June 24th, 2015 / Author: BTS
Reigning NHRA Pro Stock World Champion Erica Enders has added another accolade to her sterling résumé: an ESPY nomination.
Enders has been nominated in the Best Driver category, joining Kevin Harvick from NASCAR, Juan Pablo Montoya and Wil Power from IndyCar, and Lewis Hamilton from Formula One in the announcement Wednesday.
“Everyone always says it is an honor to be nominated for an award like this, and that is absolutely the case,” Enders said. “I am truly humbled to see my name alongside the greatest in the world, and I am honored to represent my Elite Motorsports team and NHRA at the ESPYs.”
Fans can vote for Enders for Best Driver here.
The 2015 ESPY Awards Show will be broadcast live on ABC on July 15 at 8 p.m. ET from the Nokia Theater L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles. Enders will attend the ceremony, which will be hosted by comedian Joel McHale.
The ESPY Awards Show brings top athletes and celebrities to recognize accomplishments in sports from the past year. Enders had a remarkable 2014, winning the Pro Stock championship in thrilling fashion in the final round of the final race.
Enders become the first female to win the title in drag racing’s ultra-competitive class, and she did it in clutch fashion, coming from behind in the points standings and winning the last two races of the season.
For her efforts in 2014, she was honored with Racer magazine’s prestigious Racer of the Year Award, beating out competitors across all forms of motorsports in. She also won the magazine’s Drag Racer of the Year honor, as well as earning All-American status from the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association.
Enders joined Elite Motorsports, owned by Richard Freeman, for the 2014 season. Led by crew chiefs Rick and Rickie Jones, Enders won six races and was fastest qualifier six times in 2014. She led the points standings for 15 of 24 races and set the national elapsed time (6.464 seconds) and speed record (215.55 mph) in Englishtown, N.J.
“My guys are absolutely incredible,” Enders said. “They never cease to amaze me. I wouldn’t be where I am without them. This is the first team I’ve ever worked for where we’ve had a unified front and they have my back. I’m blessed to have an incredible group of men, and the chemistry is there. It’s always a positive environment.”
The native of Houston has been racing since she was 8 years old, and she and her sister Courtney were featured in the Disney Channel movie Right on Track in 2003. She moved into the professional ranks in 2005, becoming the first female to win a Pro Stock race in 2012, at Chicago.
The voting link for Best Driver is http://espn.go.com/espys/2015/.
March 4th, 2015 / Author: BTS
Reigning NHRA Pro Stock champion Erica Enders-Stevens has been named RACER Magazine’s 2014 Racer of the Year.
The Elite Motorsports driver is the first woman to win the prestigious award, and she beat out NASCAR champion Kevin Harvick, IndyCar champ Will Power, Formula 1 titlist Lewis Hamilton and others among motorsports’ best. Enders-Stevens also won the magazine’s Drag Racer of the Year Award.
“I truly can’t put into words how I felt after I found out we had won the Racer of the Year award,” Enders-Stevens said. “First of all, I am incredibly thankful for all the fans who took time to vote for us. I’ve always said my fans are the best, and they proved it again.”
Enders-Stevens earned 48.9 percent of the vote from fans in Racer of the Year voting, easily topping Harvick’s 6.2 percent and Hamilton’s 5.4 percent. She garnered nearly 66 percent of the vote for Drag Racer of the Year, while John Force was next with 14.6 percent.
Enders-Stevens won the 2014 Pro Stock title in dramatic fashion, as the championship battle went down to the final round of the final race. She won six times in 2014, including the final two races, to become the first woman in history to win the Pro Stock title and the third woman to win an NHRA championship.
Enders-Stevens, 31, was fourth in the points standings with four races remaining, but she raced to the semifinals in St. Louis and Reading, Pa., to move to second place.
At the penultimate race, in Las Vegas, Enders-Stevens faced points leader Jason Line in a pivotal semifinal battle. She won that round and then beat five-time Pro Stock champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the final round to win the race and take over the points lead.
At the season finale in Pomona, Calif., Enders-Stevens and Line were once again on a collision course as the two were on opposite sides of the ladder. After winning her first two rounds, Enders-Stevens faced Jonathan Gray in the semifinals. For the first time in NHRA pro history, both drivers ripped off perfect .000-second reaction times, with Enders-Stevens advancing to the final thanks to a quicker pass.
That put her against Line in a winner-take-all final round, and when Line went red, Enders-Stevens joined Shirley Muldowney and Angelle Sampey as the only women to win an NHRA title.
“When my Elite Motorsports team and I achieved my lifelong goal of winning the NHRA Pro Stock championship last year, we all felt on top of the world,” Enders-Stevens said. “When we found out we won the prestigious Racer of the Year award, those feelings came back. I’ve got to thank my team owner Richard Freeman, my crew chiefs Rick and Rickie Jones and everyone at Elite for making the 2014 season the best of my career. We were fortunate enough to win six races – and the special K&N Horsepower Challenge event – and we were fast all year, thanks to our tremendous horsepower from Jake Hairston and Nick Ferri.
“But our championship was still in doubt, right down to the last round of the last race. In what was truly a Hollywood ending, we were able to win that round, that race and the championship.”
Enders-Stevens was named to the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association All-America Team for 2014. She was the lone female among the eight drivers selected.
“Shirley Muldowney was one of my heroes growing up, and I learned a lot from her and Angelle Sampey during my career,” Enders-Stevens said. “We are just a small part of a growing fraternity of women who are chasing their goals in all forms of motorsports. Hopefully one day soon we can all simply be considered racers.”
January 15th, 2015 / Author: BTS
John Force Racing, Inc. and Chevrolet announced today that they will be joining forces to back the 18-time NHRA Funny Car championship team starting with the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. The multi-year agreement will see all three John Force Racing Chevrolet Camaro Funny Cars adorned with the iconic gold bowtie as well as the JFR Top Fuel dragster.
“John Force is a champion and a legend both on and off the track, as a driver and as a team owner,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet Vice President for Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “John Force is a racer’s racer and a fierce competitor, and we are excited to welcome John and his team back to Chevrolet.”
“It is great to be back with Chevrolet. I started my career in a Chevy and my plan is to keep racing with them for many years to come. This is a great American company and we are excited about the opportunities in front of us,” said John Force, CEO John Force Racing and 16-time Funny Car champion.
The first 60 starts of John Force’s illustrious career were behind the wheel of a Chevrolet product. From 1978-80 he raced a Corvette before switching to a Citation (1981-82), Camaro (1983-84), Corvette (1985), and then a Cavalier (1986). Force won the 1994 NHRA Funny Car championship racing a Chevy Lumina to a 50-8 record, 11 finals, 10 wins, and 12 No. 1 qualifiers.
“I won my first round of racing, went to my first final and got my first No. 1 in a Chevy. Since then I have won more rounds, races, championships than anyone in the sport. I have the record for most No. 1 qualifiers too and I can’t wait to get to the Winternationals and start adding to those records in a brand new Chevy,” added Force.
Chevrolet completed one of its most successful years in its motorsports history in 2014, earning five manufacturer and six driver championships in NHRA, NASCAR, IndyCar, United SportsCar Championship and World Challenge series.
In addition, Chevrolet drivers won several noteworthy races in 2014, including the NHRA U.S. Nationals in Pro Stock and Stock Eliminator classes, Daytona 500, Brickyard 400, IndyCar Dual in Detroit, and the 24 Hours of Daytona.
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.
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.”