Rajah Caruth, a freshman at Winston-Salem State, won his first Late Model stock car race on Saturday night at Greenville Pickens Speedway in South Carolina.
Caruth, 18, and his Rev Racing teammates all had good nights at the historic track. Gracie Trotter finished fourth, and Isabella Robusto finished sixth from the Rev Racing team.
Caruth, who lives in Concord near the Rev Racing shop, does most of his schooling online. He's taking a full load of classes and putting in 20 hours a week at Rev Racing.
Caruth, who calls Bubba Wallace one of his mentors, got a congratulations from Wallace on Twitter.
The speedway, which opened on dirt in 1940, was home to races in NASCAR's top division, then known as Grand National, during the 1950s, '60s and early '70s. Among the winners on the half-mile oval were Tim Flock, Buck Baker, Junior Johnson, Ned Jarrett, Richard Petty and David Pearson, all of whom are NASCAR Hall of Fame members.
In addition, Pearson won a Late Model series championship at the track, as did Ralph Earnhardt, the father of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt. And besides Wallace, current Cup Series drivers Austin Dillon, Joey Logano and William Byron also scored track wins in NASCAR's lower rungs.
“It means a lot to me," Caruth said. "A win is a win, and to get my first at such of a historic place as Greenville Pickens means the world. It’s been a fun journey so far, and I’m excited to go back to work and add a whole lot more to my resume.”
Caruth was selected for the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Youth Driver Development Program in 2019, the first driver from a majority iRacing background to be picked for the program. He was also chosen for 2020 NASCAR Drive for Diversity Program.
Caruth is majoring in motorsports management at Winston-Salem State with a goal of becoming a NASCAR Cup Series driver.
Sunoco announced this year that it would expand its partnership with Rev Racing and became the full-time sponsor of Caruth’s car.
In August, Rev Racing's owner, Max Siegel, said that Caruth has been good in his development over the last two years.
“He’s been good for us on a whole lot of different fronts,” said Siegel, also the chief executive officer of USA Track & Field. “As we continue to figure out how to get younger folks interested in the sport and be cost-effective at the same time, you see somebody like Rajah come up through the iRacing and that can only help.”
On Sunday morning, Siegel said that he was proud of Caruth's victory.
"He's a great young man," Siegel wrote in a text.