My Story

learn how Jason went from living in his car to living the dream

@JasonRabeRacing

My Story

Always being obsessed and fascinated by racing, Jason literally dropped everything he had and moved to New Jersey Motorsports Park chasing a dream. At that point, he was living in his car secretly at the track and looking for anything motorsports-related to do.

Growing up, he attended regular races at Flemington Speedway in New Jersey, played with die cast race cars, and went through the early generation of simulator games on the computer. A “yard” go-kart added to his intrigue, as he would do laps around a local construction site, imagining it was the Speedway.

A string of beater cars on back-roads through high school and college culminated in a built Honda Civic – with Jason working on the car and adding go-fast parts with his father.

“I did a lot of driving in school, I would just go drive around the country roads,” said Rabe. “I would go to races by myself too. I would go hang out at IndyCar races. I knew I wanted to do it but didn’t have the means.”

After a few semesters of college, Rabe knew his dream was waiting.

“I dropped out and went to Bertil Roos. My parents and brother were absolutely furious with me,” Rabe recalled. “I did all their advanced schooling and eventually that opened up some doors with the school owner. He let me work at his prep shop a bit.”

When the shop closed, Jason ended up detailing cars at a BMW dealership, a skill he has now turned into a successful business.

“I would save up for the Bertil Roos F2000 races,” he continued. “I won races, sat on pole and set fast laps, and then was back detailing at BMW.”

At this point, Rabe was in his mid-twenties and knew it was now or never.

“I packed my car with everything I had and drove to New Jersey Motorsports Park, and filled out a flagger application,” he said, noting the track had just been built “They called me a week later and hired me as a flagger for two days a week. I knew nobody in Millville and slept in my car for a month and a half.”

That job developed, however, as Jason was flagging nearly seven days a week and networking during lunch breaks and after-hours at the track.

Networking produced an alliance with SCCA’s Dog Gone Racing and Mike Amy, who let Jason work on the cars in exchange for seat time.

“I worked on their spec racer ford and got some track time,” Jason added. “Seat time was as good as money.”

An SCCA National license followed, building racing experience, got him started as an instructor for NJMP and Bertil Roos

“I cut my teeth volunteering with the Porsche Club of America groups to learn about instructor chemistry. I did all the New Jersey members stuff and got my foot in the door with them, which led to private instruction and coaching.”

Connections made while networking left and right led Jason into funding for a F2000 Championship Series seat with WISKO Racing at one event in New Jersey, an Atlantic seat for a one-off, and a Pro Mazda weekend in Houston in 2013.

In addition to all this, Jason was on the Octane Academy TV show, which was a product of him helping set up the course and talking to the production team while at the track – he had helped set up the East Coast qualifier course, talked to the production crew, and ran the fastest lap.

Describing his journey as “surreal,” Jason now works at Monticello as a full-time professional instructor, while also offering private services and over-seeing a successful car detailing business.

“It’s all about passion and determination,” Rabe advised.