photo by Auto Imagery, Inc.

Third generation drag racer Camrie Caruso, driver of the Powerbuilt Tools Chevrolet Camaro, was recognized as the 2022 NHRA Rookie of the Year during the final qualifying session at the Auto Club Finals in Pomona yesterday. Caruso and Top Fuel rookie Scott Farley were named finalists prior to the NHRA Nevada Nationals and following a vote by a national panel of motorsports journalists Caruso became just the fifth female driver to win the award which was first presented in 1990. Caruso along with the 2022 Camping World Drag Racing Series class champions will be celebrated tomorrow night during the NHRA season ending championship banquet at the Pechanga Resort Casino.

“I am so proud to win this award and it wouldn’t be possible without the support and love from my Poppa, dad and mom,” said Caruso, who qualified No. 13 for the 57th Auto Club Finals. “We achieved so many of my goals this season from qualifying No. 1, to getting to a final round to qualifying at every national event, we didn’t check all the boxes, but I am very thankful. The competition is so tough out here and to be recognized as the Rookie of the Year is a tremendous honor. Thank you to all the media that voted for me.” 

Caruso opening the season qualifying No. 7 at the historic Winternationals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona and the very next event she qualified No. 8 at the Arizona Nationals and won her first round of eliminations, advancing to the quarterfinals following a win light in the first round over Cristian Cuadra. Over the next six races Caruso qualified in the top half of the field five more times including a No. 1 qualifier at the SpringNationals at Houston Raceway Park. The first-year driver also advanced to her first final round at that event defeating Fernando Cuadra, Bo Butner and five-time champion Greg Anderson before losing a close final round to five-time and newly crowned 2022 Pro Stock champion Erica Enders in the first all-female Pro Stock final round.

“We qualified for every race and our highlight was the race in Houston when we were No. 1 qualifier and raced to the final round,” said Caruso. “Every race this season I feel like we got better and I am excited to get back on track next season. We will have a lot of exciting announcements over the off-season and I want to thank Tequila Comisario, Powerbuilt Tools, Right Trailers, Sand Haulers of America and everyone that has supported us this season.”

Over the back half of the season Caruso continued to develop, improving her reaction time while her young team battled to stay in the Top Ten. They qualified for the NHRA Countdown to the Championship as the No. 8 seed.

Caruso became the ninth Pro Stock driver to win NHRA Rookie of the Year. Since 1990 fifteen previous winners of the NHRA Rookie of the Year award have gone on to win NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series world championships including Pro Stock standouts Jason Line, Tanner Gray, Mike Edwards, Kurt Johnson, and Jeg Coughlin Jr.

Elon Werner PR

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