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Camrie Caruso Races to Winternationals No. 1

For the second time in her young career, Pro Stock rising star Camrie Caruso raced to the No. 1 qualifier at an NHRA national event. On the strength of her Friday afternoon pass of 6.518 seconds at 211.79 mph, during round one of qualifying for the NHRA Winternationals at In-N-Out Pomona Dragstrip Caruso will lead the Pro Stock field into eliminations tomorrow. Caruso and the Powerbuilt Tools Chevrolet Camaro will face Steve Graham in the first round. The 2022 NHRA Rookie of the Year will bring momentum into the race looking to keep her win streak alive after her victory last weekend at the NHRA Arizona Nationals.

“We’re really excited to be number one heading into Sunday,” said Caruso. “We wanted to win the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge, but hopefully we’ll have another shot at it in Vegas. We’ll just focus on winning the race tomorrow. I think we’ll be just fine. My guys are really smart. They know what they’re doing. We were number one coming in today and we didn’t really need to kill it on the performance side. It was way different than it was yesterday. We will be just fine tomorrow.”

The last time Caruso was No. 1 was her fifth start of her rookie year and she raced to the final round at the SpringNationals in Houston. After winning in Phoenix last weekend Caruso has confidence and a strong race car going into race day at the Winternationals.

“I was really calm on Sunday in Phoenix,” said Caruso, from the Shav Glick Media Center. “I’m just going to continue to try and stay calm and not let anything rattle me. We’re just going to focus on the win lights.”

During the first session of qualifying today Caruso was upset in the opening round of the Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge racing veteran Matt Hartford. Last weekend Caruso got the win light but today Hartford got to the finish line stripe first, then went on to win the Challenge and its $5,000 top prize. In her losing effort Caruso posted the quickest losing time and earned an important championship bonus point.

“We wanted to get that Mission #2Fast2Tasty Challenge win, but we will definitely take that championship point,” said Caruso. “Those points will add up and we just want to give this Powerbuilt Tools Chevrolet Camaro race car every advantage we can. I am excited for tomorrow and going after my second Pro Stock win.”

Final eliminations will begin for Pro Stock at noon with the race being televised on FS1.

This story was originally published on April 2, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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