CHEVROLET AT HOUSTON
What: Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals presented by Pennzoil
When: Friday, Oct. 23-Sunday, Oct. 25
Where: Houston Raceway in Baytown, Texas
TV: FOX will telecast eliminations live at 2 p.m. ET Oct. 25
Chevrolet contenders aim to make inroads into Pro Stock title
Enders, Line and Coughlin enter penultimate race of season
DETROIT (Oct. 22, 2020) – Skill, experience and confidence are among commodities that the three National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Pro Stock championship contenders share entering the penultimate race of a truncated season.
The Mopar Express Lane NHRA SpringNationals presented by Pennzoil this weekend in suburban Houston will be another fight to the finish for Chevrolet drivers Erica Enders, Jason Line and Jeg Coughlin Jr., who have recorded a combined 11 Pro Stock titles.
Enders, driver of the Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro SS, holds a 31-point lead over Line and is 93 points clear of Coughlin. The reigning series champion regained the top spot in the standings last weekend at Dallas by virtue of a victory over Line’s Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro SS in the weather-delayed St. Louis final and a semifinal appearance in the regularly-scheduled event.
“St. Louis was where everything changed for me last year. It was the first race that we won, and we were able to parlay into a championship,” said Enders, a three-time winner this season. “It was just a huge move. To win in my home state, I’m just so proud of my guys.”
Line then fell in the second round to Coughlin in the Dallas eliminations.
“Every round counts, and we’re coming close to the end of this season and our last chance at earning a fourth Pro Stock championship,” Line said. “A win in Houston would go a long way toward that.”
Coughlin, who won two of the four races to start the season in the JEGS.com/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro SS, saw his fortunes turn quickly with a pair of first-round exits in September. He rebounded with a semifinal appearance at Dallas.
“Erica and Jason are out there a bit but we can’t control what they’re doing so we’ll just get super aggressive and try to earn as many points as possible,” said Coughlin, who earned his first Pro Stock victory in 1997 at Houston. “If the JEGS.com Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro is the last car left on race day, we’ll know for sure we’ve earned more points than everyone else, so that’s the goal.”
Aaron Stanfield will aim for his third successive SAM Tech.edu NHRA Factory Stock Showdown victory this weekend in a Janac Bros. Chevrolet COPO Camaro. Stanfield, of Bossier City, Louisiana, is among the COPO Camaro standout drivers entered in the event that was postponed Sept. 27 because of inclement weather and poor track conditions in Madison, Illinois.
FOX will telecast eliminations live at 2 p.m. ET Oct. 25.
CHEVROLET FROM THE COCKPIT
ERICA ENDERS, ELITE MOTORSPORTS, MELLING PERFORMANCE/ELITE MOTORSPORTS CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (points leader; three-time winner this season; holds track Pro Stock speed record, set in April 2013): “(Winning the delayed St. Louis final last week at Dallas) was really huge. When it’s all on the line and our backs are against the wall, my guys perform every time, and I can’t speak highly enough of them. It is a big step in the right direction and by no means is it anywhere close to over, but I’m excited to be in the (points) lead.”
JASON LINE, KB RACING, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (second in points; won at Indianapolis in July; announced that 2020 would be his final season behind the wheel): “”I have a couple of wins in Houston, but it’s been a while since I’ve seen the inside of the winner’s circle there. I’d like to see it one more time before my time as a Pro Stock driver is over, and I think our silver Summit Racing Chevy could get the job done this weekend. Every round counts, and we’re coming close to the end of this season and our last chance at earning a fourth Pro Stock championship. A win in Houston would go a long way toward that.”
GREG ANDERSON, KB RACING, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (runner-up at last event; three-time winner at track; holds track Pro Stock elapsed time record, set in April 2018): “We came so close last weekend with our Summit Racing Chevy, and we’d like to leave Texas with a Wally. We’ve got one more chance at that before we head to Vegas to finish off the season, and we have every opportunity to get that trophy if we capitalize on the good car that we have right now. I have to do my job, and the guys have to keep giving me the top-notch car they gave me last Sunday in Dallas. If we have the whole package, we’ll be unstoppable.”
JEG COUGHLIN JR., ELITE MOTORSPORTS, JEGS.COM/ELITE PERFORMANCE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (two-time winner this season; four-time winner at track; third in points): “We need a perfect scorecard from here on out to even have a glimpse of hope. Fortunately, we made a lot of progress in Dallas and the final two races left on the schedule both take place at tracks where we have historically done very well so we feel good about finishing strong.”
MATT HARTFORD, HARTFORD RACING, TOTAL SEAL CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (most recent winner on circuit for third career win; fourth in points): “To hold the first ever Camping World Wally in Pro Stock, that never gets forgotten. For me, it’s just incredible. It wasn’t an easy road (to win Oct. 18), but we’ve had a good car all year long. It’s incredible for the Total Seal car to have another Wally.”
BO BUTNER, JIM BUTNER AUTO, STRUTMASTERS CHEVROLET CAMAROS SS (earned initial Pro Stock victory at Houston in 2017): “It would really take a miracle to win the championship with our car, but we can win a race or two to close out this year. It’s still inside of us, wanting to win, and that keeps us motivated these last two races. I’m especially looking forward to getting to Houston, because that’s where I won my first Pro Stock race three years ago. Maybe we can get to the winner’s circle there again one more time in a Pro Stock car.”
ALEX LAUGHLIN, LAUGHLIN MOTORSPORTS, HAVOLINE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (won at Gainesville on Sept. 27 for fourth career victory; fifth in points): “This year, I didn’t know how many races we’d have with all these COVID issues so I’m grateful to have a win right now. As challenging as it is to race Pro Stock, and to keep our car out there, I can promise you one thing; it keeps you humble.”