Rajah Caruth makes history at the Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200

Gary A. Vazquez-USA TODAY
Rajah Caruth became just the third Black driver to ever win a NASCAR Series race at the Victoria's Voice Foundation 200 on Friday

LAS VEGAS — It was a momentous night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. 21-year-old Rajah Caruth earned his first career truck series win, becoming just the third black driver in history to win a NASCAR series race. It was a commanding day for Caruth, who started the day by earning pole position during qualifying and ended it by completing a historic win in front of the Las Vegas crowd.

“A lot of days, especially in high school, I did not think I could get here,” Caruth said to the media after the race. “I can’t tell you how many times I was at my internship my junior year, and working on my website when I was just iRacing. A lot of those days I didn’t think this would be at all possible.”

In total, the race fostered 14 lead changes and 7 unique leaders. And yet, despite all of the action it was the polesitter Caruth who emerged victorious in a race where at times he seemed like an afterthought before breaking through once more with a dominant performance in the third stage.

Caruth’s win comes during the 20th anniversary of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity, of which he is a graduate himself. The win was his first victorious outing in thirty career Craftsman Truck Series starts. It was an incredible moment for the sport and a surreal one for Caruth himself, who began his career on the racing simulator iRacing.

“I have to thank my dad and mom and my sister because they’ve sacrificed a lot to move me to move me to North Carolina (so I could) be a part of the Drive for Diversity program,” Caruth continued. “It’s really cool that it’s the twenty year anniversary.

Ty Majeski won the first two stages of the race and had the best truck on track on Friday night, but was taken out of the race in the third stage with a pit lane penalty. Majeski managed to finish at the bottom of the top 10, but it was a futile result given what could have been. Corey Heim held the lead at points in the second and third stage but also fell victim to troubles in the pit late in the race. Heim finished third in the race, giving him two top 10’s in two career races at LVMS.

Nick Sanchez made a gutsy move for the lead in Stage 2 and made appearances in the front at times during the race as well. Hometown hero Kyle Busch was the heavy favorite entering the race, and despite having tire issues in the first stage managed to make a move from sixth to second on pit road between stages. The all-time Truck series win leader fought the good fight, but his vehicle issues proved to be too much and cost him the race.

For Caruth, the win earned him a guaranteed berth in the Craftsman Truck Series playoffs in just the third race of the season. It also came with the realization that he has established himself as a somebody in the racing world.

“You just have to put in the work and listen. Emphasis on listen.” Caruth said. “I think about my first years racing on iRacing, learning how to be fast on there and making a lot of mistakes. Honestly it was kind of the same thing when I started in real life. I just listened to people that wanted to help me and I put in the work. The late nights, the early mornings.”