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 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…
Summit Racing Equipment and Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School have been working together for over a decade. Having just come off a week of classes at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, OH it seemed like the perfect time for a thank you to our long-time partner!
This year the Summit logo has been worn by thousands of our students including stars like Jay Leno and Rutledge Wood.
We shot a segment with Jay for his new show “Jay Leno’s Garage” at Fontana and Rutledge Wood was behind the wheel of one of our Super Gas cars as he and Tanner Foust prepared for a segment of Top Gear.
Summit Racing Equipment is the world’s largest mail order automotive performance equipment company, with thousands of performance parts, aftermarket accessories, tools and garage equipment, collectibles, and stock replacement parts to choose from.
So, if you’re ever by one of the Summit retail stores, stop in. They host car shows, cruise-ins, have tent sales and more! Retail outlets are located in Tallmadge, OH, Sparks, NV and McDonough, GA.
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!