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March 14, 2024

Rajah Caruth can continue historic run on Bristol’s high banks

Rajah Caruth hold checkered flag
Meg Oliphant
Getty Images

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series returns to action after a week off, and Spire Motorsports driver Rajah Caruth has a chance at another career milestone in Saturday night’s Weather Guard Truck Race at Bristol Motor Speedway (8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

With a victory from the pole in the March 1 Truck Series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Caruth became the third African-American driver to win a NASCAR national series race, joining NASCAR Hall of Famer Wendell Scott and Bubba Wallace.

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MORE: Bristol schedule | Craftsman Truck Series standings

Should Caruth win at Bristol on Saturday, he would be the eighth driver in the series to win his first and second races in consecutive starts, joining Rich Bickle (1997), Kurt Busch (2000), Ted Musgrave (2001), Todd Bodine (2004), Kasey Kahne (2004), Kyle Busch (2005) and Johnny Benson Jr. (2006).

An alumnus of NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program, Caruth credits that initiative with his rise to national-level racing.

“It’s really the only reason I was able to go from sim racing to real life,” Caruth said on Monday during a Zoom call with reporters. “Aside from that, I didn’t have any path to race in real life…

“They not only gave me my shot in 2019, they also gave me the time to develop. They allowed me to grow. I showed up every day, trying to get better, working on the cars, learning how to race. They’re the only reason I got to this point now.”

In trying to win a second straight race, Caruth will face a daunting challenge-from Spire Motorsports teammate Kyle Busch, a five-time Truck Series winner at Bristol. The all-time series leader with 65 victories, Busch is making his third start of the season after winning at Atlanta and finishing 15th at Las Vegas.