Mario “Fats” Caruso began racing in
1949, with his brothers Tony and Funzie, and close friends Al
Mattress and Vince Abdella. The team’s first car was a Class B Ford
sedan. After cutting his racing teeth with this car, Frank White
offered Caruso a ride in his Circle 2, a cut down, which he drove to
many feature wins, and eventually the NEARA championship.
Fats had made a name for himself
locally, at tracks like Seekonk, Thompson, Westboro, and Norwood.
When he got the ride in the #69 coupe, sponsored by Worcester Sand
and Gravel, his career really started to take off. He began
competing at tracks like Old Bridge and Trenton in New Jersey,
Utica-Rome and Oswego in New York and Dover and Hudson in New
Hampshire. Caruso was a consistent top five finisher, and a regular
threat to win wherever he competed.
In the later stages of his career,
Fats competed in the family’s SK modified at the Thompson and
Stafford Speedways. It was in the Bill Ross owned modified that
Caruso took down his last feature win, in the 1984 Thompson 300.
Although he retired at the end of the 1984 season, Fats was
persuaded to come back to compete against his son, David, in the
1989, ’90, and ’91 World Series races at Thompson.
Mario “Fats” Caruso passed away in
October of 1993, after a battle with cancer.