Drag Strip Deaths



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Forum Home > General Discussion > Jay Cheatham's 1959 Famoso Accident

Site Owner
Posts: 51

I'm Jay Cheatham's brother, Ken. I was 15 when Jay died. Jay broke the world record for unblown gas dragsters at Half Moon Bay at 150.50. He was running a blown gas dragster at Famoso and hit a marker barrel after a run at 175 mph. He flipped end over end and broke his neck. I'll get you more info as I find it. He lived in Sunnyvale at the time of the accident. There was a big piece about him in the Sunnyvale newspaper after his death. His dragster was featured in Hot Rod Magazine as well as Motor Trend(sent by Ken Cheatham, [email protected])


Mel Bashore

November 18, 2011 at 9:28 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 1

Hi there.  I'm brand new to this site as of right now.  My name is George Rodriguez, and I am the son of the owner of Pearson Oldsmobile.  My dad was the sponsor of Jay Cheatham's Pearson Olds Special.  Today, I was given a photo of Jay, that I am presuming was taken at Famoso Dragstrip in 1959.  The car was running a front mounted blower at the time.  Unfortunatly this had to be one of Jay's final runs.  I always remembered Jay running Algon injection, and I can't remember exactly when he installed the blower.  Mind you, I was 11 at the shooting of this photo.  You can't imagine the memories this photo brought back.  I would love to find more information on Jay's last year in racing, but am having a hard time.  Any help or guidence you could provide would be deeply appreciated.  His last race at Famoso was only one of a few races that dad and I didn't attend in the 2 years that we were teamed up.  Oh, by the way, if you have a copy of Hot Rod March 1959,  I'm the little kid behind Jay on page 39, and my dad is on Jay's left side, and my uncle Frank is on Jay's right.  This photo layout was done at the Northwest Gas Championships in Medford, Or.  I believe it was 1958.

December 25, 2011 at 8:52 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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