Rajah Caruth congratulated by Bubba Wallace after historic victory in Las Vegas

Rajah Caruth congratulated by Bubba Wallace after historic victory in Las Vegas

Rajah Caruth’s NASCAR mentor Bubba Wallace is absolutely happy following the No. 71 truck’s entry on Victory Lane at Las Vegas marking a first career Truck Series win for the 21-year-old.

Rajah Caruth became the third Black driver in NASCAR history to win a national series race after claiming Truck Series victory Friday night in Las Vegas and Bubba Wallace was beaming with joy following the achievement of the major milestone.

Caruth, a graduate of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity initiative, joins Hall of Famer Wendell Scott and Bubba Wallace as the third Black driver to win a national series race.

However, the young man who devoted endless hours to iRacing, envisioning the day when his virtual triumph would materialize, never truly gave himself the OK to accept that this was possible. He had too many things going against him.

And yet, in an attempt to give it a fair shot, his father relocated the family from Washington, D.C. to North Carolina. After receiving entry into the Drive for Diversity initiative, Caruth committed all of his free time to becoming an established racer at the top NASCAR levels.

Now, just five years into that journey, he is a winner in the Craftsman Truck Series.

“Surreal, I can’t believe it,” Caruth said during his frontstretch interview. “Thank you to HendrickCars.com and (Rick Hendrick) for putting me in this thing all year, along with the men and women of Spire Motorsports.

“They’ve put in a lot of work this winter … glad to get the win for Team Chevy.

“There were a lot of days, especially in high school that I did not think I could get here,” he added. “I can’t tell you how many times I was at an internship in my junior year … I didn’t think this was at all possible.

“My dad and my mom, my sister, they sacrificed a lot to move me to North Carolina to be a product of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity program.”

Caruth won on a night that saw him taking pole in the time trials earlier in the evening, marking his 30th appearance at the third-highest level of NASCAR. He took the lead multiple times, but it was several other rivals’ mishaps during the last round of green flag pit stops that ultimately enabled him to win.

“I just had to stay cool,” Caruth said. “We lost track position for a portion of the race. We stayed in the game. It was one step, one punch and one round at a time.

“The guys gave me a great pit stop and we executed. First of many to come for sure.”

Rajah Caruth has a great deal of expectation. He’s a gifted young man. He started off as a relatively obscure iRacer before making appearances in Late Models, ARCA, and the Truck Series. He even made a few appearances in the Xfinity Series.

Bubba Wallace has been an inspiration along every step of the way.

Caruth has swiftly picked things up and adapted with every new situation. Despite having a poor rookie season, he currently boasts P3, P8, and P1 finishes to begin 2024. The No. 71 truck from Spire Motorsports is a formidable championship contender.

When Bubba Wallace and Rajah Caruth had a brief conversation on Daytona pit road, many people overreacted. It was only a mentor explaining to a rookie driver what went wrong and what he needed to think about after the race.

It must be thrilling for Wallace. He’s had years of faith in Caruth. All of this is now becoming a reality. After the race, he couldn’t have been happier.

Wallace congratulated Caruth for the historic win on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter.

“What a massive win for the little bro! What a monumental win for our sport! Proud is an understatement! LFG!!!!!!!” Wallace said.

Wallace had nervously watched Caruth drive his truck to the finish line as the race neared its conclusion.

Caruth is still enrolled at historically black Winston-Salem State University, where he is studying for a degree in motorsports management. He found significance in the HBCU aspect, as his father Roger holds the position of professor at Howard University.

Leave a Reply