Up to Speed with Rajah Caruth

By all means, Rajah Caurth can't wait for his ARCA Menards Series East debut. (Photo Credit: Rev Racing)

By all means, Rajah Caurth can’t wait for his ARCA Menards Series East debut. (Photo Credit: Rev Racing)

Rev Racing has become quite the entity for racers to get a shot of pursuing their dreams in the world of motorsports. The likes of Ryan Vargas and Grace Trotter have raced for the Drive for Diversity program. Another name that comes up is 18-year-old Rajah Caruth.

On Monday evening, Caruth will make his ARCA East debut at New Smyrna Speedway. Last October, Caruth, who’s achieved quite the following in social media, scored a Late Model victory at Greenville-Pickens Speedway.

Caruth, who has a tremendous social media following, earned the praises of Cup Series standout Bubba Wallace. Friends, colleagues, and fans are proud of him for getting an opportunity to drive Rev Racing’s No. 6 machine.

I spent some time chatting with the racer at heart this past Thursday to discuss his upcoming debut. Moreover, we discuss his approach to life behind the wheel and his academics.

Certainly, Caruth takes heart considering fellow racers past or present who’ve approached that route. All things considered, Alan Kulwicki, Ryan Newman, Brett Bodine, Chad and Jesse Little, and Stefan Parsons have approached that route.

Without further ado, here’s my conversation with the Rev Racing driver.

Luis Torres: How excited are you being a part of the Drive for Diversity program with Rev Racing and competing in the ARCA East opener at New Smyrna?

Rajah Caruth: It’ll be fun. It’s an honor being in this program for a third year. First off doing legend cars, and now late models and the being in the ARCA Menards Series East. It’s a dream, man. I’m excited and thankful for everyone in the program. A lot of people are behind me and have helped me so far. I’m excited to make them proud real soon.

I’m just thankful for being in this program again because with funding it’s so hard. To have those needs met and be in a program where our best interests are put forward is awesome. You don’t have to worry about getting sponsor dollars to run x-number of races. That’s a really good thing about being a part of this program. But I’m just excited to run on Monday.

Torres: Have you’ve been able to practice some laps in the simulator if they have the track on iRacing by chance?

Caruth: In terms of prep, I’ve definitely done a lot of iRacing. The New Smyrna they got on there is pretty accurate to real-life track wise. And I’ve made laps there at the combine in 2019. I got a little bit of an idea of how to get around that joint.

Obviously, it’ll be in a different car now, but I’ve definitely done some practicing with that place. The addition of being at the shop and the car we’re bringing there was from the ground up over this off-season. We’ve worked hard on doing it, but I feel like I haven’t done much.

However, I feel like I’ve learned a lot being there every day and working on the car, and seeing the differences in how much goes into building these racecars. This is ARCA stuff, it’s tenfold for the Cup Series stuff. That and really just watching film and stuff, but not overanalyzing or stressing myself out. Because, at the end of the day, it’s another racecar and another racetrack.

You can’t undersell yourself and you can’t be unprepared. At the same time, you can’t stress yourself out and really be out of your skin when in reality we’re just going racing.

Torres: Anything that New Smyrna stands out over the other tracks you’ve competed at so far?

Caruth: New Smyrna was the first place I went to in the late model. Really what I kind of based off my knowledge for a lot of last year just being the first place I made a lot of laps at. It’ll be cool to go back there now to be racing in an ARCA car too. I’m just really excited and I think we’ll have a good night Monday.

Torres: Have you learned from Nick Sanchez and Chase Cabre who competed in the ARCA East race last year?

Caruth: They’ve been really helpful to me. They’ve answered all my questions and helping break down stuff for me. With having the limited experience and seat time that I have, they’ve helped me get up to speed as much as I can with those guys. Also, Mark Green, Doug, Glen, and everyone at the shop. They got years and years of experience, much longer than I’ve been alive. To get knowledge from them and get different tidbits from every people has been helpful. I’m ready to go.

Torres: Describe having Mark Green, a former NASCAR national touring driver, be a part of your journey?

Caruth: Mark has been awesome! I’ve really enjoyed being his pupil right now. I’ve just (been) trying to pick his brain and learn as much as I can from the years he’s been racing and working on race cars. He’s steered me on the right path. And I’m excited to go through this year with him and hopefully years to come.

Torres: When it comes to your racing background, was your family involved in racing? Or was this is your own path because you found a passion at a young age or recently?

Caruth: I’ve been interested in racing since I was like five or six (years old). My parents weren’t racers or in a racing family as my dad was from the Caribbean and grew up in Brooklyn. My mom was born in London and grew up in Brooklyn and Long Island too.

We were pretty far removed from racing. And I just got an interest at a young age. Never really phased out of it, but my family has been extremely supportive of me. They’ve helped nurtured the passion and interest I’ve had since I was a little kid. And it’s awesome.

Torres: Drivers like you and Ryan Vargas have had such a strong social media presence, how important is that tool in racing these days?

Caruth: It’s extremely important to be active on social media. My dad says it very well, ‘your race ability and how you are on the race track and your marketability.’ Whether you’re live streaming on Twitch or active on TikTok like Vargas. Or if you’ve got a big platform altogether like the Deegans.

You got to be active on there to build a fanbase and attract sponsors and make yourself attractive to help to fund and help you go racing. As important as it is to have people around you, it’s almost as equally important to have the dollars as well.

Torres: Discuss the importance of having an education while juggling racing and other stuff in your life?

Caruth: It’s really important to have an education just because it makes you more well-rounded. It makes you more attractive to sponsors to say, “Alright, this guy is driving race cars but he’s also able to devote most of his time to get an education past high school.”

You got Ryan Newman that went to Purdue. Jesse Little and Stefan Parsons attended UNCC (University of North Carolina – Charlotte). I think it’s only positive. Going to Winston-Salem State is great and potentially being able to graduate in 2024. Hopefully, at that point, I’ll be Truck or potentially XFINITY racing.

Torres: What degree are you pursuing at Winston-Salem State?

Caruth: Motorsports Management will be my major. If I do a minor, I want it to be Master Communications or something in that area like my dad. It’s something I’m kind of interested too.

Torres: Expand on what Motorsports Management is because I’d imagine it’s only at certain areas in the country like North Carolina for example?

Caruth: Motorsports Management is a degree I’m trying to get at Winston-Salem State. That kind of encapsulates the team ownership side of racing. If you want to go into racing operations at NASCAR, whether it’s calling races or an official or running a team in some capacity. That’s what helps you. I know UNCC got an engineering program that’s directly tied to racing. (The University of) Colorado Boulder has one too because Cole Pearn went there. So, that’s kind of the degree I’m pursuing.

Torres: What motivates you with everyday life and in racing?

Caruth: The thing that gets me up in the morning and really just keeps me going and helps me do the stuff I don’t exactly want to do is the fact that if you want it, you got to show up and work for it. That’s getting your butt off up in the morning and doing the stuff that you need to be doing. Think of an initiative and just show that you want it and being about it.

It’s one thing to have the passion. But you also got to have the work ethic and willingness to do the things that aren’t as appealing. At the end of the day, it’s all going to benefit you and achieve your goal.

My goal is to be a pretty good Cup driver one day. That’s what gets me up in the morning because I want it. And I’m going to work for it.

Editor’s Notes

Special thanks to Rajah Caruth for taking the time to talk with columnist Rajah Caruth! Be sure to follow Rajah this season via Twitter and his official website!

luisdtorres94@hotmail.com'
Luis Torres

Throughout my young motorsports media career, my number-one goal is to be a personnel that can be flexible with my writing and photography in the world of NASCAR, INDYCAR and ARCA (occasionally F1 and IMSA stuff as well). Whether it's the Daytona 500 or an ARCA Menards Series West race at Evergreen Speedway, content delivery is vital because this is my main passion and what keeps me going.

I've dealt with several challenges in my life, such as autism and making most out of trips despite relying on transportation. Even my quest of finding acceptance in my profession which has been my biggest challenge since graduating from college in 2016. Despite those hurdles with Motorsports Tribune and now The Podium Finish, I promise that you'll see excellence with my content.

Outside of media, I'm super vocal about my musical tastes that goes from Metallica to The Aces. Not only that, expect my social media filled with GIFs about my Seattle Seahawks because they make things a roller coaster experience.

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