Rajah Caruth makes history after securing maiden Truck Series victory in Las Vegas

Rajah Caruth makes history after securing maiden Truck Series victory in Las Vegas

Rajah Caruth made history by becoming the third Black driver to win a national series race after securing his maiden NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory in Las Vegas on Friday night.

Rajah Caruth had a career-defining day at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday as he won his first-ever race in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series at the Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200 after seizing the lead for 38 laps in the 134-lap race.

“It’s surreal,” Caruth said. “Thanks so much for HendrickCars.com and Mr. (Rick) Hendrick for putting me in this thing all year.

“I can’t thank my family enough; so many people have helped get me to this point. I can’t believe it. I just tried to stay cool. We lost some track position at one point in the race.

“We stayed in the game. It was just one step at a time. My guys got me a great stop and we just executed. There’s more to come, for sure.”

Hailing from Washington D.C., the 21-year-old driver mastered racing skills through the iRacing simulator. He now stands alongside Wendell Scott and Bubba Wallace as the only Black drivers to have won a series race.

“There were a lot of days, especially in high school, that I did not think I could get here,” Caruth said in his post-race news conference. “I can’t tell you how many times I was at internship in my junior year working at (George Washington University) — like their basketball court, whatever, in the box office just working on my website — when I was just iRacing.”

On lap 114, Caruth stormed to the lead following a series of green-flag pit stops as a number of front-runners encountered troubles with the cycle. Ty Majeski was caught speeding on pit road on lap 102 after leading a race-high 40 laps.

Additionally, NASCAR Cup Series regular Kyle Busch received a penalty for a safety infraction, while Nick Sanchez was also found speeding on pit road. Heim led the race when the cycle of stops began on lap 101, however, he lost several spots on lap 104 due to a late pit stop but was able to climb back up to third by race finish.

Tyler Ankrum was the runner up as Taylor Gray finished fourth following an equipment interference penalty on pit road just before lap 30, while Cup Series regular Christopher Bell rounded out the top five.

The first sixty laps of the event consisted of two 30-lap stages, both of which Majeski won. Front-row starter Christian Eckes passed Caruth for the lead on lap one while Busch and Majeski took first and second on a restart on lap eight, after a spin by Bayley Currey on lap three prompted the first caution.

After a few laps of back-and-forth racing, Majeski finally took the lead and surged away on lap 19. After that, Busch dropped a few spots and finished the stage in seventh place. At the end of the first stage, Caruth was back up to second.

Majeski started the first stage in fourth place despite losing many spots on pit road. Since Caruth was the first driver out of the pits, he led the field to the first green flag and again to the restart at the start of stage two.

Caruth was able to hold off a charge from Busch for the lead early in the second stage. However, by lap 51 Majeski had recovered and was back in the lead. Caruth finished the second stage in third place after Heim overtook him for second place on lap 58.

Following stage two, Majeski lost to Gray and Busch on pit road once more. Busch overtook Gray for the lead right before Dean Thompson triggered a caution on the lap-67 restart.

Thompson’s caution positioned Majeski in second place as the lap-73 restart saw him retake the lead. By lap 78, Sanchez had taken the lead, but Heim had grabbed away the top spot on lap 82. Lap 86 saw Majeski take the lead once more, but Heim reclaimed it on lap 90.

Christian Eckes finished Friday night’s race in the sixth position, Matt Crafton finished seventh, Zane Smith eighth, Grant Enfinger ninth, and Ty Majeski 10th.

Chevrolet won its second straight race at the track, after breaking a streak of seven straight Toyota victories last year… Caruth’s win was the 11th from the pole position in 32 Truck races at LVMS.

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