While NASCAR has been doing a lot of effort to improve diversity, it is still a place pretty much dominated by white athletes.
Rajah Caruth, a student at Winston-Salem State University, finds himself in the midst of these professionals, trying to make a name for himself. However, unlike white athletes, Black athletes are sometimes judged on different grounds and they come under much criticism from some fans just for the color.
Similar to Caruth is 23XI Racing’s Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver in the Cup series. As Caruth progresses the ladder to the top, Wallace is making sure to help the youngster wherever needed.
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Caruth recently spoke about Wallace and how he feels as a Black driver in NASCAR. Speaking to Fox’s Bob Pockrass, he said:
“I honestly think about [being a Black driver in the sport] every day. From relying on Bubba and asking about how he feels, at the same time looking at other athletes in various other sports. How they handle expectations and titles and kinda things said towards them and about them.
“Really, what’s helped me has just been bringing my family closer and just working hard every single day from when I wake up at 6 [AM] to when I go to bed”.
Rajah Caruth’s truck at GMS Racing this season will carry the logos of the Wendell Scott Foundation, named after the first full-time Black NASCAR driver.
Reliable NASCAR journalist Bob Pockrass was called out by fans for allegedly playing the race card during his interview with African American NASCAR driver Rajah Caruth.
Even Bob is reaching for the race card. Go WOKE go broke .
— Rusty Marlin (@MRstevewayne) February 13, 2023
Bob. You have to be better. Make it about racing. Not race.
— DelusionalDriverReference (@DriverReference) February 13, 2023
Ahhh of course. The RACE card.
— Blake (@Blake0fAmerica) February 14, 2023
Keep race baiting Bob
— Slammin it (@FrankJa74461850) February 13, 2023
Wallace spoke about Caruth recently and revealed the advice he gave to the 20-year-old driver regarding how to handle the media.
“Interviewers got back up into his face for another interview and it’s just like ‘Woah!’ That’s game over right there. That’s your time to take a deep breath, put the earbuds in, put the helmet on and climb in.
“So, while other drivers were climbing in and throwing their seatbelts on, he’s still doing interviews. I kinda had to jump in and be like ‘Hey man, nah. You gotta get ready.’ He’s doing it all. He’s committed to growing his brand and his likeness and I can respect that. But there’s a time where it needs to switch over to what you need to focus on to go out and perform. To back those moments up with results.”
Caruth will drive full-time in the Truck Series for GMS Racing in the 2023 season. He is only one of the five African-American in NASCAR.