Erica Enders Named 2022 Drag Illustrated Racer Of The Year

Erica Enders Named 2022 Drag Illustrated Racer Of The Year

Five-time and defending NHRA Pro Stock world champion Erica Enders was named the Drag Illustrated Racer of the Year for 2022, the magazine announced Wednesday during a special edition of The Wes Buck Show. Enders and over a dozen other award winners are also recognized in the second annual DI Awards Issue, which is now available to read online and will hit subscriber mailboxes next week.

Enders and the Elite Motorsports team were a dominant force in NHRA Pro Stock throughout the 2022 season, which saw Enders secure her fifth world championship. She earned 10 wins in 19 races for a round win record of 55-9. The DI editorial team chose her as the Racer of the Year due to her recent success and a relentless pursuit of greatness on and off the track.

“It’s no secret that we’re big Erica Enders fans at Drag Illustrated,” said Wes Buck, founder and editorial director, Drag Illustrated. “I personally believe she’s not only one of the best Pro Stock drivers of all time, but one of the flat-out best drivers in drag racing’s history. Erica proved that with her 2022 performance. She was in the winner’s circle seemingly every other weekend, and it was one of the best season-long performances in recent Pro Stock history.”

By winning her fifth NHRA Pro Stock championship, she joined a prestigious group of Pro Stock drivers with five or more titles: Bob Glidden, Warren Johnson, Jeg Coughlin Jr., and Greg Anderson.

Enders climbed the drag racing ranks from her start in the Jr. Dragster league to a successful stint in the NHRA Lucas Oil sportsman series, where she earned a Super Gas national event win in 2004. That performance led to her Pro Stock debut the following year. This will be her 19th season competing in the class.

“Going back to my mentality and my goals when I was a little girl to seeing what we’ve been able to accomplish now is just super surreal,” Enders said. “I’m humbled by it, and obviously, very grateful. I wanted to set out and be the best driver. Nothing to do with a female. Nothing to do with a Pro Stock racer or any class. I just want to be a good driver, and we’ve definitely made strides towards that.

“There are so many great drivers out there in our sport, not just in NHRA, but all forms of drag racing,” Enders continued. “To be awarded Racer of the Year is probably one of the greatest awards ever. That’s what any race car driver would want, right? To be the baddest at the thing you love the most.”

The other nominees for the Racer of the Year Award were NHRA Top Fuel world champion Brittany Force, NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle world champion Matt Smith, PDRA Pro Nitrous world champion Jim Halsey, Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings champion and 2021 DI Racer of the Year Ryan Martin, and PDRA Pro Boost world champion Todd Tutterow.

“All of this year’s honorees are incredible racers,” said Nate Van Wagnen, editor-in-chief, Drag Illustrated. “They all excelled throughout the 2022 season, adding race wins, records, and world championships to their already stacked resumes. It was not easy selecting just one driver out of that bunch to honor as the Racer of the Year.”

Feb 20th 2023 Drag Illustrated

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