Caruso Claims NHRA Pro Stock All-Star Callout Win At Route 66; #2Fast2Tasty Challenge Wins To Ashley, Capps & Herrera
Story By: NHRA – JOLIET, IL – Camrie Caruso drove to the win at the first NHRA Pro Stock All-Star Callout, claiming the victory over Aaron Stanfield on Saturday as part of the Gerber Collision & Glass NHRA Route 66 Nationals presented by PEAK Performance at Route 66 Raceway.
In the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge, Justin Ashley (Top Fuel) Ron Capps (Funny Car) and Gaige Herrera (Pro Stock Motorcycle) won the bonus event in Chicago. Mike Salinas (Top Fuel), Robert Hight (Funny Car) Dallas Glenn (Pro Stock) and Herrera (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also qualified No. 1 at the sixth of 21 races during the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
Caruso, who was seeded eighth in the eight-car field specialty race, went 6.524-seconds at 211.03 mph in her Tequila Comisario Chevrolet Camaro in the final round to slip past Stanfield’s 6.525. The 2022 NHRA Rookie of the Year claimed her first career Pro Stock win earlier this year, following with an impressive performance in her first appearance at Route 66 Raceway, which is hosting its first NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series race since 2019.
“I told the guys at the beginning of the year I want to win all the specialty races this year, as well as obviously as many races as possible,” Caruso said. “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 and first-time excitement for us this weekend. We managed to get it done. I’m excited and I couldn’t be more thankful.
“After the first round we had to change engines. We hurt the engine pretty good and couldn’t continue with it. 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.”
Glenn claimed his first No. 1 qualifier with a track-record run of 6.510 at 210.70 in his RAD Torque Systems Camaro. It came in the opening round of the Callout, but Glenn left the starting line too soon, ending his shot at a double-win weekend. Still, the points leader was enthused about his car in what is Glenn’s first Pro Stock appearance in Chicago.
“That run had extra pressure with the Callout race, but I went red. I knew I was red before red light came on,” Glenn said. “I just knew I was letting go early but the run just felt awesome. I was kicking myself the whole time but somehow, I accidently managed to hit every shift absolutely perfect and keep it dead straight. It was a very nice run and it definitely should be some good momentum going into tomorrow.”
Charlotte winner Deric Kramer jumped to second in the final session with a pass of 6.515 at 210.11, while Bo Butner’s 6.519 at 210.21 in the last qualifier sent him to third.
In Top Fuel, Ashley became the first two-time winner in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge, going 3.728 at 331.12 in his 11,000-horsepower Phillips Connect Toyota dragster to knock off Austin Prock’s 3.742. Ashley won the bonus event in Pomona and followed it up with another fantastic performance in Chicago, getting past Antron Brown in the opening round on a holeshot on Saturday and following with a victory against Prock thanks in part to an outstanding .046 reaction time.
“It’s very exciting, this deal does mean a lot to us. It’s a new deal and we’re really grateful for Mission Foods and how they’ve put on this challenge,” Ashley said. “Anytime you add an additional opportunity to race and collect bonus points along the way I think it’s special and I think it means a lot. It was a really exciting day, a great day, and I think we did a good job of running well and setting the tone for ourselves going into tomorrow. This place is beautiful and to be able to see the attendance today was really encouraging.”
Salinas’ 3.686 at 333.41 from Friday in his Gerber Collision & Glass/Scrappers Racing dragster held up for his first No. 1 qualifier this year. He will open eliminations against Chicago-area native T.J. Zizzo. Prock’s 3.694 from Friday has him second, while Doug Kalitta bumped up to third in the final session after going 3.702 at 329.75.
“This is really big. Some of the higher ups at Gerber were on the line with us and they’re very pleased with what we did,” Salinas said. “It’s packed here. It’s pretty cool to be back here with all the fans. I was No. 1 qualifier here in 2019 so it’s pretty cool. I just want to finish it better than I did then (when he was runner-up in 2019).”
Capps picked up his first win in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge, going 3.941 at 328.30 in his 11,000-horsepower NAPA Auto Parts Toyota GR Supra. The reigning world champion was set to face Terry Haddock in the finals of the specialty race, but Haddock’s car broke on the starting line, helping hand the victory to Capps, who was thrilled to win the bonus event for the first time.
“Every driver and crew chief and team that I talked to about this Mission deal was pumped,” Capps said. “They turned Saturday qualifying and made it insane. It really drives you and gets you going, so it’s a great program. When we saw the first one happen and we weren’t in it, we were bummed. Those points are so important and it’s such a great program, and I’m so excited we were finally able to win one.”
Hight maintained the top spot in Funny Car thanks to his impressive 3.831 at 335.07 from Friday in his 11,000-horsepower Cornwell Tools/Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro SS. It gave Hight his first No. 1 qualifier of the year as he also closed Saturday with the quickest run of the day during the final session. He’ll open eliminations against Dale Creasy Jr., looking for his second straight win this year. Cruz Pedregon’s 3.889 at 327.59 gave him second and J.R. Todd’s 3.906 at 333.00 was third.
“We’ve been changing some combinations around a little bit and we’ve qualified No. 2 a couple times this year. We’ve been right there this year,” Hight said. “There’s a lot of great cars. It’s great timing to be No. 1 at the first race with Cornwell Tools. It’s going to be a battle tomorrow but it’s going to be fun. The fans are the ones who win in deals like this.”
Herrera continued to be nearly unstoppable in Pro Stock Motorcycle, crushing the Route 66 Raceway record books and earning the first Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge victory in the category as well. He easily held onto the No. 1 qualifier with another massive run in the final round of the challenge, dispatching Chase Van Sant with a run of 6.672 at 200.32 on his Vance & Hines/Mission Foods Suzuki. It’s the quickest run in Route 66 Raceway history in the category, eclipsing the mark he set on Friday.
He added another 6.677 in his opening-round win against Jianna Evaristo in the Mission #2Fast2Tasty NHRA Challenge before his standout run against Van Sant. It also gave the points leader his third straight No. 1 qualifier to open the season as he looks to win at his home track in his first appearance at Route 66 Raceway. Herrera will face Ron Tornow in the opening round.
“It means a lot. Obviously, Mission is a big sponsor for us, and for Mission to put this on and to be part of it is just a big deal alone,” Herrera said. “But to be able to get the win means a lot to the whole team and myself to be able to do that for Mission. (Crew chief) Andrew (Hines) has this thing on rails and it’s the baddest bike out here. It’s showing. They’re flexing their horsepower for sure.
“It would mean a lot to win here (on Sunday). It’s my first time racing here, having a lot of friends and family here. It’s special. The amount of support I have and everything. If I’m able to get a win here tomorrow, it would definitely be a special one.”
Chip Ellis took the second spot with a 6.756 at 200.68 and Hector Arana Jr. qualified third thanks to his 6.759 at 201.85.
Eliminations for the Gerber Collision & Glass Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by PEAK Performance begin at 11 a.m. CT on Sunday at Route 66 Raceway.
JOLIET, Ill. — Sunday’s first-round pairings for eliminations for the 23rd annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by PEAK Performance at Route 66 Raceway, the sixth of 21 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday. DNQs listed below pairings.
Top Fuel — 1. Mike Salinas, 3.686 seconds, 333.41 mph vs. 16. T.J. Zizzo, 3.795, 325.92; 2. Austin Prock, 3.694, 331.20 vs. 15. Tony Schumacher, 3.793, 328.94; 3. Doug Kalitta, 3.702, 329.75 vs. 14. Kyle Wurtzel, 3.780, 319.90; 4. Justin Ashley, 3.717, 332.10 vs. 13. Jacob McNeal, 3.774, 318.54; 5. Antron Brown, 3.720, 330.55 vs. 12. Josh Hart, 3.770, 329.91; 6. Shawn Langdon, 3.721, 331.77 vs. 11. Clay Millican, 3.769, 330.47; 7. Spencer Massey, 3.722, 326.95 vs. 10. Brittany Force, 3.765, 334.82; 8. Steve Torrence, 3.735, 326.48 vs. 9. Leah Pruett, 3.736, 331.94.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Doug Foley, 3.805, 316.52; 18. Will Smith, 3.851, 317.87; 19. Buddy Hull, 3.952, 264.86; 20. Lex Joon, 5.057, 215.58; 21. Jacob Opatmy, 5.196, 123.77.
Funny Car — 1. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.831, 335.07 vs. 16. Dale Creasy Jr., Dodge Charger, 5.478, 133.25; 2. Cruz Pedregon, Charger, 3.889, 327.59 vs. 15. Alexis DeJoria, Toyota Supra, 5.017, 232.23; 3. J.R. Todd, Supra, 3.906, 333.00 vs. 14. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 4.996, 243.77; 4. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.938, 329.42 vs. 13. Alex Laughlin, Charger, 4.069, 298.21; 5. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.939, 326.71 vs. 12. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 4.045, 281.95; 6. Ron Capps, Supra, 3.941, 328.30 vs. 11. Terry Haddock, Mustang, 4.044, 311.56; 7. Chad Green, Mustang, 3.983, 321.42 vs. 10. Bobby Bode, Mustang, 4.017, 299.26; 8. John Force, Camaro, 3.988, 322.81 vs. 9. Mike McIntire, Toyota Camry, 3.994, 318.09.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Justin Schriefer, 5.554, 136.12; 18. Chris King, 5.629, 135.41.
Pro Stock — 1. Dallas Glenn, Chevy Camaro, 6.510, 210.70 vs. 16. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.578, 210.14; 2. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.515, 210.11 vs. 15. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.574, 208.97; 3. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.519, 210.21 vs. 14. Shane Tucker, Camaro, 6.558, 210.24; 4. Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.519, 209.52 vs. 13. Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.553, 209.46; 5. Camrie Caruso, Camaro, 6.524, 211.03 vs. 12. Jerry Tucker, Camaro, 6.550, 209.20; 6. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.525, 210.18 vs. 11. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.542, 208.23; 7. Cristian Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 6.529, 210.31 vs. 10. Fernando Cuadra Jr., Mustang, 6.537, 209.36; 8. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.531, 210.90 vs. 9. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.533, 210.50.
Did Not Qualify: 17. David Cuadra, 6.578, 209.39; 18. Fernando Cuadra, 6.581, 209.23; 19. Alan Prusiensky, 6.661, 206.64; 20. Robert River, 7.033, 194.97.
Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Gaige Herrera, Suzuki, 6.672, 200.32 vs. 16. Ron Tornow, Victory, 6.928, 195.22; 2. Chip Ellis, EBR, 6.756, 200.68 vs. 15. Chris Bostick, EBR, 6.915, 194.63; 3. Hector Arana Jr, EBR, 6.759, 201.85 vs. 14. John Hall, Buell, 6.900, 195.39; 4. Eddie Krawiec, Suzuki, 6.770, 198.52 vs. 13. Jianna Evaristo, Suzuki, 6.888, 195.96; 5. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.774, 198.20 vs. 12. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 6.863, 196.42; 6. Matt Smith, Suzuki, 6.781, 198.44 vs. 11. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.858, 196.07; 7. Chase Van Sant, Suzuki, 6.785, 199.29 vs. 10. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.834, 196.59; 8. Angie Smith, EBR, 6.800, 201.43 vs. 9. Marc Ingwersen, EBR, 6.827, 197.10.
Did Not Qualify: 17. Peggy Llewellyn, 6.959, 190.38; 18. Wesley Wells, 8.078, 179.21.
JOLIET, Ill. — Saturday’s final results from the 23rd annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by PEAK Performance at Route 66 Raceway.
#2Fast2Tasty Top Fuel Challenge — Justin Ashley, 3.728 seconds, 331.12 mph def. Austin Prock, 3.742 seconds, 325.37 mph.
#2Fast2Tasty Funny Car Challenge — Ron Capps, Toyota Supra, 3.941, 328.30 def. Terry Haddock, Ford Mustang, Broke.
#2Fast2Tasty Pro Stock Motorcycle Challenge — Gaige Herrera, Suzuki, 6.672, 200.32 def. Chase Van Sant, Suzuki, 6.785, 199.29.
NHRA Pro Stock All-Star Callout — Camrie Caruso, Chevy Camaro, 6.524, 211.03 def. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.525, 210.18.
JOLIET, Ill. — Final round-by-round results from the 23rd annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals presented by PEAK Performance at Route 66 Raceway, the sixth of 21 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series:
#2FAST2TASTY NHRA TOP FUEL CHALLENGE:
ROUND ONE — Justin Ashley, 3.746, 329.99 def. Antron Brown, 3.736, 327.27; Austin Prock, 3.737, 327.43 def. Brittany Force, 3.765, 334.82;
FINAL — J. Ashley, 3.728, 331.12 def. A. Prock, 3.742, 325.37.
#2FAST2TASTY NHRA FUNNY CAR CHALLENGE:
ROUND ONE — Terry Haddock, Ford Mustang, 4.044, 311.56 def. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 4.565, 184.40; Ron Capps, Toyota Supra, 4.127, 259.36 def. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 4.996, 243.77;
FINAL — R. Capps, 3.941, 328.30 def. T. Haddock, Broke.
#2FAST2TASTY NHRA PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE CHALLENGE:
ROUND ONE — Chase Van Sant, Suzuki, 6.807, 199.17 def. Angie Smith, 6.832, 197.25; Gaige Herrera, Suzuki, 6.677, 200.77 def. Jianna Evaristo, Suzuki, 12.222, 62.92;
FINAL — G. Herrera, 6.672, 200.32 def. C. Van Sant, 6.785, 199.29.
NHRA PRO STOCK ALL-STAR CALLOUT:
ROUND ONE — Camrie Caruso, Chevy Camaro, 6.535, 210.83 def. Cristian Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 23.199, 30.57; Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.532, 210.50 def. Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.559, 210.50; Troy Coughlin Jr., Camaro, 6.519, 209.52 def. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.531, 210.90; Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.554, 210.01 def. Dallas Glenn, Camaro, Foul – Red Light;
SEMIFINALS — A. Stanfield, 6.527, 209.88 def. E. Enders, 6.574, 208.62; C. Caruso, 6.540, 211.20 def. T. Coughlin Jr., 6.964, 146.29;
FINAL — C. Caruso, 6.524, 211.03 def. A. Stanfield, 6.525, 210.18.