Car & Driver of the Month: Jason Rader

Driver Name:Jasonrader Mustang

Jason Rader

Years attending SORC?

6 so far!

Navigator Name:

Kate Rader

How did you learn of the SORC?

Dave Carpenter brought me out as his navigator in the M&M NASCAR. I had been to several other races with Dave. When I looked at the race road for the first time, I swallowed slowly and said to myself, “We’re going to drive this car on that road? No flippin’ way.” The rest is history. The race was bitchin’. The village was great. The people were better. The fun never stops.

What is your main car for this event?

2012 Ford Mustang – Boss 302

Why did you choose this car?

When I test drove it, it sounded angry and just felt right. So here we are.

Is this the only car you’ve ran here? If not, then what other car or cars have you used?

I ran a 2008 Mustang the first few years, which was a right good time.

What inspired you to start open road racing?

I filled in for my friend Aaron Anderson as a navigator, and couldn’t believe the rush it was. It was new to me and out of my comfort zone, so I was drawn to the excitement of the whole thing.

What other types of racing do you do, if any?

I try to do a few days a year at MPH in Hastings, and I am doing the Big Blue Mile. I am looking to add a few more things a year as my skills increase.

What does your family think about your racing?

At first they were very concerned. Now they think it is awesome.

Do any of your family participate as well? And if so, what do they do?

My wife Kate navigates for me. A good portion of my family, including parents, aunts, and uncles come watch the shootout, then hang out for the parade on Friday. It’s become an annual tradition.

Think about another person in the same situation as you were in when you started. Given what you know now, what advice would you give them?

Don’t be afraid to try this and start slow if you’ve never done something like this before. You don’t need the most expensive car or the fanciest gear to get started.

If you were able to start this all over again from scratch, what three things would you do differently?

I would come to Arnold ten years earlier to check things out! I wouldn’t argue in the car, I’d “discuss” things later after the race after everyone has calmed down. On a more practical note, I’d get a lighter colored racing suit. Black gets pretty hot in the sun!

How important is it for you to have a navigator?

I really prefer it for safety sake. I could probably lower my speed and get by without it, but I like to push a little more and work as a team. I also really value the bonding aspect of doing this with someone I trust.

Jasonrader Kate
What’s the scariest moment you encountered on the course?

A few spots on the course rise and fall pretty quickly, and cause your suspension to unload right before a turn. When you’re a novice, the first time and you run through these spots your heart about comes out of your chest.

For people who have never driven triple-digit speed, what’s the most important thing to know?

Make sure your car is maintained and safe before you try it. Trust your car and yourself and be confident. Second guessing yourself while going 150 is not a good idea.

When you finally hang up your helmet, do you see any member of your family continuing on in your racing footsteps?

I am not sure, but I never guessed I’d be doing something like this a decade ago either. Both my kids seem interested. They may need to fight mom for the navigator position some year to get started.

What is your number one favorite thing you do while in Arnold?

Catching up with the friends I’ve made that I only get to see about once a year. Everyone talks about how nice people at SORC are, but I really enjoy seeing the weirdos and eccentric people I’ve gotten to know over the years. I’ve never been disappointed.