Thirteen months ago accomplished sportsman racer Camrie Caruso announced to the motorsports world she would be making the move into NHRA Pro Stock competition in the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. In three months the third generation drag racer with the assistance of her father Marc and a network of professional contacts, put together a Pro Stock team that included power supplied by Titan Racing Engines and tuning direction from two-time Pro Stock world champion Jim Yates. As the season ends at the Auto Club Finals Caruso is arguably a lock for the NHRA Rookie of the Year award and has established herself as one of the rising young stars in a class that is both ultra-competitive and littered with young talent.
Caruso will roll into Auto Club Raceway at Pomona with the Powerbuilt Tools Chevrolet Camaro that also sports branding from season long backers Sand Haulers of America and Tequila Comisario. With four qualifying sessions on the schedule Caruso will be eyeing a top half of the field qualifying position and a continuation of her season of success.
“I always knew I wanted to race Pro Stock and I feel like I made the most of my rookie season,” said Caruso, during one of her many appearances recently at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. “We had a lot of goals at the beginning of the season and we achieved a lot of them. One goal was to win a race and we have one more chance this season to get that box checked. I am going to give it everything we have this weekend in Pomona.”
The young driver has qualified for every national event this season and throughout the year her improvement behind the wheel has been noticeable. The rookie driver locked in her position in the NHRA Countdown playoffs with multiple races remaining in the regular season. The final six races of the season have tested the single car team and 24-year-old driver in ways that they could not have imagined when they were spending days in Florida testing before the season opening Winternationals.
“I knew this was going to be a brand-new experience and one of the hardest things I have ever done, but this season took it to a whole new level,” said Caruso. “I am thankful for my family and the support from our marketing partners. We have a lot of positive things in the works for 2023 and it will be a busy off-season. I had a great show at SEMA and I am ready to get back on the race track. We haven’t gotten the job done on race day and I plan on really getting after it in Pomona for the Auto Club Finals. If you win the last race of the season you get to enjoy that victory for the whole off-season.”
The Powerbuilt Tools Chevrolet Camaro has seen its share of race day success with the breakout event happening at the Spring Nationals in Houston when Caruso qualified No. 1 and raced to the final round. Since that race Caruso has picked up four more quarterfinal finishes and has qualified in the top half of the field four more times.
“We really came out hot at the beginning of the season and as the year progressed, we just kept battling to hold our own,” said Caruso. “We had some ups and downs, but we worked through so many new challenges. I am learning something about this race car every time I get strapped behind the wheel. I will be so much more prepared for next season knowing what I know now. This year has blown by, but it has also been a marathon. I have a great sense of accomplishment when I look at what we were able to do.”
The Auto Club NHRA Finals will begin on Friday, November 11 with two Pro Stock qualifying sessions at 12:00 p.m. and 3:15 p.m. Saturday will give Caruso and the Powerbuilt Tools team two more shots at the track with runs scheduled for 11:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. before Sunday’s final eliminations get underway at 12:00 p.m. for Pro Stock. The race will be televised nationally on FS1.