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Frank Hawley

This season of “Jay Leno’s Garage” marks the second time that Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School has had the good fortune to work with Jay Leno and his team.

A couple of years ago Jay jumped behind the wheel of a Super Comp Dragster and made some 8-second passes under the tutelage of World Champ & school founder Frank Hawley and guest instructor Pro Stock Champ Erica Enders.

“As I remember, Jay did a pretty good job considering it was his first time ever in a dragster”, said Hawley.

Earlier this year a Leno producer contacted Hawley again but this time the project would be completely different.

“Leno was doing a piece on forgotten and not very popular cars,” explained Hawley.  “They were looking for a couple AMC cars, a Pacer and a Gremlin.  They wanted to see if anyone still had these cars and better still had anyone modified them for drag racing,” continued Hawley.  “Well they found a couple cool cars and wanted to see them race one another.  To make sure everything was legit, they asked the school to help arrange the race and if we could, provide the drivers.  I said of course.”

The race would be at the school’s west coast location at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA.  After a fair amount of deliberation, it was agreed that school owner Frank Hawley and long time school consultant and current Nitro Funny Car driver Jack Beckman would be the designated drivers.

“Frank called me and told me about the show and what we’d be doing and I said, ‘count me in’,” said World Champ Jack Beckman.  “The first time we saw the cars was on the day of the shoot at Fontana.  They looked pretty cool!  A supercharged Pacer and a Gremlin with carburetors and a tunnel ram.  By coin toss I got the Pacer.” continued Beckman.

With no practice runs, Hawley and Beckman got strapped in for the big race.  The outcome is featured on the Jay Leno Garage show, Episode 502 — link below to the full episode!

“It really was a fun day. School employee and Funny Car driver Jeff Arend was on hand to help co-ordinate everything and I really appreciate Jack taking a day out of his busy schedule to help out.  Jay Leno and his team are always great to work with.  A great time was had by all,” said Hawley.

For more information on the school go to or give us a call at 866-480-7223!



Thank you to The Speed Journal for this great piece on the Dragster Adventure Challenge program!  Click on the link below for the video and article – enjoy!

We have lots of dates and locations on our calendar!  Programs coming up at Route 66 Raceway, Woodburn Dragstrip, Gainesville Raceway (year round) Summit Motorsports Park, Maple Grove Raceway, Heartland Park, Tri-State Raceway, The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Auto Club Dragway, and of course our 200 mph class dates are on demand at our home base in Gainesville, FL.

The Dragster Adventure program is great for you, your friends, your employees or your customers!

If you’re interested in higher speeds, advanced training and a racing license, check out our 2-day competition license program. This has been the start for so many people in ALL categories of drag racing!

Contact us for info on any of our classes!  Seats are limited and advance registration is required.

Paul Shields,, 904-472-6312 cell

Jeff Arend,, 909-973-8279 cell




photo 6.1There are still a few seats left in our popular 2-day Super Comp and Super Gas license course on April 13 & 14.  This 2-day course includes classroom, in-car and on-track instruction.  Drivers will make progressively faster runs down the strip, enjoy video review of all runs and learn from Frank Hawley’s lectures on improving personal performance.  Those new to drag racing will learn basic techniques and procedures.  Experienced racers will master the mental challenges that separate winners from losers.  Contact us for more information or to register for this course.

The Dragster Adventure and Dragster Adventure Challenge will be offered April 21st and April 22nd.  This course is for drivers that want to “drive a dragster” and compete in “side-by-Side” racing without committing the time and resources required to become a licensed race car driver in photo 1.1one of our licensing courses.  This is a great program for you and your friends, your customers or your employees and Adventure grads tell us this is the most memorable day of their year!  Click here to book this course on-line!

So whether you want to earn your license, improve your skills, check something off your “Bucket List”, or try the Dragster Adventure with Side-by-Side Racing, we hope you’ll join us for an experience you’ll remember forever!

Oh, and in case you can’t make it in April, we’ll be back in October for the SC/SG license class and the Dragster Adventure!  Please visit for other class dates and locations!

Remember, pre-registration is required for all programs, so call Paul or Jeff at 866-480-7223 for info or to sign up!


Paul Shields,, 866-480-7223 x102

Jeff Arend,, 866-480-7223 x103

The popular web TV show “Roadkill” produced by Hot Rod, recently shot an episode with the help of Frank Hawley’s Drag IMG_5125Racing School.

The Roadkill hosts David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan showed up last week at Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, CA with a group of 8 contest winners from across the nation.  The participants were treated to plenty of tire smoking action behind the wheel of some viciously fast Dodge Charger Hellcats.  The drivers put the Hellcats to the test during drifting, road racing and drag racing competitions.

Jeff Arend, NHRA Nitro Funny Car driver and Frank Hawley Drag Racing School instructor, was on hand to show the drivers the fast way to the finish line.

“The cars were amazingly fast,” said Arend.  “I got a chance to do a little test IMG_5123.cropdriving before the show and I couldn’t believe it.  You need a lot of skill to get the best performance out of them.  If you just floored it the cars would smoke the tires to half-track and if you relied solely on the traction control they wouldn’t run the quickest times.  It took a lot of technique to get optimum performance.  I had a great time working with the shows hosts Dave and Mike as well as the participants,” continued Arend.

“The air date hasn’t been set,” said Hawley, owner of Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School.  “But we’ll keep everyone updated when we get further info.  I can’t wait to see it!”

If you are a fan of tire smoking action, check out Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School at or give us a call at 866-480-7223!


photo 2Much 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 Paul Giddings - winner.1.1support/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 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!



Stephen Sadler and film crew -Australia.crop

Stephen Sadler, Frank Hawley and film crew

Dream Ignition – a fitting title for the documentary being made on our Australian grad Stephen Sadler.  Stephen has cystic fibrosis and we were happy to be a big part of his dream!  He earned his Super Gas license during our classes at Auto Club Dragway in Fontana last October.

Please watch the trailer below and be inspired by his story!

(right click on the link if it does not play automatically)


Our friends at John Force Racing put this video together for us after the Corporate Day we did for them in Las Vegas this summer.

Click on the video link below to view – you’ll love the ending with John and myself!  Enjoy!


 The Dragster Adventure Challenge with Side-by-Side Racing works great for a corporate day.  There are lots of options and track locations available.  Contact us and let us help you put together an unforgettable day for your company or group!


Frigid temperatures across the country didn’t stop students at Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School from bringing in the New Year with a roar at the school’s annual “New Years” class held in Gainesville, FL.  Blue skies and warm temperatures greeted the drivers that made the trip south.  Following two days of tire smoking action and over 70 quarter mile runs, a new group of NHRA competition licensed drivers will start the 2014 season on the right track. DSCN2103.1

Classes will continue here at Auto Plus Raceway in Gainesville for the next several weeks and then we’ll be headed west for Phoenix, AZ.  This will be the school’s first trip ever to the Phoenix track.

Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park is the new name for the facility in Phoenix, previously called Firebird Raceway.  The raceway is under new management.  I’ve been talking with the folks there just this week and I think racers, fans and our students will be quite impressed when they see the racetrack.  They have a new concrete racing surface, new state of the art Compulink timing system and many other improvements.  Our Phoenix class will run Feb 25/26, just after the National Event and before the Division event which will give our students the chance to take in some NHRA racing action in addition to driving our cars.

The school will be back in Gainesville after our Phoenix trip with classes in March following the Gatornationals.  This class is always popular with students looking to escape the long winter, travel south to watch the Gatornationals and enjoy some race car driving at the school.

Then it’s off to Fontana, California for the school’s debut at Auto Club Dragway.  We are so excited about the re-opening of the drag strip at Fontana!  Our classes begin at Fontana in April with our competition licensing courses and our new Adventure Dragster course which offers ‘side-by-side’ racing.  The Fontana, California track will be a regular visit on our 2014 tour.

In the next few weeks watch for updates on our new race cars and new transporters!


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