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Camrie Caruso Wins First NHRA Pro Stock All-Star Callout

In another statement that second year Pro Stock driver Camrie Caruso is a serious NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series world championship contender, the 25-year-old third generation driver won the first ever NHRA Pro Stock All-Star Callout today at Route 66 Raceway. As the No. 8 qualifier Caruso drove the Tequila Comisario Chevrolet Camaro to victory over Cristian Cuadra, Troy Coughlin Jr. and Aaron Stanfield to take home the $28,000 top prize.

“Honestly, it was super awesome,” said Caruso, who this season has a race win and No. 1 qualifier. “I told the guys at the beginning of the year I want to win all the specialty races this year and as many races as possible. This Pro Stock All-Star Callout gave us another chance to bring home a trophy at a racetrack I’ve never been to before. This was a whole bunch of new experiences and first-time excitement for us this weekend. We managed to get it done. I’m excited and I couldn’t be more thankful.”

On Friday the top qualified drivers had the chance to call out their competitors, but Caruso was not selected and ultimately was paired with Cristian Cuadra in the first round. In previous races Caruso held a 4-1 record against the young driver from Mexico. In the first round the 2022 Rookie of the Year was first off the line and never trailed in the drag race. The run was not perfect as her Tequila Comisario Chevrolet Camaro suffered some engine damage.

“After the first round we had to change engines,” said Caruso. “We hurt the engine pretty good and couldn’t continue with it. Everybody on the Tequila Comisario KB Titan Racing team, even from the other cars came over and helped us get ready for the second round. We won and we didn’t really have a whole lot of time to come back up for the final, but the guys pushed through and made it happen. They gave me a great car and it all worked out in the end.”

After the first round the quickest winning driver was allowed to select their opponent in the semifinals. Troy Coughlin Jr., had the honors and picked Caruso, the lone driver from KB Titan Racing left to face three Elite team drivers.

“I thought it was cool how it all played out,” said Caruso. “It was all Elite versus KB Titan Racing in the first round which was awesome. Being the first All-Star Callout winner is cool and special. This is what I’ve wanted for a long time and what my dad has wanted for me for a long time. To be able to be a part of it and live in the moment and take it all in as we go track to track is incredible. I know the first round didn’t go how we all wanted to go for the whole KB Titan team. I was watching down at the top end since I was the first pair and I was like, ‘Well, this should be interesting.’ Then in the second round to be called out by TJ Coughlin because l was the only non-teammate made it even more interesting.”   

Picking up three win lights on Saturday leading into the Gerber Collision & Glass Route 66 NHRA Nationals gives Caruso confidence for race day. More than the on-track success today was the feeling of camaraderie the newest member of KB Titan Racing felt today and throughout the season.

“It sounds silly. This whole team pulled together to get this win. The crew guys plus Kyle (Koretsky), Dallas (Glenn), Greg (Anderson) all of them were helping after we needed to switch engines. It’s like a big family over here. If it wasn’t for all of them coming together and welcoming us with open arms, I wouldn’t be having the season I’m having. They make me want to be better because they all are accomplished. It makes me push myself to be as good as they are,” said Caruso.

The quickest run of the weekend Caruso’s 6.524 second pass in the Pro Stock All-Star Callout moved her into the No. 5 qualifier position and first round match-up with Jerry Tucker. The opening round tomorrow will be the first time she will race the driver from Lindsay, Oklahoma.

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This story was originally published on May 20, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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