Third-generation drag racer Camrie Caruso will make her NHRA Pro Stock debut in 2022, it was announced today during the NHRA FallNationals at the Texas Motorplex. The 23-year-old plans to run the full 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series tour in her Caruso Family Racing Chevrolet Camaro purchased from Alex Laughlin.
Caruso has ascended from Jr. Dragsters to compete in Elite Top Dragster and Pro Outlaws 632 with the PDRA, and has more recently competed in and and scored event wins in the NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster category. Her Pro Outlaw 632 car is a naturally aspirated, clutch-equipped former Mountain Motor Pro Stock car — that, combined with her experience in a 280 mph injected-nitro dragster, has no doubt prepared her for entry into the professional drag racing ranks.
“I’m very excited to make the move up to NHRA Pro Stock,” said Caruso. “We weren’t planning on this, but everything kind of fell into place over the last few weeks. I think it’s going to be a cool opportunity with everything that comes along with it.”
“I feel like I’ll get up to speed pretty quickly and if it wasn’t for the 632 car, I might not feel the same way,” Caruso continued. “That car is set up exactly how the Pro Stock car will be. Even when I went to the quarter mile with my 632 car to get my Pro Stock license, I was right there. I went 6.70 [seconds]. I wasn’t too far off from the rest of the class. I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what to expect.”
Caruso will compete in NHRA Pro Stock with the full support of her father, Marc Caruso, and grandfather, “Papa Joe” Caruso, in a Jerry Haas-built 2021 Camaro. The family sold Marc’s Pro Modified Camaro and Camrie’s Pro Outlaw 632 Pontiac GXP and corresponding spare engines and parts so they could go all-in on the Pro Stock operation.
“It’s similar to what my father did,” Marc said of stepping away from driving. “My father started drag racing when he was 15 years old. I grew up going to the races with him and he was involved in Super Gas, Top Sportsman, and Pro Mod cars long before I started driving. It’s kind of the same changing of the guard type of deal.
“Camrie actually worked with Elite Motorsports on Erica Enders’s car up until COVID hit, so Camrie was already involved in Pro Stock a little bit as a crew member with the intentions that she was going to drive someday. So this has been in the works in the background for a while. We thought we were going to go Mountain Motor Pro Stock racing first and then maybe work our way into the big leagues, but everything happens for a reason and this just kind of happened,” Marc added.
The Caruso’s purchased the car and all of Laughlin’s spare parts and equipment, including four engines previously campaigned by 2018 NHRA Pro Stock world champion Tanner Gray. The engines will be maintained by Eric Latino’s Titan Racing Engines, operating in the former Gray Motorsports engine shop in Denver, N.C.
“We’re going to be forming an alliance with Eric Latino and his new engine shop called Titan Racing Engines,” Marc said. “We’re actually going to have our own engine program with Titan Racing Engines. We’re pretty excited about it. We’re going to go out running with two [engines] and hopefully we’ll run so good that some people will want to run our engines.”
Additional announcements regarding marketing partnerships will be forthcoming in the lead-up to the 2022 NHRA season.