LETTER from the EDITOR
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Erica Enders has been a dominant force in NHRA Pro Stock for several years now , earning multiple wins and setting records along the way . But by winning her fifth world championship in 2022 , she cemented her place as one of the all-time greats in the class and in the sport as a whole . The Houston , Texas , native is now one of just five drivers in Pro Stock history with five or more championships , joining her late mentor , Bob Glidden ( 10 ), Warren “ The Professor ” Johnson ( 6 ), former teammate Jeg Coughlin Jr . ( 5 ), and longtime rival Greg Anderson ( 5 ).
This incredible achievement marks the culmination of years of hard work , dedication , and painstakingly honed skill . That ’ s not limited to Enders ’ contributions to the championship effort . It also goes back to team owner Richard Freeman , crew chief Mark Ingersoll , the Elite Motorsports crew members who focus on “ Ole Red ,” and the Elite Performance engine builders . The group has grown into a dominant force in Pro Stock , trading blows with fellow megateam KB Racing ( now known as KB Titan Racing ) and its drivers like Anderson and Dallas Glenn .
It wasn ’ t just this cumulative success that led to us naming Enders our 2022 Racer of the Year . Statistics alone back up that title . In 19 races , Enders won 10 races in 13 final rounds . She lost in the first round just twice , with a round win-loss record of 55- 9 . None of the three other NHRA Camping World Series world champions came close to her winning
Nate Van Wagnen Editor-in-Chief
percentage . Save three races at the beginning of the year , she was the points leader all season long .
In the cover story , Enders speaks candidly about her 2022 season , from the peaks of a dominant year to the rare hiccups that dotted an otherwise perfect season . She also looks ahead at 2023 and the team ’ s plans for the future , which , while we didn ’ t discuss this in the story , include a new Mountain Motor Pro Stock operation . Enders will make her MMPS debut at the inaugural $ hameless Racing Mountain Motor Pro Stock Invitational presented by Seminole Paving during the rapidly approaching Drag Illustrated World Series of Pro Mod , March 3-5 , at Bradenton Motorsports Park .
Along with Enders , the DI Awards issue recognizes the newsmakers , storylines , moments , and more that made 2022 a pretty spectacular season in drag racing . From Pete D ’ Agnolo ’ s success in NHRA Super Stock and big-money bracket racing and Manny Buginga ’ s exploits in multiple outlaw classes to Larry “ Spiderman ” McBride ’ s record-setting Top Fuel Motorcycle and Ron Capps ’ down-to-the-wire championship run , we look back on the people and happenings that caught our attention all season long .
As we begin the 2023 season , think about who will be on these pages in 12 months . Who will take those coveted Racer of the Year awards ? Who will make the Pass of the Year ? Who will host the Race of the Year ? Who will help drag racing reach new audiences , earning the Ambassador of the Year honors ? Send us your predictions , and we ’ ll check back in this time next year . DI
Feel free to email me at nate @ dragillustrated . com and follow me at facebook . com / nitronate1320 and nitronate1320 on Instagram and Twitter .
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PHOTO : COURTNEY ENDERS
8 | Drag Illustrated | DragIllustrated . com Issue 180