If there is any underlying theme in motorsports, it’s family. Mothers and fathers pass down a love of speed to their children, often three and four generations down the line. When drag racers pass through Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School, regardless of the venue, it is often with parents or children in tow.
Haley James is an 18-year-old drag racer from Albuquerque, NM who caught the bug from her dad, Dwayne. When she wasn’t watching him make passes, she was in the passenger seat of his street cars as he went down the track. Her dad taught her how to drive a golf cart at age 5 and by the time she was 11 she was in a Jr. Dragster.
Fast forward a few years later as she continued to watch her father race in the National Mustang Racers Association. Dwayne asked if she would be interested in getting behind the wheel again. With no hesitation, she said “Yes!” and as a Christmas present, she was enrolled in Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School.
“It was great!” Haley said regarding her experience with the school. “I learned so much there. Honestly, I assumed that the school was going to be super basic knowledge of things that I already knew since I had been involved in drag racing my whole life, but it wasn’t at all. I learned so many things I didn’t know before and Frank truly is a great teacher, very wise, and gives honest advice.”
Not only does Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School provide knowledge and experience in motorsports, it strengthens those family bonds, even for already tight-knit families like the James.
“Haley and I have always been close when it comes to these kinds of activities,” Dwayne said, “but now she truly understands the rigors and stress of chasing championships and speed records. That in itself has made our bond tighter.”
For Haley, the school and spending time on the road racing has taught her about a new family. “As far as my racing family,” she said, “it brings us closer because racing is how we bond and have fun and is also when we want to kill each other.”
The future looks very bright for Haley, currently the points leader in the NMRA Coyote Modified class. She has been in the winner’s circle at three of the events and runner-up at the other two. If she earns that title, it will make her both the youngest and the first female to hoist the big trophy at the end of the season.
“I see drag racing as being in my life forever,” she said. “I won’t be able to race every season, all six races, every year forever because of college and whatever my career may be, but there’s no doubt in my mind that I will race the rest of my life one way or another.”
Dwayne continues to watch his daughter race the 1320 in addition to running his own team and he will forever tout the benefits and the lessons learned from the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School. “Frank and his school are awesome!” he said. “His staff was courteous and professional. Frank’s insight into drag racing and life was well worth the trip.”
“I have and will continue to tell not only new drivers but experienced drivers that they should go to the school.”
Visit FrankHawley.com to see when they’re at a race track near you! Call them at 866-480-7223 with your questions and to sign up!
Upcoming dates for the 2-day Super Comp or Super Gas license class (like Haley attended):
September 15-16 at Gateway Motorsports Park in St. Louis, MO
October 6-7 at Auto Plus Raceway in Gainesville, FL
October 21-22 at Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, CA
November 10-11 at Auto Plus Raceway in Gainesville, FL
December 1-2 at Auto Plus Raceway in Gainesville, FL
December 29-30 at Auto Plus Raceway in Gainesville, FL
Follow Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School at:
Facebook at Facebook.com/FrankHawleysDragRacingSchool,