Wire-to-Wire Win for Enders at B.I.R. 

Female driver Erica Enders has suddenly become NHRA drag racing’s hottest commodity.   She flew to her second consecutive win and third of the season in Pro Stock last weekend at Brainerd….

Ron Capps (FC)  Morgan Lucas (TF), and Eddie Krawiec (PS Bike) also were winners at the penultimate regular season event in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.  

Enders continues to make Pro Stock history — she outran series points leader Allen Johnson in the final round with a performance of 6.649 at 208.26 in her GK Motorsports Chevy Cobalt.  Johnson’s Team Mopar Dodge Avenger experienced tire shake at the start and slowed near mid-track. Enders is the first female to win at BIR since Shirley Muldowney won a Top Fuel title here in 1982.

Erica Enders continued her history making season Pro Stock story at BIR

“That is really special,” Enders said. “Shirley is a hero of mine, and she’s done so much for this sport and especially for the females in it. To do what we did in Seattle with Courtney and myself and to make that history, and then to come here and do back-to-back, it’s unbelievable. If you would’ve told me we were going to win back-to-back and three races out of five, it blows my mind.”

Enders has now won three of the last five Pro Stock races, firmly placing her name among the contenders for the 2012 championship.

“It’s already surreal for me,” Enders, 28, said. “I’m so blessed to be in this position. I know that, and I know how quickly it can disappear. It’s a dream come true for me, and finally, after all the hard work, sweat, tears, pure frustration and disgust, it’s nice to be with such a great team and have the chance to chase the championship.

“I’m excited about it. I think we’ve got as good a shot as anybody — I’d certainly put my money on us.”  

This win by Enders was the most impressive of her three wins so far this season.  She won from the pole position (6.550 secs) and she also set Low ET of the event at 6.542 secs.  

Her GK Motorsports team, led by car owner Victor Cagnazzi and crew chiefs Dave Connolly and Tommy Utt, has worked to improve the performance of Enders’ Chevrolet Cobalt in recent months and the Enders’ recent streak – which also includes track elapsed-time records in Sonoma and Brainerd – is proof of that.

Capps powered away from 15-time world champ John Force in the Funny Car final round to take his third win of the season, third at Brainerd International Raceway and 36th of his career. Capps cruised to a final round performance of 4.134 seconds at 304.05 mph in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger, while Force’s Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang lost traction and finished in 6.633 at 116.35.

The FC final featured Ron Capps and John Force

“I’m pretty excited to go to Indy with the points lead,” said Capps, who now leads Robert Hight by 53 points. “Force is cagey. He’s good here. He could be having the worst year ever and still come here and win. I was doubtful that we were going to get a win. He’s been eking it out all day and getting on a roll. He knows how to take it to the next level. I looked over at about 800 feet and didn’t see him ahead of me, and we got the win light.”

In Top Fuel, Lucas edged Antron Brown at the finish line for his third victory of the season and his third win at this event, sponsored by his family’s oil company. Lucas posted a 3.818 at 316.90 in his GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster to hold off Brown’s charging Matco Tools dragster, which trailed with a 3.831 at 313.80.

Morgan Lucas won his 3rd career Lucas Oil Nationals event title in Top Fuel

“Anytime you can win here for our family, especially for my dad who is so involved in this race, is a dream come true,” Lucas said. “Hopefully, it’s a sign of good things to come for us. You can’t help but get a lot of confidence out of an outing like this. You never know with these cars. There is a lot of hard work put in that is starting to show on the track.”

With the runner-up finish, Brown moved into the series points lead, 58 ahead of Spencer Massey.

Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson rider Krawiec remained undefeated in Pro Stock Motorcycle, claiming his sixth victory of the season in as many finals and increasing his series points lead by defeating final round opponent Hector Arana Jr., who fouled at the start on his Lucas Oil Buell.

“He jumped out in front of me and at first I thought I was late but about 300 feet out, I looked up and saw that my win light was on,” Krawiec said. “I realized that he red-lighted.” The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series continues Aug. 29-Sept. 3 with the 58th Annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Auto-Plus inIndianapolis, the world’s most prestigious drag race.

Tony Schumacher’s “canopy car” made it’s much anticipated debut — and went to the semi final round

Posted with files from:  NHRA Communcations & Geiger Media

Photos by:  Jim Kampmann 

Event Essentials:  NHRA Lucas Oil Nationals (Aug. 16-19th, 2012) Brainerd MN. 

TOP FUEL Name ET MPH Career Win
Winner: Morgan Lucas 3.818 319.90 7th
R/UP: Antron Brown 3.831 313.80  
Low ET: Khalid Al Balooshi 3.773    
Top Speed: Morgan Lucas   327.90  
Bump Spot:   3.907    
FUNNY CAR       Career Win
Winner: Ron Capps 4.134 304.05 36th
R/UP: John Force 6.633 116.35  
Low ET: Jack Beckman 4.018    
Top Speed: Johnny Gray   316.75  
Bump Spot:   4.201    
PRO STOCK       Career Win
Winner: Erica Enders 6.569 210.05 3rd
R/UP: Allen Johnson 14.49  58.43  
Low ET: Erica Enders 6.542    
Top Speed: Allen Johnson   210.87  
Bump Spot:   6.645    
PRO STOCK BIKE       Career Win
Winner: Eddie Krawiec 6.896 192.47 17th
R/UP: Hector Arana Jr. 6.904 192.52  
Low ET: Andrew Hines 6.865    
Top Speed: Eddie Krawiec   194.94  
Bump Spot:        
LUCAS OIL        
Sportsman Winners:        
TA Dragster Jim Whiteley 5.400 266.37  
TA Funny Car Frank Manzo 5.528 261.02  
Top Dragster John Lobner 6.803 197.94  
Competition Bruno Massel 7.001 179.49  
Super Stock Dan Fletcher 10.46 117.68  
Stock Brad Plourd 12.53  98.29  
Super Comp Mike Mikus 8.881 157.63  
Super Gas Luke Bogacki 10.04 132.95  


Colorado’s Jim Whiteley further enchanced his 2012 TAD Championship aspirations with another convincing victory

Sportsman Hitters Win at BIR

Jim Whitely and Frank Manzo extended their points lead as they continue to dominate the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series in Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car respectively.  Both drivers took home wins this weekend at Brainerd International Raceway for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals. 

Whiteley, Grand Junction, Colo., qualified third and worked his way through a tough filed that included a second round match up with Randy Meyer and a semifinal win against Bill Reichert, both of whom are top five in the national points standings.  In the final, Chase Copeland has perfect reaction time but lost traction right off the start as Whiteley motored to his 17th national event win in 5.400 seconds at 266.37 mph.  

Manzo spoiled the Whiteley family double up as he defeated Annie Whiteley (Jim’s wife) in the Top Alcohol Funny Car final with a run of 5.528 at 261.02 mph.  The win is Manzo’s 98th national event win and his 37th consecutive final round win.  This was Whiteley’s first national event final round as she trails Manzo by 66 points, sitting second in the national points standings.

Luke Bogacki was a hundredth of a second form his own double up advancing to the final round in both Super Gas and Super Comp.  The Carterville, Ill., racer beat Mark McMasters, Owatonna, Minn., in the Super Gas final before meeting up with Steve Mikus in the Super Comp final.  Both drivers had good reaction times but it was Mikus, Ashley, Mich., at the finish line in a double breakout.

Bruno Massel had to work for his win in Comp Eliminator as he took on veteran racer David Rampy.  Rampy had the better reaction time but Massel had the horsepower posting a lap of 7.001 at 179.49 mph for his eighth national event win and his third this year.

Bruno Massel’s win in Comp was his 8th career NHRA national event title

Brad Plourd continued his winning ways taking the trophy in Stock Eliminator with his ’66 Chevy over Bill Feist in a Ford Mustang.  Plourd won in both Stock and Super Comp at Pacific Raceways outside Seattle two weeks ago.

Rounding out the winners were Dan Fletcher in Super Stock and John Lobner in Top Dragster.  The win was Fletcher’s 88th as he defeated Ron Roddel in his ’69 Camaro.  Lobner, DeSoto, Kan., beat Craig Sullivan, Avon, Ind., with a pass of 6.803 seconds at 197.94 mph.

Super Stock winner – Dan Fletcher

 Posted by:  Eric Lotz  –  Photos by:  Jim Kampmann