NHRA Pro Stock racer Erica Enders-Stevens is looking to the future after her team was forced to the sidelines prior to this weekend's inaugural Auto-Plus New England Nationals at New England Dragway.
Enders-Stevens currently ranks fourth in the Pro Stock points standings and is coming off another final-round appearance at the most recent NHRA race in Bristol, Tenn. But sponsorship issues have forced the Cagnazzi Racing team to discontinue racing until funding is found.
"We're very hopeful of getting back out there and competing as soon as we can," Enders-Stevens said. "I'd love to be back next week for Chicago, which obviously holds a lot of great memories for me after winning there last year.
"My phone has been ringing non-stop and I'm telling all the reporters and all of our friends that we're doing everything we can to be there. I appreciate all the fans and people asking about us. It means a lot that so many people care."
Enders-Stevens scored an historic victory at Route 66 Raceway last July when she became the first woman to win in the ultra-competitive Pro Stock class. After her victory circle celebration, her day got even better when long-time boyfriend Richie Stevens proposed. The two were married in the offseason.
Enders-Stevens has won five times and raced to 10 final rounds in the last 23 races, including a victory at Phoenix earlier this year.
"It's a shame because I feel like we are a true contender for the championship," Enders-Stevens said. "All the pieces are in place for us to win races and contend for the championship, but we just don't have the funding it takes. That's the nature of our sport right now."
Enders-Stevens, 29, and the rest of the management of her team continue to look for sponsorship to return to racing as soon as possible.