|READING, Pa. (September 13, 2023) – The Elite Motorsports Pro Stock team is red-hot and ready for action as they enter the first race of the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship, NHRA’s version of the playoffs, at this week’s Pep Boys NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway. The competition in Pro Stock has been outstanding this year as six different drivers claimed victories in the 12 events contested through the regular season. |
All eight of the Elite Motorsports Pro Stock pilots are in contention for the championship. Points reset coming into the Countdown which means it’s anybody’s game now and the largest professional team in drag racing is hitting their stride at the right time. Now is the time to amp up the momentum and make every run count. The Elite Motorsports team plans to eagerly and earnestly vie for every possible point as they power through the final stretch of the season with renewed vigor.
All eyes are on reigning and five-time Pro Stock world champion Erica Enders, who is looking for a repeat triumph after winning this event in Reading, Pa. last year. At the midpoint of the season, she was 15th in the points standings, but she and her powerful Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage / Melling Performance / SCAG Power Equipment Camaro catapulted to third by the time they completed the regular season two weeks ago in Indianapolis. Now, with only 32 points separating her from the lead, Enders is ready to do what she does best – embrace the pressure and race to victory.
With two wins and one No. 1 qualifier to his credit this season, Troy Coughlin Jr. enters the Countdown from the fourth spot, only 41 points behind the first. There’s nowhere Coughlin would rather be than behind the wheel of his JEGS / White Castle Camaro, tearing up the track. Coughlin has proven his on-track aptitude time and time again, across multiple categories, and he plans to make some big moves this weekend.
Aaron Stanfield knows what it takes to win and he is poised to pursue his first victory of the season in his Janac Bros / Melling Engine Parts / J3 Energy Camaro. He was recently crowned the overall Pro Stock winner of the Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty challenge, a specialty event that provided semifinalists a rematch at the next event. That winning momentum will serve him well as he enters the Countdown from the No. 6 spot.
Rounding out the Elite Motorsports drivers currently in the Top Ten is Cristian Cuadra, who is ranked tenth in the Countdown standings. He’s been diligently testing in his Corral Boots Mustang to find additional power. His natural ability on the tree gives him a competitive advantage against whoever may be in the lane beside him, even (or perhaps especially) if it’s his brother or father.
Bo Butner claimed the Pro Stock world championship in 2017 and he would like nothing more than to land his Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage Camaro in the winners circle this weekend. While he is currently ranked 11th in the standings, Butner knows how to compete strategically thanks to years of experience competing in sportsman categories.
Coming off of the first final round of his career at the prestigious U.S. Nationals two weeks ago, Fernando Cuadra Jr. is voracious in his resolve to elevate his position in the Countdown and finish the season on a high note. The talented driver wants to be the first Mexican-born driver to achieve a victory in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series and with a new combination including the Camaro formerly piloted by multi-time world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr., he knows it’s coming soon.
Pro Stock Rookie Jerry Tucker has experienced a stellar season, one that most rookie drivers would love to have. He’s qualified at every event and has defeated some of the best drivers in the category. As he enters the Countdown from the No. 13 position, Tucker knows that now is the time to amp things up in his Outlaw Mile Hi Light Beer Camaro.
Elite Motorsports driver and patriarch of the Cuadra family, Fernando Cuadra Sr., has experienced a few bumps in his Pro Stock journey this season but that hasn’t stopped him from enjoying every minute of it. Getting to compete alongside his sons makes it all worth it. That said, he’s been looking for the right combination in his Corral Boots Mustang and the team feels they are on the right path.
In the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, David Cuadra will once again be competing in the Top Sportsman category. With stellar reaction times and a powerful machine underneath him, D. Cuadra has made a big statement among the sportsman ranks and he’s aiming to finish the season on a high note.
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying for the Pep Boys NHRA Nationals will feature two rounds at 2 and 5 p.m. ET on Friday, Sept. 15, and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, Sept. 16 at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 10:30 a.m. ET on Sunday, Sept. 17.
|Erica Enders”We have reached the point in our season where everything matters. I can’t tell you how much I’m looking forward to this year’s countdown. We have battled our way from 15th in points to third in just a matter of a couple months. There is no doubt that the competition is tough and we are surrounded by some guys gunning for their first championship. This is where experience and heart will come into play and I wouldn’t want to go to battle with anyone else. We are Elite for a reason and we are ready!”|
|Aaron Stanfield“After winning our second Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty challenge in our Janac Bros. / Melling Engine Parts / JC3 Energy Camaro, we know that we can land this machine in the winners circle. We are starting the Countdown just 60 points out from the lead, so now is the time to make some big moves.”|
|Troy Coughlin Jr.“Team Yellow is ready for the journey one race and one lap at a time with our goal to win a National Championship. My personal goal is to stay in the moment and get up on the wheel! At Team Elite, we love this time of year! It’s what we work for!”|
|Bo Butner“It’s awesome to go back to Maple Grove Raceway this weekend; we’ve had some great times there – including last year when we won Super Gas after we got the trophy at Indy. We won’t have the chance to go back-to-back this time in the Sportsman class, because we’re putting all our efforts into Pro Stock this weekend to start the Countdown on the best foot possible. We’re excited, and this is the time of year to really get excited because anything can happen.”|
|Fernando Cuadra Sr.“The Cuadra Boys are ready for the Countdown! I’m so proud of all that my sons have accomplished this season. We have adjusted the airflow on our cars and keep testing to make them better and better. We are excited to return to Reading!”|
|Fernando Cuadra Jr.“After racing to a runner-up finish at the Big Go, I’m unbelievably excited to get back behind the wheel of this Camaro. I told my teammates that I finally felt like I could sleep again, after experiencing such a great weekend. I’ve got renewed confidence and a stronger vision for what I can accomplish in the Countdown. This Corral Boots Camaro is a mean machine and my crew is the best. As long as I stay focused on doing my job behind the wheel, I think you can expect big things from us over the next six races.”|
|Cristian Cuadra“We are continuing to fine-tune our car and I think we are finding some things that will take our performance to new levels. Finishing the regular season in the Top Ten was a really big deal for our team. Now that we know that we can accomplish big things, we want to turn up the heat in the Countdown to the Championship.”|
|Jerry Tucker“This is what it’s all about. We are entering the final stretch of the season and I could not be more proud of this team. When I started this adventure, I thought I knew what I was in for, but I had no idea. I’ve learned a ton and I want more than anything to finish strong for this Outlaw Mile Hi Light Beer crew. Team Elite is ready to bring the heat!”|
|The Elite Motorsports fleet will be competing in multiple categories at the U.S. Nationals. (Photo credit: Auto Imagery)|
|Erica Enders is starting out the Countdown to the Championship from the No. 3 position. (Photo credit: Auto Imagery)|
|Troy Coughlin Jr. is starting out the Countdown to the Championship from the No. 4 position.. (Photo credit: Auto Imagery)|
|Aaron Stanfield is starting out the Countdown to the Championship from the No. 6 position.. (Photo credit: Auto Imagery)|
|Cristian Cuadra is starting out the Countdown to the Championship from the No. 10 position.. (Photo credit: Auto Imagery)|
|Bo Butner is starting out the Countdown to the Championship from the No. 11 position.. (Photo credit: Auto Imagery)|
|Fernando Cuadra Jr. is starting out the Countdown to the Championship from the No. 12 position.. (Photo credit: Auto Imagery)|
|Jerry Tucker is starting out the Countdown to the Championship from the No. 13 position.. (Photo credit: Auto Imagery)|
|Fernando Cuadra Sr. is starting out the Countdown to the Championship from the No. 16 position.. (Photo credit: Auto Imagery)|
|David Cuadra will compete in Top Sportsman this week. (Photo credit: Auto Imagery)|
|Elite Motorsports: Pre-race notesPep Boys NHRA NationalsMaple Grove RacewayReading, Pa. (Sept. 15-17)|
The Elite Motorsports team, the largest team in professional drag racing, has expanded for 2023 and will field a total of eight entries for this weekend’s Pep Boys NHRA Nationals in Reading, Pa.
At this event, the Elite Pro Stock team will feature eight Pro Stock drivers including reigning and five-time world champion Erica Enders, Aaron Stanfield, Troy Coughlin Jr., Bo Butner, Fernando Cuadra Sr. and his sons, Fernando Jr. and Cristian, as well as newcomer Jerry Tucker.
During her professional career, Enders has accumulated 45 wins in 76 final rounds and has a round-win record of 455-250 for a .645 win percentage. Enders also has a win in Super Gas (2004 Houston) bringing her career total to 46 national event victories.
Enders won two events this season in Bristol and Topeka. She defeated Deric Kramer in the Bristol final and more recently, topped Greg Anderson in Topeka. She currently has a 16-10 record in elimination rounds this season.
The Reading event marks the start of the Countdown to the Championship and all eight Elite Pro Stock drivers are eligible to win the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Pro Stock title. Enders is ranked No. 3 and is just 32 points behind leader Dallas Glenn and 7 points behind No. 2 Matt Hartford.
Enders has won at least one Pro Stock event at 17 different NHRA venues including Maple Grove Raceway. She is the defending event champion, having defeated teammate Troy Coughlin Jr. in the finals last year. Enders was also a Reading finalist in 2021, giving her a round-win record of 7-1 over the last two seasons.
Enders currently holds both the elapsed time and speed records for the NHRA Pro Stock class with bests of 6.450-seconds and 215.55 mph. The elapsed time record was set at the 2022 Gatornationals.
If Enders wins one more event this season, she will surpass three-time Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Angelle Sampey as the sport’s winningest female driver. Sampey currently has 46 wins while Enders has 45 professional wins and one sportsman win, tying her with Sampey.
Troy Coughlin Jr., the driver of the JEGS / White Castle Chevrolet Camaro, heads to Reading as the No. 4 ranked driver in the championship points standings after posting wins at the season-opening Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals and the Dodge Power Brokers Mile-High Nationals in Denver to go with a runner-up at the Four-Wide event in Las Vegas. Coughlin has a 16-10 record in elimination rounds this season. He is just 41 points out of first place.
Earlier this season at the NHRA Arizona Nationals near Phoenix, Coughlin became the first winner of the Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge. He defeated Greg Anderson in the final with an elapsed time of 6.57, compared to Anderson’s 6.60, to capture the inaugural event victory.
In addition to his four career Pro Stock victories, the multi-faceted Coughlin has additional wins in Top Alcohol Dragster, Super Comp and Super Gas. He captured back-to-back Top Alcohol Dragster titles in Reading in 2018 and 2019.
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 133 national event titles.
Coughlin’s career bests in Pro Stock are 6.515-seconds and 212.29 mph, set earlier this year at the season opener in Gainesville.
Aaron Stanfield has also returned to the Elite team for another season behind the wheel of the Janac Bros / Melling Engine Parts / JC3 Energy Camaro. Stanfield, the son of five-time Super Stock world champ Greg Stanfield, is coming off a season where he was the third-ranked driver in Pro Stock.
So far this season, Stanfield has four semifinal and six quarterfinal finishes to his credit and he’s the No. 6 ranked driver in the class, 60 points out of the lead. Stanfield has also qualified a season-best of No. 2 at the race in Bristol.
Stanfield was recently named the overall season Pro Stock winner of the Mission Foods #2Fast2Tasty challenge, a specialty event that featured a rematch between the semifinalists from the previous event.
Stanfield won back-to-back titles in the FlexJet Factory Stock Showdown class in 2020 and 2021, and he is the current championship leader in that class, which will be contested at Maple Grove Raceway.
All told Stanfield has 22 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 in Gainesville 2022.
Bo Butner is a two-time NHRA world champion in Pro Stock (2017) and Comp Eliminator (2006). He joined the Elite team last season as the driver of the Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage Camaro.
Earlier this season in Phoenix, Butner drove to a runner-up finish in Pro Stock, reaching the final for the first time since the 2019 Richmond event. Butner defeated Erica Enders, Fernando Cuadra Jr. and Kyle Koretsky to reach his 26th career Pro Stock final.
Two weeks ago, Butner won his 30th national event title when he claimed the Super Gas victory at the Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals. Butner also won the Super Gas title at Indy in 2022 and won again in Reading, so he enters this event as the defending champion.
Butner has 30 career national event victories including 11 in Pro Stock. He also has wins in Comp, Super Stock, Stock, Super Gas, and Super Street. Additionally, Butner has enjoyed success as a big-money bracket racer with a victory at the K&N Spring Fling Million in Las Vegas in 2021.
Butner has won at least one national event title at 14 different venues including Maple Grove Raceway. He won the Super Gas title last year and also won in Pro Stock in 2017, defeating Greg Anderson in the final.
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 family includes Fernando Sr., and his sons Fernando Jr. and Cristian. The Cuadra family is backed by Corral Handcrafted Boots and will continue to race.
Fernando Sr. and Cristian will continue to race Ford Mustangs under the Elite banner while Fernando Jr. recently made the switch to a Chevy Camaro. Fernando Jr. is driving an Elite entry previously raced by five-time world champion Jeg Coughlin Jr.
Fernando Sr. is a two-time national event runner-up with final-round appearances at the 2019 races in Reading and Pomona.
Fernando Jr. enters Reading on a high note after racing to the final round of the prestigious U.S. Nationals two weeks ago. Cuadra Jr. is the sport’s No. 12 ranked Pro Stock driver and enters the Countdown 128 points behind the leader.
Cristian Cuadra was also the runner-up to Enders at the 2022 four-wide event in Las Vegas and he was a semifinalist earlier this year at the Bristol race. He comes into this weekend as the No. 10 ranked driver in Pro Stock, facing a 108-point deficit.
Earlier this season in Phoenix, Cristian Cuadra became the first Mexican-born NHRA racer to qualify No. 1 in a pro category when he drove his Elite-powered Corral Handcrafted Boots Mustang to a 6.552 pass. C. Cuadra is one of just 11 non-U.S.-born drivers to qualify No. 1 in a professional NHRA class and the only one to accomplish the feat in Pro Stock.
The third Cuadra brother, David, will be racing in the Right Trailers Top Sportsman class this weekend in his new Mustang. David has raced in both Pro Stock and Top Sportsman this season. He made his Pro Stock debut in Charlotte and also competed in Chicago, Bristol, Topeka, and Brainerd.
The Cuadra family has career-best elapsed times of 6.515 (Fernando Jr.), 6.524 (Fernando Sr.), 6.527 (Cristian) and 6.578 (David). Their career-best speeds are 212.13 (Fernando Sr.), 211.43 (Cristian), 210.73 (Fernando Jr.) and 209.39 (David).
New to the Elite Pro Stock team this year is Jerry Tucker, who enjoyed a memorable debut in Gainesville. Tucker qualified his Outlaw Mile Hi Light Beer / Elite Motorsports Camaro in the No. 15 spot with a 6.573 and won the first round after teammate Enders encountered a mechanical issue. Tucker has a semifinal finish from Chicago and is No. 12 in the standings, just 138 points out of the lead.
Tucker, of Lindsay, Okla., has spent the last 30 years racing everything from Sprint cars to Midgets and has also enjoyed success in drag racing. Tucker previously raced in the Top Sportsman class. Tucker is one of the leading contenders for the NHRA Rookie of the Year award.
Collectively, the eight current team Elite drivers have combined to win 109 NHRA national event titles across all classes including 67 in the Pro Stock class.
|Media Contacts:Jessica Hatcher – Imagination 9 email@example.com|
Scott Woodruff – Elite Motorsportswoody@elitemotorsportsllc.com
Courtney Enders – Elite Motorsportscourtneyenders@icloud.com