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 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.
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.
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."