WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — In more than two decades, NASCAR events are returning to the historic North Wilkesboro Speedway for the first time. It will be a week of fun and racing to mark 75 Years of NASCAR.
One of the drivers participating in the All-Star events is from the Triad. He’s also a student at one of our local historically black colleges and today we learn how he’s chasing his dreams and earning his degree at the same time.
Rajah Caruth is not your everyday student-athlete, not only is he a full-time student at Winston-Salme State, he’s also a professional driver on NASCAR’s truck series and Xfinity series circuits.
When you think of student-athletes, NASCAR, probably isn’t the first sport that comes to mind. For Rajah Caruth, shifting gears between student and professional race car driver, is all about balance.
“I just emphasized time management and having my priorities in order. I’ve learned how to say no to many things that I may want to participate in and it sucks sometimes because I want to be a student but I have to be balanced because this is my job, it’s my livelihood”, Caruth said.
Rajah always knew he wanted to attend an HBCU since he was in elementary school, and only one school offered everything he was looking for.
“Winston (Winston-Salem State University) has the motorsport management program and they’re an hour away from everything racing proper I knew it was just the perfect fit”, Caruth said.
Instead of going out to parties and hanging out with friends on the weekend, Caruth spends most of his time traveling the country chasing his dream.
“I’m also in college. I’m just 20 years old, I want to go out and do things but it’s a healthy balance. I’ve really learned how to set boundaries and prioritize. It’s hard but I wouldn’t trade it for the world” Caruth said.
Not only is he unique to the sport because he’s balancing the books and driving, but he’s also one of the few black faces in the sport.
“A lot of times I was the only black person there… like from an identity standpoint this is such a pivotal age in my life and it was really hard at first”, Caruth told us.
Now Rajah is only concerned with one thing and one thing only.
“I haven’t won much yet, but I’m on my way I’d hope, and I may be beat on talent, experience, or equipment, but I’ll never be beat in work ethic or passion.”