NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program focuses on helping women and minorities pursue careers in motorsports. Now the program has provided one driver with the opportunity to appear in a TV series. Rajah Caruth, an 18-year-old Black driver for Rev Racing, has a cameo during an episode of the BET+ series, The Family Business.
Speaking with PopCulture.com in an exclusive interview, Caruth briefly explained how he became attached to The Family Business. This was a fairly simple process overall considering that the show reached out to him. He agreed to participate and ultimately shared a scene with veteran actor Ernie Hudson. To provide even more authenticity, Caruth's father Roger and NASCAR's managing director of diversity and inclusion, Dawn Harris, joined him on camera.
"Well, with that specifically really, they really just reached out and I said yes," Caruth told PopCulture. "And then that's really all there was to it. [...] I had no real knowledge of the show beforehand. And so they just reached out and realized it probably couldn't hurt. Just give it a shot."
While Caruth didn't know how his scene played out, viewers got a glimpse when the first half of Season 2 dropped on BET+. The aspiring NASCAR driver appears in The Family Business' second episode when Hudson and his on-screen family head to Daytona International Speedway. They watch some drivers take practice laps before meeting Caruth, who portrays himself. The appearance is minor, but the young NASCAR developmental driver does provide some history about his rise through motorsports. Specifically, he mentions showcasing his skills on the simulation iRacing platform before joining Rev Racing.
That particular line of dialogue provided some backstory about Caruth's career. He further explained his journey during the interview with PopCulture and revealed how he first fell in love with NASCAR, explaining that he attended his first race as a middle school student in 2014 and decided to pursue a career in motorsports. This journey started with iRacing and led to local tracks.
While Caruth has raced competitively as a member of Rev Racing, both in Legends and Late Model Cars, he has continued to showcase his skills during the eNASCAR iRacing Road to Pro Series. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the 2020 season and put may of the races "in limbo." However, the simulation platform provided a space for competition, as well as an opportunity to raise money for charitable organizations.
Caruth partnered with one of his friends in early June to hold the George Floyd 100, in honor of the Black man who was killed while in Minneapolis police custody in May, reigniting social demonstrations against racism and police brutality across the country. The goal of the virtual race was to raise money for the George Floyd Memorial Fund and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. Caruth and his fellow competitors received considerable support from both the SIM and motorsports communities' while raising more than $1,000.
With some states easing their coronavirus restrictions amid the pandemic, Caruth has returned to the track. He has a few more races scheduled in 2020, but he will head to Winston-Salem State University in the fall to pursue a degree in Motorsports Management — although he will continue putting in time behind the wheel.
"So basically I'll be doing courses a lot online so I can be in the shop every day, working out," Caruth said. "And when it's the offseason just be there at the shop, helping out, learning. That's really what my goals are and that's really it. Just doing everything I can."