Top ’22 Pro Stock Rookie Caruso Joins KB Racing

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, December 22 2022

Pro Stock driver Camrie Caruso will drive for powerhouse KB Racing in 2023.

By John Sturbin | Senior Writer

KB Titan Racing has added reigning NHRA Rookie of the Year Camrie Caruso to a 2023 Pro Stock lineup led by five-time world champion Greg Anderson.

KB Titan Racing is the rebadged result of a merger announced earlier this week between Titan Racing Engines of Denver, N.C., and KB Racing of Mooresville, N.C. Caruso will join Anderson, Kyle Koretsky and Dallas Glenn in their bids to overtake an Elite Motorsports organization led by five-time/reigning world champ Erica Enders.

“This is an exciting time for all of us,” said KB Titan Racing partner Eric Latino. “The merge of Titan Racing Engines with KB Racing was a substantial move that we believe will prove to be very successful. In her rookie season, Camrie really gained solid footing with the Titan Racing program and began to develop as a driver in this tough class. Now, she’s part of a team with some of the best drivers in the class, and I think we’re going to see even more great things in the future for this young woman. We’re happy to have her on-board.”

Caruso is only the fifth female driver to win ROY, an award NHRA first presented in 1990. Camrie is following the career path of her father, former Pro Mod racer Marc Caruso, and grandfather “Papa Joe” Caruso, who competed in Super Gas, Top Sportsman and Pro Mod.

“This is an exciting move for me, but it would not be possible without an amazing rookie season learning from (crew chief) Jim Yates and working with Jamie and Toni Yates,” said Caruso, who qualified as the No. 8 seed for the Countdown to the Championship playoffs in her Chevrolet Camaro SS. “The opportunity to become a team driver for KB Titan Racing was too good to pass up. I’m looking forward to making an immediate impact with KB Titan Racing and developing even more as a driver.”

A 24-year-old native of Freeport, N.Y., Caruso got her start as an 8-year-old in the NHRA Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League. She moved through the NHRA ranks for over a decade, rising to Top Alcohol Dragster as well as Elite Top Dragster and Pro Outlaw 632 in the Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA).

Caruso has earned degrees in finance and marketing from the State University of New York system. In 2018 she was recognized by Drag Illustrated magazine as one of its “30-Under-30” personalities. Away from the cockpit, Camrie handled marketing for Titan Racing Engines.

“Last year was an amazing and challenging rookie season and I’m looking forward to growing my relationship with Powerbuilt Tools, Tequila Comisario, Right Trailers, VP Racing and some new marketing partners we will be announcing soon,” said Caruso, who advanced to a final round pairing against Enders at the NHRA SpringNationals at Houston Raceway Park in April. “I learned so much from Jim on the driving side of things and I’m looking forward to continuing to develop with the guidance from crew chiefs Rob Downing and Dave Connolly as well as my new teammates. I’ll be heading to testing with the team in January and February.”

In addition to Downing and Connolly, Titan Racing crewmen John Peterson and Mike Smith will continue to work with the realigned team.

“This opportunity is a game-changer for Camrie and her career as a professional driver,” Marc Caruso said. “Initially we were looking for a motor maintenance and servicing agreement with KB Titan Racing and the conversations took a turn that led us to this announcement. I want to personally thank Jim, Toni and Jamie Yates for their expertise, support and hard work last season. Our success would not be possible without them.”

Caruso joins 2021 Rookie of the Year Glenn, 30, at KB Titan Racing. The young talent figures to benefit from its association with Anderson _ winningest Pro Stock driver in NHRA history.

“There are so many positive things happening in the KB Titan Racing camp, and we’re really excited to bring Camrie into the mix,” Anderson said. “She’s proven that she can hold her own and this is just the beginning. To be part of her career at such an early stage is something we don’t take lightly. We’re looking forward to a bright future with an incredible group of young drivers who will be contributing to the health of this class and this sport for years to come.”

Anderson is aiming to rebound from a 2022 season that saw him finish second, albeit a massive 242 points behind arch-rival Enders, and Richard Freeman’s Oklahoma-based Elite organization.

“I’m very positive, very excited,” said Anderson, 61. “We’re going to be starting 2023 stronger than we’ve been in a lot of years, and there are a lot of changes being made at KB Titan Racing that are only going to make us stronger.

“Looking back at how we turned things around last year, I’m definitely proud of the guys. We learned a valuable lesson this year, and we need to stick our noses to the grindstone these next few months before the new season. Everything we’re doing right now, it’s all designed to make this team better.”

Ken Black, who launched KB Racing with Anderson in 2002, retired as team-owner at the season-ending NHRA Finals at Pomona, Calif., in mid-November. KB Racing compiled 175 Pro Stock victories _ including a record 100 with Anderson behind the wheel _ and nine “Factor Hot Rod” championships during his tenure.

“We’re sad to see our longtime team owner retire,” Anderson said of Black. “But we’ve partnered with the right people moving forward for the next chapter, and the relationships we’ve formed these last few weeks in our new endeavor have been great. I can’t wait to see what fruit this bears. I’m confident that we’re going to be a great race team moving forward.”

The 2023 NHRA schedule will begin with the Gatornationals at Gainesville (Fla.) Raceway, March 9-12.

Edition No. 3 of the Stampede of Speed will anchor the 2023 drag racing schedule at Texas Motorplex in Ennis. The Stampede will serve as prelude to the 38th annual Texas NHRA FallNationals at the facility built by International Drag Racing Hall of Famer Billy Meyer.

“We saw tremendous growth in 2022 and are expecting even bigger events in 2023,” said Christie Meyer Johnson, Meyer’s daughter and Motorplex co-owner. “The Stampede of Speed will be back and bigger than ever. The whole team is looking forward to promoting and hosting the best drag racing events in the country.”

Highlights of The Plex’s 2023 racing schedule:

Texas Motorplex Bracket Series (Feb. 25-26 and July 28-30) _ Bracket racing returns with a pair of events highlighting the best local and regional racers competing for big bucks.

Funny Car Classic (March 17-18) _ This program features nitro-burning entries from Funny Car Chaos and Outlaw Fuel Altereds.

Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series NHRA Double Divisional (May 18-21) _ Four full days of racing will kick off the summer season. The event will offer twice the racing with future NHRA stars in Top Alcohol Dragster and Top Alcohol Funny Car battling for championship points.

Stampede of Speed and Texas NHRA FallNationals (Oct. 6-15) _ The lengthiest racing event this side of the Indianapolis 500, the Stampede of Speed again will feature concerts, a rodeo, lantern festival, beer expo and drag racing leading into The Plex’s cornerstone event. All four NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series pro categories will compete on the famed all-concrete surface, as well as premiere Lucas Oil Sportsman categories and JEGS All-Stars.

Street Outlaws No Prep Kings (Oct. 27-28) _ Broadcast on Discovery, No Prep Kings is the newest series in the Street Outlaws franchise. Racers compete at tracks across the country to earn points in a bid to be crowned the 2023 No Prep King.

Fans can purchase tickets by calling 1-800-MOTORPLEX or ordering at www.texasmotorplex.com or TicketSmarter.com. TicketSmarter _ the national resale marketplace with over 48-million third-party tickets for 125,000 sports, concerts and theatre live events _ will continue as Texas Motorplex’s preferred ticket reseller. TicketSmarter also is a marketing partner of the Motorplex.

Editor’s Note: John Sturbin is a Texas-based journalist specializing in motorsports. During a near 30-year career with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, he won the Bloys Britt Award for top motorsports story of the year (1991) as judged by The Associated Press; received the National Hot Rod Association’s Media Award (1995) and several in-house Star-Telegram honors. He also was inaugural recipient of the Texas Motor Speedway Excellence in Journalism Award (2009). His list of freelance clients includes Texas Motor Speedway, the Dallas Morning News, New York Newsday, Rome (N.Y.) Daily Sentinel, Corpus Christi (Texas) Caller Times, NASCAR Wire Service, Ford Racing and Used Car Dealer magazine).


| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Thursday, December 22 2022
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