Camrie Caruso grew up in the Rochester, New York area but since she launched her professional Pro Stock career the 2022 NHRA Rookie of the Year has called the Charlotte, North Carolina, area home. The Mooresville resident is eager to take a second crack at her hometown track, zMax Dragway, the Bellagio of Drag Strips. This will be the third generation drag racers first attempt at four-wide racing at the drag strip located adjacent to Charlotte Motor Speedway. During the 2022 NHRA Countdown Caruso raced her Chevrolet Camaro to the No. 8 qualifier position, but she did not advance beyond the first round.
“We didn’t get to race four-wide at zMax Dragway last year and I was pretty mad about that,” said Caruso. “I came to the race anyway and it was my first time seeing four-wide racing in person. There is a lot going on and I feel more confident coming into this weekend than I did two weeks ago in Las Vegas. I have a good race car and with my new sponsor Big Jeff Audio I am excited to go some rounds this weekend.”
Prior to the Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals Caruso announced a primary sponsorship with Big Jeff Audio for this weekend that will continue all season as an associate marketing program. Big Jeff Audio is a part of Big Jeff Online Inc., a family-owned business that has been thriving since 2014, initially starting out on eBay and Amazon. With a strong commitment to customer satisfaction, they have now expanded to offer a vast array of products on their site, including car audio and CCTV security systems, all backed by their authorization as an online seller. They have a website full of products for everyone at www.BigJeffAudio.com and have a large social media platform that you can see by searching BigJeffAudio on all major platforms.
“This deal came together quickly, and I am looking forward to introducing Big Jeff Audio to the NHRA community,” said Caruso, who will be racing four-wide in Charlotte for the first time. “They are doing amazing things with not just car audio but side-by-sides, home audio and marine audio, Power Sports and CCTV Needs. We are heading into the summer months so now is the time to update your audio needs for the lake, pool or your road trips. I can’t wait to show off the Big Jeff Audio Chevrolet Camaro in Charlotte. It is going to be an eye-catching car and Big Jeff is going to make an impact in the NHRA I know.”
Caruso will have a jam-packed week of activities leading off with throwing out the first pitch at the Charlotte Knights baseball game tonight. This will be another new experience for the rising star in the NHRA as she crosses sports to promote drag racing to a new audience.
“I want to make a good first pitch and not embarrass myself,” said Caruso. “I have grown up in the NHRA so honestly, I didn’t do a lot of other sports. I am going to go out there and have some fun. I am really excited about getting a baseball jersey with my name on it for sure.”
On Thursday night Caruso will be more in her comfort zone drag racing against a handful of drivers from NASCAR in an NHRA versus NASCAR grudge racing event hosted by zMax Dragway. The battle of the strip will be a fun-filled evening pitting NHRA drivers against local NASCAR drivers. On Friday Caruso will spend some time with guests of the Charlotte chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities giving them some behind the scenes access.
“The Thursday night race with the NASCAR drivers will be a lot of fun,” said Caruso. “I am looking forward to meeting some drivers from another series. I don’t know that much about NASCAR but when you get a bunch of drivers together that like to go fast you never know what can happen. The biggest positive is it gives us the chance to get on the track and show off the sport of drag racing. I am also looking forward to meeting the folks from Speedway Children’s Charities. I am going to do more to support that great organization through the season.”
This year has been a breakout experience for the 25-year-old driver who won her first Pro Stock national event at the Arizona Nationals and followed it up with her second career No. 1 qualifier at the historic NHRA Winternationals the following weekend. Caruso powered her Chevrolet Camaro to the semifinals and for a short time was in the Pro Stock points lead as well. Currently, she sits No. 4 in Camping World Pro Stock points.
“I always have goals in everything I pursue and getting that first win was a big goal for this season,” said Caruso, who became just the second female to win a Pro Stock national event. “My next goal is to win that second, then third national event. I want to win a world championship and I think I have a race car that can get me there. This Big Jeff Audio Chevrolet Camaro will be ready to go this weekend for sure.”
Each Pro Stock team will get two passes on Friday and two more on Saturday, weather permitting, with the quickest 16 Pro Stock cars racing for the coveted Wally trophy in three rounds of four-wide racing on Sunday. Final eliminations will begin at noon ET and the race will be broadcast nationally on FS1.