Race Weekend Central

Rajah Caruth Breaks Through For 1st Career Truck Victory at Vegas

Rajah Caruth finally scored his maiden NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win on Friday night (March 1) at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, doing so from the pole.

Caruth becomes the second African-American driver to win a race in the Truck Series, behind his mentor and current Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace. He is also the third African-American driver to win in any of NASCAR’s premier series, behind Wallace and Wendell Scott.

“I just stayed cool,” Caruth told FOX Sports’ Josh Sims after the race. “We stayed in the game. And it was just one step, one punch, one round at a time. My guys had a great [final] stop, and we just executed.

“There’s more to come, for sure.”

The win also gives Spire Motorsports-affiliated trucks three wins in the first three races of the season. Nick Sanchez, driving for the Spire-affiliated Rev Racing, won his first career Truck Series race at Daytona International Speedway, while Kyle Busch won for Spire at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The win also extends Chevrolet’s win streak, as the manufacturer has won every race in 2024 across all three of NASCAR’s premier series thus far.

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Tyler Ankrum finished second, continuing a hot start to the season for the 22-year-old. Despite earning his first top five at Vegas, he entered the race as the points leader and maintained his lead following the race.

“I can finally say I got Vegas figured out,” Ankrum said after the race. “Wish we would have been able to do it, but I think our time’s coming.”

Ankrum was followed by Corey Heim in third. Heim had an abysmal qualifying effort, starting in 25th, but worked his way methodically through the field and ran in the top 10 the majority of the night.

His TRICON Garage teammates Taylor Gray and Christopher Bell finished fourth and fifth, respectively, putting three TRICON trucks in the top five.

Caruth earned his first career pole earlier in the day, narrowly beating out Christian Eckes for the honor. The race saw an early caution on lap 3 after Bayley Currey spun and crashed into the turn 2 wall while trying to pass Chase Purdy.

It was clear early on that Caruth had a truck capable of winning, but Busch and Ty Majeski also had winning trucks too, and both engaged in a spirited battle for the lead with Caruth for a good bulk of stage one. Majeski ended up coming out on top. The No. 98 also went on to win a caution-free stage two, also passing Caruth to do so.

The fourth and final caution of the night (second for incident) came out immediately after the restart to begin the final stage on lap 68 when Dean Thompson smacked the wall off of turn 4.

The final pit stops came under green flag conditions, and it was a brutal, penalty-filled cycle. Most importantly, Majeski had a costly speeding penalty that ended his chances of winning. He still managed to finish 10th.

Likewise, Busch incurred a safety violation and also was taken out of contention to win. Sanchez and Layne Riggs were also hit with speeding penalties while Tanner Gray was tagged for a commitment line violation.

With Majeski and Busch out of contention, Caruth and Taylor Gray battled for what would eventually be the lead as the pit cycle played out. Caruth eventually won the battle and pulled away as Ankrum and Heim passed Gray for second and third.

Ankrum was able to close the gap from almost two seconds to under a second, but the driver of the No. 71 held on to capture his first career win on the same day he earned his first career pole.

Victoria’s Voice 200 Results

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will take a week off before heading to Bristol Motor Speedway for the Weather Guard Truck Race on March 16. Coverage will begin at 8 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1.

About the author

Anthony Damcott joined Frontstretch in March 2022. Currently, he is an editor and co-authors Fire on Fridays (Fridays); he is also the primary Truck Series reporter/writer. A proud West Virginia Wesleyan College alum from Akron, Ohio, Anthony is now a grad student. He is a theatre actor and fight-choreographer-in-training in his free time. He is a loyal fan of the Cincinnati Reds and Carolina Panthers, still hopeful for a championship at some point in his lifetime.

You can keep up with Anthony by following @AnthonyDamcott on Twitter.

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