NHRA Pro Stock Racer Camrie Caruso Aims To Turn First Win Into Continued Success At Pomona
Story By: NHRA – POMONA, CA – Returning to the site of where she was officially named the NHRA Rookie of the Year to close out the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season, Pro Stock’s Camrie Caruso has plenty of reasons to be excited at this weekend’s 63rd annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals at In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip.
Now part of the loaded KB Titan Racing team, Caruso scored her first career Pro Stock win last weekend in Phoenix, becoming just the second female to win in the class in NHRA history. Caruso was tremendous on the starting line in her Powerbuilt Tools Chevrolet Camaro, finishing her day in the winner’s circle as part of her memorable weekend.
She’ll look to keep rolling in Pomona, thankful to find such quick success as part of a new team that includes Pro Stock standouts Greg Anderson, a five-time world champ, Dallas Glenn and Kyle Koretsky. Things have come together quickly for the KB Titan Racing team and Caruso has already seen huge benefits of racing with such a strong group.
“I was hoping we would start the year off with a bang,” Caruso said. “Getting to work with Greg, Dallas and Kyle has been so great. They are really supportive and I am so comfortable in my Powerbuilt Camaro thanks to all their input. Having teammates to lean has been really good and it’s already been way better than I could have imagined. I’m just going to try to hold up my end of the bargain. They’ve had so much success and they all have wins and No. 1 qualifiers and championships, so I just want to be able to hold up the name and do well for all of them.”
Justin Ashley (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car) and Erica Enders (Pro Stock) all won last year in Pomona and this year’s race will again be broadcast on Fox Sports 1 (FS1), including eliminations at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 2. The race is the third race of the 2023 Pro Stock season, with Caruso jumping to second in points behind Gainesville winner Troy Coughlin Jr. following her Phoenix win.
Caruso is also part of the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge, which takes place on Saturday, bringing competitive racing to qualifying, as well as a bonus points and bonus points for the Countdown to the Championship playoffs. Caruso will take on Matt Hartford in a semifinal rematch, while the other pairing includes Koretsky and Phoenix runner-up Bo Butner.
The winners will meet to close out qualifying on Saturday, making it a potential huge weekend for Caruso at In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip. Of course, it won’t be easy in a loaded class that also includes reigning world champ Enders, Aaron Stanfield, Mason McGaha and Phoenix No. 1 qualifier Cristian Cuadra, but Caruso is eager for the challenge.
“I am excited that we will get this Powerbuilt Tools Camaro back on the track this weekend at the Winternationals,” Caruso said. “The win in Phoenix was great but I think this team has a lot of confidence right now and we want to keep the momentum going. Being able to see the success of this KB Titan Racing team so early shows what we are all capable of heading into this season. I know we have a lot more races to go but doing well in Pomona will only keep us focused. I am looking forward to racing in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge on Saturday and then chasing that second Pro Stock win on Sunday.”
In Top Fuel, Ashley heads to Pomona with momentum after winning in Phoenix. He’ll look for his second straight win at the In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip against a loaded field that includes reigning world champ Brittany Force, Antron Brown, Tony Schumacher, Doug Kalitta, Josh Hart, Austin Prock and Clay Millican. On Saturday, the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge will feature Phoenix runner-up Shawn Langdon and Leah Pruett facing off, and Ashley taking on four-time world champ Steve Torrence.
In Funny Car, Hight scored his fifth career win at Pomona last season en route to one of the most successful seasons in his career. Hight claimed eight victories in 2022, finishing second in points to Ron Capps, who won his second straight world title. Both will be chasing Pomona glory, as will Gainesville winner Matt Hagan, John Force, who has 16 wins at In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip, J.R. Todd, Bob Tasca III, Alexis DeJoria and Tim Wilkerson. Capps will race DeJoria in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge, with DeJoria winning the Challenge on Saturday in Phoenix. Hight will take on Green in a semifinal rematch as well.
The Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals also will feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, featuring some of the top racers in the country. The Legends Nitro Funny Cars will be in action during the weekend as well as part of their 2023 tour, while the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department will hold a special racing exhibition. Following nitro qualifying on Friday and Saturday, the “Walking Tall” P.T. Cruiser Wheelstander driven by “NitroMike” Kunz will put on a show for the fans, as will the cackle fest taking place in the Hot Rod Junction throughout the weekend.
An autograph session will take place on Saturday at the Toyota Display with Toyota-sponsored drivers, along with a special session featuring participants in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge.
Fans will also be invited all weekend long to the Nitro Alley Stage, which will help create a festive atmosphere leading into the nitro pits. The Nitro Alley Stage will be the main entertainment hub in the pits when the Camping World Drag Racing Series competitors are not on the track, hosting Nitro School, meet and greets, music and much more.
Race fans at In-N-Out Burger Pomona Dragstrip can enjoy the special pre-race ceremonies that introduce and celebrate each of the drivers racing for the prestigious Wally on Sunday and includes the fan favorite SealMaster Track Walk. The final can’t-miss experience of any NHRA event is the winner’s circle celebration on Sunday after racing concludes, where fans are invited to congratulate the event winners of the race.
As always, fans also get an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet in Pomona. This opportunity gives fans a unique chance to see teams in action and service their hot rods between rounds, get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers, and more. Fans can also visit NHRA’s popular Nitro Alley and Manufacturers Midway, where sponsors and race vendors create an exciting atmosphere that includes interactive displays, simulated competitions, merchandise, food, and fun for the entire family.
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature one round at 3 p.m. PT on Friday, March 31, and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, April 1 at 12 and 3 p.m. The finals of the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge take place at the end of final qualifying in each category. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. PT on Sunday, April 2. Television coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 7:00 p.m. ET. on Saturday and 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, leading into eliminations at 7 p.m. ET.