Oftentimes young drivers find motorsports in some of the most unusual ways, like the way it occurred for Alex Ruppert of Lewisberry, Pennsylvania, which just so happens to be nestled in central PA, the heart of sprint car country.
About eight years ago, Alex’s dad, Doug, was helping the owner of, what was then, Susquehanna Speedway, now known as BAPS Motor Speedway in York Haven, Pennsylvania. Alex heard an unfamiliar sound, which turned out to be a number of quarter-midgets practicing at the quarter-midget track that sits behind the big oval. At the time, he didn’t know what they were but it didn’t take long for Alex to find out.
A friend of the family had a quarter-midget for sale and the Ruppert family bartered horse services for the quarter midget. Just like that, a race team was formed.
Alex’s mom, Kris, become the crew chief, coach, transporter, financier, race day cook and much more. She still has those duties today. “I didn’t realize what all was involved when supporting a traveling team,” she says with a laugh. “All I knew was that you put fuel in the car, aired the tires up, and pushed the car off.” Alex drove that first quarter and many others for about six years before it was replaced.
That quarter-midget career started in 2013 and lasted through 2019, with a winning percentage of about 70 percent. During the first three seasons, he won the points championship at Susquehanna Speedway each year. He also held track records each year and accumulated a total of 77 feature wins.
DOB: – August 31, 2006
HOMETOWN: – Lewisberry, PA
SERIES: – USAC 600 Micro Series
SPONSORS: – Drydene Performance Products, Shetron Auctions & Equipment Co., Sipes Lawn Care, Mafia Performance
During the 2016 to 2019 seasons, Ruppert ran locally at Hagerstown QMA, earning four track championships and nine top-fives. Traveling regionally and competing in USAC-sanctioned racing, Alex earned six USAC Regional championships and earned six top-fives.
Also, in the USAC .25 National tour, he earned four top-five National rankings and five top-10 National rankings. The highlight of 2019 was winning a USAC .25 National race in July.
In 2019, while racing the quarter-midget on a National schedule, he also began competing in winged outlaw karts, taking the championship in the PA Wings Intermediate Division.
He repeated this again in 2020.
That same year, Alex also began competing in a 600 micro-sprint. He finished in the top 10 in three of the five micro races in which he competed.
His career win total is currently over 200.
Ruppert is also involved with the set-up of his cars, which he says he likes on the loose side. He has the ability to adapt to the car and track conditions, and those that have worked with him compliment him on his ability to provide them with usable feedback at such a young age.
His goal is to stay in an open-wheel car, preferably a midget.