Second year pro Camrie Caruso and the Tequila Comisario Chevrolet Camaro brought momentum and a winning attitude to the Menards NHRA Nationals presented by PetArmor this weekend. The Mile High Nationals semifinalist and winner of the Arizona Nationals was looking to continue to add solid performance numbers as the regular season comes to close over the next three Camping World Series national events. Through three rounds of qualifying Caruso, who also has backing from Big Jeff Audio, Powerbuilt Tools, OZ Safe Rooms, and VP Lubricants, continued to improve ultimately settling into the No. 8 qualifier position.
“We felt really good coming out of qualifying because we were improving just about every run,” said Caruso. “I knew we would need to be at the top of our game on race day because this field was so close. This Tequila Comisario Camaro was really making solid runs. Everyone over here at KB Titan Racing has been really pulling together.”
In the opening round of eliminations Caruso, the 2022 NHRA Rookie of the Year, was looking to keep her unbeaten streak intact against veteran Pro Stock driver Bo Butner. The third-generation driver was 5-0 against Butner coming in to the first round at Heartland Motorsports Park. Both Chevrolet Camaros took off and as they passed the Christmas Tree Caruso was pulling away from Butner. It was a close race that Caruso’s 6.670 second run at 205.91 mph was strong enough to hold on for the win over Butner’s 6.709 second run at 205.69 mph. The margin of victory at the finish line was approximately two feet according to www.dragracecentral.com.
“That was a great race and I am really glad we got that win light,” said Caruso, the winner of the NHRA Pro Stock Allstar Callout. “I knew it was on a smooth run and I could tell Bo was right beside me. Those are the races you love to win. I know the next round will be tough against Dallas (Glenn) but at least we’ll get a KB Titan Racing car to the semifinals.”
The opening round win moved Caruso into the quarterfinals against KB Titan Racing teammate Glenn. It was classic battle between the two most recent NHRA Rookies of the Year and two drivers who have secured multiple wins this season. It was an amazingly close race. Glenn took a slight advantage off the starting line .019 to .026 reaction time and that was the margin of victory as both drivers ran 6.650 second at over 205 mph. Once again at the finish line it was a matter of inches for the victory between two of the rising stars in Pro Stock.
“That was one of the closest races I have been in and what a race,” said Caruso. “I felt good about today even though we didn’t get the win. I had a good light in the second round and we made our quickest run of the weekend. We have a lot of momentum going into Brainerd and I will be happy to get back on track in a couple days. We have two more races before the Countdown and I want to get every point I can for this Tequila Comisario Chevrolet Camaro team.”
The Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals will begin on Friday, with two qualifying sessions for all the pro classes followed by two more qualifying runs on Saturday before the quickest 16 Pro Stock cars race for the iconic Wally trophy on Sunday. The race will be televised on FOX.