By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer

“NASCAR’s 75th anniversary is all about honoring our past, celebrating our present and looking to our future,” said NASCAR Vice President of Marketing Services Patrick Rogers. “It’s only fitting that a driver like Rajah, who represents NASCAR’s now and beyond, joins our all-time winningest driver on this historic day for our sport.” 

Caruth, who started his driving career on a computer, certainly represents a modern-day NASCAR success story. The 20-year-old from Washington, D.C is a product  NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity Program at the age of 16. That led to real-life driving opportunities at Rev Racing, which fielded cars for Caruth at the grassroots level and led to a full-time season in the national ARCA Menards Series last year. He finished third overall. 

As a student from Winston Salem State University pursuing parlayed his success on the virtual iRacing and now finds himself on the threshold of his first full-time season in the NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series. He’ll drive the No. 24 Chevrolet Silverado for GMS Racing with sponsorship from the Wendell Scott Foundation. The foundation, named in honor of the late NASCAR Hall of Famer, provides resources and services to underprivileged African American youth communities near Scott’s hometown of Danville, Virginia. 

 Rajah competed full-time in the ARCA Menards Series while making select NASCAR Xfinity and Camping World Truck “This is going to be a great way to start 2023,” Caruth said. “It’s nothing short of an honor to ride along with Richard Petty in the Rose Parade and help introduce our sport to new audiences in Southern California and around the world.”    

The float that will carry Caruth and “The King” on Jan. 2 features Petty’s iconic No. 43 race car, along with the No. 3 made popular by Dale Earnhardt and the No. 24 driven by Jeff Gordon. With the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum’s Peristyle and Olympic cauldron serving as a breathtaking backdrop, the cars race around a track surrounded by checkered flags, ribbons, palm trees and more. 

The float designed and constructed by Artistic Entertainment Services® (AES), is 25 feet tall, 55 feet long and headed by NASCAR’s 75th Anniversary diamond logo.