Jason Rupert understands there are 24 hours in a day. That reality hasn’t prevented him from petitioning God for an extension.
“Either that or stop time,” Rupert admitted. “It’s coming. We’ll be ready. I’ve got just about everything. I just lack a few things, and we’ll have to push forward and get ready for that test session, and hopefully, everything will go good, and it’ll all work out.”
Rupert is gunning to have his big show Mustang Funny Car ready for the PRO Winter Warm-up in Phoenix, at the end of January.
“Between my business and the race car, I think most everyone understands when you have a big project, and it seems like you’re going nowhere forever. Then all of a sudden, you see everything kind of taking shape, and then all of a sudden, it’s just done,” Rupert explained. “I’m still waiting to get to that point, but I’m getting closer, plus the holidays.”
When your team consists of a volunteer crew, the holidays and family obligations can throw a monkey wrench into the best-laid plans. Rupert plans to forge ahead regardless.
“I’ve got to be there [in Phoenix],” Rupert said. “I’ve got everything pretty much organized in the trailer. Then in the middle of it all, I sold the nostalgia car and having to go through all that stuff. That took quite a bit of time. I’m trying to be as prepared as I can, and the more prepared you are, the longer it takes, you know?
“I could throw everything in the trailer and build the car at the race track like I’ve seen people do before. I’m just not that kind of person. I want everything done before it goes to the track.”
Rupert is not nervous about the graduation to the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Anxious is a better way to describe what he’s feeling.
“My biggest concern is in getting everything done in time,” Rupert explained. “Once I’m strapped in that thing, I understand the first priority is getting the crossover license. I’d like to have to happen in one weekend.”
Rupert leaves behind a mountain of success in Nostalgia Funny Car racing with six championships, three in the NHRA Heritage Series, and three with the IHRA. The championships ran consecutively, which is no easy feat.
What will be easy for Rupert is tempering his expectations to equal those of an independently-funded big show team.
“The whole thing is going to be exciting,” I mean, there’s a lot of learning I’m going to have to do, and I’ve got some friends that are being pretty good teachers right now. And I mean, for the most part, I really feel confident that we can put the car together properly. But if I didn’t have some of the help I’ve gotten, I wouldn’t even have a clue of where to even start.
“But the electronics, obviously I’m going to have to learn about that. Obviously, the clutch deal is going to be a huge learning curve, and you know we’re going to have to watch the parts really close cause I have two bodies, and I want them to last for a while.”
Right now, his crew chief role is undetermined.
“I’m not really sure,” Rupert admitted. “There’s a couple of people that I’ve talked to about helping me, and that’s to be determined.”
Regardless, Rupert believes all will be well when he fires for the first run in January. And, the second-generation is doing it all on his terms.
“I’m optimistic,” Rupert said. “I’ve got a lot of really nice stuff, and that’s taken a long time, too, being able to buy everything and not go out there on credit. I’m really against doing that.”
Long before he drove his way to a national event victory, or six world championships, or even a popular face in the Funny Car division, Scotty Cannon was a kid with a dream. Here’s his story. #DragRacingNews #dragracing – https://t.co/H7lPfmP0v1 pic.twitter.com/6dQGJPoAZF
— Competition Plus (@competitionplus) December 3, 2019