NASCAR announced four drivers for its Drive for Diversity Youth Driver Development Program on Wednesday.
Ranging in age from 12 to 16, the four will work with Rev Racing in INEX Legend Cars. The program provides the drivers with equipment, mentoring and competition experience, and all four will compete in events throughout this summer, including the Bojangles’ Summer Shootout at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Selected were Rajah Caruth, 16; Lacy Kuehl, 12; Blake Lothian, 16; and Isabella Robusto, 14. Robusto (photo above) is returning to Rev Racing after being in the youth program the last two seasons.
“We were very impressed with what we saw from these drivers at the combine in March,” said Jusan Hamilton, NASCAR director [of] racing operations and event management. “Each driver demonstrated strong potential and we believe will be successful in racing. The four selected stood out based on their abilities both on and off the track, have great experience and left quite the positive impression on our evaluators.”
NASCAR and Rev Racing hosted a combine at Mooresville, N.C.’s GoPro Motorplex in March.
The youth program is designed to serve as a stepping stone for drivers looking to move to NASCAR’s Whelen All-American Series and K&N Pro Series competition. Among the graduates is Hailie Deegan, currently competing in K&N Pro Series East and West events and planning an ARCA debut later this month.
“We have really taken an in-depth look at how we develop and train our drivers at the youth level,” said Max Siegal, CEO of Rev Racing. “We’ve seen the program grow over the last 10 years and make a substantial impact in NASCAR. The level of talent and enthusiasm we are already seeing in these young individuals is both promising and exciting. Connecting with drivers as early as possible allows us to have a greater impact on driver development on and off the racetrack. Our goal is to see these drivers move through the pipeline and into the national series.”
The four 2019 additions:
Rajah Caruth: In 2018, Caruth raced the Legends ’34 Coupe in the inaugural season of the eNASCAR Ignite Series, NASCAR and iRacing’s youth series created specifically to identify and attract young and diverse talent. He made 18 starts in the eight-week regular season, finished second seven times, made the playoffs and advanced to the championship round. Caruth has competed in more than 230 races on iRacing thus far in 2019 with 21 wins and more than 1,600 laps led.
Lacy Kuehl: Kuehl has raced in a dirt oval flat kart 32 times with one first-place finish. Notable accomplishments include winning at the Inverness Grand Prix and racing for Diabetic Ketoacidosis survivors. Kuehl would eventually like to earn an invitation to the Maxxis Nationals.
Blake Lothian: Lothian raced nine of 10 races in a World Formula Kart in the 2018 New Hampshire Karting Association (NHKA) Outdoor Series in New Hampshire. His highest finish was third and he wound up seventh out of more than 20 drivers. In 2017, he was the NHKA Briggs and Stratton LO206 Senior Champion with seven first-place finishes and three second-place finishes.
Isabella Robusto: A current youth development driver, Robusto competed in the 2018 Bojangles Summer Shootout 10-race series where she finished sixth in the overall points standings. She won Battle at the Big Top at Texas Motor Speedway, a U.S. Legends National Qualifier.