Two years ago, it was all just a dream for Washington D.C. native Rajah Caruth. Now, it’s a reality.
Caruth will make his NASCAR national series debut in the Xfinity Series in 2022 with Alpha Prime Racing. This appearance will make Caruth the eighth Black driver in NASCAR history to compete in a race.
Caruth was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in a Caribbean household — his father from Saint Vincent and mother from Barbados. He moved periodically growing up, until 2009 when his parents moved to Washington D.C. They’ve lived there ever since, and Caruth considers himself a D.C. native.
“I spent the longest of my childhood in D.C. growing up,” Caruth said. “All of my friends and memories are from D.C.”
Caruth has been a die-hard NASCAR fan from an early age, and he knew early on that he wanted to become a race car driver. His parents gave him the book “NASCAR: The Complete History,” which he read repeatedly until the pages tore.
“I read that book from front to back so many times,” Caruth said. “I took it with me everywhere on long car and plane rides. Could never put it down.”
The 19-year-old was noticed on iRacing, a computer-based racing simulation that gives users the experience of driving behind the wheel of a race car. During his first year using iRacing in 2018, Caruth ran 500 races on his home desktop set-up and made the playoffs in one league.
In 2019, Caruth had to compete with eight other drivers to earn one of the four spots on Rev Racing, a NASCAR-supported racing team launched to develop female drivers and drivers of color.
He was one of six drivers selected to participate in the 2020 NASCAR Drive for Diversity, a driver development program. The program is designed to help diversify motorsports and has helped build NASCAR careers like that of Bubba Wallace, Caruth’s biggest influence.
“If it wasn’t for iRacing, I would not have a career to begin with,” Caruth said. “I did not have the connections to get started with racing anywhere. Competing in iRacing really set me up to help get myself on the radar for NASCAR Drive for Diversity and try out for their youth development program.”
After being chosen to participate in the program, Caruth became the only driver to advance to the NASCAR program with only an iRacing background.
With many accomplishments under his belt and a robust racing schedule, he continues to pursue his academic career in North Carolina — an hour away from his practice facility. Caruth is a sophomore attending Winston-Salem State University, a historically Black university, studying motorsports management.
“Winston Salem was an option for me because they had motorsports management as a major,” Caruth said. “Knowing people that have attended HBCUs and enjoyed the experience of being there were all the pieces I needed to choose an HBCU.”
Along with appearances in the No. 44 car in the Xfinity Series, Caruth will race full time in the ARCA Menards Series with Rev Racing owner Max Siegel in 2022.