Once again, FIVE of the NHRA World Champions were our graduates! It’s amazing to know that the Frank Hawley School played a part in all of their careers. Congratulations to these great Champions! Steve Torrence– NHRA TF; Matt Hagan – NHRA FC; Erica Enders – NHRA Pro Stock; Stevie “Fast” Jackson – NHRA Pro Mod; and Megan Meyer – NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster. Additionally we’d like to congratulate Mike Bucher – NHRA North Central Region Top Alcohol Dragster Champion and Top Fuel driver Justin Ashley – NHRA Rookie of the year!
The premiere episode of the brand new series, “Jay Leno’s Garage” debuts this coming Wednesday, October 7th on CNBC!
The show, which was filmed at the Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, CA, features Drag School founder Frank Hawley and NHRA Pro Stock champ Erica Enders helping Jay find the fast way to the finish line in a Super Comp dragster!
“When the show’s producer called and asked if I’d be interested in helping Jay Leno learn to drive a Super Comp Dragster I said absolutely, without even asking for details,” said Frank Hawley. “I grew up watching Leno…I’m a really big fan. They teamed me up with one of our former grads and a good friend, Erica Enders. Erica is so talented, it was great working with her,” said Hawley. “Jay’s love of cars is genuine and he made it very comfortable for Erica and me.”
“Frank and I really enjoyed the opportunity to work with Jay. He’s a great guy and his love for cars matched ours. We had a lot of fun. I hope everyone watches the show.” said Erica.
So how did Jay do behind the wheel? You’ll have to watch the show to find out!
Remember…this Wednesday, October 7th, 10:00 pm EST on CNBC!
You can catch a glimpse of the segment at the 1:22 mark in the extended preview link below…
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!
This week I had the opportunity to help Jay Leno learn to drive a dragster for a segment on his show “Jay Leno’s Garage”! Everyone in America knows the name “Jay Leno” and most likely everyone knows that Jay is a huge fan of the automobile. His personal collection of cars is one of the largest and most impressive in the country. Jay loves new cars, old cars, fast cars, slow cars and race cars. And he loves to drive them! So when the folks from the television show “Jay Leno’s Garage” called me and said Jay wanted to learn to drive a dragster… I jumped at the chance to work with him!
Although Mr. Leno has a lot of experience in fast cars, I thought I could use a little help with the instruction, so my friend, former student and current NHRA Pro Stock World Champion Erica Enders stopped by to give me a hand. As a bonus, Erica showed up driving a brand new, not yet in production 2016 SS Camaro…and I got to drive it! We had an absolute blast and Jay and his team were a joy to work with. The location was Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School’s west coast home at Auto Club Dragway in Fontana and it was possibly one of the most memorable days I’ve had at a drag strip.
While you’re waiting for our show check out “Jay Leno’s Garage” on-line and take a look at all the other great cars Jay has gotten to drive in the past season.
The details and the outcome of Jay’s performance on the track won’t be released until the show goes on air in October but we’ll stay in touch with everyone and let you know an exact air time. It’s going to be a great show… you really don’t want to miss it.