Summit Motorsports Park Sets Summer Dates with Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School
Written by Ainsley Jacobs
Beloved for its family-friendly environment and pristine facilities, Summit Motorsports Park has been heralded as “America’s Racetrack” for years. The dragstrip in Norwalk, Ohio, will host Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School with two great opportunities for participants to race on the iconic track starting with the competition licensing course on July 13-14 and concluding with the School’s popular Dragster Adventure on July 15, 2022.
Students who enroll in the 2-day NHRA competition licensing course need no prior racing experience, but they will surely complete the class with plenty of it. From the basics for beginners to techniques to improve for seasoned drivers, all who attend will enjoy personal progression and will be taught fundamental skills which are crucial to success.
In addition to important classroom instruction and lectures with Frank Hawley’s valuable wisdom, students will enjoy plenty of on-track seat time in either a Super Gas car or a Super Comp dragster. Individual coaching and personalized feedback will help them move forward with quicker and faster passes down the dragstrip.
“When you mention Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, you immediately think of the Bader family and legacy. The Baders have been the shining example of how to build a successful business in our sport, starting from the top with Bill Bader and continuing through the entire organization,” stated Frank Hawley, School owner. “Bill and I have been friends for many years and it’s always a pleasure for our staff and customers to visit that facility.”
On Friday, July 15, the summer heats up as Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School’s fun and famous Dragster Adventure gives lucky attendees the chance to compete in a thrilling side-by-side drag race with no prior racing experience needed as well. For friends, families, company employees or customers, or anyone who has wanted to drive a full-sized, competition-style dragster to a speed of 130 mph and accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3-seconds, participation in the Dragster Adventure program can be purchased online at www.FrankHawley.com (currently have waiting list for adventure).
“Frank Hawley is one of the very best and brightest in all of racing. He’s also one of the finest human beings I’ve had the privilege of meeting and I’m proud to call him friend,” affirmed Bill Bader, Summit Motorsports Park owner. “Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School is a transformational experience and one I highly recommend for racers and enthusiasts alike.”
Don’t miss the chance to make the most of the upcoming summer and race at the Bader family’s beautiful Summit Motorsports Park with Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School on July 13-15, 2022.
Seats are limited and courses sell out quickly. To reserve, please call 866-480-7223! Visit www.FrankHawley.com for all upcoming class dates and locations.
Jeff Arend, 866-480-7223 x103, firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul Shields, 866-480-7223 x102, email@example.com
Drive at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park with Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School
Written by Ainsley Jacobs
In drag racing, there’s perhaps no greater glory than capturing a win at the legendary Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park. The famed facility has hosted countless success stories over the years, and those who want to experience the same thrill on the hallowed grounds will have the opportunity to do so in early June of 2022 thanks to Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School.
With no experience needed to participate, both rookie racers and veteran drivers alike can obtain their NHRA competition license during the School’s 2-day course to be held on June 20-21, followed by the School’s popular Dragster Adventure on June 22.
Participants in the immersive 2-day licensing course will enjoy both classroom and on-track segments. Once the groundwork is covered, students will make longer and longer passes down the historic Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park 1,320-foot surface under the careful guidance of Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School staff with important, personalized post-run feedback and coaching.
“One of my most exciting victories came at Indy in 1982 when we defeated Don Prudhomme at the first-ever Big Bud Shootout which was, at the time, the richest drag race in history,” reminisced Frank Hawley who attended his first national event, the US Nationals in Indianapolis, at the track in 1969. “It’s great to return to Indy to teach students to race on one of my favorite tracks.”
On June 22, the focus shifts to flat-out fun as the Dragster Adventure allows participants the chance to race in a side-by-side matchup while clocking speeds nearing 130 mph in the quarter-mile. A great gift for family, friends, employees, customers, or anyone wanting to relish the rush of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds, no prior racing experience is needed to join the School’s Dragster Adventure and seats in the program can be reserved online.
“Whether it’s local bracket racers or national champions, everyone can learn from Frank Hawley and we appreciate the School spending time with our racers,” said NHRA’s Kasey Coler, Vice-President Track Management & Operations at Indy. “We love seeing accomplished racers sharpen their skills or novices take things to the next level. Frank is a fantastic teacher and does everything with safety in mind.”
Racing at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park can be a dream come true for those who register with Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School on June 20-22, 2022.
Seats are limited and courses sell out quickly. To reserve, please call 866-480-7223! Visit www.FrankHawley.com for all upcoming class dates and locations.
Jeff Arend, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-480-7223 x103
Paul Shields, email@example.com, 866-480-7223 x102
Written by Ainsley Jacobs
The impressive history and rich racing legacy of the family behind Lucas Oil Products, Inc. spans generations. Although the company’s products are celebrated on a global level, its staff stays grounded in their roots by supporting up-and-coming racers whenever possible, and, especially through their partnership with Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School.
Lucas Oil and the Lucas family, including founders Forrest and Charlotte, started collaborating with the School in the early 2000s when sessions were held at California’s Auto Club Raceway At Pomona. The Lucas’s son and current President of Lucas Oil, Morgan Lucas, developed his own successful racing profession as the pilot of the Lucas Oil-backed Top Fuel Dragster and attended multiple sessions with Frank Hawley as well.
“Frank Hawley has been a legend in our sport for a long time, but his accomplishments on the track don’t compare to those he’s had as a teacher,” noted Morgan, who sees Hawley as a valuable mentor who gave him a solid foundation on which to shape his multi-event winning career. “So many amazing drivers have come through his program, and Lucas Oil is proud to protect the engines that train the racers of tomorrow.”
Similarly, Lucas Oil’s Director of Partnership Marketing, Brandon Bernstein, is also a graduate of Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School and someone who understands the importance of supporting the next generation of drivers.
“It was back around 2000 when I attended for the first time, in the Super Comp class at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, and it was an unbelievable experience. Frank was meticulous with explaining everything and I knew I was in good hands with him,” said Brandon, whose father, Kenny “King Bud” Bernstein, regularly raced against Hawley. Kenny is known for being the first to break the 300-mph barrier from a standing start, for being a multi-time NHRA Funny Car and NHRA Top Fuel champion, and for being a former NASCAR and IndyCar team owner. “Growing up, the competitiveness between Frank and my father is what inspired my career as a racer and professionally.”
Both Morgan and Brandon have seen firsthand how much wear and tear the School’s cars are subjected to each year as they carry aspiring racers down the track. They know Lucas Oil’s products – including its vast line of motor oils, additives, and lubricants – are integral in enabling the cars to perform reliably and consistently.
“One of the many things that makes Lucas Oil so incredibly successful and a household name in motorsports is the fact that they are racers; they know the sport from every angle and they know what the race teams need,” stated Hawley. “They have champion racers integrated into all levels of their company.”
Although Lucas Oil is actively invested in growing many forms of motorsports, the partnership with Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School has always held a special significance on both ends.
“This is truly a passion project for us to know that we’re associated with Frank Hawley and to be able to give back to the racing community. All types of motorsports need the next generation of racers, and Frank provides a place for that to happen,” Morgan asserted. “I’m proud to be a part of this, knowing Frank is helping others as he did for me – his lessons can be applied to so much more in life than just racing.”
Brandon, too, especially enjoys watching racers cut their teeth at the School and knows those diehard, dedicated drivers are the ones that Lucas Oil was originally created for. “These are the guys and girls that are always grinding and driving to get to the next race and chasing the next round. They’ll blow a motor and thrash all night to get ready to race the next morning, and our products help facilitate that. We love supporting those types of people and helping make their dreams come true,” he shared.
“We supply all of the oils, lubricants, additives, and greases that keep the School’s cars running day in and day out, all year long as best as possible,” affirmed Brandon, who enjoys watching rookie racers learn the ropes through Hawley’s priceless lessons. “We love working with Frank’s team and plan to be right there with them for as long as the School’s programs continue.”
Hawley, who is grateful for his relationship with both the Lucas Oil company and the Lucas family over the years, added that “motorsports and the name ‘Lucas’ go hand in hand. We look forward to working together much more in the future.”
Written by Ainsley Jacobs
For NHRA Top Fuel legend and three-time world champion Antron Brown, there’s something even more important than the success of his career – the success of his children. Now, as his middle child, Anson, prepares to age out of Junior Dragster competition, Antron is passing the torch to the next generation of Brown family racers.
Before he got started racing in NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle in 1998, Antron attended Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School to complete their Pro Stock Motorcycle class; he joined the Don Schumacher Racing team in 2002 and returned to the School with teammate Angelle Sampey in 2005 to brush up on his skills.
In 2007, Antron once again trusted Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School to prepare him for the next step in his career when he received his Top Alcohol Dragster license and went on to pilot the pinnacle of performance, a Top Fuel dragster.
Antron remembers that time at the School as if it were just yesterday, as he shifted his alcohol dragster quicker than Hawley had ever seen anyone do before. “I was swapping feet and doing everything to leave the line and shift down the racetrack,” laughed the driver, who impressed his instructor tremendously. “Frank [Hawley] said the Top Fuel Dragster would be easier for me to operate, but more difficult due to the rate of acceleration and was prepping me to understand what would happen when I moved up.”
When he finally did make the jump, Antron’s natural aptitude made others wonder if he was a true rookie or a veteran of the category. Driving the 10,000-horsepower machine was practically second nature to Antron, and he credits the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School with helping him get to that point.
“It’s more than just learning how to go down the racetrack, it’s also a mind game. Frank has all of the knowledge to give you the mental focus and preparation to be repeatedly successful,” asserted Antron. “From true beginners learning the basics to experienced professionals, Frank can take a racer of any phase and help them learn something. If you have the willingness to learn, you’ll improve.”
When Antron’s son, Anson, wanted to go racing at just 8-years-old, the Indiana-based family fully supported the budding racer’s dream and got him started in the Junior Dragster ranks. With a few championship titles of his own in the Midwest Jr. Super Series, Anson showed promising skill early on. For his upcoming seventeenth birthday in 2021, though, Anson decided he wanted to step up to a bigger car and his parents gave him the gift of a Super Comp license course at Frank Hawley’s in June at the famed Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis.
Thinking back to his own days at the School and the nerves that came along with the unexpected, Antron tried to reassure his son that he would be just fine – and he was. “All of the kids in Anson’s Super Comp class listened and responded well. It’s amazing to see the next generation of drivers come up all together,” shared Antron, who enjoyed seeing the kids compete on the track and cheer each other on throughout the entire experience. “I remember seeing Anson’s face and his excitement when he came back from making his first full quarter-mile pass over 150 miles per hour and thinking… wow, he’s all grown up.”
Anson was admittedly nervous at first, too, but quickly realized that he had no reason to be. “I had a great time and Frank was amazing with his instruction. I don’t think anyone could have taught me better, not even my dad,” laughed Anson, who enjoyed receiving feedback on how he could improve as a driver and hopes one day to get behind the wheel of a Pro Mod doorslammer or nitro-fueled Funny Car or Top Fuel Dragster just like his father. “The Super Comp car was bigger and faster than my Junior Dragster and was really exciting. Whenever I’m in a car, I’m happy.”
Hawley loves shaping a part of drag racing’s future through helping aspiring drivers, especially teens, to cut their teeth in a safe and controlled environment.
“Anson clearly has learned a lot from watching and listening to his dad,” affirmed the School’s founder. “Antron is a perfect example of how you can actually achieve your dreams in our sport. He has worked his way up to a champion driver and now an NHRA Top Fuel team owner. He’s one of the best drivers in our sport, and he does an incredible job for his sponsors. He is truly a perfect role model for Anson.”
Although Antron and Anson both are ready for the next phase of the young man’s driving career, the elder knows that there is no rewind button on life. Instead, he’s simply trying to enjoy the moments, memories, and time that they have in the Junior Dragster ranks while they still can.
In addition to Anson, Antron’s two other children, Adler and Arianna, are also carrying on the family’s drag racing tradition with their own endeavors. Where all of their careers ultimately take them (after college, of course), and whether that’s within the automotive industry or not, Antron and his wife, Billie Jo, will always love and support them unconditionally.
Written by Ainsley Jacobs
Three-time NHRA Funny Car world champion, Robert Hight, has enjoyed tremendous success throughout his drag racing career. When his daughter, Autumn, decided to push her own driving skills to the next level, he made sure that she got the same great instruction from Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School just like he did when he was younger.
Robert first attended the School in 2003 to complete its Super Comp course, then returned in 2004 to obtain his Top Alcohol Funny Car license. Having started with John Force Racing over a quarter-of-a-century ago as a crew man but knowing right from the beginning that Funny Car was his destination, Robert worked hard to achieve his goal.
“I still remember being surprised at how difficult it was to drive a Super Comp car. It was a really humbling experience for me,” shared Robert of his rookie experience nearly a decade prior, which included much more than just on-track driving. “I believe that Frank Hawley’s class has been instrumental to my achievements and in my career. Frank has a lot of knowledge and experience. If you pay attention, you’ll learn a lot of life lessons, too.”
At just eight years old, Robert’s daughter got her start following in the family tradition of racing. Autumn began racing NHRA Jr. Dragsters and worked her way up through the age groups. Although she hasn’t been able to get to as many events as the family would like, due to Robert’s competition calendar, she finished strong in third overall in her class in 2020.
Now, as her 17th birthday isn’t far off, Autumn is taking steps to start fielding Super Comp dragsters – just like her father’s former days. As Robert had such a positive experience at Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School himself, the family made the easy decision to enroll Autumn in the School’s courses as well.
To prepare for her participation in the School and maximize her time there with a head start on learning the ropes, Robert had Autumn sit in a Super Comp car at their shop so she could run through the procedures. She arrived at Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School in late June of 2021 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis, Indiana, and – unsurprisingly – did quite well.
“I sat through some of the lectures, too, because Frank is the best teacher I’ve ever had. Having won three world championships, I still don’t have it all figured out and I enjoyed learning more,” laughed Robert, who was admittedly a little nervous about his typically timid daughter. “She’s maybe 5’2” and was the smallest in the class by a long shot. When I saw her go and make her first run, she could barely see over the dash.”
Despite her diminutive stature, Autumn stood out in the class. She drove with complete confidence and determination, and even had the fastest speed as a byproduct of her weight advantage. “She just put her foot down and did a full burnout, unlike some others who are too quick,” said Robert with pride in his voice. “In my opinion, she made the best first pass of everyone. She truly did a great job.”
Autumn absolutely loved every minute of her time at Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School, her huge smile clearly evident after every run even with her helmet still on thanks to the glow on her face and the excitement in her voice. “It was such an awesome experience!” proclaimed Autumn. “I learned a lot more than just driving the actual race car, and Frank made sure that everyone was very involved in the overall classes and learning about everything.”
Seeing Autumn drive one of the School’s cars brought back memories for Hawley of when he first watched her dad do the same. “She did a great job, but when you have a guy like Robert Hight, in my opinion one of the best Funny Car drivers ever, as your coach, I wasn’t surprised by her performance,” he affirmed. “We’ve been fortunate over the years to have worked with all of the John Force Racing drivers and we look forward to helping Autumn with her future endeavors.”
The Hight family plans to have Autumn continue her NHRA Jr. Dragster career until she ages out and moves on to the next level. While her ultimate goal isn’t clear just yet, it’s likely Autumn will engage in Super Comp competition while also considering future options as well as avenues outside of racing – if she chooses. “I’ve encouraged her to pursue school activities or sports or gymnastics or dance,” said Robert, “but she loves racing and wants to be at the track.”
With her first Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School coursework completed, Autumn is already eagerly planning her return. “I want her to go back again in six months so she can learn more,” confirmed Robert, who understands the importance of knowledge when it comes to racing at 170+ mph. “Just about everyone who has attended from John Force’s family has become Rookie of the Year, and I give Frank Hawley a lot of credit for preparing us for that.”
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!
In a year that has been like no other, we are very grateful that you put your trust in us in 2020! We’re thankful for all the friendships and relationships we have made and we look forward to making more in 2021. Thank you for your support and patronage of the School! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a healthy New Year!
A Blessed Christmas and the Happiest of Holiday Seasons from Frank, Lana, and our team!
Luke 2:9-11 – And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them…And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
**Christmas card art by Jim Brando
New tracks added in 2021, so check our website for the confirmed dates and a class near you!
Contact Paul or Jeff for information on any of our programs!
Paul Shields, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-480-7223 x102, 904-472-6312 c
Jeff Arend, email@example.com, 866-480-7223 x103, 909-973-8279 c
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 www.frankhawley.com or give us a call at 866-480-7223!
“The first cars we ran when we opened the school in 1985 were our TAFC’s,” said school founder Frank Hawley. “We added TAD’s a year later and have been training drivers in these types of cars ever since. Many of the top drivers in our sport, Robert Hight, Antron Brown, Steve Torrence, Doug Kalitta, Jack Beckman, Brittany Force, Matt Hagan, Austin Prock, Jordan Vandergriff, and many more have trained with us over the years,” continued Hawley.
“Drivers rely on us to give them great training and provide reliable race cars. It’s really important that we give that to them. Reliability and performance go hand in hand and that is why we started using MGP rods,” said Hawley. “I had heard from many sources that MGP rods were a great product. When I first held one of the rods in my hands, I was very impressed with the fit, finish and feel of the product. After running them for several classes we’re convinced we made the right choice.”
“Our goal at MGP is to connect customers to victory. Teaming up with great people like the Frank Hawley Drag School helps us do that. MGP provides industry leading connecting rods to drag racers ranging from sportsman classes to top fuel and we are excited to be a part of drag racing education with this great school,” said Chris Reiter.
Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School offers training in a wide variety of cars with programs to suit every budget, so if you’d like to go drag racing give the school a call!
Come and join us for what many of our clients call a “life changing experience”. Not only will you get the best drag racing instruction available anywhere but Frank’s lectures cover a broad range of topics on how we think, act and behave and how to retrain your mind, allowing you to perform at a highter level in both your professional and private life.
Since so many of our competition license classes have been sold out this year, we wanted to get the word out about our fall and winter class dates! First, we added a NEW class on October 1-2 at Gainesville Raceway! The October 11-12 class at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway only has a few spots available. And there are a few seats left in the class at Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, CA on October 17-18 so we added a second class on October 24-25.
We’ll be running classes all winter at our home track in Gainesville, FL and currently have classes on December 4-5 and December 27-28 to finish out 2018. We’ve added a few dates for the competition license class in 2019 too in Gainesville – January 22-23, February 5-6, February 19-20, March 19-20 and March 26-27.
Drive well in this program and you can earn your license to 7.50. The competition license course includes classroom, in car and on track instruction. Drivers will make progressively longer 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 and those currently racing can improve their skills.
Please contact Paul Shields x102 or Jeff Arend x103 at 866-480-7223 for information on any of the classes and to register. Pre-registration is required in all the programs and the seats are limited so don’t wait. Group event dates and the 200 mph classes are scheduled on demand.
Photo credit Dragster & Firebird: Rich Samuels