Rajah Caruth, an 18 year old NASCAR Drive for Diversity rising star, has been using his platform to be an activist and have a little fun making television appearances as well.
“I got exposed to NASCAR and racing in general from things like Lightning McQueen and little cartoons back in the day. I’ve been a fan really since I was 5 or 6 years old and didn’t start racing until a couple years ago.” Caruth said.
NASCAR, a white male dominated motorsport, has been making national headlines recently for the banning of the confederate battle flag at its races and events in an attempt to promote a more inclusive environment. The organization established the Drive for Diversity program in 2004 as a way to attract minorities into the industry as drivers, sponsors, owners, and crew members.
“This initiative has been working on promoting inclusion and giving people an opportunity to be in the sport. It’s been a thing for awhile, it’s just with current events now a lot of people outside of the sport are just now learning about this initiative to see what it’s really been doing.” Caruth said.
Rajah Caruth was put on NASCAR’s radar back in 2018 when he became a finalist in the eNASCAR Ignite Series, a NASCAR organized virtual iRacing competition that was created to scout young talent pursuing future careers on the real-life track. In 2019, Crauth became the first driver with an iRacing background to be selected to the Drive for Diversity program.
Since being a part of the program, Caruth wasted no time using his platform to gain other opportunities and become an activist. Caruth and Monan Rahman, an engineer for Rick Ware Racing, teamed up in June to put on the “George Floyd 100.” This iRacing event was hosted by Rajah Caruth following the unlawful police killing of an unarmed Black man, George Floyd.
“My friend Monan approached me to host to get something together to show support from the sim racing community and the motorsports community as well. It was a five or six day process from getting donations, having a venue, sponsors, and a broadcast..We used our connections and made it happen”
Rajah plans to continue pursuing a career in motorsport whether it is on the track as a driver, in the pit crew, or a behind the scenes role. Caruth is committed to taking his talents to Winston Salem State University in the fall, an HBCU in North Carolina that has an established NASCAR team management program. He will also be making an appearance on season two if BET’s “Carl Weber’s The Family Business.”