Scruggs considers frequent match-race adversary Scotty Cannon (far lane) "good for the sport in general, not just Pro Mod."

While often appearing as part of a booked-in match-racing show on the many 1/8-mile tracks that dot the Southeast, Scruggs says he's happiest competing at hardcore outlaw events that draw fields of 20 cars or more. "I love the competition and winning a close race," he says.

Though he admits to considering it in the past, Scruggs has never entered an NHRA or IHRA Pro Mod race. Instead, he prefers the outlaw scene -- mainly because under a sanctioning body, "I don't like the idea that if I go fast, they're going to penalize me. If you run good, you've got to put up with all the belly achin'. The stuff I do now, as long as you've got doors; that's all that matters."

Actually, as long as he goes fast and draws the crowds, that's all that matters to race promoters and track owners. And in a niche of the sport that rarely draws traditional media attention, Scruggs has made a name for himself with some of drag racing's most knowledgeable and discerning fans. "Everybody likes a little notoriety, but we don't really go looking for it," he insists. "We just race for fun. We just like to have a good time and run fast. That's the bottom line."

Jason Scruggs


Fifteen-year-old Jason Scruggs began his racing career in 1990 with a '68 Camaro, entering bracket races near his home in Sahillo, MS ("just outside of Tupelo"). Five years and several cars later, he'd graduated to Top Sportsman competition with a mountain-motored '95 Corvette. He even entered a few IHRA T/S national events along the way, but says the demands of competing at that level proved too much for his small family-operated team.

"I work as a cotton farmer with my dad (Mitchell) and we just didn't have the time it takes to get to a track on Thursday and stay until late on Sunday." Now concentrating on match races and a few outlaw Quick-8 meets each year, Scruggs usually begins his racing season in February, takes time off in April for planting the family's 18,000 acres, returns to the track about July, and quits again in September for harvesting.

"We also own two cotton gins, a John Deere dealership, and a housing development company, so it's hard to balance everything," Scruggs says. He's also a stepfather to two young girls and is expecting a baby this July with his wife, Alice. "I've got three priorities in my life: family, racing, and business. Racing and business should really be reversed, I know, but lately it's been racing."

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