Rookie Pro Stock driver Camrie Caruso was .008 of a second too quick in reacting to the starting signal in her Tequila Comisario Chevrolet Camaro today and lost to Aaron Stanfield in the opening round of the 33rd Menard’s NHRA Nationals presented by Pet Armor at Heartland Motorsports Park.
“You have to give it everything when you are racing at this level,” Caruso said. “I went up there knowing I had a good race car with this Tequila Comisario Chevrolet Camaro and I got a little too aggressive on the tree.”
The 24-year-old from Denver, North Carolina, had driven her Titan Racing Engines-powered Camaro to the No. 13 qualifying position which had relegated her to the least desirable lane in the first round against the No. 4 qualifier. Despite the result, an upbeat Caruso now will prepare for her first pro appearance in the Labor Day U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis, Ind.
“This was a good weekend for us and we are moving in the right direction,” she said. “We have points-and-a-half (available) in Indy and we will be looking to get our first win at the U.S. Nationals and move up in the points.”
With NGK Shop Squad on board as an associate on her 200 mile-an-hour Chevy, Caruso has been inviting automotive professionals to access www.shopsquadonline.com where, by using the code RACE22, they can register for a chance to win a Solo Stove. Both of these new additions to the Caruso Family Racing program join a strong list of marketing partners that includes GESI, Powerbuilt Tools, VP Racing Lubricants and Sand Haulers of America.
“We are going to take the next couple of weeks and get ready for the next race and (to prepare) for a run at the championship,” she said. “We have put ourselves in a good position and there is room for us to move up. We held our own for another race, but I want to do more than that the rest of the season.
“I have to thank Tequila Comisario and Shop Squad for the support of the past four races along with all our sponsors. We had a big group in our pits this weekend and their support is what is keeping this program moving forward.”
The US Nationals is the last race at which Tequila Comisario and NGK’s Shop Squad will be the featured sponsors on the Caruso-driven Camaro.
When qualifying for that race begins, the frontrunner for this year’s Rookie of the Year award will be eighth in points, just 34 points out of seventh place.