PDRA Pumpkin 1969 Chevy Camaro

(Image/Drag Illustrated)

Every once in a while, we hear about something happening in the racing community that’s too heartwarming not to share:

Doug Hayes is a huge fan of drag racing. The Raleigh, NC native is currently facing serious health issues and undergoing multiple organ transplants—in fact, he’s in surgery as we type this.

He’s firmly in the minds and hearts of his friends at Jay Cox Racing, a Pro Nitrous team which competes in the Professional Drag Racers Association (PDRA), and will race in the PDRA Summer Nationals at Osage Casino Tulsa Raceway Park this weekend in Tulsa, OK.

For this weekend’s PDRA event, an anonymous donor has put a bounty on “The Pumpkin”—a 1969 Chevy Camaro and PDRA fan-favorite that earned its moniker from its bright orange color scheme.

A $2,000 bounty will be donated toward Hayes’ medical expenses on behalf of any race team that can upset Cox—the current PDRA points leader—during qualifying.

One of Jay Cox Racing’s major sponsors, Garysburg, NC-based Clements Mechanical, has agreed to match the $2,000 donation. Another PDRA race team has committed an additional $2,000 to the good-natured bounty program—proof, once again, that camaraderie, fellowship, and family runs deep in the world of drag racing.


PDRA Pumpkin 1969 Chevy Camaro Cockpit

(Image/Doug Askew)


Our hats are off to the Jay Cox Racing folks involved with The Pumpkin and all other contributors to Hayes’ family from the PDRA racing community.

With any luck, Doug Hayes and his family will be watching the next race from the grandstand.

We’ll be rooting for that very thing, and just this once, hoping to see some drivers out-duel The Pumpkin in qualifying.

Here’s to Doug’s speedy recovery, the Hayes family, and all of the good people racing in the PDRA. Godspeed.

Doug Hayes and Family

Doug Hayes with family. (Image/Doug’s Transplant Journey)

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Author: Paul Sakalas

Paul is the editor of OnAllCylinders. When he's not writing, you'll probably find him fixing oil leaks in a Jeep CJ-5 or watching a 1972 Corvette overheat. An avid motorcyclist, he spends the rest of his time synchronizing carburetors and cleaning chain lube off his left pant leg.