Busy times at FHDRS! We have been running lots of classes and helping new racers earn their NHRA competition licenses this year! Our annual class after the 50th Gatornationals is always a melting pot of drivers, and this year we had people attending from all over the US, Canada, Norway and England. We followed up with a Funny Car class, hosted another Super Comp/Super Gas Competition License Class and the one-day Dragster Adventure. Then while we were getting ready to head west, we added another 2-day competition license class and Alcohol Dragster class to help more people earn their licenses to go racing.
When you receive this we’ll be running classes at Tucson Dragway. Following Tucson, we head to Auto Club Dragway and then on to Las Vegas. While our classes in Vegas have been sold out for some time, we have a few seats left at the Fontana class on April 24-25. There are also a couple seats in the Dragster Adventures on April 19 and April 26 at Auto Club Dragway. Class dates coming up: Gainesville Raceway May 14-15 (license class); Route 66 Raceway May 23-24 (license class); Houston Raceway June 5-6 (license class) and Houston Raceway June 7 (dragster adventure); Woodburn Dragstrip June 26-27 (license class with only SC Dragster seats left) and Woodburn Dragstrip June 28 or June 29 (dragster adventures); Summit Motorsports Park July 15-16 (license class); Heartland Motorsports Park July 30-31 (license class); and Maple Grove Raceway August 12-13 (license class). More fall dates on our calendar, too!
Many of our dragster adventure days are already sold out, so we thank you for your support of this program and please know we’ll try to increase the dates for these next year!
All the competition license classes include the lectures on how to “Improve your Personal Performance”. The classroom sessions cover the physiology of how your mind and body work together. You’ll learn how to mentally prepare, perform at the highest level, improve focus and block out distractions. Frank teaches how to practice more effectively whether at the track, at the shop or at home. He’ll share techniques on how to remove the emotional baggage (everybody has some) that can often disrupt good performance. People share with us they find this classroom time extremely useful in their work, at home and of course on the track!
Remember, our Alcohol class dates are scheduled on demand, so give us a call if you’re ready to take that next step in your career.
Paul Shields and Jeff Arend can answer all your questions about our programs and their contact information is below. We look forward to seeing you at a class soon!
Jeff Arend, firstname.lastname@example.org, 909-973-8279 cell
Paul Shields, email@example.com, 904-472-6312 cell
The Mickey Thompson Dragster Challenge days are always exciting, but this time we were fortunate to introduce some special celebrity guests to the thrill and excitement of drag racing! With Mickey Thompson distributors from Freedom Tire, Les Schwab Tire Centers and Keystone Automotive competing against special celebrity guests Doug and Brad DeBerti from the Discovery Show “Twin Turbos“, and Eric Barron who drives the Mickey Thompson Lucas Oil Off Road Race Series truck, you just knew it was going to be a fun and special day!
In the celebrity guest final Brad DeBerti had an almost perfect .001 reaction time to take out a red lighting Eric Barron. In the distributors final, Frank Hernandez had a great light to take out Scott Borden to win the trophy and bragging rights of the drivers from Les Schwab Tire Centers.
All in all, it was a great day of team building and drag racing. “Frank Hawley and his team of professionals have done it again! Said Kirk Fenn, National Accounts and Business Development from Mickey Thompson. Our guests were treated to an amazing day of learning how to drive these dragsters.”
The School has been relying on the high quality and consistent performance of Mickey Thompson drag slicks for all our race cars for many years now.” “As the premiere drag racing school in the country we travel to a lot of different locations and we see all types of track surfaces and temperatures.” “We know we can rely on Mickey Thompson slicks to give us the traction, durability and performance for all our students,” said Frank Hawley.
Contact us about a fun day for your group! The Dragster Adventure Challenge is great for team building, employee reward, customer promotion, sponsor day, etc. Call Jeff Arend x103 or Paul Shields x102 at 866-480-7223 to discuss providing a most memorable day for
your group. Private group events are scheduled on demand, as are the 200 mph class dates in the Funny Car or Dragster. Information on all the programs offered by the School, class dates & locations can be found on our website at www.frankhawley.com
We’ll be heading west soon for classes at Tucson Dragway, Auto Club Dragway and the The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway!
The school will be offering both the Super Comp and Super Gas Licensing courses as well as their fun Dragster Adventure Program. The Dragster Adventure Program offers drivers a chance to get behind the wheel of a dragster for as little as $399 and also give folks a chance to do some ‘side-by-side racing!
You can earn your license to 7.50 in the 2-day competition license program and classes are filling up quickly at all the venues, so don’t delay in contacting Jeff Arend x103 or Paul Shields x102 to register at 866-480-7223. During the 2-day license program novice and veteran races alike will benefit from Frank’s renowned lectures on Personal Performance.
Tucson Dragway – SC/SG/BYOC April 12-13; Dragster Adventure April 15
Auto Club Dragway – SC/SG/BYOC April 18-19; Dragster Adventure April 20 or 27
The Strip at LVMS – SC/SG/BYOC April 30-May 1
And of course there are lots more dates & locations on our website at www.frankhawley.com! Please contact our guys for information on any of our programs! Jeff Arend, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-480-7223 x103 or Paul Shields, email@example.com, 866-480-7223 x102.
It’s awesome there are lots of people getting ready to race this year! So, due to overwhelming demand, we have added an additional competition license class on March 22-23 at Gainesville Raceway. We’re doing everything we can to let people know about this new date, so please help us spread the word! You can earn your competition license to 7.50 in this program, improve your skills if you’re moving up to a faster car, or check an item off your bucket list. This class is a great foundation for future racing in NHRDA, NMCA, NMRA, PDRA, NHRA, IHRA and your local bracket races.
If your interest is in the alcohol cars, or you’d like to schedule a group event, remember those dates are on demand, so you’ll need to contact us to schedule.
Below is a link to currently scheduled class dates/locations. We hope to see you at a class soon! Contact information is below to reach out directly to Paul or Jeff.
Class Dates & Locations
Paul Shields, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-480-7223 x102
Jeff Arend, email@example.com, 866-480-7223 x103
Photo credit: Rich Samuels
By Brandon W. Mudd
Part of what makes a business successful is experience. Another part is the quality of people who support that business. Frank Hawley is a two-time NHRA Funny Car champion, one of the sport’s 50 Greatest Drivers, and, for more than 30 years, the owner and lead instructor at the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School, so the experience is a no-brainer.
And the support? Well, when companies like Summit Racing Equipment spend year after year supporting the school, it’s obvious Hawley has built a credible empire based on results and customer satisfaction, both for racers and marketing partners.
Jim Greenleaf, the motorsports and events manager for Summit, said the school has provided his organization the ability to reach out to new groups and new clients.
“We were on board with Frank before I was in this position,” he said. “I’ve been with the company 20 years, so in the eight years I have been in this capacity, we’d already started a relationship with the school and Frank.
“Obviously, the main reason to get involved is because of what Frank’s doing, whether he’s teaching somebody who is looking to improve their skills or somebody who is new to the sport. There are opportunities there for us to help us reach that racer and to be a partner with them going forward in their racing career.”
“We have been with Summit for a long time. Summit has supported our sport for many years at both a Sportsman and a Professional level. I think our customers, the racers and enthusiasts have come to rely on Summit as the source for performance parts. I know that my staff uses them on a regular basis. It’s one stop shopping, with great service and great prices,” said Hawley.
Greenleaf said Summit Racing Equipment maintains its relationship with Hawley and the driving school due to both the programs the former drag racing champion provides for students and Hawley’s abilities to teach and motivate.
“I know folks that have been involved and are very impressed with the program that he runs,” Greenleaf said. “Again, it’s a top-notch program from the quality of the cars to Frank as a speaker and a motivator.”
When many think of the NHRA, they think of the Mello Yello Series and its Pro drivers. While Summit supports drivers such as Pro Stock champions Greg Anderson and Jason Line and Funny Car driver Tim Wilkerson, the company’s bread and butter comes from the Sportsman ranks.
Hobby racers and part-time drivers who have full-time jobs outside the sport are the ones Summit Racing Equipment wants to reach the most. Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School gives them that opportunity.
“It’s a local guy who is home working on his car in the garage, in the shop,” Greenleaf said. “It’s the guy that can go out and race on any given weekend. Whether it’s his daily driver or whether it’s a purpose-built race car, there really is no other form of motorsports that allows the participant to do that, to get involved at such an entry level, without a huge investment necessarily and that’s really our customer base, it’s that do-it-yourself racer.”
And to Jim Greenleaf and many other automotive industry representatives, Hawley and the school is a great way to reach those drivers. Regardless of whether it’s someone looking for a couple days of fun in a race car or someone looking to follow in Frank’s championship footsteps, Summit knows the school is a capable method of reaching a new customer base.
“Frank is kind of the next step,” Greenleaf said. “As they want to improve, they go to see Frank and obviously we want to be a part of that as they grow in the sport.”
Contact the School at 866-480-7223 for information on any of their programs, class dates & locations and also visit their website at www.frankhawley.com. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram!
Hawley and Hughes. Two iconic names in the sport of drag racing will begin working together this November when Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School begins classes at the new Tucson Dragway.
“We’re really excited to be offering classes in Tucson,” said school owner Frank Hawley. “I already knew that Tucson had a great drag strip but as soon as I heard that Jim Hughes was taking charge of the racetrack I grabbed my phone, called him and asked if we could be a part of his new venture. Jim has both an amazing history in our sport and an impeccable reputation. He is a world championship-winning driver, successful businessman and a true friend to the sportsman racer. Jim and his team will do a fabulous job working with everyone from the fans to the racers and of course our mutual marketing partners,” added Hawley.
“We have had remarkable interest since announcing that we will be taking over the operation here in Tucson,” stated Hughes. “I was flat blown away when Frank called and expressed his interest in immediately partnering with The New Tucson Dragway and couldn’t be more excited about collaborating with a fellow world champ, working with him and learning from him and his staff.” Hughes went on to state.
In Tucson the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School will be offering both the Dragster Adventure programs and the Competition Licensing programs.
The Competition Licensing courses have started the careers of thousands of today’s racers. In these courses the drivers are trained and certified to drive race cars as quick at 7.50 ET. Participants choose to drive either the S/C dragsters or the S/G door cars. These courses also include Hawley’s popular seminar on “Personal Performance Development” which combines elements of psychology and physiology in an informative and entertaining way to help each student reach their maximum potential.
The Dragster Adventure programs are for individuals, groups or companies that are seeking a fun, high energy experience. This course puts drivers at the controls of a real dragster and gives them an opportunity to race in a heads-up “side-by-side” 130 mph competition with other students! The Adventure cars are equipped with automatic transmissions making them user friendly for a wide range of drivers.
“We can’t wait to get started in Tucson this November. The weather will be awesome, the track will be great and the Tucson team will be ready. We’d love you to join us!” said Hawley.
Class dates for Tucson are this November with the Competition Licensing Course on November 19-20, 2015 and November 21, 2015 for the Dragster Adventure. For more information on the school or to schedule a class visit frankhawley.com or call 866-480-7223.
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!
By Jeff Smith
Photos by Mike Morgan and Jeff Smith
For 28 years Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School has been the leader in drag race driving instruction and licensing. Thousands of bracket and class racers and many of today’s Pros are on the graduate list.
This year the school has added a new program, the Dragster Adventure. The Dragster Adventure puts drivers behind the wheel of a real competition-styled 230” wheelbase dragster and lets them race in “side-by-side” competition!
Unlike the cars in Hawley’s well-known “Licensing Programs” which require a medical and two days of instruction, the Adventure Dragsters are powered by ZZ454 Chevy big blocks which are a milder version of the school’s 572 c.i. competition engines. However, even the ZZ454s are a little too powerful and to keep the cars away from 9-second runs, as per NHRA licensing requirements, the engines are throttled back to produce 10-second, 130 mph performances. But don’t think for a minute that these cars aren’t fast…they’re really fast!
The design of the cars, allows students to get up to speed in a half-day course and if they choose to, enter into ‘side-by-side’ eliminations in the afternoon. So when Frank invited me to do some racing at the Media Challenge, I jumped at the chance.
The race was at Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, CA which was re-opened this spring. I joined a number of other journalists for the one-day course offered by Hawley. The event was to promote both the re-opening of the Auto Club Dragway and the return of Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School to Southern California.
To add a little excitement to the race and to give some folks much needed advice, Hawley invited John Force Racing driver Robert Hight and Don Schumacher Racing driver Jack Beckman (a veteran Hawley school instructor), as guest instructors. Nitro FC racer Jeff Arend, a sales rep for Hawley, joined in to help coach the media.
It all sounded like great fun, but these are very quick dragsters and just like you wouldn’t put a neophyte in an aircraft with no instruction, the same is true with these dragsters. First, we spent an hour or so with Frank in the classroom going over the intricacies of how to drive his dragster, then we moved outside where we were fitted with helmets and the all-important safety gear and driving suits. Finally, we learned how to get in and out of that tight cockpit so at least we looked like a 20-year veteran.
Once we had the basic instructions committed to memory, it was time to drive the cars. We first had to perform a burnout, stage the car, react to the ‘Tree’ and make an 1/8th-mile pass. Once we’d managed that successfully under Frank’s and the rest of the coaches watchful eyes, we returned to make a full quarter-mile run and prepare for qualifying, which would be based on Reaction Time.
The format for the race was a .500 Pro Tree, and a handicapped start with dial-ins. 5.0 Mustang and Super Ford magazine’s KJ Jones hit a perfect 0.000 reaction time to take the top spot in qualifying. On the other end of the field was Car Craft’s Douglas Glad who red lighted and therefore found himself at the bottom of the ladder. Using a Pro ladder, this placed Jones and Glad against each other in the first round. The rest of the field also paired up based on their qualifying times.
Although we were given instructions on dialing the cars in, each participant had to choose their own dial-ins. There were a few variables to consider including the drivers weight, the order the cars ran, temperature changes and more. Both Beckman and Hight helped their respective teams figure out how to negotiate the dial-ins based on each car’s previous best e.t.
The first matchup promised to be exciting as Glad had to take on top qualifier Jones. Both reaction times were within 0.005-second giving KJ the ever-so-slight advantage. KJ slowed only 0.008 against his 10.62 dial-in which seemed close enough to deliver the win, but Glad nailed his, running right on his 10.78 dial to take the win. First round also saw several racers forget to pull their shift lever back into First gear after the burnout, which meant the car left in high gear. Among the victims of this oversight were the author, Henry De Los Santos, and at least one other. Racer Alex Rogeo looked good in her first pass with an impressive 10.45 on her 10.44 dial-in. This was impressive given all the variables, but she has lots of bracket racing experience so she knows the bracket game well.
Hot Rod’s Elana Sherr transitioned to the second round as did Camaro Performers’ Nick Licata, Vette’s Steven Rupp, Speed Scene Live’s Donnie Couch, and Car Craft’s Douglas Glad. Alex beat Elana in the all-girl race when Elana broke out after pulling off an excellent reaction time advantage, Couch put Calin Head out with a great start, and Rupp beat his buddy in an in-house duel when Licata redlighted.
For the semi-final round, Glad met Alex the Car Girl. Glad nailed the ‘Tree but slowed against his dial-in giving Alex the win light when she ran dead on her 10.32 dial-in. That produced the closest race of the event with a 0.023-second margin of victory. On the other side of the ladder, Couch bested Rupp when the ‘Vette editor gave away a 0.063-second advantage on the starting line when he slowed against his dial-in. This gave us the final round of Alex The Car Girl versus Couch The Big Guy. Couch got the slower dial-in head start and both cut lights within 0.016 with Couch taking the advantage. Alex had been living on the edge of her dial-in all day and the gamble finally caught up with her when she broke out by a scant 0.020-second but it was enough to give Couch the win and the champion’s trophy.
Hawley’s Dragster Adventure program is an absolute blast. It is the only place where you can learn how to drive a 130 mph dragster and race it in competition in one single day. Hawley takes this program around the country to various tracks and it’s the perfect way to spend a day with your friends or for a company outing.
Check the school’s website www.frankhawley.com and see when they’ll be in your area.
Thanks to the Hawley’s and the staff for a great day!