It may be Camrie Caruso’s rookie season in Pro Stock and the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series, but the rising star is no stranger to New England Dragway. She’s raced there plenty growing up and with her family, taking plenty of good memories and a strong comfort level at the facility heading into this weekend’s NHRA New England Nationals.
Caruso also goes into the event with plenty of momentum, picking up steam with each start in her Sand Haulers of America Chevrolet Camaro. At Pro Stock’s most recent event in Houston, Caruso earned her first career No. 1 qualifier and advanced to the final round, making up one half of the first all-female final round in Pro Stock history. Caruso fell to four-time world champ Erica Enders in the championship round, and Pro Stock heads to Epping after nearly six weeks off, but Caruso feels plenty of momentum heading into the weekend.
“I’ve raced at Epping quite a bit in Super Comp, and I’m super excited to be headed there in a Pro category,” Caruso said. “It’s such a cool track, and it’s going to be a lot of fun to go back there. We’re ready to get back out there and compete again and show it wasn’t a coincidence we made it to the final in Houston. We’re out there to prove we’re going to keep running up front, and we’re going to continue to be a strong competitor. I’m definitely enjoying going to all these different tracks and seeing all the fans, and I think we’re headed in the right direction.”
Billy Torrence (Top Fuel), John Force (Funny Car), and Aaron Stanfield (Pro Stock) all won the 2021 event, and this year’s race will again be broadcast on FOX Sports 1 (FS1). It is the sixth race during the 2022 Pro Stock campaign, and Caruso enjoyed a surge in points thanks to her first career final-round appearance. She jumped to seventh in the loaded class and appears to be getting better at each race.
The event was a huge stepping-stone, as Caruso also advanced out of the second round for the first time in her Pro Stock career. She was impressed with what the team showed in testing during the layoff, but Caruso knows the team will have to continue to make strides throughout the year. That’s a nod to the loaded Pro Stock category, which starts with Enders, who has three wins this year and is the current points leader. Other standouts include defending event winner Stanfield, who has two wins this year, reigning world champ Greg Anderson, who is seeking his 100th career win, Gainesville winner Dallas Glenn, Kyle Koretsky 2018 event winner Chris McGaha, Mason McGaha, Troy Coughlin Jr., and Matt Hartford.
But Caruso has proven more than capable of competing with the best, and that success has only continued to push her.
“We’ve worked our butts off, and to say that we’ve accomplished what we have with a team less than a year old is pretty awesome,” Caruso said. “I’m very lucky to have this team, and I trust them to give me a great car every time I go down the track. We tried a few things in testing, and I think we made some improvements, so I think we’ll be good to go [in Epping]. When it’s time to race, I know I can trust my guys, and I’m trying to be the best version of myself out there.”
NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature one round at 4 p.m. ET on Friday, June 3, and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, June 4 at 1 and 4 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. ET on Sunday, June 5. Television coverage includes qualifying action on FS1 at 9 p.m. ET on Friday, 7 p.m. on Saturday, and then eliminations action at 7 p.m. ET on Sunday.
To purchase tickets to the NHRA New England Nationals, fans can visit NHRA.com/tickets. Children 12 and under are free in general admission with the purchase of an adult ticket.