WASHINGTON — Rajah Caruth is a 17-year-old high school senior about to graduate from School Without Walls High School in Washington, D.C. He doesn't even have his driver's license yet, but he's already making a name for himself on the racetrack.
"It’s a whole different animal when you get out there, but at the end of the day you just got to experience it to really understand," Caruth said.
Caruth is one of six drivers in NASCAR's Drive for Diversity Driver Development Program. It's the same program that helped launch the career of NASCAR driver, Bubba Wallace.
"The best piece of advice I've gotten so far is from Bubba, and he said 'don’t be scared of the wall' and hat’s really just because last summer I was really out of my comfort zone at first," Caruth said.
NASCAR has put its real racing season in park during this coronavirus pandemic, but is revving up its eNASCAR iRacing series online. Now, Caruth drives virtually for Rev Racing and spends upward of six hours a day in his SIM seat at home, thanks to a partnership with Coca-Cola and Richmond Raceway esports.
"Richmond Racing esports have taken me under their wing, taken me into their developmental program, and we are really making content," Caruth said. "They’re helping groom me into not only having a career in SIM racing but in life in general."
For Caruth, being a part of Richmond's race team is extra special.
"When I was 12, I went to see my first race at Richmond Raceway, and really getting that in-person experience really just told me that was it," Caruth said. "From that day forward, it's all I've wanted to do."
While Caruth enjoys iRacing, he said he can't wait to get back behind the wheel of a real race car and show NASCAR what he's got. He's is also looking forward to starting college this fall, when he'll attend Winston Salem State University, and major in Motorsports Management.