car, so I’ll be able to get back in driving mode before we get to a real race. Any sponsor money we get will go straight to racing more events.”

Angie Smith gets bigger piece of Kandy and secures new associate sponsor

May 15th, 2014  / Author: BTS

Commerce, Ga. – Matt Smith Racing, the current NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle Champion, and Kandy Magazine have announced today that Kandy has agreed to extend their relationship with a multiple race agreement. “Based on the success of the initial race sponsorship in Charlotte and the welcoming of the NHRA community, along with the great work ethic of Angie and her crew, made it an easy choice for us to continue the sponsorship,” explains Ron Kuchler, President of Kandy Magazine. “I am ecstatic that Kandy Magazine is expanding their sponsorship with me and this MSR team. This partnership we have been working on fits so well for me and for Kandy. I could not have asked for a better sponsor, and this is a dream coming true before my eyes,” added Angie Smith.SONY DSC

The sponsorship agreement will continue with Kandy branding on Angie’s bike, team shirts, trailer and a surprise unveiling at 1:00pm at the MSR pit that you don’t want to miss. The famous Kandy Girls will be making personal appearances in the pit, taking pictures, and giving away complimentary Kandy Magazine towels while they last each day.

Kandy Magazine is happy to announce that Matt Smith Racing has partnered with BarkAID for an Associate Sponsorship program for Angie Smith.

BarkAID’s sole mission is to raise funds for shelters and pet adoption organizations throughout the entire U.S.

BarkAID’s largest fundraiser is the 50 States Tour. The 50 States Tour was created and made possible by Patrick Lomantini. Patrick is a master hair stylist and owner of Lomantini The Salon.

Patrick travels to all 50 States – in 50 continuous days – and does at least 50 haircuts in each state donating 100% of the proceeds to the participating shelter.

“I am grateful for BarkAid coming on board with us. I have such a love for animals and I have two dogs that travel with me all year on the racing circuit. BarkAid is a great organization because they are helping animals find great homes and I am very honored to be a spokesperson for them,” explains Angie Smith.

In addition to Angie Smith, Kandy Magazine and Kandy Racing model Claudia Schott will serve as the official spokesmodel for the program.

“BarkAID couldn’t be more pleased than to be partnered with such great friends as Kandy Magazine and Matt Smith Racing. BarkAID through all the awareness the NHRA brings, will continue its mission to further inform and hopefully raise funds for homeless animals everywhere. With these partnerships our strategy will be stronger and faster than ever,” added Patrick Lomantini

To learn more about how BarkAID can help your local shelter, to donate or how you can help BarkAID’s mission, including a full list of BarkAID’s 50 States Tour please visit www.barkaid.org.

The management of Kandy has been involved in motorsports marketing since 1997. The team has successfully married corporate brands, rock stars, and icons with top NHRA race teams. Now, the team is applying 17 years of motorsports marketing experience to one of its favorite race teams, Matt Smith Racing and Angie Smith.

Enders-Stevens the odds-on favorite to capture 100th victory by a female pro

May 14th, 2014  / Author: BTS

ATLANTA (May 14) — Entering this weekend’s 34th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals riding a streak of four consecutive final-round appearances, top-ranked Pro Stock racer Erica Enders-Stevens is considered the odds-on favorite to capture the much-ballyhooed 100th victory by a female competitor.

Enders-Stevens and Funny Car driver Alexis DeJoria have each carded two victories this year in their respective classes, but even if both manage to race through to the trophy round of the Atlanta race, Enders-Stevens would get the first shot at reaching the milestone because the Pro Stock final takes place just before the Funny Car title round. However, they could both be one-upped by a Pro Stock Motorcycle competitor as three female riders are on the entry list for the event.

SONY DSC
“It’s a really exciting deal, and the media along with everyone at NHRA have been putting a lot of emphasis on the chase to see who will be the 100th winner,” Enders-Stevens said. “I’d love to be the one, more for my guys than anything else. They’re the ones that deserve all the recognition. I’m just the lucky person that gets to drive the car.

“Alexis and I are becoming good friends and I’d be super happy for her also. Then you have the girls in Pro Stock Motorcycle and Brittany (Force, Top Fuel) and Courtney (Force, Funny Car), and it’s easy to see that there are a lot of us reaching for the same brass ring.

“No matter who gets it, I think it’s an awesome deal for all of the women who compete and have competed in the past in our sport. Having so many successful female racers is a huge part of what makes NHRA drag racing so unique.”

A total of 14 women have won NHRA national events, with eight-time winner Enders-Stevens ranked a lofty third on the list behind legends Angelle Sampey (41) and Shirley Muldowney (18).

“We all kind of stick together and support one another,” Enders-Stevens said. “I’m very close to Shirley and Angelle. They’ve been so great to me. And the girls that are out there racing now, we are all friends. I think more than anything, even though the 100th win by a woman is what everyone is talking about, we really just want to be considered racers. We want to let our accomplishments speak for themselves.”

Enders-Stevens and her privately funded Elite Motorsports Camaro have certainly quieted the critics this season. Aside from her two victories in four final-round showings, she has had the fastest car on the property at half of the first six races of the season. Her top speed of 214.69 mph, which she posted in Gainesville, Fla., set the national record. She has also topped the championship points for the last three races.

“It’s been an awesome start to the year,” said Enders-Stevens, who also won the special K&N Horsepower Challenge in Las Vegas. “Our team owner, Richard Freeman, has given us everything we need to win and the guys have lived up to his expectations. Most of all, we’re having fun and enjoying the ride.

“Winning the 100th race, that would add a big bolt of energy to our team. We’re certainly going to do everything we can to make it happen.”

Pro Stock qualifying sessions are scheduled for 4:15 and 6:30 p.m., Friday, and 12:30 and 3:15 p.m., Saturday. Eliminations begin at noon, Sunday. ESPN2 will carry qualifying highlights from 6-8 p.m., Saturday, and elimination action from 9 p.m.-midnight, Sunday.

Pro Stock Leader Enders-Stevens Sets Sights on Houston Hometown Victory

April 24th, 2014  / Author: BTS

BAYTOWN, TX — Heading into just the 6th race of the 2014 season, Erica Enders-Stevens has already captured the Pro Stock national speed record, won the K&N Horsepower Challenge, appeared in three national event final rounds, won the SummitRacing.com Nationals in Las Vegas, and became the overall Pro Stock points leader for the first time in her career.ees-4wide1

Yet a win at this weekend’s O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals at Royal Purple Raceway would be even more special.

“This is home. It’s where I grew up watching my dad race and where I started racing Jr. Dragsters,” recalled Enders-Stevens. “My first national event win happened here in Super Gas in 2004, so it’s been 10 years since I’ve been in the winner’s circle at my home track. Making it back there this weekend would be one heck of an anniversary celebration.”

If this season’s performance is any indication, she may have just what it takes.

Her Elite Motorsports team, led by Richard Freeman and co-crew chiefs Rick and Rickie Jones, has developed a consistent race car tailored to Erica’s driving style. The red Chevy Camaro’s 500 cubic inch powerplant from Elite Performance builders Nick Ferri and Jake Hairston routinely delivers some of the highest horsepower in the class when comparing finish-line trap speeds, including the record-setting 214.69 mph speed set in Gainesville.

“It’s been amazing racing with them,” Erica said of her Elite Motorsports crew. “We’re having so much fun together, and I think that translates into how well we communicate with each other when getting the car set up for each round.”

With her arrival in Houston, Erica’s pit will be bustling with family and friends coming to wish her luck.

“It’s always great to come home and see everyone,” said Erica. “I try to get here early so I can spend some quiet time with family before the races, then all weekend it’s family, friends and fans. It’s busy, but fun.”

It’s not just Houston family and friends coming out to support Erica, new associate sponsors have come on board to support the Elite Motorsports team.

Industrial engine builder Engines, Inc., led by Lloyd and Linda Wofford, and Steve and Kim Bruno of Oklahoma City-based United Mechanical have signed on for the remainder of the year, with Mark Stockseth of Stockseth Racing joining the team’s efforts for Houston.

“We’re very fortunate to have the Woffords, Brunos and Mark Stockseth getting behind our program. They’re dedicated business owners who work hard for what they’ve accomplished, and we’re excited to be associated with them as marketing partners,” said Enders-Stevens.

In addition, locally-based synthetic lubricants company, Royal Purple, for which the track is named, is also cheering on the Elite Motorsports Camaro after coming on board with their support earlier in the season.

“This is Royal Purple’s home track as well as mine, so we want to win this here for them and for everyone else who support us,” notes Enders-Stevens.

Szymanowski named MFC Softball Player of the Year

April 22nd, 2014  / Author: BTS

OCALA– College of Central Florida sophomore Amy Szymanowski received the first of what should be many awards for her record-breaking season.

Szymanowski, a Florida State signee, was named the Mid-Florida Conference Player of the Year earlier this week.SONY DSC

The sophomore catcher holds the CF career records for home runs (34), runs scored (91), slugging percentage and total bases (242). She also holds the single season marks for home runs (18), runs scored (51), and slugging percentage. With one game left, she is two total bases from setting the single-season record for that category as well.

To show how dominant Szymanowski has been, the previous career home run record for CF was 12. Last season, she was runner-up to FSC-Jacksonville’s Riley Carter and is believed to be the first Patriot to ever earn MFC Player of the Year in softball.

Joining Szymanowski on first-team All-Conference were Autumn HannersTaylor MorrowJamie Nelson,Taylor Bowen and Jordan Lane.

Hanners is halfway to the school’s career mark for doubles (26) after recording 13 this season, while Lane (.409) and Morrow (.348) had the top two batting averages on the team.

Bowen recently went over the 300-career strikeout mark and has 35 career victories, sparked by a 17-6 mark this season.

Nelson, a sophomore from nearby Belleview High, went 13-2 in the circle, which is one of the best winning percentages ever by a CF pitcher in a single season.

Jessica Nathan and Cheyene Blaha were named second-team All-Conference, while Lindsay O’Steen, Caylee Underwood and Lizzy Burchfield earned honorable mention honors.

Overall, CF Softball completed its best-ever finish in conference play with a runner-up effort behind Santa Fe College by just one game. The Patriots’ 37-12 overall record is also the best in school history for winning percentage and its 19-3 home mark is the best CF Softball Complex has ever seen.

CF closes out its regular season on Saturday for Sophomore Day when it hosts St. Petersburg at 1 p.m.