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Racing

9 Racers (and 1 Owner) Ready to Make the Biggest NHRA Headlines in 2023

Camrie Caruso isn’t the first woman to earn the NHRA Rookie of the Year award. She’s the sixth, following Top Fuel’s Danielle DePorter and Melanie Troxel and the three Force sisters. However, the business-savvy Pro Stock star, who’ll turn 25 on Valentine’s Day, has a different trajectory than a host of her ROY predecessors.

Nine—nearly half—of the NHRA Rookie of the Year honorees from the previous 20 years a long gone from the pro ranks (Brandon Bernstein, Ashley Force Hood, Courtney Force, Mike Neff, Drew Skillman), and some aren’t even competing in the sport (Gene Wilson, Richie Crampton, Bill Litton, Tanner Gray). Spencer Massey, L.E. Tonglet, and Hector Arana Jr.—for various reasons—don’t race full-time in the Camping World Series. Jason Line retired after an exemplary three-championship career, and Cory Reed has been sidelined following a nasty on-track motorcycle accident.

Only six (Dallas Glenn, Justin Ashley, Austin Prock, Brittany Force, JR Todd, and Robert Hight) still compete on a regular basis.

Caruso isn’t planning to let off the gas, and she got a boost this winter from her addition to the decorated and newly rebranded KB Titan Racing. As she prepares for preseason testing with new teammates Greg Anderson, Kyle Koretsky, and Dallas Glenn, she said, “I am looking forward to making an immediate impact with KB Titan Racing and developing even more as a driver.”

Anderson, openly reluctant in the beginning of five-time champion Erica Enders’ career to risk losing to a woman driver, has been since come around to respect Enders and is generous with his praise for Caruso. Anderson, a five-time champ himself, said of his newest teammate, “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.”

So Caruso appears to be well on her way to redirecting that statistic, proving her top-rookie honor was deserved. The prize used to be called the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award, and Caruso’s road ahead looks quick and fast.

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