Jul. 1, 2012; Joliet, IL, USA: NHRA pro stock driver Erica Enders (center)is kissed by crew chief Dave Connolly (left) and boyfriend Richie Stevens Jr after winning her first career race at the Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Erica Enders-Stevens Ready To Be A Champion?

Newly married to Richie Stevens and on her honeymoon in Hana on the island of Maui in Hawaii, Erica Enders-Stevens is coming off her most productive season.  Making history last year as the first female to win a race event in NHRA Pro Stock, Enders-Stevens finished fourth in the point standings while garnering a strong four victories overall.  Heading into 2013, is the 29 year old set to make more history by winning the championship?

Considering the breakout season she had driving for the Victor Cagnazzi owned team last year, Erica certainly should be one of the favorites for NHRA’s Mello Yello drag racing championship, which is less than nine weeks away.

Rewards are still coming in as Cagnazzi was recently feted at Lyn St. James’ Winner’s Circle Foundation (source: Motorsport.com).  Victor received the Opportunity Award in creating the ability for women like Erica to succeed.  Erica – who was not at the occasion because of her marriage – was honored with the Outstanding Achievement Award for her history-making win at the Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois.

Erica’s first win at Route 66 was historical and memorable in more ways than one.  First, she beat four-time Pro Stock champion Greg Anderson in the finals, becoming the first ever female winner in the class.  Then Richie Stevens proposed to her after the race.  And to top it off, a tiff broke out between Anderson and Enders that, if nothing else, made for good stories.

Speaking of memorable as mentioned, Erica was married a week ago to her boyfriend of the last few years, Richie Stevens, who himself would like to get back on the NHRA circuit.  To that end, Richie purchased Ron Krisher’s operation (appears Krisher is retiring) and is looking to run in 2013; but as usual, money and the poor economic times may impede his pursuit (source: DRO).  However, that won’t be the issue for his new wife, Erica.

A world championship is unquestionably possible with a very competitive Cagnazzi Racing team and driver, who still has not won the elusive title that has evaded all the past women drivers in NHRA Pro Stock drag racing.  Can Erica make history again and win a championship?  The class she’s in is arguably the toughest class in drag racing, allowing that several Pro Stock drivers have the capability of grabbing the title each and every season.

2012 was without question a whirlwind year for Erica Enders-Stevens but will she be a champion in 2013?  That remains to be seen but Erica surely realizes what a special year she has had when she tweeted the other day: “This year has been the best year of my life both personally and professionally. Sooo blessed and lovin my life!! :-)”

This coming season just may be another memorable year and it’s possible that Erica Enders will indeed win that elusive championship.  So the answer to our original question is yes, she’s ready and more history is about to be written.


Tags: Cagnazzi Racing Erica Enders-Stevens NHRA NHRA Pro Stock

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