Sophomore Pro Stock standout Camrie Caruso earned her first career NHRA national event crown Sunday in front of a sold-out, capacity crowd at the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Motorsports Park, defeating former series champion Bo Butner in the finale.
Caruso won the event, just her 21st start in the class, with a run of 6.592 at 210.31 in her Powerbuilt Tools Camaro to slip past Butner’s 6.593, becoming just the second female to win in Pro Stock in NHRA history. The second-year driver impressed throughout eliminations, also giving the new KB Titan Racing team its first victory. She also became just the second female to win a Pro Stock NHRA national event, joining five-time world champion Erica Enders on the short and exclusive list.
She opened raceday by knocking off Deric Kramer, got past No. 1 qualifier Cristian Cuadra and then got past Matt Hartford on a holeshot. Caruso, who reached one final round a year ago en route to winning NHRA Rookie of the Year honors, was first off the line in the final round as well, securing a victory and a moment she won’t forget.
“It was so awesome to get the win,” Caruso said. “I just went out there like it was another round and tried my best to do my job because I knew the guys were going to do their job. I’m just excited and thankful. I was really hoping we’d start the year off with a really good bang. There’s just a whole bunch of people here that I couldn’t have done it without, especially my team and our partners. This new team, working with them has really been great and I just wanted to hold up my end of the bargain.”
“Honestly, everybody from Powerbuilt Tools, Tequila Comisario, and all my marketing partners contributed as well as my awesome team at KB Titan Racing and my teammates to this win,” said Caruso in the Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park media center. “It was a great day of racing. It was awesome. And I’m just thankful and blessed to have the team and the partners that have supported me. I have to thank my mom and dad and Papa for all their support too.”
“I’m just excited and thankful,” said Caruso. “I was really hoping we’d start the year off with a good bang. My crew chief Dave Connelly has had a great track record with younger drivers and new drivers in the class. Going into PRI in December we were nervous about how everything was gonna go down with the team merger and they’ve been behind us ever since and working with all of them and having teammates to lean on and like Greg Anderson, Dallas Glenn and Kyle Koretsky. It’s been way better than I could have ever imagined.”
Ironically, Caruso’s only other NHRA final round was in another venue’s final race, the 2022 SpringNationals in Houston, where she lost to Enders.