Two-time Pro Stock champion Erica Enders-Stevens will be returning to her Sportsman racing roots this season driving the ORTEQ Energy Technologies Super Gas car for Buddy Wood and Cody Ortowski at select races.
Before moving into the professional ranks we have seen Enders in most recently, she earned her first NHRA national event victory in the Super Gas class in 2004.
“ORTEQ has been a big part of our success with the Pro Stock car the last few years, and when Buddy and Cody asked if I wanted to drive their Super Gas car I jumped at the chance,” Enders said. “It’ll be great to get back to my Sportsman roots a little and to visit with and race all my friends that run Super Gas. I’m just going to have some fun with it. The car is good, it can win any race we wenter, so I’ll do my best to put it in the winner’s circle.”
Buddy Wood is longtime friends with Elite Motorsports owner Richard Freeman, who owns Enders’ championship-winning Elite/Mopar Dodge Pro Stock Dart. The Wood Racing shop is only 15 minutes from Elite’s headquarters in Wynnewood, OK.
“It’s pretty awesome to have a driver of Erica’s caliber get behind the wheel of our car,” Wood said. “She’s a killer on the Christmas Tree, and we have no doubt she’ll be great in our car. It’ll be great to see what Erica can do.”
Cody Ortowski shares this excitement for Enders to drive the car. “We are ecstatic to have Erica drive our OTREQ hot rod,” he said. “When I think about success, I think about character and execution. Erica displays both, week in and week out. We are proud to be aligned with the future of drag racing.”
This same Super Gas car was driven by Sportsman ace Tommy Phillips at one national event and two divisional race victories in 2015.
“It won’t be easy; the Super Gas category is very tough and I’m sure my competition will be more than ready for me every race,” Enders said. “It’ll be no different than what we see every round in Pro Stock. You have to learn everything.”
Enders’ Super Gas schedule has yet to be determined, though she will compete in eight to ten national events in conjunction with her Pro Stock activities.
“My teammate, Jeg Coughlin, Jr., has run two cars a number of times in the past, and he said it makes for a busier weekend for sure but that it also allows you a better chance to lock in on the Tree and make a bunch more passes, which keeps you in race mode,” Enders said. “By doubling up I’ll actually be cutting down on the distractions we all face at national events. I’ll be too busy.”