About everything possible went wrong for Rajah Caruth in St. Louis and somehow he managed to survive for a top 15 finish. Caruth survived a wreck, a flat tire and a scrape with the wall turning what appeared to be a top 20 finish into a 15th place finish at Worldwide Technology Raceway. Those were just the problems that happened during the race.
The finish was 20 spots ahead of where he started the race after missing qualifying on Friday. The No. 24 team had a mechanical issue, and was forced to replace the engine in their Chevy Silverado. That move forced the team to start at the rear of the field.
Caruth was involved in a multi truck collision on the very first lap of the race which smashed in the front nose of his truck. He brought it down pit road and his crew surmised that it was cosmetic damage and shouldn’t severely impact his ability to continue on.
The team patched up the nose with bare bond tape and he continued on. The damage didn’t affect the brake ducts of the vehicle which was the main concern at the time.
So while not pretty, the truck was still effective on the raceway. At the end of the first stage, 35 laps into the race, Caruth had settled into 25th place.
At one point during stage two of the race, Caruth drove into the top 20, getting as high as 19th place. Also during the stage he tagged the outside wall suffering damage to his right rear. He would finish stage two in 24th position.
With less than 30 laps remaining trouble found Caruth again, he was forced to pit with a flat left front tire. But as the race wore down a couple of cautions forced restarts and bunched the field back together once again. Caruth’s pit strategy was now off from the rest of the field and he had the freshest tires on the track. Fresh tires equals more speed and the late wrecks kept dropping trucks out of the field.
When it was all over Caruth went from barely hanging on to a top 20 finish to salvaging an overall rough weekend. With his teammate Grant Enfinger celebrating his win in victory lane, Caruth pulled in his battered Chevy and collected 22 points for his effort. Caruth is currently 16th in the standings, 89 points behind leader Corey Heim.
The truck series will be off for the next two weeks before returning to Nashville Speedway on June 23. Caruth, a student at Winston-Salem State University, drove in his first ever truck race at St. Louis last season.