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Frank Hawley

Drive at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park with Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School

Written by Ainsley Jacobs

In drag racing, there’s perhaps no greater glory than capturing a win at the legendary Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. The famed facility has hosted countless success stories over the years, and those who want to experience the same thrill on the hallowed grounds will have the opportunity to do so in early June of 2022 thanks to Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School.

With no experience needed to participate, both rookie racers and veteran drivers alike can obtain their NHRA competition license during the School’s 2-day course to be held on June 20-21, followed by the School’s popular Dragster Adventure on June 22.

Participants in the immersive 2-day licensing course will enjoy both classroom and on-track segments. Once the groundwork is covered, students will make longer and longer passes down the historic Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park 1,320-foot surface under the careful guidance of Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School staff with important, personalized post-run feedback and coaching.

“One of my most exciting victories came at Indy in 1982 when we defeated Don Prudhomme at the first-ever Big Bud Shootout which was, at the time, the richest drag race in history,” reminisced Frank Hawley who attended his first national event, the US Nationals in Indianapolis, at the track in 1969. “It’s great to return to Indy to teach students to race on one of my favorite tracks.”

On June 22, the focus shifts to flat-out fun as the Dragster Adventure allows participants the chance to race in a side-by-side matchup while clocking speeds nearing 130 mph in the quarter-mile. A great gift for family, friends, employees, customers, or anyone wanting to relish the rush of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds, no prior racing experience is needed to join the School’s Dragster Adventure and seats in the program can be reserved online.

“Whether it’s local bracket racers or national champions, everyone can learn from Frank Hawley and we appreciate the School spending time with our racers,” said NHRA’s Kasey Coler, Vice-President Track Management & Operations at Indy. “We love seeing accomplished racers sharpen their skills or novices take things to the next level. Frank is a fantastic teacher and does everything with safety in mind.”

Racing at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park can be a dream come true for those who register with Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School on June 20-22, 2022.

Seats are limited and courses sell out quickly. To reserve, please call 866-480-7223! Visit www.FrankHawley.com for all upcoming class dates and locations.

Jeff Arend, jarend@frankhawley.com, 866-480-7223 x103

Paul Shields, paul.fhdrs@gmail.com, 866-480-7223 x102

 

Written by Ainsley Jacobs

Thanks to his family’s unwavering support, accomplished Jr. Dragster driver Jonathan McClain took the next step towards accelerating his future when he completed the NHRA Super Comp competition licensing program at Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School.

The young racer was gifted his 2002 Spitzer Junior when he was just seven years old. Although he didn’t make his first run until he turned nine, Jonathan showed tremendous natural talent as a driver and went on to earn some serious accolades.

Hailing from the Tulsa, Oklahoma area, Jonathan was a runner-up at the 2015 NHRA Bracket Finals in Texas and went on to win the NHRA Western Conference Finals Championship in 2017. He earned many more wins and runner-up finishes over the years, and was both the Tulsa Raceway Park track champion and the Mid-West Drag Racing Series Jr. Dragster Pro champion in 2021.

Jonathan has been featured in multiple magazines, interviewed by many media outlets, and has received a plethora of awards for his impressive achievements. “He’s also made it to the final round at every Western Conference Finals or Eastern Conference Finals that he’s raced in for five years in a row,” added his proud father and fellow School graduate, Jacob McClain.

Jacob completed his Super Comp course with Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School in 2016 at Gainesville Raceway in Florida. At the time, he drove a big block Chevy-powered Altered and was hoping to improve his own career, but decided to sell his car and focus on his son’s future instead. “I tried to teach Jonathan a lot of what I learned from Frank [Hawley] about the mental and psychological preparedness so that he could put the knowledge to use, too,” noted Jacob. “I got a ton out of the class that I use in everyday life, not just at the track.”

Jacob and his wife, Jayme, wanted their son to enjoy the same great Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School experience, too, so the McClain family packed up and headed down to Gainesville in early February.

Just a few short days after Jonathan’s sixteenth birthday, he began the 2-day course and spent time in the classroom learning from Hawley’s comprehensive program. “Being in the classroom for 14 hours was a lot, but it wasn’t overwhelming – it was fun and Frank made it interesting. It was a lot better than being at school,” proclaimed the respectful young man. “I learned that you can’t make excuses about your environment, you’re in control and the outcome is based on how you handle everything.”

When the time came for Jonathan to step up into a big car for the first time, he was both excited and apprehensive. Just as expected, though, the experienced NHRA Jr. Dragster champion easily transitioned to the more powerful Super Comp dragster.

“It was different learning to use the trans brake instead of foot braking, but I came back from my first run with a big smile on my face,” Jonathan recalled excitedly of how he couldn’t wait to make another pass. “I would tell other drivers coming to the school that they should be prepared to get a lot of information really fast.”

Jacob and Jayme watched their only child from the sidelines with pride and were impressed by how consistent, and quick, his reaction times were. “It was a little like watching him run his junior for the first time. He took it seriously and seeing his excitement was worth every penny,” affirmed Jayme, who knows the Super Comp course will help Jonathan as he transitions into the next stage of his racing career. “I’m planning to have him go back to Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School to take the Top Alcohol Dragster course after he’s been in a Super Comp-style bracket car for a year.”

Both parents have worked hard to give Jonathan every advantage they can to help him understand all aspects of the racing business. They encourage him to work out his own deals with sponsors, such as FTI Farm Team, E3 Spark Plugs, Trailer Alarms LLC, and Viperizer, and know the practice will help him later in life, too. “We truly appreciate everyone that has helped us along the way, and we wouldn’t be where we are without the assistance of good people, great friends, and supportive sponsors,” added Jacob.

Looking ahead, the McClain family plans for Jonathan to continue to run his McClain Racing Jr. Dragster until he ages out of the category and has also secured a seat for him in a Super Comp dragster so that he can race in the Mid-West Drag Racing Series’ Top Dragster class as well.

“The NHRA Jr. Dragster program is a fantastic way to get started, and every Junior driver we’ve had does a great job. Jonathan was a classic example of that; he was very familiar with the sport and took to the Super Comp car quickly,” added Hawley, whose school has hosted hundreds of second- and even third-generation drivers over the years. “I had very supportive parents throughout my driving career and Jonathan does as well. I look forward to working with him and his family in the future.”

With many years of on-track experience under his belt already, the up-and-coming driver’s time spent at Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School will surely aid Jonathan wherever he winds up – whether that’s crewing on a top-level Nitro car or, perhaps, even driving one himself.

 

Written by Ainsley Jacobs

Conveniently situated in the center of the country to be easily accessible for racers from many surrounding regions as possible, Heartland Motorsports Park in Topeka, Kansas, will open its doors to Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School on June 6-8, 2022, to give racers the opportunity to learn from the best in the industry.

Anyone who has ever dreamed of driving a drag car will be able to do so with Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School’s 2-day NHRA licensing course, held on June 6-7. While no prior experience is needed, seasoned competitors will also be able to hone their skills and brush up on techniques. Participants can choose from either a Super Gas car a Super Comp dragster, and the class includes both classroom lectures as well as plenty of on-track seat time with personalized feedback and guidance after each pass.

“Having Heartland Motorsports Park back on our schedule is exciting,” exclaimed Frank Hawley, School owner. “I raced Top Fuel Dragsters and Nitro Funny Cars at Topeka. We are really looking forward to getting back to America’s Heartland to make some noise and have some fun.”

For those wanting to feel the incredible thrill of driving a dragster in a side-by-side drag race while accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds but who don’t necessarily need or want a competition license, Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School is making its awesome Dragster Adventure available to the public on June 8. No past driving experience is needed, and participants will be able to feel what it’s like to speed through the traps at roughly 130 mph.

“I raced for over thirty years, but I was astonished at how much I learned from taking Frank’s classes – even after having already driven Pro Mods,” noted Chris Payne, Owner of Heartland Motorsports Park. “I was a self-taught racer and Frank could have helped me exponentially if I had taken his courses earlier. Having Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School at our facility is hugely beneficial to our racers and we’re happy to be able to give people in the area access to it.”

Located in the heart of the United States, Heartland Motorsports Park will host Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School on June 6-8, 2022. Frank Hawley and his team will share a tremendous wealth of information and knowledge with speed-hungry participants of all skill levels, and this is surely an opportunity not to be missed.

Seats are limited and courses sell out quickly. To reserve, please call 866-480-7223! Visit www.FrankHawley.com for all upcoming class dates and locations

Contact Jeff Arend, 866-480-7223 x103, jarend@frankhawley.com

Contact Paul Shields, 866-480-7223 x102, paul.fhdrs@gmail.com 

Aspiring Arizona Racers Can Get Licensed at Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School

Written by Ainsley Jacobs

The Arizona desert heats up as Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School heads to Tucson Dragway for a 2-day competition license class on May 2-3 and its popular Dragster Adventure on May 4, 2022. The NHRA-sanctioned quarter-mile dragstrip located on the Pima County Fair Grounds has given many successful names their start in the sport. Budding drag racers and experienced racers alike can all enjoy the School’s sessions at the iconic facility.

Starting on the first Monday in May, the 2-day licensing course in Super Comp or Super Gas covers a wide variety of topics suitable for racers of all levels. From the immersive classroom lectures discussing practical theory, techniques, and more, to the hot on-track environment giving racers the chance to practice what they’ve learned, Frank Hawley and his team provide valuable insights to help beginners and veterans improve their skills while working towards their NHRA competition licenses.

“Jim Hughes and Matt DeYoung do a fabulous job with the track in Tucson. We look forward to visiting them each year,” Hawley said excitedly of the School’s upcoming class and experience in the Grand Canyon State on May 2-4. “The racing surface at Tucson is one of the fastest in the west.”

On May 4, the School’s fun Dragster Adventure gives drivers the chance to experience the thrill of competing in a real side-by-side race. The perfect treat for friends, family, employees, customers, or anyone who’s dreamed of driving a full-sized, competition-style dragster in excess of 130 mph in the quarter-mile, reservations can be made online at www.FrankHawley.com.

“Tucson Dragway is happy to host Frank and his school in 2022,” added Matt DeYoung, Track Manager of Tucson Dragway. “Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School offers such an in-depth and powerful way of teaching new racers the ins and outs of our sport, all while teaching the most experienced racers things they never realized was so crucial to their programs.”

Coupled with two stops in Las Vegas in April and September, Tucson Dragway’s May dates mark the only opportunity for West Coast-based racers to obtain an NHRA license with Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School in 2022. Don’t pass up the chance to get licensed on May 2-3, or the chance to drive a dragster on May 4, 2022!

Seats are limited and courses sell out quickly. To reserve, please call 866-480-7223! Visit www.FrankHawley.com for all upcoming class dates and locations.

Jeff Arend, 866-480-7223 x103, jarend@frankhawley.com

Paul Shields, 866-480-7223 x102, paul.fhdrs@gmail.com 

Drag Racing Classes Coming to Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Sin City has always had the ability to turn big dreams into reality, and for those who have always wanted to learn how to drag race, Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School is making it happen with awesome instructional opportunities. Two-day NHRA competition licensing classes will take place at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on April 25-26 and April 27-28, 2022 as well as on September 12-13 and September 14-15, 2022.

Suitable for both beginners with no prior racing experience as well as experienced racers, the School’s 2-day licensing programs in either Super Comp or Super Gas offer a stimulating curriculum consisting of classroom lectures and on-track coaching. Upon completion, students will be eligible for their NHRA competition licenses.

The perfect blend of lecture-based education and plenty of seat time for students to implement and practice what they’ve learned, Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School teaches procedures necessary for success in drag racing to beginners while seasoned veterans focus on perfecting their techniques and mastering their competition-day focus.

Las Vegas Motor Speedway, a storied landmark of motorsports excellence where many of drag racing’s biggest names have competed, allows racers to push their skills and experience new levels of performance in a safe and controlled environment with expert guidance and supervision. The Hawley team of talented instructors offers personalized feedback and valuable insights to further solidify the concepts that are taught during the 2-day courses.

“Las Vegas is known for its great hotels, food, entertainment, and one of the finest dragstrips ever built. Vegas is one of our most popular destinations and we can’t wait to get back to ‘The Strip,’” affirmed Hawley of the desert hot spot for racing. “You don’t want to miss it!”

“The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is one of the most iconic dragways in the world. We hold drag racing at every level from pros to juniors,” added Chris Powell, LVMS President. “We take great pride in hosting race fans from around the world and students of Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School.”

Other than a stop in Tucson, Arizona, in May, the Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s April and September dates are the only chances that West Coast-based racers will have to easily obtain an NHRA or IHRA license on Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School’s 2022 schedule. Don’t miss the opportunity to get certified on April 25-26, April 27-28, September 12-13, and September 14-15, 2022!

Seats are limited and courses sell out quickly. To reserve, please call 866-480-7223! Visit www.FrankHawley.com for all upcoming class dates and locations.

Jeff Arend – 866-480-7223 x103, jarend@frankhawley.com

Paul Shields – 866-480-7223 x102, paul.fhdrs@gmail.com 

Located just outside of Houston in Baytown, Texas, Houston Raceway Park will host the School’s 2-day licensing classes in Super Comp or Super Gas on April 4-5 as well as its Dragster Adventure program on April 6, and no previous racing experience is needed to participate in any of the programs.

The two-day license course keeps a steady pace with plenty of action. Beginners are taught basic techniques and procedures for drag racing, while experienced racers focus on refining the mental aspect of the sport and honing their skills to bolster their win rates.

Classroom instruction is combined with in-car and on-track instruction in a safe, controlled environment, and drivers make progressively quicker runs down the dragstrip with video review afterward. Frank Hawley’s valuable insights and personalized coaching highlight the experience while encouraging personal improvement.

“I’ve got lots of great memories of Houston Raceway Park, both from our School and my years racing fuel cars,” said School owner Frank Hawley. “Houston has always been one of the fastest tracks in the country, and we’re looking forward to licensing many new NHRA drivers there.”

The famous and fun Dragster Adventure lets drivers compete in a thrilling side-by-side race. Perfect for friends, family, employees, customers, or anyone who’s ever wanted to wheel a full-sized, competition-style dragster that can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds and clock speeds of 130 mph in the quarter-mile, participation in the program can be purchased online at the following link – (Dragster Adventure).

“Frank’s is the only school we have come through the Park and we value that relationship and partnership,” said Seth Angel, Vice President and General Manager of Houston Raceway Park. “As an NHRA-sanctioned quarter-mile facility, we want Frank’s students to get their licenses and start their journeys in the sport of drag racing here with us in Houston.”

Houston Raceway Park is the only Texas stop on Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School’s 2022 season schedule, so don’t miss out on the once-in-a-lifetime chance to drive with Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School on April 4-6, 2022.

Seats are limited and courses sell out quickly. To reserve, please call 866-480-7223! Visit www.FrankHawley.com for all upcoming class dates and locations.

 

Contact Jeff Arend, 866-480-7223 x103, jarend@frankhawley.com or Paul Shields, 866-480-7223 x102, paul.fhdrs@gmail.com

 

Written by Ainsley Jacobs

The impressive history and rich racing legacy of the family behind Lucas Oil Products, Inc. spans generations. Although the company’s products are celebrated on a global level, its staff stays grounded in their roots by supporting up-and-coming racers whenever possible, and, especially through their partnership with Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School.

Lucas Oil and the Lucas family, including founders Forrest and Charlotte, started collaborating with the School in the early 2000s when sessions were held at California’s Auto Club Raceway At Pomona. The Lucas’s son and current President of Lucas Oil, Morgan Lucas, developed his own successful racing profession as the pilot of the Lucas Oil-backed Top Fuel Dragster and attended multiple sessions with Frank Hawley as well.

“Frank Hawley has been a legend in our sport for a long time, but his accomplishments on the track don’t compare to those he’s had as a teacher,” noted Morgan, who sees Hawley as a valuable mentor who gave him a solid foundation on which to shape his multi-event winning career. “So many amazing drivers have come through his program, and Lucas Oil is proud to protect the engines that train the racers of tomorrow.”

Similarly, Lucas Oil’s Director of Partnership Marketing, Brandon Bernstein, is also a graduate of Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School and someone who understands the importance of supporting the next generation of drivers.

“It was back around 2000 when I attended for the first time, in the Super Comp class at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, and it was an unbelievable experience. Frank was meticulous with explaining everything and I knew I was in good hands with him,” said Brandon, whose father, Kenny “King Bud” Bernstein, regularly raced against Hawley. Kenny is known for being the first to break the 300-mph barrier from a standing start, for being a multi-time NHRA Funny Car and NHRA Top Fuel champion, and for being a former NASCAR and IndyCar team owner. “Growing up, the competitiveness between Frank and my father is what inspired my career as a racer and professionally.”

Both Morgan and Brandon have seen firsthand how much wear and tear the School’s cars are subjected to each year as they carry aspiring racers down the track. They know Lucas Oil’s products – including its vast line of motor oils, additives, and lubricants – are integral in enabling the cars to perform reliably and consistently.

“One of the many things that makes Lucas Oil so incredibly successful and a household name in motorsports is the fact that they are racers; they know the sport from every angle and they know what the race teams need,” stated Hawley. “They have champion racers integrated into all levels of their company.”

Although Lucas Oil is actively invested in growing many forms of motorsports, the partnership with Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School has always held a special significance on both ends.

“This is truly a passion project for us to know that we’re associated with Frank Hawley and to be able to give back to the racing community. All types of motorsports need the next generation of racers, and Frank provides a place for that to happen,” Morgan asserted. “I’m proud to be a part of this, knowing Frank is helping others as he did for me – his lessons can be applied to so much more in life than just racing.”

Brandon, too, especially enjoys watching racers cut their teeth at the School and knows those diehard, dedicated drivers are the ones that Lucas Oil was originally created for. “These are the guys and girls that are always grinding and driving to get to the next race and chasing the next round. They’ll blow a motor and thrash all night to get ready to race the next morning, and our products help facilitate that. We love supporting those types of people and helping make their dreams come true,” he shared.

“We supply all of the oils, lubricants, additives, and greases that keep the School’s cars running day in and day out, all year long as best as possible,” affirmed Brandon, who enjoys watching rookie racers learn the ropes through Hawley’s priceless lessons. “We love working with Frank’s team and plan to be right there with them for as long as the School’s programs continue.”

Hawley, who is grateful for his relationship with both the Lucas Oil company and the Lucas family over the years, added that “motorsports and the name ‘Lucas’ go hand in hand. We look forward to working together much more in the future.”

www.frankhawley.com

866-480-7223

Written by Ainsley Jacobs

In 1999, Mickey Thompson Performance Tires and Wheels joined Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School as its official tire supplier. While the relationship between the two entities has grown over the decades, the Mickey Thompson team knows the importance of honoring its hardworking employees and does so with an annual tradition of sending its staff to participate in the School’s Dragster Adventure Challenge.

Specifically designed as a fun course to give enthusiasts the chance to drive a dragster and compete side-by-side without the requirements of becoming a licensed racer, Frank Hawley’s Dragster Adventure Challenge is available both to the general public and to corporations at various tracks throughout the year.

In the past, Frank Hawley’s has hosted groups from John Force Racing, In-N-Out Burger, Aeromotive, Mac Tools, Icon International, and even the United States Navy Seals, but Mickey Thompson brings a group every year to get in on the action. In 2021, M/T’s guests of honor enjoyed a mid-July day at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio.

“We’ve hosted the Dragster Adventure Challenge for M/T employees and customers for years. It’s the first opportunity many of these folks have ever had to get behind the wheel of a dragster and blast down the quarter-mile. They absolutely love it!” noted Hawley, who enjoys making the event a special experience.

“We bring people who usually never get out of the office – from accounting to sales to warehouse crew and even human resources – everyone at Mickey Thompson gets to go and be introduced to high performance,” added Jason Moulton, Director of Motorsports at Mickey Thompson Performance Tires and Wheels. “It’s great to see people get so excited and see the looks on their faces when they make a run for the first time. Even people who have raced elsewhere have a blast!”

Driving full-sized, competition-style cars capable of going 0-60 MPH in 3 seconds and surpassing speeds of 130 MPH in the quarter-mile was thrilling for the participants, but perhaps the pinnacle of the day was the competition itself. “We did a chip draw to pair everyone fairly, and everyone had fun staging against a competitor, practicing their reaction times, and seeing who would be the first to the finish,” Moulton elaborated of the memorable capstone event. “Our winner was Jeremy Jacobs who has worked closely with me over the years on product development, tread design, and tire modeling, and the runner-up was my brother, Jeremy Moulton – a proud moment for me personally!”

While Moulton didn’t partake in the 2021 festivities as he opted to spend the day on the sidelines as a spectator, he did go through the program a little over a decade ago. “It was my first experience driving an automatic transmission-equipped vehicle, and a dragster, on the dragstrip,” laughed the man who had exclusively raced manual transmission cars for fifteen years prior.  “It was a ton of fun, and Frank gives such great feedback. I still carry with me today tips that he gave me all those years ago; he truly loves to pass his knowledge along to others.”

Although the Dragster Adventure Challenge is focused on fun, the partnership between Mickey Thompson and Frank Hawley’s is one that both businesses take seriously. “M/T approached us years ago about trying their tires and we loved them,” said Hawley. “Mickey Thompson’s tires provide our customers with traction, reliability, and performance.” All of the racecars at the School roll on M/T rubber, and, as each set of tires sees plenty of passes, there’s tons of valuable information and data constantly being gathered.

“It’s an honor for us to be part of Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School. Frank’s championship pedigree and the great feedback he gives us creates a strong synergy,” stated Moulton, who predicts the 20+ year relationship will continue well into the future. “Plus, when students attend, they experience Mickey Thompson’s products and can trust our tires when they move forward with their racing or performance driving goals.”

For Frank Hawley’s, the advantage of working with Mickey Thompson means reliable performance and excellent value – all neatly packaged into a tire that is produced by an American-based company that values the true spirit of the sport of drag racing.

866-480-7223

www.frankhawley.com

 

Written by Ainsley Jacobs

For NHRA Top Fuel legend and three-time world champion Antron Brown, there’s something even more important than the success of his career – the success of his children. Now, as his middle child, Anson, prepares to age out of Junior Dragster competition, Antron is passing the torch to the next generation of Brown family racers.

Before he got started racing in NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle in 1998, Antron attended Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School to complete their Pro Stock Motorcycle class; he joined the Don Schumacher Racing team in 2002 and returned to the School with teammate Angelle Sampey in 2005 to brush up on his skills.

In 2007, Antron once again trusted Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School to prepare him for the next step in his career when he received his Top Alcohol Dragster license and went on to pilot the pinnacle of performance, a Top Fuel dragster.

Antron remembers that time at the School as if it were just yesterday, as he shifted his alcohol dragster quicker than Hawley had ever seen anyone do before. “I was swapping feet and doing everything to leave the line and shift down the racetrack,” laughed the driver, who impressed his instructor tremendously. “Frank [Hawley] said the Top Fuel Dragster would be easier for me to operate, but more difficult due to the rate of acceleration and was prepping me to understand what would happen when I moved up.”

When he finally did make the jump, Antron’s natural aptitude made others wonder if he was a true rookie or a veteran of the category. Driving the 10,000-horsepower machine was practically second nature to Antron, and he credits the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School with helping him get to that point.

“It’s more than just learning how to go down the racetrack, it’s also a mind game. Frank has all of the knowledge to give you the mental focus and preparation to be repeatedly successful,” asserted Antron. “From true beginners learning the basics to experienced professionals, Frank can take a racer of any phase and help them learn something. If you have the willingness to learn, you’ll improve.”

When Antron’s son, Anson, wanted to go racing at just 8-years-old, the Indiana-based family fully supported the budding racer’s dream and got him started in the Junior Dragster ranks. With a few championship titles of his own in the Midwest Jr. Super Series, Anson showed promising skill early on. For his upcoming seventeenth birthday in 2021, though, Anson decided he wanted to step up to a bigger car and his parents gave him the gift of a Super Comp license course at Frank Hawley’s in June at the famed Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis.

Thinking back to his own days at the School and the nerves that came along with the unexpected, Antron tried to reassure his son that he would be just fine – and he was. “All of the kids in Anson’s Super Comp class listened and responded well. It’s amazing to see the next generation of drivers come up all together,” shared Antron, who enjoyed seeing the kids compete on the track and cheer each other on throughout the entire experience. “I remember seeing Anson’s face and his excitement when he came back from making his first full quarter-mile pass over 150 miles per hour and thinking… wow, he’s all grown up.”

Anson was admittedly nervous at first, too, but quickly realized that he had no reason to be. “I had a great time and Frank was amazing with his instruction. I don’t think anyone could have taught me better, not even my dad,” laughed Anson, who enjoyed receiving feedback on how he could improve as a driver and hopes one day to get behind the wheel of a Pro Mod doorslammer or nitro-fueled Funny Car or Top Fuel Dragster just like his father. “The Super Comp car was bigger and faster than my Junior Dragster and was really exciting. Whenever I’m in a car, I’m happy.”

Hawley loves shaping a part of drag racing’s future through helping aspiring drivers, especially teens, to cut their teeth in a safe and controlled environment.

“Anson clearly has learned a lot from watching and listening to his dad,” affirmed the School’s founder. “Antron is a perfect example of how you can actually achieve your dreams in our sport. He has worked his way up to a champion driver and now an NHRA Top Fuel team owner. He’s one of the best drivers in our sport, and he does an incredible job for his sponsors. He is truly a perfect role model for Anson.”

Although Antron and Anson both are ready for the next phase of the young man’s driving career, the elder knows that there is no rewind button on life. Instead, he’s simply trying to enjoy the moments, memories, and time that they have in the Junior Dragster ranks while they still can.

In addition to Anson, Antron’s two other children, Adler and Arianna, are also carrying on the family’s drag racing tradition with their own endeavors. Where all of their careers ultimately take them (after college, of course), and whether that’s within the automotive industry or not, Antron and his wife, Billie Jo, will always love and support them unconditionally.

866-480-7223

www.frankhawley.com

Written by Ainsley Jacobs

Three-time NHRA Funny Car world champion, Robert Hight, has enjoyed tremendous success throughout his drag racing career. When his daughter, Autumn, decided to push her own driving skills to the next level, he made sure that she got the same great instruction from Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School just like he did when he was younger.

Robert first attended the School in 2003 to complete its Super Comp course, then returned in 2004 to obtain his Top Alcohol Funny Car license. Having started with John Force Racing over a quarter-of-a-century ago as a crew man but knowing right from the beginning that Funny Car was his destination, Robert worked hard to achieve his goal.

“I still remember being surprised at how difficult it was to drive a Super Comp car. It was a really humbling experience for me,” shared Robert of his rookie experience nearly a decade prior, which included much more than just on-track driving. “I believe that Frank Hawley’s class has been instrumental to my achievements and in my career. Frank has a lot of knowledge and experience. If you pay attention, you’ll learn a lot of life lessons, too.”

At just eight years old, Robert’s daughter got her start following in the family tradition of racing. Autumn began racing NHRA Jr. Dragsters and worked her way up through the age groups. Although she hasn’t been able to get to as many events as the family would like, due to Robert’s competition calendar, she finished strong in third overall in her class in 2020.

Now, as her 17th birthday isn’t far off, Autumn is taking steps to start fielding Super Comp dragsters – just like her father’s former days. As Robert had such a positive experience at Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School himself, the family made the easy decision to enroll Autumn in the School’s courses as well.

To prepare for her participation in the School and maximize her time there with a head start on learning the ropes, Robert had Autumn sit in a Super Comp car at their shop so she could run through the procedures. She arrived at Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School in late June of 2021 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Indiana, and – unsurprisingly – did quite well.

“I sat through some of the lectures, too, because Frank is the best teacher I’ve ever had. Having won three world championships, I still don’t have it all figured out and I enjoyed learning more,” laughed Robert, who was admittedly a little nervous about his typically timid daughter. “She’s maybe 5’2” and was the smallest in the class by a long shot. When I saw her go and make her first run, she could barely see over the dash.”

Despite her diminutive stature, Autumn stood out in the class. She drove with complete confidence and determination, and even had the fastest speed as a byproduct of her weight advantage. “She just put her foot down and did a full burnout, unlike some others who are too quick,” said Robert with pride in his voice. “In my opinion, she made the best first pass of everyone. She truly did a great job.”

Autumn absolutely loved every minute of her time at Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School, her huge smile clearly evident after every run even with her helmet still on thanks to the glow on her face and the excitement in her voice. “It was such an awesome experience!” proclaimed Autumn. “I learned a lot more than just driving the actual race car, and Frank made sure that everyone was very involved in the overall classes and learning about everything.”

Seeing Autumn drive one of the School’s cars brought back memories for Hawley of when he first watched her dad do the same. “She did a great job, but when you have a guy like Robert Hight, in my opinion one of the best Funny Car drivers ever, as your coach, I wasn’t surprised by her performance,” he affirmed. “We’ve been fortunate over the years to have worked with all of the John Force Racing drivers and we look forward to helping Autumn with her future endeavors.”

The Hight family plans to have Autumn continue her NHRA Jr. Dragster career until she ages out and moves on to the next level. While her ultimate goal isn’t clear just yet, it’s likely Autumn will engage in Super Comp competition while also considering future options as well as avenues outside of racing – if she chooses. “I’ve encouraged her to pursue school activities or sports or gymnastics or dance,” said Robert, “but she loves racing and wants to be at the track.”

With her first Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School coursework completed, Autumn is already eagerly planning her return. “I want her to go back again in six months so she can learn more,” confirmed Robert, who understands the importance of knowledge when it comes to racing at 170+ mph. “Just about everyone who has attended from John Force’s family has become Rookie of the Year, and I give Frank Hawley a lot of credit for preparing us for that.”

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