Racing four-wide for the first time at her home track, zMax Dragway, 2022 Rookie of the Year Camrie Caruso continued her development in the unique format. The third generation drag racer introduced new sponsor Big Jeff Audio to the NHRA community with an eye-catching car design. Through two days of qualifying Caruso showed she had a race car that could go rounds and capture her first four-wide win light. The young driver made four qualifying passes with her quickest pass of 6.561 seconds at 209.59 mph, quick enough to position her in the top half of the field at No. 7. She was placed in a first round quad with No. 2 qualifier and KB Titan Racing teammate Dallas Glenn, No. 10 qualifier Mason McGaha and No. 15 qualifier Fernando Cuadra Jr.
The Pro Stock category had to wait out a nearly three-and-a-half-hour rain delay before they could hit the track. Once Caruso’s Big Jeff Audio team rolled up to the starting line, she was eager to take on the competition. All four cars rolled into the pre-stage and then they all staged waiting for the tree to activate. Unfortunately, Caruso hit the gas before her tree fired, disqualifying her strong 6.590 second pass that was the third quickest of the session. Glenn made a clean pass followed by Cuadra to advance to the next round.
“I am really bummed about that first round and getting that red-light,” said Caruso, who won the NHRA Arizona Nationals earlier this season. “I came back and talked to my guys and thanked them for giving me an amazing race car. We had Big Jeff Audio on this Camaro and we wanted to go rounds. We made progress throughout qualifying and we stepped up in the first round. That is the biggest take away; we have a solid car going to Chicago and for the rest of the season. I just wish Chicago was next weekend.”
The biggest positive take-away from the weekend was the fact Caruso clinched a spot in the Pro Stock Callout specialty race that will be contested at the next NHRA national event in Chicago. Eight Pro Stock drivers accumulated points based on their qualifying efforts through the first five races of this season. The top qualified drivers will “call-out” their opponents in the three round race that will be held in conjunction with Saturday’s qualifying sessions.
“I am excited about making the Pro Stock Callout for the Chicago race,” said Caruso. “You look at the eight drivers in the field and it is a great mix of some of the young drivers in this category. It will be cool to be in a specialty race. I am excited the NHRA is putting on a race like this for our class. There are so many great drivers and teams it will be a lot of fun to see who comes out on top.”
Caruso will leave the Circle K NHRA Nationals sitting fifth in the Camping World Pro Stock point standings.