BAYTOWN, Texas -
"It would be amazing to win at home," Enders-Stevens said. "We were able to get it done in Super Gas at the national event in 2004. I'm hopeful that we can seal the deal in Pro Stock as well. Not only am I from Houston, but my sponsors are also. It would be twice as special."
Enders-Stevens is hoping that the momentum her team produced from winning the Arizona Nationals in Phoenix in late February will help push her to a second victory this season in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Morgan Lucas (Top Fuel), Mike Neff (Funny Car), Vincent Nobile (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) are the defending winners of the event that will be televised on ESPN2HD.
Enders-Stevens practically grew up at Royal Purple Raceway, where she ultimately got her first taste of speed from behind the wheel of an NHRA Junior Dragster.
"I obviously love racing at home," Enders-Stevens said. "I made my first pass at RPR back in 1992 in my junior dragster and prior to that, I grew up there watching my dad race. We had a lot of success in my JDRL and sportsman days at RPR. That track and the Angel family (track owners) mean a lot to me."
Enders-Stevens is already off to a great start this season with one win in two final round appearances, as well as a runner-up finish in the lucrative K&N Horsepower Challenge, a specialty bonus event which took place in Las Vegas. Currently sitting in fourth place in the points standings, she is looking forward to more positive results in Houston and throughout the 2013 season.
If the Pro Stock fan-favorite is going to add a Royal Purple Raceway victory to her list of accomplishments, she'll have to hold off a tough group of challengers including defending event winner Nobile, defending world champ Allen Johnson, the super-fast Mike Edwards and Summit Racing's Jason Line and Greg Anderson, among others.
Tony Schumacher is atop the pack in his U.S. Army Top Fuel dragster riding high with momentum after claiming his second win on the season in Las Vegas. Matco Tools pilot Antron Brown will try to regain the points lead while a strong contingent of challengers will be close behind, including defending event winner Lucas, Al-Anabi Racing's Shawn Langdon, Mac Tools dragster driver Doug Kalitta and many others.
In Funny Car, sophomore sensation Courtney Force leads the points standings and already has one win under her belt in two final round appearances this season. She'll have to push her Traxxas Ford Mustang to the extreme if she hopes to get a win the highly-competitive class. Others looking to claim a Wally at the SpringNationals include NAPA Auto Parts driver Ron Capps, defending world champion "Fast Jack" Beckman, 15-time world champ John Force, Las Vegas winner Cruz Pedregon and Tequila Patron driver Alexis DeJoria.
Pro Stock Motorcycle will also compete in the Lone Star State. Lucas Oil Racing Buell rider Hector Arana Jr. started off the season with a win at the Gatornationals in Florida. His father, Hector Sr. and brother Adam will be looking to add wins to the family team with tough competitors right on their rear tires, which includes defending event winner Andrew Hines, teammate and last season's champion Eddie Krawiec, husband-and-wife duo Matt and Angie Smith, Scotty Pollacheck, Shawn Gann, Steve Johnson, and Michael Ray, among others.
The NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series as well as the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series also will thrill the crowds during the weekend with intense side-by-side competition.
As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as every ticket is an exclusive pit pass, allowing them firsthand to see the highly skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds. While visiting the pits, interactive NHRA Nitro Alley and the NHRA Manufacturers Midway are two popular areas fans won't want to miss.
NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying starts on Friday, April 26, with sessions at 3:30 and 5:45 p.m. The final two qualifying sessions will take place Saturday, April 27, at noon and 2:15 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 28. Children 13 and younger will receive free general admission tickets with a paid adult.
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