After graduating from hot-rod school (not kidding!) at the ripe ol' age of 16, racing phenom Erica Enders began tearing her fellow Junior Dragster competitors new exhaust pipes with such frequency and abandon that her original dragster now rests at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum (again, not kidding!) in Los Angeles. After 37 wins, six Super Comp victories and a couple more in races only the reddest of rednecks have heard of, Enders, now 21, needs a new challenge. She's gunning for the thick-with-testosterone fortysomethings who call Pro Stock home, where she'll attempt to become the first female ever to win a Pro Stock event, at the O'Reilly Spring Nationals.
So is she expecting a backlash from male dragsters after embarrassing them? "It sucks to lose, period," she says. "But yeah, I imagine losing to a girl is a bit tougher to take."
Especially when that girl is a youngster, an Aggie (she's a business student at Texas A&M) and the subject of a Disney Channel movie (Right on Track). One can only imagine the locker-room heckles reserved for her beat-down opposition: "Did Lizzie McGuire beat you, Rusty?" Race events run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, April 8, through Sunday, April 10, at Houston Raceway Park, 2525 FM 565 South, Baytown. For information and a racing schedule, call 281-383-7223 or visit www.houstonraceway.com. $12 to $57. -– Brian McManus
Wild Goose Chase
If your idea of roughing it means self-parking instead of going valet, it might be time to reconcile yourself with Mother Nature. The folks at Bayou City Outdoors are here to help, with a weekend camping trip to Goose Island State Park, near Corpus Christi. Campers can fish, canoe, watch birds, make s'mores, relax and see that the stars at night actually can be big and bright. Space is limited, so call to reserve a spot, and the organizers will tell you what to bring along. Reconnect with yo' wild self starting the evening of Friday, April 8. Through April 10. Ten miles northeast of Rockport on State Highway 35 to Park Road 13, then two miles east to park entrance. For information, call 713-807-0096 or visit www.bayoucityoutdoors.com. $20. -– Julia Ramey