We love running our race cars and we love watching people drive them, and lately we’ve been doing a lot of both! Some people were driving a race car for the first time and others wanted to move up the ranks and learn how to handle faster machines. In the past few months we’ve seen it all. From running corporate classes to teaching US Navy Seals and Hollywood celebrities like Jay Leno to helping a guy achieve his life-long dream to drive a NHRA Nitro Funny car…it’s been a lot of fun.
One of our best moments was working with a group of active US Navy Seals at our school in Fontana. The group was hosted by Mickey Thompson Tires. M/T is a big supporter of the US Armed Forces and bringing these guys out was quite a thrill. The Seals had a great time driving and we had a great time visiting with them.
Another highlight was working with a star like Jay Leno. Jay has a new show called “Jay Leno’s Garage” which airs on NBC. The show’s producers contacted us about filming a segment in which Jay learns how to drive a Super Comp dragster. The show also featured the “not yet in production” 2016 SS Camaro. It was great to have our former student and current Pro Stock NHRA world Champ Erica Enders show up to help with the class. We were asked not to divulge anything about Jay’s on track performance until the show airs in October. We’ll let you know when it will be on and then give you a little behind the scenes story as well. Thanks to Jay and all his staff…. great people!
Companies have been bringing their customers and employees to the school for some great side-by-side racing action in our Dragster Adventure programs. A group of designers and engineers from New Balance shoes showed up. New Balance is working on shoe designs that can enhance a runner’s acceleration and wanted to experience some acceleration “dragster style” before sitting in on a lecture Frank gave on the physiology of human reaction time.
The school of course travels to many locations and the MAC TOOL company recently invited us to ZMax Dragway in Charlotte where MAC assembled a group of their top dealers from the US and Canada for a day of dragster racing. The on-track action was awesome and the racing was crazy close.
And then there are guys like Jim Campbell. Jim is a firefighter and works in relief efforts at major disasters around the globe. But he had a dream of one day driving an NHRA Nitro Funny Car. Dream BIG… right? Well, he did it. We got Jim through a couple of our programs and “up to speed” in our Nostalgia Funny Car. That earned him the chance to try out the “big” car. Last week with Jeff Arend and Del Worsham at his side Jim made his qualifying passes in the Worsham car and earned his Nitro FC license. How cool!!
In addition to all of this we have been fulfilling lots of other dreams for folks that want to scratch something off their “bucket list”, just have some fast fun or find a shorter route to the winner’s circle.
Class pictures follow from our popular two-day Super Comp/Super Gas license programs conducted at Auto Plus Raceway in Gainesville, FL, our West Coast home at Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, CA, Royal Purple Raceway in Houston, TX and Bandimere Speedway in Denver, CO.
Quotes from some of our recent grads:
~ Thank you for a great course at Fontana. You and all your team really helped us to learn in a methodical manner conducive to learning a lot about driving and perhaps more about life. In addition to my formula car racing I am very interested in periodically doing Super Comp runs in your dragsters. I have wanted to drive a dragster since I first saw them up close at Keystone Dragways outside of Winnipeg at the age of ten and thanks to you I finally reached that goal! Paul Coleman, SC grad
~The School was so much more than anticipated, like one of Frank’s talks, “I didn’t know what I didn’t know”. I really can’t imagine as a new car owner and driver how long it would be before I had the level of confidence and experience I gained from the Frank Hawley School. I really believe Franks driving course, classroom talks and driving instructions will be a huge part in successful driving and enjoying the sport. Greg Moore, SG grad
~ Anybody who wants to learn how to drive a race car would be foolish not to take your class. The experts that you have working for you are the best. From Jack Beckman, Jeff Arend, Jimmy, Matt and Derek, because of all of you, I have achieved my dream in becoming a Fuel Funny Car Driver. Jim Campbell, NFC grad
~ I just wanted to thank you for helping me “clear the clutter”. Yesterday I made it to the final of our AFX group at the NAPA Night of Fire and Thunder at Bandimere I’ve never made a final before. I did lose the final in a double breakout race but I gave it hell and lost by a micro second. It was a huge crowd and lots of folks attending that are family and friends. Lots of pressure. Lol!! I credit you and all that you taught us. For the most part I stayed on task and clear of distraction. Brad Shaffer, SG grad
Contact us for more information on any of our programs or to schedule your date!
This week I had the opportunity to help Jay Leno learn to drive a dragster for a segment on his show “Jay Leno’s Garage”! Everyone in America knows the name “Jay Leno” and most likely everyone knows that Jay is a huge fan of the automobile. His personal collection of cars is one of the largest and most impressive in the country. Jay loves new cars, old cars, fast cars, slow cars and race cars. And he loves to drive them! So when the folks from the television show “Jay Leno’s Garage” called me and said Jay wanted to learn to drive a dragster… I jumped at the chance to work with him!
Although Mr. Leno has a lot of experience in fast cars, I thought I could use a little help with the instruction, so my friend, former student and current NHRA Pro Stock World Champion Erica Enders stopped by to give me a hand. As a bonus, Erica showed up driving a brand new, not yet in production 2016 SS Camaro…and I got to drive it! We had an absolute blast and Jay and his team were a joy to work with. The location was Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School’s west coast home at Auto Club Dragway in Fontana and it was possibly one of the most memorable days I’ve had at a drag strip.
While you’re waiting for our show check out “Jay Leno’s Garage” on-line and take a look at all the other great cars Jay has gotten to drive in the past season.
The details and the outcome of Jay’s performance on the track won’t be released until the show goes on air in October but we’ll stay in touch with everyone and let you know an exact air time. It’s going to be a great show… you really don’t want to miss it.
Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School is coming to Summit Motorsports Park July 20-24! “There are different reasons drivers attend our courses,” said school founder Frank Hawley. “Some are looking to get a competition license while others just want to drive a fast dragster and check another item off their bucket list. Every class has a combination of experienced racers and folks that have never been down a drag strip. The two-day SC/SG license course is designed to work for drivers with various levels of experience.”
“The staff, as well as the entire Summit Motorsports park facility, is one of the best you’ll find anywhere in the country,” said Hawley. “The Bader’s make us, and our students, feel very welcome and give us a superb surface in which to conduct our courses.”
The two-day Licensing program on July 20-21 allows drivers of all backgrounds the opportunity to earn their NHRA competition driver’s license in the school’s Chevy Performance 572/720R equipped Super Comp Dragsters or Super Gas Firebirds. For drivers that already have their own car, the school offers a “bring your own car” program that gives drivers the opportunity to enjoy the same driving course behind the wheel of their own race car. No experience is necessary to take the course.
In addition to on-track time, students will learn from Frank’s classroom sessions which cover the physiology of how the mind and body work together. Participants will learn how to mentally prepare, perform at the highest level, improve focus and block out distractions. Frank teaches how to practice more effectively and feel more confident about pulling up to the starting line and he shares techniques on how to remove the emotional baggage (everybody has some) that can often disrupt good performance .
For those that are simply looking for the thrill of blasting down the quarter mile, the Dragster Adventure is offered on July 23 or July 24. The Dragster Adventure starts at just $399 for the half day program, or $599 for the whole day program with SIDE-BY-SIDE racing.
Seats are limited, so call now to reserve your seat for July 20-21 for the competition course, or book on-line for the Dragster Adventure on either July 23 or July 24!
For information on all classes, dates and locations for Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School, visit the school’s website – www.frankhawley.com or call 866-480-7223.
Here’s what some of our recent grads had to say:
“This was by far the BEST WEDNESDAY OF MY LIFE! Thanks to the outstanding program offered by the Hawley group. They are the best. I will be back! I thank everyone involved, Frank, Lana, Jeff and all the rest. My bucket list has 1 less thing to do!” Kevin Crawford, Dragster Adventure Challenge Winner
“I’m still processing my two days at drag racing school. I learned as much about myself as I did about racing, which is what I was looking for. Instead of lecturing about cars and driving, Frank teaches the bio-mechanics necessary to perform a precise task under pressure, and the state of mind needed to do well. Drag racing requires a keen self-awareness and presence in the moment.” Joseph Brown, Super Gas Firebird
“I attended your super comp class on December 2 & 3 in Gainesville and 7 weeks later I have a Top Fuel Dragster license and I couldn’t have done this without the things you teach your students. Thank You!” Shawn Reed, Super Comp Dragster now Top Fuel driver!
“I learned much more than I expected to and had fun doing it. Frank is a terrific teacher! And I’ve had lots of teachers over the years (undergraduate school, medical school and 6 years of surgical residency). The teaching format worked well for novices and experienced racers. The cars worked flawlessly and were equal in elapsed time. I was surprisingly comfortable despite my sizable frame. My diminutive wife was comfortable too. The adjustability of the cars make them the right size for any driver. Derek and Jimmy were a tremendous help before and after each pass. I look forward to returning for the super comp/super gas program. I’ll be bringing my friend Wayne down with me so he can work on his lights too.” Dr. Ron Franzino, Dragster Adventure winner
Please like Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @frankhawleydrs!
Much like the man himself, Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School has been to race tracks everywhere, forming partnerships with the biggest names in motorsports. One of the school’s long-time relationships is with Mickey Thompson Performance Tires, founded in 1963 by Mickey Thompson and Gene McMannis. Both drivers held numerous records in various forms of racing and that desire for speed continues throughout the company today.
Recently at a Frank Hawley Drag Racing School event for Mickey Thompson customers at the Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, CA several customers and special guests got a chance to get behind the wheel of Hawley’s Adventure Dragsters for some ‘side-by-side’ racing action.
“Over the years Mickey Thompson Tires has entertained hundreds of folks at Frank Hawley’s,” said Mickey Thompson sales support/training specialist Kirk Fenn. “The thrill of racing dragsters provides our guests with memories that will last a lifetime. We love the relationship we have with Frank Hawley’s.”
After completing practice runs in the morning drivers were paired off for eliminations. The eventual winner was Paul Giddings from SoCal Auto Style in Wildomar, CA.
“This was one of the most exciting events I’ve been to,” said Giddings. “Even a month later I’m still showing friends and family the videos we took. My heart was pounding as we staged the cars for the final. I was thrilled when I saw my win light come on!”
“I would recommend this to anyone with a driver’s license,” Giddings said. “I have always loved cars and this was one more check off the bucket list.”
Check out some previous Challenge Winners HERE!
To book your own adventure, visit www.frankhawley.com to see when we’ll be at a track near you or contact us to schedule your own group day at 866-480-7223! Follow us on our official page on Facebook at facebook.com/FrankHawleysDragRacingSchool!
Recently five US Navy SEALS based at the Naval Special Operations base in Coronado, CA visited Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School at Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, CA. The SEALS were invited as part of a program conducted by Mickey Thompson Tires.
“I was absolutely honored to meet these men and thank them for the work they and their counterparts do to protect our country,” said Hawley. “All of the men and women serving in the armed forces deserve our praise and thanks for their contribution to freedom. It was however a special opportunity for me and my staff to meet the SEALS.”
Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School has been working with the Mickey Thompson Tire Company for over a decade. Through the years hundreds of Mickey Thompson customers, staff and guests have gotten a chance to get behind the wheel of one of Hawley’s dragsters and blast down the 1/4 mile during special Mickey Thompson promotional programs.
“It was an honor for us to have some of our finest join us for a day of fun and camaraderie at the track,” said Mickey Thompson Training Specialist Kirk Fenn. “Frank and his team never missed a beat and once again provided our guests with a fantastic day at the track.”
The SEALS got to make several runs in the dragsters in addition to some ‘side-by-side’ racing. Each one said they’d love to return for some more racing.
“These guys didn’t just graduate from SEAL training. A couple of them have been SEALS for 15 years.” continued Hawley. “They were treated like ‘Rock Stars’. Everyone wanted a photo taken with them. They were a group of very bright, brave and humble guys and had no problem at all driving the race cars. In fact I was told that after leaving our school they were headed for a different type of training course in a new (not yet released) land based tactical weapons vehicle in Pensacola, FL. Now that is something I’d like to learn to drive!” Said Hawley with a smile.
Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School is open to everyone…not just SEALS! If you’d like to get behind the wheel of a dragster give the school a call at 866-480-7223!