No car, race or driver can be perfect 100 percent of the time. That was the hard pill that Pro Stock driver Camrie Caruso had to swallow, when she red-lit in the first round of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park against Deric Kramer.
“That was a tough round to lose when you look at what happened in the other lane and how well we ran,” said Caruso, the 2022 NHRA Rookie of the Year. “I didn’t do anything differently in the first round and I wasn’t distracted, but it was still a learning opportunity for the next time I’m up against a tree.”
The second-year pro made two clean, solid passes during qualifying, entering Sunday in the No. 9 spot. Rain kept the Pro Stock category from being able to make qualifying runs on Friday. Caruso planned to keep that momentum going during the rest of the race, but her foot got the best of her.
“We had a good car in qualifying on Saturday,” said Caruso. “I wish the weather would have cooperated on Friday for us to get a couple of more passes. I think we could have qualified even higher with more runs. This Tequila Comisario Camaro with KB Titan Racing power is running really well. I felt good coming into the first round. I felt like I did before the Arizona Nationals, but today didn’t go our way.”
Norwalk was the second time that Caruso and Kramer have went head-to-head. The most recent time was in the first round at the NHRA Arizona Nationals in Phoenix, where Caruso beat Kramer and went on to pick up her first-ever NHRA event win.
“Deric is a fantastic opponent, and I’m sure we’ll have several more matchups,” said Caruso. “We are now tied in wins, which is even more motivation to be better and faster than him the next time.”
If not for the red light, Caruso’s first-round pass would have been strong, going 207.53 mph and reaching an elapsed time of 6.657 seconds.
“It’s disappointing when one mistake messes up the entire run,” said Caruso. “But these things happen, and as my team likes to remind me, I can’t be too hard on myself all the time. I’m grateful for their support as I continue to improve as a racer.”
Even with a tough first-round loss, Caruso still has an optimistic outlook on the weekend and the rest of the season. She participated in the 4th annual #NorwalkNats Ice Cream Eating Contest and was able to interact with lots of fans.
“I am going to put this race behind me and get ready for the next one,” said Caruso. “We didn’t get hurt too bad in the points. I hate that we didn’t go more rounds today because the fans this weekend have been great, and I always like to put on a good show for them. But we’ll get it done next time.”
Caruso is now No. 5 in points and is looking ahead to the Western Swing of the 2023 NHRA Camping World Series season.