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.
It’s been several years since students have roared down the quarter-mile at Virginia Motorsports Park. “We always loved running classes at Virginia Motorsports Park” said Frank Hawley. “It’s a great track and good location for all of our customers on the East Coast. Scheduling classes this year has been challenging, to say the least. But things are getting better. We’ve run classes this summer in Gainesville, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Columbus, Denver, Woodburn and now we’re adding Richmond.” continued Hawley.
The School plans to offer the 2-day NHRA licensing program on September 24 & 25. You can earn your competition license in our Super Comp Dragster, Super Gas Door Car or bring your own race car to class. This class includes Frank’s Personal Performance lectures, too. The popular Dragster Adventure program will be held on September 26. This is an incredibly fun program for everyone where drivers get to race side-by-side in 130 mph dragsters in the Dragster Challenge. If you’ve always wanted to get behind the wheel of a real drag race car, the Dragster Adventure/Challenge program is for you!
Contact Jeff Arend or Paul Shields with any questions or to register. You can also purchase the Dragster Adventure/Challenge on-line at www.frankhawley.com. Seats are limited in all programs and pre-registration is required.
We’ll be working on 2021 dates soon, but check out all the dates/locations coming up this fall. *Remember dates for the Alcohol Funny Car & Dragster are scheduled on request.
Jeff Arend, firstname.lastname@example.org, 909-973-8279 cell
Paul Shields, email@example.com, 904-472-6312 cell
What a great title for the promotion put on by The Automotive Distribution Network!
Repair shops were invited to participate in a unique two-month promotion where GRAND PRIZE winners were chosen to attend an all-expenses paid trip to the “Drag Racing Adventure at Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School” in Las Vegas, NV. Shops simply purchased parts from 30+ sponsoring manufacturers where each dollar earned a point, which earned an “entry” in the drawing so the more points they earned, the bigger their chances to win. The winners were randomly drawn at the end of the promotion.
Driver Kevin Smalley took home the win and the trophy for the day! “Thank you to Frank and his team for an exciting and awesome time in Las Vegas! I enjoyed it so much that I signed up for a competition license class in August!”
“The group from Parts Plus had a fantastic experience”, said Steve Tucker! “The day we spent with Frank and team was the highlight of our Vegas trip with our customers. The day was fun, exhilarating and exciting! We had 16 grand prize winners attend and we had drivers participate in age from 30 to 75! The fact that the steering wheel and pedals can be adjusted to fit just about any size driver made it easy to accommodate everyone as well. We look forward to doing it again!”
“We had a great time working with Steve and all the folks from Parts Plus. Everyone performed well in the dragsters and with a little luck Kevin was the top driver. We’re looking forward to working with them again!” said Frank Hawley.
Contact us for a fun day for your group!
Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School is coming to Woodburn Dragstrip in Woodburn, OR June 7-10! “This is the first time we’ve ever brought the school to Woodburn and the response has been fantastic!” said school founder Frank Hawley. “There are only a few seats left in the Super Comp/Super Gas competition license course on June 7-8 as well as the Dragster Adventure program on June 9. The folks at the track have been very helpful in welcoming the school to Woodburn.”
“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 course is designed to work for drivers with various levels of experience.”
The two-day Super Class 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, 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 June 9th and 10th. 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 and advance registration is required, so call now to reserve your seat for the June 7-8 competition course, or book on-line for the Dragster Adventure on June 9 or 10.
For additional information, please call 866-480-7223 and speak with Jeff Arend (x103) or Paul Shields (x102) at Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School. Also visit the school’s website at www.frankhawley.com.
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