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Erica Enders to debut at Pomona

Date 2005-02-02

Enders Will Test at Home Track One More Time Before Making Pro Debut
Erica Enders aims for fast times during final practice session

HOUSTON -- Erica Enders is looking forward to adding her name to a very short list of female professional Pro Stock drivers when she makes her first qualifying attempt Feb. 10 at Pomona Raceway.

When she completes that first pass, Enders will become just the fifth female to drive a Pro Stock race car in pro competition. The 21-year-old, to say the least, is excited about joining history. But before that historic moment, she has one more test session. She and the rest of the Cagnazzi Racing Chevy Cavalier team will be at Houston Raceway Park this weekend for the final test session of the offseason.

Enders will participate in the Frank Hawley School's Reaction Time Clinic on Wednesday before testing on Thursday and Friday. She then will compete in the 13th annual Pontiac Pro Stock SuperBowl on Saturday.

Regardless of where she is, all eyes will be on popular newcomer as she prepares to make the official jump from former Jr. Dragster racer and sportsman competitor to professional race car driver.

"I try not to think about it as my first pass in a Pro Stock car during pro competition as a girl," Enders said. "I'm a driver and I'm excited as a driver to race in the next level of competition.

"Even though I try to think about it that way, I always think about some of the other women who raced before me. What Shirley Muldowney did was amazing and I'm glad she paved the way for other female racers. She is definitely one of the people who made it possible for me to race now."

Enders has already experienced success during the offseason. She ran a 6.620-second run at Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway in January with ideal conditions and is now looking for consistency in the car.

"Running those numbers in Gainesville was very exciting, but I think it's almost as important that I have become so comfortable in the car. The entire process of doing the burnout, staging, shifting and everything in between is becoming more of a natural process."

The Houston native is ready to hop in the car at her home track one last time before making the trip to Pomona for the season opening 45th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts Winternationals, Feb. 10-13.

"Houston has been my home track since I started racing and I have a lot of good memories here in the other categories I've raced," Enders said. "I'm glad I get to test here one more time before the season starts. I'm going to have some family and friends out here watching and that's always good because I like having the support system."
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