Camrie Caruso’s milestone marked by incident

Camrie Caruso and Erica Enders, the only two women to qualify No. 1 in the NHRA Pro Stock class, came together Saturday at the SpringNationals in the gated area of ​​Houston Raceway Park, literally.

In just his fifth professional outing, 24-year-old rookie Caruso replicated Enders’ feat 16 years after the four-time class champion broke the barrier in 2006 at Topeka.

The Pro Stock Camrie Caruso Racer

NHRA/National Dragster

So the tears rolling down Caruso’s cheeks should have been tears of joy. Instead, they represented a jumble of unexpected emotions after Enders’ parachutes damaged Caruso Chevy Camaro’s Sand Haulers of America in an apparent misunderstanding of high-end track etiquette or procedure.

Within minutes, Caruso was all smiles as she and Enders exchanged hugs and Enders wiped the tears from the young rider’s face and playfully, like a big sister, slapped the yellow Camping hat World of the best qualified on the head of Caruso. The situation was defused quickly, but Caruso’s crew had to deal with repair work overnight.

The incident happened when the veteran and newcomer clashed on the circuit in the final qualifying session, with Enders trying to capture Caruso’s first provisional starting spot. Caruso held it by nine thousandths of a second (6.547 seconds to 6.556).

However, a turnout snafu, accompanied by a late afternoon breeze, sent the parachutes of Enders’ Melling Performance Camaro crashing into the roof of Caruso’s car. When they got out of their racing cars, Enders said something to Caruso, who refused to repeat it.

Erica EndersNhra Houston
Erica Enders’ Chevrolet Camaro

NHRA/National Dragster

“It’s okay,” Caruso said, “We’re going to focus and fix it and move on. It’s what it is.

Later she said, “The racing car is going to be fixed. Everything will be alright. It will be ready for race day.

And so will Caruso, who said after calming down, “It could have been anyone. She’s a great runner, and I’m sure she didn’t want this incident to happen either. Sucks that happened. But that’s racing, and anything can happen.

Enders, who has resisted harsher remarks in her career than she cares to remember, said: ‘I hate it for her, because they’re gonna talk about this shit instead of her being n° 1. It’s her first No. 1 qualification, but they’ll joke all they want about two girls on the tour at the same time. But you know, whatever.

Yet the two had different versions of what had happened.

“Well, we passed each other and then she passed me, didn’t she?” So, I slithered in to follow her, and as we were turning, she just stopped on an active race track. So I swerved to the right not to hit her and I mean, you just rounded the corner,” Enders said.

Caruso’s explanation was that “I think she turned on me. When we got up there [at the shutdown area], they (Safety Safari staff) had their hands up so I stopped. And it didn’t go as planned. »

By then, Caruso and Enders had ironed out their differences. But according to her, crew chief Jim Yates – in the words of the driver – was “a little excited about the car at the moment. He’s not too happy right now. It’s her baby, just like it’s ours.

Drama aside, Caruso said the Top Qualifier accolade “means the world to me and my team. I’m super grateful for the opportunity. I never thought we could have achieved such a cool thing. so soon. I have to thank my team and everyone else, everyone who supports me. And I’m really grateful and grateful for this opportunity.

Yates said of her driver: “She did a great job of adjusting. I mean, I told her earlier today about the great job she did just being in the car and being aware of the situation and knowing what to do under the circumstances. You can’t teach that. She feels it in her body and she knows if the car goes left or right, how to correct it, shift gears very well. I mean, the more races we do, the better she’s going to get, but from where she’s been to where she is today. I’m really very proud of her, very proud of her.

Caruso will meet Fernando Cuadra in the first round of Sunday’s eliminations, which have a start pushed back to 12:30 p.m. ET.

steve torrence nhra houston
Steve Torrence qualified first in Top Fuel in Houston.

NHRA/National Dragster

NHRA SpringNationals Qualifying Results

Sunday deals

Sunday’s first-round pairings for eliminations at the 35th annual NHRA SpringNationals at Houston Raceway Park, the fifth of 22 events in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on qualifying results, which ended on Saturday. DNQs listed under pairings.

Top fuel — 1. Steve Torrence, 3.693 seconds, 323.66 mph versus 16. Buddy Hull, 3.916, 280.37; 2. Force of Brittany, 3.695, 333.58 against 15. Josh Hart, 3.806, 325.22; 3. Doug Kalitta, 3.696, 328.70 vs. 14. Billy Torrence, 3.799, 323.27; 4. Justin Ashley, 3.697, 330.80 vs. 13. Doug Foley, 3.789, 319.45; 5. Austin Prock, 3.701, 330.15 vs. 12. Alex Laughlin, 3.782, 317.12; 6. Antron Brown, 3.704, 330.55 v 11. Clay Millican, 3.775, 324.20; 7. Leah Pruett, 3.711, 329.26 vs. 10. Shawn Langdon, 3.728, 325.30; 8. Tony Schumacher, 3.720, 326.79 vs. 9. Mike Salinas, 3.722, 329.18.

Did not qualify: 17. Cameron Ferre, 3.927, 307.79; 18. Mitch King, 4.083, 295.72.

funny car — 1. Ron Capps, Dodge Charger, 3.864, 326.16 against Bye; 2. Robert Hight, Chevy Camaro, 3.865, 331.36 vs. 15. Terry Haddock, Ford Mustang, 4.445, 205.04; 3. Cruz Pedregon, loader, 3.881, 324.67 vs. 14. Paul Lee, loader, 4.097, 308.99; 4. Bob Tasca III, Mustang, 3.882, 329.58 vs. 13. JR Todd, Toyota Supra, 4.044, 319.90; 5. Tim Wilkerson, Mustang, 3.887, 330.47 vs. 12. Jim Campbell, Charger, 4.034, 311.77; 6. Alexis DeJoria, Supra, 3.910, 325.61 vs. 11. Bobby Bode, Mustang, 4.016, 280.31; 7. Blake Alexander, Mustang, 3.911, 326.71 vs. 10. Chad Green, Mustang, 3.984, 297.02; 8. Matt Hagan, Charger, 3.924, 329.34 vs. 9. John Force, Camaro, 3.945, 324.12.

Professional stock — 1. Camrie Caruso, Chevy Camaro, 6.547, 209.39 vs. 16. Fernando Cuadra, Ford Mustang, 6.615, 209.10; 2. Erica Enders, Camaro, 6.553, 210.87 vs. 15. Cristian Cuadra, Mustang, 6.611, 206.70; 3. Aaron Stanfield, Camaro, 6.555, 210.57 vs. 14. Chris McGaha, Camaro, 6.602, 208.71; 4. Greg Anderson, Camaro, 6.557, 208.97 vs. 13. Fernando Cuadra Jr., Mustang, 6.599, 209.10; 5. Deric Kramer, Camaro, 6.559, 209.82 vs. 12. Rodger Brogdon, Camaro, 6.588, 209.20; 6. Kyle Koretsky, Camaro, 6.560, 210.70 vs. 11. Kenny Delco, Camaro, 6.585, 209.33; 7. Dallas Glenn, Camaro, 6.568, 209.52 vs. 10. Matt Hartford, Camaro, 6.585, 209.75; 8. Mason McGaha, Camaro, 6.571, 209.69 vs. 9. Bo Butner, Camaro, 6.582, 209.43.

Did not qualify: 17. Shane Tucker, 6.615, 209.49; 18. Alan Prusiensky, 6.663, 208.65; 19. John Callahan, 6.822, 203.92; 20. Troy Coughlin Jr., 12.093, 148.40.

Pro Stock Motorcycle — 1. Karen Stoffer, Suzuki, 6.738, 200.35 vs. 16. David Barron, EBR, 7.172, 186.23; 2. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 6.739, 199.76 vs. 15. Michael Ray, Victory, 7.078, 193.88; 3. Eddie Krawiec, Suzuki, 6.798, 200.08 vs. 14. Ryan Oehler, EBR, 7.006, 196.90; 4. Angie Smith, EBR, 6.798, 199.97 vs. 13. Chris Bostick, Suzuki, 6.985, 193.49; 5. Matt Smith, Suzuki, 6.814, 199.40 vs. 12. Kelly Clontz, Suzuki, 6.934, 193.40; 6. Joey Gladstone, Suzuki, 6.833, 198.90 vs. 11. Marc Ingwersen, EBR, 6.893, 195.39; 7. Jim Underdahl, Suzuki, 6.846, 198.38 vs. 10. LE Tonglet, Suzuki, 6.879, 195.14; 8. Angelle Sampey, Suzuki, 6.858, 198.03 vs. 9. Jerry Savoie, Suzuki, 6.860, 197.54.

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