After a busy off-season that saw the 2022 NHRA Rookie of the Year join a new team and renew multiple sponsors Camrie Caruso is ready to get back behind the wheel of her Right Trailers Chevrolet Camaro race car at the NHRA Gatornationals this weekend. The rising star in the NHRA will roll into Gainesville Raceway as part of the newly established KB Titan Racing team with teammates Greg Anderson, Dallas Glenn and Kyle Koretsky and a new crew chief in veteran tuner Dave Connolly. Caruso is eager to continue her improvement behind the wheel and pursue her first Pro Stock world championship.
“My goals haven’t really changed for this year,” said Caruso. “I want to win races, get No. 1 qualifiers and contend for the championship. I achieved a lot of my goals last year and I am very excited to be the Rookie of the Year but now we have to continue to keep improving. I think the move to KB Titan Racing will be huge for that and I have already learned so much this off season from Greg and Dallas just being around them in the shop.”
Last year in her first experience at one of the most historic races on the NHRA tour Caruso qualified No. 7 and raced to the quarterfinals. The experience was a positive step for the young driver and one that she will be looking to improve on this weekend.
“Last year we qualified in the top half and got a first round win,” said Caruso. “The was a lot of rain and it was crazy cold on race day so I think the weather is going to cooperate better this year so I am excited to get the full Gatornationals experience. The fans here are amazing and I think we will have a great weekend.”
The Right Trailers Chevrolet Camaro Caruso will roll into the Gatornationals with a race car that has been completely reconfigured for driver comfort and performance. Caruso also spent time testing leading up to the Gatornationals in Bradenton, Florida, with a host of other Pro Stock teams in advance of the first race of the season.
“Testing was so critical this season, almost more so than last year,” said Caruso. “I knew a lot more coming into this season, but I also had to make some adjustments. The focus you need to drive this Right Trailers Camaro is intense. Our races are won or lost on the starting line a lot of the time, so you want to do everything right from the burnout to staging. The test session really helped.”
Prior to testing Caruso raced in the NHRA divisional race known as the Baby Gators last weekend driving a Top Dragster owned by Right Trailers sponsor Mike Smith. The seat time in the dragster was a great experience for Caruso to knock some of the off-season rust off.
“I loved racing in the Baby Gators and I have to thank Mike from Right Trailers for giving me the opportunity,” said Caruso. “Just getting back into a race car and going through my routine was huge. Also you just start reacclimating yourself to hitting the tree and that amazing launch sensation. It helped me get prepared for testing and I am ready to start racing.”
A busy off-season of sponsor renewals also kept Caruso active after the final race of the season in 2022. Right Trailers has returned joined by Powerbuilt Tools and VP Racing Lubricants. This week Caruso will be hosting a tequila tasting at Hotel ELEO on Thursday night from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. with returning sponsor Tequila Comisario. The rising star will also be participating in the NHRA Gatornationals Fanfest that is being hosted at Top Fuel driver Josh Hart’s Burnyzz Speed Shop in Ocala, on Wednesday from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
“This is a busy week of sponsor and fan activities and I love it,” said Caruso. “I am looking forward to the FanFest at Burnyzz Speed Shop on Wednesday and the tequila tasting with Tequila Comisario will be a great event at the Hotel ELEO. I also have media day which is always a good time. The season is starting a little later than usual but I needed all that time to work with renewing sponsors and some new marketing partners we will be announcing soon.”
The NHRA Gatornationals will feature two rounds of Pro Stock qualifying on Friday and two sessions on Saturday. Final eliminations will begin on Sunday March 12 at 10 a.m. ET with FOX broadcasting the race nationally from noon-3:00 p.m. ET.