‘Just be relentless’: Black NASCAR driver making a name for himself in the Truck Series
Rajah Caruth has quickly ascended the racing ranks at just 20 years old.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - As many residents know, North Carolina is the center of the NASCAR world.
The Hall of Fame is in Uptown, and almost all of the sport’s teams are based in the Charlotte area.
One of the sport’s most historic tracks is right down the road in Concord, which is also home to 20-year-old Rajah Caruth.
The young up-and-coming driver is quickly climbing up the NASCAR ranks, even while still hitting the books at Winston-Salem State University.
Despite Caruth’s rapid rise, his story isn’t exactly the traditional one.
Caruth, who is one of just a handful of Black drivers on the NASCAR circuit, said his interest in racing began after watching the “Cars” movie as a kid.
“My interest from being a child obsession and true passion as I got older,” he said. “Fortunately, you know, I went to races as a fan...a handful of them. Started racing online virtually as well and at the same time was building connections in the NASCAR garage and was able to make NASCAR Drive For Diversity program when I was 17, in 2019.”
Oftentimes his car whizzes around the track with the Wendell Scott Foundation plastered on the hood.
Scott was the first Black driver to race full time in the NASCAR premier series and the first to win a race.
Caruth hopes to continue to carry the torch for future Black drivers in the sport, and understands his role in expanding opportunities.
“It’s a really big deal,” he said. “The only reason why I was able to continue my career was through the NASCAR Drive For Diversity program.”
Off the track, NASCAR also promotes diversity through internships and other pre-career opportunities.
Caruth hopes that people seeing his success in the racing world will encourage them to seek to do the same.
“I would hope…my story tells them to just be relentless in terms of doing what their heart desires,” he said. “There was a lot of moments, especially in high school where, you know, I was running track or playing basketball or doing coursework, or just at school and just dreaming of being in this world in this industry and wanting to race every inch of my body, and a lot of times I really didn’t think it was possible.”
He also wants to encourage others to keep their heads up and keep working.
“I would hope my story just lets kids know that it maybe hopeless, it may seem at not doable sometimes, but with a little bit of fortunate, a lot of hard work and perseverance it will work out.”
Fans can catch Caruth all season long in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
The series’ next race is this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
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