As Pro Stock standout Camrie Caruso closes the book on her second regular season competing in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series she will be making her first appearance at Brainerd International Raceway this weekend. The 2022 NHRA Rookie of the Year will be taking on one of the toughest Pro Stock fields in recent memory at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals starting this Friday. The winner of the NHRA Arizona Nationals earlier this season will be looking to pick up her second career win and take some momentum into the Dodge U.S. Nationals and the NHRA Countdown playoffs. Driving the Tequila Comisario Chevrolet Camaro with KB Titan Racing power and backing from DENSO, Big Jeff Audio, Powerbuilt Tools, and VP Lubricants Caruso is eager to race in Brainerd.
“I am looking forward to racing at Brainerd International Raceway,” said Caruso. “You hear a lot about how wild their fans are and about The Zoo campground, but I have also heard it is a great racing surface, so I am hoping to make some great runs in the Tequila Comisario Chevrolet Camaro. We have been running well and we just need to get some more win lights on Sunday.”
Since her breakthrough win at the Arizona Nationals Caruso has had a consistent race car and she grabbed the categories attention when she won the first NHRA Pro Stock Allstar Callout in Chicago. As the No. 8 qualifier she defeated Cristian Cuadra, Troy Coughlin Jr and Aaron Stanfield to take the top prize and establish herself as one of the Pro Stock Championship contending teams.
“The win at the Arizona Nationals was huge since it was our first Pro Stock National event but getting that Pro Stock Allstar Callout trophy was a big step for our team,” said Caruso, who is a third-generation drag racer. “We joined KB Titan Racing this year and I was the last KB Titan racer left after the first round so I had the whole team pulling for me. I love being over here with the KB Titan Racing guys and we have a really good group.”
Caruso has been holding her own as the regular season concludes with just two more races before the playoff fields are set. In three of the last four races Caruso has qualified in the top half and has raced to at least the quarterfinals. She raced to the semifinals at the final Mile High Nationals in Denver and competed last weekend in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge as a reward for her efforts. She has competed in the specialty race twice and has secured one championship bonus point.
“You want to win every race but when you get to the semifinals you know you will be in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge at the next race. Our goals are simple for every race,” said Caruso. “We want to qualifying as high as we can and try to win the race. Winning gets you the Wally and guarantees you get a shot at the Mission Challenge. Those championship points could come in handy at the end of the season. We want to get into that race for the U.S. Nationals for sure and that starts this Friday in Brainerd.”
The Pro Stock class will have two qualifying runs on Friday at 2:45 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. They will be back in action on Saturday at 12:45 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Final eliminations for Pro Stock will commence following the first round of Top Fuel and Funny car on Sunday. The quickest 16 Pro Stock competitors will be racing for the Iconic Wally trophy and a higher seed in the NHRA Countdown. Currently, Caruso sits No. 8 just a little over 80 points (four rounds) out of fifth place. With points and a half on the line at the U.S. Nationals a jump in the points is very doable for the second-year pro.