|Elite Motorsports Pre-Race Preview|
|NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series|
CONCORD, N.C. (September 20, 2022) – Elite Motorsports, the largest professional race team in the NHRA, is ready to continue the momentum they gained at the first event of the Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s version of the playoffs, as they travel to the Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway this weekend.
The powerful Pro Stock team dominated the Pep Boys NHRA Nationals last weekend at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa. Erica Enders won her seventh event title of the season and 40th of her career in an all-Elite final round against her teammate Troy Coughlin Jr. while Bo Butner picked up his first No. 1 qualifier of the season.
As they return to zMAX this week, the team is in a great position. Enders is experiencing the best season of her career so far, and pulling out ahead of the competition early certainly helped as the four-time Pro Stock world champion is focused on earning her fifth world title.
“We were absolutely thrilled to start the countdown off on the right foot,” said Enders. “As in most sports, momentum is huge for us. We hope to carry that through the remaining five events of the season. We always enjoy running in Charlotte as it serves as a home base for our major sponsors, Gallagher and Peoplease. We have a great race car right now and I’m driving well. So we’re are going to capitalize on that every chance we get.”
Every round counts right now as the Pro Stock field is incredibly competitive this year. With Coughlin’s runner-up finish in Reading, he moved up to fourth in the points standings and the talented driver is as focused as ever on making a strong Countdown performance.
Bo Butner got a new car a few races ago and clearly that was the change that the former Pro Stock world champion needed. He dominated qualifying at Maple Grove, moving him up a couple spots in the points.
Aaron Stanfield has been a consistent performer all week and will be one to watch in the Countdown as his quiet focus and ability to remain calm under pressure will certainly come in handy through the weeks to come.
Fernando Cuadra Sr., the patriarch of the fan-favorite Cuadra Boys, debuted a new car in Reading. And his Corral Boots Camaro is in the process of being completely rewired before it rolls through the gate at zMAX Dragway for the second race of the Countdown. His sons, Fernando Jr. and Cristian, have been improving all season and they will definitely be ones to watch as the season continues.
|FuelTech NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series presented by D-Wagon|
After struggling in the first part of the season, Pro Mod standout Lyle Barnett is coming off a monumental win at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis. Barnett plans to parlay that momentum into a stellar performance this weekend in North Carolina. zMAX Dragway is the home track for Barnett and he’s looking forward to turning on win lights in front of a hometown crowd. The Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals will take place at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C. September 23-25.
|Elite Motorsports Stats And Facts For Countdown Contention|
|The Elite Motorsports team will field seven Pro Stock entries during this week’s Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals in Concord, N.C. The Elite team is the largest in professional drag racing and features Erica Enders, Aaron Stanfield, Troy Coughlin Jr., Bo Butner, Fernando Cuadra and his two sons, Fernando Jr. and Cristian.|
This week’s event in Concord marks the second round of the Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s six race playoff to determine season champions. All seven Elite cars are in contention for the championship. Four-time world champion Enders is the leader followed by Coughlin (4), Stanfield (5), Butner (9), Cuadra Jr. (11), C. Cuadra (13), Cuadra Sr. (15).
Last week in Reading, Erica Enders drove her Melling/Elite Camaro to the 40th Pro Stock win of her career, beating teammate Troy Coughlin Jr. in the final round. Enders has won seven of the 14 events contested so far this season and has appeared in 9 of 14 possible final rounds.
There have been 14 Pro Stock events so far this season and Team Elite has won 11 of them. Enders has seven victories while Stanfield and Coughlin each have two. Elite cars have also appeared in final rounds 20 times, as more than once, the final round has come down to two Elite-powered machines.
|Erica EndersFour-time world champion Enders is off to the best start of her career with a record of 38-7 during eliminations, Enders has the highest winning percentage (.844) of any NHRA pro this season. With her win in Reading, Enders has now won races at 17 different NHRA facilities. She has two wins at zMax Dragway, earning titles in 2015 and 2018. During her professional career, Enders has competed in 329 races and has 40 victories in 70 final rounds. Her overall win-loss record is 422-238.|
Enders currently holds both the elapsed time and speed record for the NHRA Pro Stock class with career bests of 6.450-seconds and 215.55 mph.
|Troy Coughlin Jr.Troy Coughlin Jr., the driver of the JEGS.com/Elite Motorsports Camaro, finished the regular season as the No. 6 ranked Pro Stock driver. Coughlin recently scored his first professional wins with back-to-back victories in Seattle and Topeka.|
In addition to his two Pro Stock victories this year, the multi-faceted Coughlin has additional wins in Top Alcohol Dragster, Super Comp, and Super Gas.
Coughlin’s father, Troy Sr., is a 15-time national event winner in Pro Stock, Pro Mod, and Super Gas. Including his uncles, John, Mike, and Jeg Jr., the Coughlin family has combined to win 130 national event titles.
Coughlin’s career bests in Pro Stock are 6.521-seconds and 211.93 mph, set this year in Sonoma and Gainesville, respectively.
|Aaron StanfieldStanfield, the driver of the Janac Bros/J3 Energy Camaro, finished the regular season as the No. 2 seed behind Enders thanks largely to victories in Phoenix and Bristol and four runner-up finishes in Pomona, Epping, Norwalk, and Denver. Stanfield is currently No. 5 in the Pro Stock class, 91 points out of first place.|
Stanfield has a record of 28-12 this season and six of those losses have come against teammate Enders.
Stanfield has won six Pro Stock events in 12 career final rounds. He is also a two-time world champion in the Constant Aviation Factory Stock Showdown. All told, Stanfield has 19 career wins in Pro Stock, Factory Stock, Super Stock, and Top Dragster.
Stanfield’s career bests in Pro Stock are 6.457-seconds and 213.47 mph, both set this year in Gainesville.
|Bo ButnerBo Butner is a two-time NHRA world champion in Pro Stock (2017) and Comp Eliminator (2006). He joined the Elite team this season driving the Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage Camaro.|
So far in 2022, Butner has a 8-14 round win record in Pro Stock competition. He finished the regular season as the No. 11 ranked driver in the class but moved to No. 9 after a standout performance in Reading.
Butner has 29 career national event victories including 11 in Pro Stock. He also has multiple wins in Comp, Super Stock, Stock, Super Gas, and Super Street to his name. Recently, Butner won back to back events in Indianapolis and Reading in the Super Gas class.
Butner’s career bests in Pro Stock are 6.475-seconds and 214.28 mph, set in Dallas (2015) and Gainesville (2017), respectively.
|The Cuadra BoysThe Cuadra family including Fernando Sr., and his sons Fernando Jr. and Cristian, joined Elite Motorsports this season with their three-car Corral Boots team.|
Fernando Sr. is a two-time national event runner-up with final round appearances at 2019 races in Reading and Pomona. Cristian Cuadra was the runner-up to Enders at the 2022 Four-Wide event in Las Vegas.
All three Cuadra entries will contend for the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Pro Stock title during the Countdown to the Championship playoffs. The Cuadra family has career-best elapsed times of 6.515 (Fernando Jr.), 6.524 (Fernando Sr.), and 6.528 (Cristian) – all of them recorded at the 2022 Gainesville event. Their career-best speeds are 212.13 (Fernando Sr.), 211.43 (Cristian), and 210.73 (Fernando Jr.).
|Collectively, the seven Team Elite drivers have combined to win 99 NHRA national event titles across all classes including 59 in the ultra-competitive Pro Stock category.|