Rajah Caruth is a rising star in the world of motorsports. What makes him stand out is not just his skill behind the wheel, but also the fact that he’s breaking barriers in a sport that has historically lacked diversity.
Rajah developed a passion for cars and racing at a young age. Ever since he saw the Lightning McQueen character in the movie “Cars,” he knew he wanted to race them. Rajah didn’t come from a family that could fund his racing career. So he learned basic racing skills by playing racing video games online. The summer he turned 16, he was racing online for the first time in the eNASCAR Ignite Series, and his performance caught the attention of NASCAR.
In 2019, Rajah was selected for the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Youth Driver Development Program. A program created in 2004 to develop and train drivers from underrepresented backgrounds both on and off the track. Being part of this program presented Rajah with an opportunity to transition into real-life racing. Making the jump from online to real life isn’t an easy transition but Rajah was able to seamlessly transition into racing a real car.
In 2020, Caruth moved up to the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series, where he won his first career race at Greenville-Pickens Speedway. In 2021, Rajah became the first African American to win at the Tri-County Motor Speedway. His current record is four wins and 34 top tens.
Rajah Caruth is not just a skilled racer; he’s a trailblazer, challenging the status quo. NASCAR is a predominantly white sport with an ugly, racist history. He is one of only two full-time Black drivers in NASCAR this season. The other is Bubba Wallace, who is a mentor and friend, helping him navigate the hate and abuse he gets from ignorant fans. Rajah knows his story will resonate with many young people who look like him and consistently emphasizes the need for more diversity in racing.
Rajah is paving the way for a more inclusive future in the world of motorsports. With the help of NASCAR, they are providing equitable opportunities in motorsports for those historically discriminated against. It’s exciting to see such talent and determination in someone so young.
– By Shubomi