Hayden Beatty

Hayden Beatty is one of North Carolina Region’s founding fathers. In 1955, 16 members of the Sports Car Club of North Carolina petitioned the SCCA to become the North Carolina Region and Hayden was one of those. Perhaps his member number, 932, would be the give-away for his long involvement in the Club, but it wouldn’t begin to hint at his long and varied involvement in sports car racing in North Carolina.

Hayden graduated from UNC in 1952. But he’d already been tooling around campus in a 1930 Austin America coupe, a car so tiny he got in trouble with the campus cops for driving it on the sidewalk! About the time he graduated, he obtained a 1948 MG TC and joined the Sports Car Club of North Carolina, which was based in Burlington. That local club was pretty active, with rallies and hill climbs at Pilot Mountain, where Hayden served as a Starter as well as a competitor. His TC gave way to a TD, and then to a ’57 TR3. He even had a shop in Haw River in the late 50’s and early 60’s which specialized in truing and repairing wire wheels.

The North Carolina Sports Car Club continued as a separate entity for awhile, even after the North Carolina Region was formed. And Hayden was in the thick of them both. He served as RE of North Carolina Region in 1964-65, when there were about 250 members, and he worked Pit and Grid at the races at VIR and Spartanburg. He raced a 1960 Hillman with a roll-bar there, on recapped tires! Eventually he became an SCCA National Chief Steward.

Sadly, family and career obligations caused him to retire from the Club for awhile, many years in fact. But then he re-upped again about 2007 or so and started coming out to the races at VIR. Not one to sit on the side-lines, Hayden saw that we were in dire need of help in the paddock, especially before our Double National Races (now the VIR Spring Sprints Majors), so he volunteered to come out to the track a few days early and help lay out paddock spaces, especially for the big rigs, and then direct competitors to them. That earned him an Outstanding Service award as Paddock Marshall in 2009. And when we finally realized that this was the same Hayden Beatty who helped start the North Carolina Region, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award, our highest honor, in 2010. You’ll usually find him in the paddock on any race weekend, helping out, just as he did as Chief of Pit and Grid back in the 60’s. Some guys are just like that. Thanks Hayden!

The photo below appears on page 73 of Images of America: Virginia International Raceway, by Chris Holaday with Nick England and Phil Allen, Arcadia Publishing, 2002. The caption reads: “Hayden Beatty, head of pit and grid, talks with unidentified drivers before a race in the late 1960’s (Ed Cabaniss photograph courtesy of Phil Allen)”.