Erica Enders-Stevens probably wishes more NHRA races took place in Las Vegas.

The reigning NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock world champion swept both NHRA events in "Sin City" last year on her way to becoming the first woman to win the Pro Stock division. Enders-Stevens was just the third woman in series history to claim a pro title, along with Shirley Muldowney and Angelle Sampey, and she will always have warm feelings for The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

"Vegas will always hold a special place in my heart because it was my first win with Elite (Motorsports), and we were able to double up there," said Enders-Stevens, who began drag racing at the age of 8 in 1992. "We went there in the fall and won the race to take over the points lead for the championship."

Enders-Stevens defeated Jason Line in the finals of the SummitRacing NHRA Nationals on March 30 last year and should be a favorite in Pro Stock when this year's event hits The Strip Friday through Sunday. The 32-year-old Houston native then went on to edge Jeg Coughlin in the finals of the Toyota NHRA Nationals on Nov. 2 en route to her division crown.

"We swept the Vegas races last year, so we're really excited to go back, especially coming off a successful test in Charlotte," she said. "It gives us a little boost of confidence heading to Vegas."

Becoming the first woman to win a Pro Stock championship is a feat Enders-Stevens will treasure forever, and she is using the victory as motivation for 2015 and beyond.

"My whole career has been about firsts, and I'm glad to have gotten that done," she said. "Now, we're on to 2015 and defending our title. I'm really optimistic about what's to come this year.

"I know that with this group, anything is possible."

Enders-Stevens, who was the subject of the Disney Channel's original movie "Right on Track," fully accepts the responsibility that comes with being one of the sport's top champions. She also relishes the chance to serve as an example for young girls who may want to follow her into the sport.

"I hope that I am that positive role model for them, because I was fortunate enough to have people like Shirley Muldowney, Angelle Sampey and Shelly Anderson to look up to," she said. "It's a cool position to be in, and I'm a perfect example of a normal kid who, through hard work and by surrounding myself with the right people, (has shown) good things can happen."

Las Vegas racing fans can see Enders-Stevens and other top NHRA drivers at NHRA FanFest from 5-7 p.m. at New York-New York Las Vegas Hotel & Casino's Brooklyn Bridge Plaza on Thursday.

Tickets are available online at, or by calling 1-800-644-4444. Children 12 and under who are accompanied by a ticketed adult will receive a free general admission ticket during the three-day event at The Strip.

2015 NHRA Nationals schedule

Wednesday, April 8
9 a.m.-5 p.m. - Sponsor Midway parking
10 a.m.-5 p.m. - Racer pit parking (all categories)

Thursday, April 9
8 a.m.-5 p.m. - Racer pit parking/Registration/Tech inspection (all categories)
5-7 p.m. - Autograph session - New York New York Hotel & Casino

Friday, April 10
7:30 a.m. - Spectator gates open
8 a.m. - Noon - Racer registration/Tech inspection (all categories)
8 a.m. - Sportsman qualifying
10:30 a.m. - Comp Eliminator qualifying Noon - Top Alcohol qualifying
1 p.m. - Comp Eliminator qualifying
1:30 p.m. - Pro Stock qualifying
2 p.m. - Nitro qualifying
3 p.m. - Nitro Harley qualifying
3:15 p.m. - Top Alcohol qualifying
4:30 p.m. - Pro Stock qualifying
5 p.m. - Nitro qualifying
6:30 p.m. - Jet Dragsters

Saturday, April 11
7:30 a.m. - Spectator gates open
8 a.m. - Sportsman eliminations
10:30 a.m. - Comp Eliminator qualifying
11 a.m. - Top Alcohol qualifying
12:30 p.m. - Nitro Harley qualifying
12:40 p.m. - K&N Pro Stock Horsepower Challenge driver intro
1 p.m. - K&N Pro Stock Horsepower Challenge - Round 1
1:10 p.m. - Pro Stock qualifying
1:30 p.m. - Nitro qualifying
2:30 p.m. - Nitro Harley qualifying
2:45 p.m. - Top Alcohol eliminations - Round 1
3:45 p.m. - Comp Eliminator - Round 1
4 p.m. - K&N Pro Stock Horsepower Challenge - Round 2
4:05 p.m. - Pro Stock qualifying
4:30 p.m. - Nitro qualifying
5 p.m. - K&N Pro Stock Horsepower Challenge - Finals
5:05 p.m. - Nitro qualifying
5:45 p.m. - Jet Dragsters

Sunday, April 12
7:30 a.m. - Spectator gates open
8:30 a.m. - Sportsman eliminations
10 a.m. - Comp eliminations - Round 2
10:15 a.m. - Pre-race ceremonies
11 a.m. - Nitro eliminations - Round 1
Noon - Pro Stock eliminations - Round 1
12:15 p.m. - Top Alcohol eliminations - Round 2
12:45 p.m. - Nitro Harley eliminations - Round 1
1 p.m. - Nitro eliminations - Round 2
1:30 p.m. - Pro Stock eliminations - Round 2
1:45 p.m. - Sportsman eliminations - Semifinals
2:25 p.m. - Top Alcohol eliminations - Semifinals
2:25 p.m. - Nitro Harley eliminations - Semifinals
2:30 p.m. - Pro Stock eliminations - Semifinals
2:40 p.m. - Nitro eliminations - Semifinals
3 p.m. - Sportsman eliminations - Finals
3:40 p.m. - Nitro Harley eliminations - Finals
3:45 p.m. - Top Alcohol eliminations - Finals
3:50 p.m. - Pro Stock eliminations - Finals
3:55 p.m. - Nitro eliminations - Finals