Rookie Pro Stock driver Camrie Caruso has raced her way through some of the toughest competition during the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and NHRA Countdown. The 24-year-old who resides in Denver, North Carolina, will bring a new look to the NHRA Nevada Nationals with the Powerbuilt Chevrolet Camaro powered by Titan Racing Engines looking to close out the season with a signature win at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Last season in Vegas rookie Dallas Glenn took the Pro Stock win and went on to Rookie of the Year honors. Caruso, one of two finalists for the 2022 top rookie award, would like nothing better than to duplicate Glenn’s feat this weekend.
“It is great to be a finalist for Rookie of the Year and winning that award was one of my pre-season goals,” said Caruso. “We have qualified for every race and I feel like the team is getting better but this is a marathon not a sprint. The homestretch is coming up with Las Vegas and Pomona and we want to finish strong.”
This will be a return engagement for Caruso at the Las Vegas track located 20 minutes from downtown. The rookie driver competed in her first NHRA Four-Wide Nationals here earlier this season. The familiarity will be a welcome element to the driver who has been competing on brand new track week in and week out throughout the season.
“I love Las Vegas and I am glad we are coming back to a track like this for the Countdown,” said Caruso. “The four-wide nationals was a new experience so I am looking forward to traditional side-by-side racing this weekend. My crew chief Jim Yates has been working his tail off on our tune-up and I think we have a car that can go rounds. I have been trying to be super aggressive on the starting line. We just need a few things to go our way and we could have a long day on Sunday. This is Las Vegas so anything can happen.”
Caruso has qualified for every event this season which is an impressive feat in the hyper-competitive Pro Stock category but even more impressive is the fact she and her Powerbuilt Chevrolet Camaro team have been going rounds in her rookie season. Historically, drivers and teams have significant hurdles, but Caruso and her Jim Yates tuned Chevrolet Camaro have established themselves as consistent performers grabbing a round win in just their second start and a No. 1 qualifier at the Houston SpringNationals. Caruso advanced to the final round of the Houston national event in just her fifth professional start.
“We have achieved some of my goals for this season, but there are a few we are still chasing,” said Caruso. “We have all the pieces to get into the winner’s circle, we just need to put them all together on race day. The Nevada Nationals would be a great race to get our first win and then roll into the Auto Club Finals in Pomona with some momentum. I have learned a lot this season and I am excited for these last two races.”
Prior to the Nevada Nationals Caruso will be joining several NHRA drivers at the Fremont Street Fan Experience on Thursday night signing free autographs from 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. and following the race she will be attending the SEMA show spending time in a number of marketing partners’ booths promoting their products and signing autographs. The Pro Stock rookie knows the off the track events can be just as impactful as win lights on Sunday.
“I enjoy spending time with our marketing partners away from the track and I especially like the fan fest events,” said Caruso. “Events like those are where you can make a connection with the fans and really talk about how great NHRA is or how one of our marketing partners can benefit their business or personal life. We have a lot of great partners that have supported us this season and we are looking forward to SEMA for sure.”
Pro Stock qualifying for the NHRA Nevada Nationals will begin Friday at 12:30 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. with Saturday’s sessions running at noon and 3:30 p.m. On Sunday final eliminations will begin at 11:00 a.m. with Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle. The race will be broadcast nationally on FS1.