BY Dollita Okine, 11:20am March 05, 2024,

21-year-old Rajah Caruth is now only the third Black driver to win NASCAR series race 

Rajah Caruth. Photo Credit: Instagram

Rajah Caruth took the checkered flag in the Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, securing his first Nascar Truck Series win. He is now the third Black person to accomplish this milestone, following Wendell Scott in 1963 as the first and Bubba Wallace in 2021 as the second Black driver to win a NASCAR national series race.

Caruth said in a phone interview with The Washington Post, “Definitely feeling disbelief. Everything worked out well with the race plan, our pit strategy. I’m just in disbelief that success happened so soon this year.”

The Washington, DC, native spun his No. 71 Chevrolet in excitement after the race, veering it toward the infield. He described his victory as “surreal,” later telling reporters, “There was a lot of days, especially in high school, that I did not think I could get here.”

His journey to his current success was not an easy one, having begun in high school using an internet racing simulator in the kitchen of his Northwest Washington house.

In retrospect, the Washington Post noted that Caruth’s victory had gone a long way since Scott initially broke ground. Scott was denied recognition when he won as he never saw the checkered flag wave. Officials were concerned about crowd reactions to a Black man’s victory, especially since the winner was scheduled to kiss a White beauty queen in the winner’s circle.

Being the third Black driver to win a NASCAR national series race, the 21-year-old said, “I think it’s a big deal, representation-wise.”

Wallace, the 2021 history maker, expressed his pleasure on X, saying, “What a massive win for the little bro! What a monumental win for our sport! Proud is an understatement! LFG!!!!! @rajahcaruth”

Caruth is now fourth in the drivers’ standings after three races of the Truck season.

As per Fox Sports, the 21-year-old driver from Spire Motorsports who is a senior at Winston-Salem State University had only one top-five finish in his first 29 career starts in the series, and in his 19 starts in NASCAR’s top “minor” league, the Xfinity Series, he had no top-10 finishes.

Nonetheless, he has improved steadily in his last races, winning pole position on his most recent race night and leading 38 laps, including the last 21 of the 134-lap competition.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: March 5, 2024


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