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Doug Ragan honored at AMS

Douglas George Ragan of Zebulon was just doing another of his many good deeds by presenting a custom hot rod to a friend battling cancer at the Friday Night Drags when he was surprised himself and presented with the Atlanta Motor Speedway’s Humanitarian Award. Doug had invited his friends Davey and Paula McLeod of Texas to visit AMS April 28 and watch him race, planning to surprise Davey with a beefed up 1968 Chevy II just like the one he and his brothers enjoyed driving as young men. Doug secretly purchased and restored the car to lift Davey’s spirits after he was diagnosed with cancer. The presentation took place after the Show-N-Shine awards, prior to the opening ceremonies of Friday Night Drags. During the presentation of the Humanitarian Award, Doug received a fire-proof racing jacket from Summit Racing and gifts from O’Reilly Auto Parts, Napa Auto Parts, Year One, Margo’s Mediterranean Cuisine in Griffin and who is giving him a mini-vacation in North Carolina. Davey is not the first person with medical issues that Doug has made special efforts to help. He also helped with a 1974 Plymouth Barracuda project for Ian Mol who has a rare blood cancer. ’Doug helped my husband get his project car on track, painted and put together and then guided him to the finish line. He has become a great friend,’ said Shar Mol. ‘He has done so much for so many different people, and allows drivers to race his cars and then helping Ian and Davey with their dream cars. More than just helping with the car, he helped Ian with his attitude and got him to focus on the car rather than his disease.’ Shar said Doug texts often to check on Ian and even planned and threw a big reveal party for his birthday, rushing to get his car restored in time. ’Doug and his HTFO team pulled all-nighters to get his car finished in time for his birthday and then Doug threw him a party to surprise him with it,’ she said. ‘It was Doug’s way of encouraging Ian. He is just a noble guy and he’s the kind of person who is willing to help anybody.’ Doug worked hard to have around 8 to 10 cars he worked on and painted in his shop at the track for Show-N-Shine on the opening night of Friday Night Drags so his friend Davey could see them – in addition to his surprise Chevy II muscle car. Around 50 of Doug’s closest family and friends were at the event and each received a special gift in addition to seeing all the cars and races. Shar said AMS officials and AMS president Ed Clark have been wonderful about the special event and he said himself that there are not many people like Doug. ’Doug drives a Mustang himself, Rodney Bunn drives his 1973 Volkswagen Bug and Mike Chambers drives his 1985 Mustang,’ said Shar. ‘He really is a humble guy and always shies away from attention so I’ve been saying it’s recognition, not attention. Everyone is just trying to give him recognition he deserves. There’s been a lot going on behind the scenes and it’s going to be a special night for him.’

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