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Rajah Caruth Scores First NASCAR Victory in Truck Series Race at Las Vegas

Rajah Caruth does a burnout on the frontstretch after winning his first career Truck Series race. Photo Credit: Meg Oliphant | Getty Images

Rajah Caruth punched his ticket into the 2024 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series playoffs with his first career win in Friday’s Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Caruth, who also secured his first pole position in qualifying earlier on Friday, becomes the second driver to win their way into the Truck Series postseason in 2024, joining Nick Sanchez.

The victory marks Caruth’s first victory in not just the Truck Series, but across all of the NASCAR sanctioned series.

By virtue of his victory, the 21-year-old Washington, D.C native becomes the third African-American driver to win a NASCAR National Series event, joining Wendell Scott and Bubba Wallace, with Caruth and Wallace being the only two to capture wins in the Truck Series. Caruth’s win is also the second for the No. 71 in the Truck Series, coming nearly 16 years after Donny Lia’s dramatic victory at Mansfield Motorsports Park in 2008.

In addition to winning the pole and the race, Caruth finished second and third in the race’s two stages and led 38 laps, the second most of any driver.

“It’s surreal”, Caruth said in his post-race interview. “Can’t thank my family enough, you know, so many people have helped me get to this point and I just can’t believe it.”

The victory continues what has been an extremely strong start to the year for Caruth and his new team, Spire Motorsports. The organization has now won back-to-back events with Caruth and two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch, and also prepares the No. 2 Rev Racing entry, which captured the victory in the season-opener at Daytona with Nick Sanchez.

Finishing in the runner-up position was Tyler Ankrum, driving in the No. 18 Chevrolet Silverado for McAnally Hilgemann Racing. Friday’s result marks the second straight top-10 finish for Ankrum, after recording a seventh-place finish at Atlanta last weekend while leading the most laps.

Rounding out the podium was the No. 11 TRICON Garage Toyota for Corey Heim, who through three races has yet to finish worse than third. Taylor Gray came home in fourth place, finishing one spot behind Corey Heim for the second straight weekend. Christopher Bell finished fifth in his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series start of the year, putting three TRICON Garage entries inside the top five.

Christian Eckes, Matt Crafton, Zane Smith, Grant Enfinger, and Ty Majeski, who swept both stages in his No. 98 ThorSport Racing Ford F-150, rounded out the top-10.

RELATED: Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200 at Las Vegas results

For the second straight week, an early caution occurred, but unlike last week, it would be the only significant incident of the race. On lap three, Bayley Currey lost control of his No. 41 Chevrolet while racing with the No. 77 of Chase Purdy and hit the outside wall. Currey would lose multiple laps while repairs were made to his truck and he was never able to recover, finishing 28th.

Video: Bayley Currey Spins, Backs into Outside Wall on Lap 3

The next caution for an on-track incident did not occur until Lap 67, when Dean Thompson’s No. 5 Toyota hit the outside wall out of turn four. Thompson, like Currey, would lose multiple laps making repairs and finished 30th.

The rest of the event would be run caution-free, with Caruth cycling to the lead after a round of green flag pit stops and never relinquishing it. Majeski, who led a race-high 40 laps, was taken out of contention by a pit road penalty that was also assessed to Kyle Busch, Tanner Gray, Sanchez, and Layne Riggs. Despite a late race charge from Ankrum, Caruth was able to hold him off for his maiden Truck Series victory.

Caruth’s win is the fifth consecutive victory for Chevrolet in the series dating back to the end of 2023, with Caruth being the fifth different winner in those races. The next Craftsman Truck Series event is scheduled for Saturday, March 16 at Bristol Motor Speedway, and will be broadcast by FS1.

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