Hayden Proffitt

Bio Hayden Proffitt

Hayden Proffitt started his racing career at the age of 20 by winning the Texas State Championship in oval track racing but in 1952 he moved to California and into the drag racing world under the direction of C. J. Hart at Santa Ana Drag Strip at the wheel of a stock Chevrolet. By 1958 he had won races and set records with a ’55 Del Ray and a Corvette and formed a group called the “Proffitteers” that competed with five Chevrolets. Not satisfied with the performance of the stock vehicles, he built a B/Gas, ’37 Chevy Coupe powered by an injected-McCullough blown Chevy that ran consistent 12 second ET’s. 

In 1959 Hayden moved into the dragster classes with a supercharged Chevy powered B/Dragster setting top speed records in both NHRA and AHRA competition and garnering the attention of Mickey Thompson. 1960 saw Hayden join the Mickey Thompson Pontiac racing team and in 1961 he won three different classes at the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Calif. and set top of the event in AA/Gas dragster class. In 1962 he won an unprecedented four classes at the Pomona Winternationals after which he decided to go back to owning his own team and built a 409 Chevy Belair with which he captured that years National Stock Eliminator championship. On his way to winning the Stock Eliminator championship, Hayden won the Detroit World Championship event, the Half Moon Bay (Calif.) Championship event and the NHRA Indy Nationals where he outran the Ramcharger’s in the final race.       

Hayden continued his winning ways in a Chevy in 1963 until Chevrolet choose to drop out of racing so he raced a Plymouth for a couple of years and in 1965 he switched again, this time to a SOHC 427 Mercury Comet. Moving up in class again in 1966, Hayden competed in a Chevy powered Corvair Funny Car. With the Corvair, Hayden won an outstanding 90% of the races he ran and took home eight state championships. After the Corvair, Hayden took on the job of helping AMC carve a place in drag racing then in 1970 he turned his efforts to building engines for drag cars and boats.

Hayden returned to the drag strip in 1977 in the USA 1 Rocket 1 dragster. Like his past efforts, Hayden wasted no time in pushing the USA Rocket 1 to new records accumulating a total of 15 state land speed records and 25 track records in the U.S. and Canada while recording a best ET of 4.35 seconds and a top speed of 348 MPH. In 1980 Hayden added a second car to the team, this one a J-34 powered jet dragster and continued touring with his son, Brad, for several seasons before finally deciding after 35 years it was time to retire.