Rookie Pro Stock driver Camrie Caruso wrapped up the Western Swing with a quarterfinal finish at the NHRA Northwest Nationals today from Pacific Raceways outside of Seattle. The 24-year-old driver powered her Tequila Comisario Chevrolet Camaro past Cristian Cuadra in the first round before losing an incredibly close match-up with Troy “TJ” Coughlin Jr. It was the sixth time this season Caruso, who has Titan Racing Engine power under the hood, has raced to at least the quarterfinals in her young career.
“It was good to get another first round win,” said Caruso. “We have our confidence back and I feel like we have our race car back. We fixed a few things and we are in a good place. We are back to making solid progress. We are going to be good and we’ll keep getting better over these last two regular season races.”
In the opening round facing Cuadra for the third time in her career Caruso was giving up lane choice but not confidence. The rookie driver from Denver, North Carolina, knew her team had used the information gathered from their three qualifying runs to put the Tequila Comisario Camaro in a great position to win. As both cars staged it was Cuadra jumping the start for a redlight disqualification as Caruso launched and made her quickest run of the weekend. The 6.610 second pass was one of the quickest runs of the first round and improved her head-to-head record with Cuadra to 3-0 on the season.
In the quarterfinals racing Coughlin for the first time, Caruso was looking to advance to her second career semifinal for marketing partners GESI, Powerbuilt Tools, NGK Spark Plugs, VP Racing Lubricants and Sand Haulers of America. Caruso took a starting line advantage again and was driving away from Coughlin before his Camaro pulled up beside her at halftrack and never trailed the rest of the quarter mile. He took the win by .0075 seconds or approximately two feet at the finish line. Caruso posted another solid run of 6.535 seconds in the heat of the day in her losing effort.
“TJ is a great racer and I don’t want to take anything away from him, but we could have won that race,” said Caruso. “We have a great team and I feel like we can beat anyone we race. I do want to congratulate him on his first Pro Stock win today.”
As Caruso wrapped up her first Western Swing for primary marketing partners Tequila Comisario and NGK Shop Squad the rookie driver drew attention to www.shopsquadonline.com where automotive professionals can register for this unique program. Using code RACE22 pros can sign up for a chance to win a Solo Stove with NGK conducting one drawing per month. There will be two more races for Caruso to move up in the points and give the rookie driver her best shot at the world championship.
“In Topeka we need to have a really good race and then we need to take advantage of points and a half at the U.S. Nationals. We have time to move up,” said Caruso. “I am excited for these next two races and especially the Countdown.
Tequila Comisario will adorn Caruso’s race car for two more races along with NGK’s Shop Squad program for professional technicians. Caruso has a firm hold on a Top Ten position leaving Pacific Raceways sitting in eighth place four rounds ahead of the drivers in eleventh place.
Q1: 6.670 sec, 203.31 mph; Qual. 9
Q2: 6.695 sec, 195.34 mph; Qual. 12
Q3: 6.694 sec, 207.08 mph; Qual. 12
Bonus Points: 0
Camrie Caruso, Denver, NC, Tequila Comisario Chevrolet Camaro, 6.610, 207.50 mph def. Cristian Cuadra, Leon, Mexico, Corral Boots Ford Mustang, DQ-redlight
Troy Coughlin, Delaware, Ohio, JEGS Chevrolet Camaro, 6.619, 209.23 mph def. Camrie Caruso, Denver, NC, Tequila Comisario Chevrolet Camaro, 6.635, 207.72 mph
Camping World Drag Racing Series Top Ten – Pro Stock
1. Erica Enders 1078
2. Aaron Stanfield 975
3. Kyle Koretsky 723
4. Greg Anderson 676
5. Dallas Glenn 614
6. Mason McGaha 572
7. Troy Coughlin Jr 571
8. Camrie Caruso 539
9. Matt Hartford 521
10. Bo Butner 475
Elon Werner PR