The Mopar brand is fueled and ready to hit the ignition switch on a jam-packed slate of drag racing and special events at the 62nd Annual NHRA U.S. Nationals, scheduled to take place August 31-September 5 near Indianapolis.
The tradition-rich Labor Day weekend event will feature a Pro Stock champion performing double duty in a Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, Mopar-powered professional racers battling to earn berths in the six-event NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs, a clash of classic Mopar HEMI® engine-powered competitors and much more on tap at Lucas Oil Raceway.
Enders to Race Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak in Factory Stock Showdown at U.S. Nationals
Downtime will be rare for defending NHRA Pro Stock series champ Erica Enders at the U.S. Nationals. In addition to steering her Mopar Performance Dodge Dart Pro Stocker, Enders will also compete in a Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak vehicle in the School of Automotive Machinists & Technology Factory Stock Showdown at Indy. She’ll take the wheel of a supercharged 354-cubic-inch Gen III HEMI engine-powered Mopar Dodge Drag Pak prepped by the Joe Welch Racing organization and outfitted in official Dodge and Mopar graphics.“We are thrilled to have an NHRA champion like Erica Enders carry the Mopar and Dodge colors into competition not only in Pro Stock, but also in the Factory Stock Showdown,” said Pietro Gorlier, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar), FCA – Global. “The U.S. Nationals event provides a great opportunity to put Erica in the seat of a supercharged Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak and reach a wider audience of fans at one of the most prestigious events on the NHRA circuit.”“Dodge already has the most powerful muscle cars on the street with the 707-horsepower Dodge Challenger and Charger SRT Hellcats and now America’s performance brand brings even more muscle to the track with the supercharged Drag Pak,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Cars – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America. “The ‘Domestic. Not Domesticated.’ Dodge spirit will be at full throttle for racing fans to see at the NHRA U.S. Nationals.”
“I’m pretty excited,” said Enders. “It’s definitely a cool deal that Mopar and Dodge asked me to drive the Dodge Challenger Drag Pak at Indy. It will be something interesting. I have never competed in that before, and being that it’s at the U.S. Nationals, it’s obviously very prestigious, so we will go out there and see what happens.
“I already have a license in Stock, so it wasn’t a big deal. I’m licensed in almost every class except for Funny Car and Top Fuel, so that wasn’t an issue. I did, however, go up to Detroit and get fitted for the car, and we tested for one day. I was able to do some burnouts and take the Tree a couple of times. I haven’t foot-brake raced since Jr. Dragsters, so that’s 20-something years ago. To go up there and not have a pro Tree and not leave with a clutch or a transbrake button, it’s definitely a different procedure. It was fun and exciting. It’s a blower car, so that will be cool.”
Pro Stock qualifying for Enders doesn’t begin until Friday night, but she’ll be in the lanes at Lucas Oil Raceway starting on Wednesday, along with nearly 200 fellow Sportsman competitors hitting the strip.