NASCAR banks on minority drivers to broaden sport’s exposure

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Rajah Caruth liked the animated autos of “Cars” as a kid, got hooked on the race scene after a trip to the track and sharpened his driving skills as a teen via online racing.

Caruth might one day earn his shot at inspiring the next generation of drivers.

The 18-year-old Caruth is a NASCAR prospect, a young Black driver and one of a half-dozen youngsters participating in the Drive for Diversity program tasked with finding and developing drivers for a sport lean on women and minorities behind the wheel.

“Ideally, I’d want to be in the Cup Series in the next decade,” Caruth said. “Hopefully, by then.”

The program has developed few drivers for the elite Cup Series over nearly two decades in existence — Bubba Wallace and Daniel Suarez are among the former members and the only ones currently with rides — but a renewed push at scouting younger drivers and promoting them has NASCAR optimistic more recent classes will reverse the trend.

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