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It’s said, “Good things happen to good people.” Many of us can say that is a true statement. In addition, when good things to happen to good people it has a tendency to give those around them a warm, fuzzy feeling of happiness and contention and joy for those that the good thing has happen to.
This could not hold truer than for a group of racers who set out to achieve a goal and then persevered to make that goal a reality. This group races the Mert Littlefield tribute funny car owned and driven by Jason Rupert. Rupert and his group headed by his father Frank, Mert Littlefield’s son and my favorite NHRA reporter Brad Littlefield and Matt Bynum, along with help from Gary and Steven Densham in winning the 2011 NHRA Heritage Series Funny Car Championship.
To say that Jason Rupert grew up in this sport would be an understatement. He was attending races before he could; let us just say mess a diaper. He and his family traveled the country going drag racing. Growing up Jason saw the highs and lows of the sport.
This was especially true in 1979 when he watched his father Frank, survive a very devastating crash at the 25TH U.S. Nationals in a top fuel dragster. The crash did many things to his father such as seriously limiting his mobility. However, it did not dampen his love of the sport or wanting to see his son carry on in his footsteps.
So Jason did he went and got involved in the alcohol dragster class. It is written in other articles that Jason saw Mert as another father figure in his life. Mert was a huge help to us when we ran the alcohol cars, and we had a great deal of fun doing it. However there seemed to be a change in how some of the alcohol guys perceived they being treated at the races by the sanctioning body.
The alcohol cars are the head liner at the Divisional Events, however most divisional events draw so few fans that if you dropped a 55 gallon trash bag full of water in the stands the only thing that would get wet would be the stands and the gophers that live under the grand stands. On the other hand, at the national events some of the alcohol racers feel they are second class citizens at best. So this is when Jason decided to take matters into his own hands and decided to give the nostalgia deal try.
“At nostalgia shows the nitro cars are the big show and get that respect.” I like that said Rupert. Unlike the big show car, Rupert loves the fact that the nostalgia cars can be operated just as they were back in the day. A group of guys pool their money together and go racing, and have big fun doing it.
This fun showed as the Rupert’s and Littlefield , with the help of Kalitta Motorsports crew member Matt Bynam have teamed up with another family operation who like to do things their own way the Densham’s, Gary and Steven. Both teams work out of the Densham Motorsports hauler. Which can and sometimes is a party in itself? As Jason stated, “ It really help us both out, we can split expenses and have a nice area to work on the cars so it is great for both of us, and we get to do some great barbequing too.