From iRacing to #LetsBoRacing
Rajah Caruth grew up with a passion for NASCAR: studying races, dissecting driver profiles and playing racing video games. So how did the 17-year-old driver from Washington, D.C. make it to the Charlotte Motor Speedway frontstretch quarter-mile to race Legend Cars in the Bojangles' Summer Shootout? It started with a crowd-funding campaign and, like current NASCAR star and Shootout alumnus William Byron, some impressive drives on the iRacing simulator.
Caruth's road to America's Home for Racing started in an electric go-kart at Autobahn Indoor Speedway. Last year, Caruth began an Indiegogo campaign where he raised more than $2,000 to buy into his own iRacing membership, driving wheel, and basic computer. It was Caruth's successful iRacing career in various vehicles and divisions that propelled him into a budding NASCAR career as a development driver for Rev Racing.
Coming from the simulator to a physical car means adjusting to demands that come with competing on a race track. The challenge is immense - but it's one that Caruth is more than up to conquer.
"You have to be able to take it, in terms of beating and banging," Caruth said. "Out here it's the best of the best, and you have to be on your game."
Caruth calls Bubba Wallace, Jimmie Johnson, and Ryan Newman his favorite drivers. He patterns his driving after their racing styles and career paths as he develops his own brand in the racing community.
"As I move up the ranks, I'll have an identity," Caruth said. "You'll know who I am."
The Bojangles' Summer Shootout season ends with a Monday-Tuesday doubleheader. Monday's action presented by Advance Auto Parts features the Little Luggies 600 Power Wheels race, while Tuesday's races featuring a driver autograph session and fireworks show presented by NGK Spark Plugs.
Gates open at 5 p.m. with opening ceremonies scheduled for 6:15 p.m.