Mickey Thompson Celebrates Staff and Customers with Dragster Adventure at Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School
Written by Ainsley Jacobs
For more than twenty years, Mickey Thompson Performance Tires and Wheels has been the official tire supplier of Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School. In addition to knowing the importance of providing the best racing rubber to its customers, M/T knows the importance of appreciating its hardworking employees. Every year, the company honors a select group by sending them to the School to participate in the popular Dragster Adventure Challenge.
Frank Hawley’s Dragster Adventure Challenge was specifically designed as a fun course to give enthusiasts the chance to drive a dragster – and also compete in a side-by-side race – without the stringent requirements of becoming a licensed racer. Available to the general public and to corporations at various dragstrips across the country, it’s an incredible opportunity for people of all ages and backgrounds.
The full-sized, competition-style cars are capable of running 0-60 mph in 3-seconds at speeds upwards of 130 mph in the quarter-mile. Like all of the cars at Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School, each one depends on Mickey Thompson’s American-made rubber to get them down the track safely, consistently, and quickly.
On July 12, 2022, Mickey Thompson brought sixteen of its lucky staff and customers to Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio, for a special day of excitement. Additionally, since Goodyear acquired Mickey Thompson when it purchased its parent company, Cooper Tire & Rubber, in 2021, several Goodyear engineers were invited to attend so that they could experience the M/T performance drag racing side of things.
“We’ve had a lot of discussions on how we can improve our products, both for our racers and Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School. Getting the Goodyear team out to race gave them a different perspective on things,” noted Jason Moulton, Director of Motorsports at Mickey Thompson. Moulton believes that perspective is the key to helping people understand the importance of their role in every process, whether it’s manufacturing or drag racing. “For our customers, we enjoy showing them why we work so hard to deliver the best performance with our race tires.”
Owner and founder of the School, Frank Hawley, has also enjoyed the longstanding relationship with Mickey Thompson. “In addition to the fantastic products that they manufacture, Mickey Thompson has assembled a great group of people,” shared Hawley. “Jason [Moulton] and his team consistently produce for us and our students, and we’re looking forward to many more years with M/T’s tires performing so well for our customers.”
Moulton wasn’t scheduled to participate in this outing, however, when another driver had to cancel at the last minute, he eagerly stepped in. “It was a great experience and helped me better understand what it’s like to drive from the customer’s perspective,” noted the man who also got an updated, firsthand look at M/T’s tire performance and consistency. “Plus, who doesn’t want to get in a car and go ripping down the track? It’s always a thrill, and the School’s instruction and equipment are top-notch!”
For Moulton, his favorite moments from the day weren’t centered around his time behind the wheel – instead, he loves seeing the sheer joy on a new racer’s face after making their first run. “Participating in a program like this is something that everyone absolutely needs to try,” he affirmed.
Of the group, which included seasoned racers like Moulton as well as rookies, it was Saiyd Drake, a 22-year-old M/T warehouse associate and first-time racer, who went on to win the Dragster Adventure Challenge race outright.
“It caught me a little off-guard since I wasn’t used to going that fast,” laughed Drake, who appreciated using the same tires he handles daily. “Frank and his team told me to focus on my reaction time, not to be nervous, and to go for it when I saw the lights [on the tree] change.”
Drake showed true natural talent and the School’s program helped him turn on several win lights in a row as he progressed through the friendly competition. Although the unexpected final round win itself “felt great and was amazing,” Drake especially enjoyed talking with the other racers and the School’s staff. “I loved it and would like to race more,” he added happily.
Whether it’s beginners like Drake or frequent competitors, Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School offers tons of amazing opportunities to strap into the driver’s seat and blast down the track. From the NHRA and IHRA licensing courses to the no-experience-required Dragster Adventure Challenge, everyone who attends will get the bonus of rolling on a set of Mikey Thompson’s iconic tires.
The Pawuk Family’s Legacy Continues at Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School with Second-Generation Drivers
Written by Ainsley Jacobs
Having grown up at the racetrack watching their father, Mark “Cowboy” Pawuk, race in the NHRA Pro Stock ranks, siblings Kyle and Kassandra Pawuk recently attended Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School and are actively continuing their family’s drag racing legacy.
Mark and his wife, Bonnie, raised their children to be strong, independent young adults and encouraged them to pursue their passions. Kyle played football for the University of San Diego while Kassandra pursued swimming and softball. Although Mark had taken a hiatus from drag racing for more than a decade to focus on his family, both Kyle and Kassandra encouraged him to get back at it with NHRA Factory Stock – and they each wanted to give driving a try, too.
“My wife and I talked and we both wanted the kids to go to a drag racing school to get experience, but the only place I would allow them to go was Frank Hawley’s School,” stated Mark. “I attended several times through General Motors when I was racing professionally, and I knew it’s a professional, first-class operation.”
When the family realized that there was an upcoming session in mid-July of 2022 at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio, they seized the opportunity to finally have Kyle and Kassandra participate at a track near their homes.
Kyle, 25, works by day as a superintendent of a Cleveland-based general contractor but is still actively involved in drag racing and had already been down the track a few times in a variety of Sportsman cars. “When we showed up, I didn’t know anyone except my sister. It was an interesting dynamic – we were the youngest ones there,” shared Kyle, who expected more rookie racers of his own age.
The two-day licensing school kicked off with Frank Hawley’s renowned classroom sessions where he educated students on the logistics of drag racing and the importance of the mental side of things. “It was great and they taught us so much,” Kyle added of the experience, which soon transitioned to on-track racing. “I was happily surprised that, after making a run, they would go over the details and discuss the things we could be doing better. I enjoyed learning how your brain works and how that impacts your function as a driver.”
For him, letting go of the trans brake button for the first time was a truly memorable experience. Kyle quickly got the hang of things, though, as he went from initial sensory overload to more situational awareness. “At first, it was just, hold on and go straight and hope it’s okay,” he laughed. “By the end, I had a better feel of where the car was on the track, what it was doing, and what I was doing as a driver.”
Kyle was able to drive both a Super Comp dragster and a Super Gas door car. Although he enjoyed piloting a dragster for the first time, he prefers the greater challenge that an enclosed door car provides due to the limited visibility.
“Overall, it was a great experience and I was fortunate to be able to attend Frank Hawley’s School,” affirmed Kyle, who is already hard at work building his own Chevrolet to run in Super Gas in the near future. “Learning from some of the best in the sport was huge, and everyone was very helpful.”
Kassandra, however, had never been down the drag strip at all – despite having worked in hospitality and social media for years with many of NHRA’s top-tier teams.
“The classroom was excellent and then it was time to get in the car… I wasn’t nervous about racing until I did it!” confessed the 27-year-old. Although she admittedly struggled with stress, it was thanks to the support and encouragement of both the School’s staff and her fellow classmates that Kassandra was able to push through and persevere in the School’s Super Comp licensing course. “By day two, it was totally different and I had a lot of fun.”
For her, enjoying the experience was secondary to being able to more accurately understand what her client-drivers go through on a day-to-day basis. Kassandra was pleased to expand her working knowledge from behind the starting line to behind the wheel, too, which will ultimately strengthen her career.
“It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in a car or never raced at all like me… if you have the chance to attend the Frank Hawley School – do it!” asserted the media professional.
“I’ve known Mark for many years and have great respect for him as a racer, businessman, and parent. Mark and Bonnie should be very proud of Kyle and Kassandra. These are bright kids that will do very well in any profession they choose,” said school founder, Frank Hawley.
With both Kyle and Kassandra having excelled during their time at Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School, their father, Mark, is thrilled to see the second-generation racers following in his footsteps. His parents were there to encourage his drag racing endeavors, and he is honored to now be able to do the same for his children. “I got goosebumps seeing them run,” he said. “I don’t know where their paths will go, but if I’m on the starting line watching, then Bonnie and I will be pretty lucky.”
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
Hello Everyone! Who’s ready to get back on the track?
We know everyone is ready to get back to their regular lives soon and we are sure ready to get back to running classes! So whether you’re new to racing, moving up from Jr Dragster, or need to improve your skills, there are lots of class dates coming to a track near you! We also added a class following the rescheduled Gatornationals in June! And did you see we added Bandimere Speedway to the schedule this year? In addition to the popular Super Comp/Super Gas or Bring Your Own Car classes offered, the fun Dragster Adventure will be offered at many of the locations. Plus, we added a fall Dragster Adventure date in Florida!
If you’re looking to upgrade your license in the Alcohol classes, give us a call as those dates are scheduled on request at our home base at Gainesville Raceway.
Gainesville Raceway — May 12-13, June 9-10 (following the new Gators date), October 1-2, November 10-11, December 8-9, December 29-30 SC/SG or BYOC
Gainesville Raceway — November 20 – Dragster Adventure
Gainesville Raceway – January 21-22, February 4-5, February 18-19, March 17-18, March 24-25 Two-day competition license class; Dragster Adventure – March 27, 2020. These are just the spring dates – we run here ALL YEAR!
Tucson Dragway – April 5 Dragster Adventure; April 6-7 Two-day competition license class
Auto Club Dragway – April 15-16 Two-day competition license class, April 17 Dragster Adventure
Houston Raceway – June 3-4 Two-day competition license class, June 5 Dragster Adventure
Route 66 Raceway – June 24-25 Two-day competition license class, June 26 Dragster Adventure
Summit Motorsports Park – July 13-14 Two-day competition license class, June 16 Dragster Adventure
Bandimere Speedway – July 27 Dragster Adventure; July 28-29 Two-day competition license class
Woodburn Dragstrip – August 2 Dragster Adventure; August 3-4 Two-day competition license class
You can earn your competition license to 7.50 in the two-day competition license class in our car or yours, so please contact us and we can answer all your questions about this program. This is a great foundation if you’re building a car, moving up to a faster car or making the move up from Juniors. Or maybe it’s on your bucket list to take the class. You’ll learn so much more than how to drive the race car! Frank’s renowned “Personal Performance Development” classroom sessions cover the physiology of how your 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 whether at the track, at the shop or at home. He’ll share techniques on how to remove the emotional baggage (everybody has some) that can often disrupt good performance .
If you’re looking for a fun day driving a dragster, the dragster adventure is for you, friends, customers and employees. The Dragster Adventure is a fun course specifically designed for drivers that want to “DRIVE A DRAGSTER” and you can even compete in “SIDE-BY-SIDE” racing. This program does not have the in-depth classroom sessions that our competition course does, but is great for team building and group events too! Group dates are available on request.
If you’re currently racing and are ready to move up to a faster car, check out the 200 mph class! These upgrade courses are designed not only for those seeking to compete in Nostalgia Funny Car, Pro Mod, Top Dragster, A-Fuel Dragster, Top Alcohol Dragster, but also numerous other types of programs such as Super Quick, Quick 16 Shootouts, Super Pro, Big Money Bracket Races or anywhere a competition license to run quicker than 7.49 in a quarter mile is required. You can earn your license to 6.00 in these classes. Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School offers drivers who are looking to upgrade their current NHRA competition license to 3A or 3B or 2A or 2B in this unique one day course. Participation in this course requires a strong drag race history or successful completion of the Super Comp or Super Gas Course.
Call us with your questions or to book. Seats are limited in all programs and pre-registration is required.
Please call Jeff Arend or Paul Shields at the numbers below with your questions!
Jeff Arend, firstname.lastname@example.org, 909-973-8279 c
Paul Shields, email@example.com, 904-472-6312 c
Hey everyone! We have the majority of our 2019 class dates published on our website, so check them out! We also wanted to let you know that due to a delay with construction of our home track at Gainesville Raceway, our December 2-day Super Comp and Super Gas competition license classes will be held at Bradenton Motorsports Park. The original dates of December 4-5 and December 27-28 remain the same. As those classes are nearly full, we have added an additional class date on December 11-12, so we hope to see you in Florida in December!
Remember, the Funny Car and Top Dragster classes are scheduled on demand, at Gainesville. So if you’re ready to upgrade your license, give us a call and we can arrange some one-on-one time on the track for you with Frank Hawley and crew.
You can contact us by calling 866-480-7223 (Paul Shields x102 or Jeff Arend x103), or by emailing us through our website at the following link: https://frankhawley.com/contact/
If you haven’t had a chance to watch the video below, we hope you’ll take a few minutes to view it, as it is a great inside look at the 2-day competition license class. We think you’ll enjoy it, from our friends at Cars Illustrated Magazine.
Here at Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School we’ve been helping build successful careers and making dreams come true for a number of years! Whether you have attended our Dragster Adventure program or one of our competition license classes, our grads are our best endorsement and we are thankful for you all! For those that are racing, please keep us updated with your news and we will share it on our social media.
There are only a few seats left in the ever popular Super Comp or Super Gas class between Christmas and New Years. Don’t delay if you may be thinking about attending this class!
Our very knowledgeable guys, Paul Shields and Jeff Arend, are responsive to your calls, texts and emails so feel free to contact them with any and all questions you have about the school. Whether you want to bring your own car to a class, arrange a group event, buy a gift for someone, or even treat a potential sponsor to a taste of drag racing, give them a call. Their direct contacts are listed at the end of this email.
Below is a list of confirmed class dates. Please check back as we will be confirming other dates! **Additional dates for Group Events, TD/NFC are on demand
Gainesville Raceway: December 27-28, 2017 SC/SG/BYOC, January 13 Adventure (private group), January 16-17 SC/SG/BYOC, January 18 NFC, January 22 TD or NFC, February 6-7 SC/SG/BYOC, February 20-21 SC/SG/BYOC, March 20-21 SC/SG/BYOC, March 23 Dragster Adventure, March 27-28 TD or NFC. Summer, fall & winter dates for Gainesville will be coming soon!
Tucson Dragway: April 12-13 SC/SG/BYOC, April 15 Dragster Adventure
Auto Club Dragway: April 18-19 SC/SG/BYOC, April 20 Dragster Adventure, April 26 Dragster Adventure (private group), April 27 Dragster Adventure, October 17-18 SC/SG/BYOC, October 19 Dragster Adventure
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway: April 30-May 1 SC/SG/BYOC or May 2-3 SC/SG/BYOC, October 9-10 SC/SG/BYOC or October 11-12 SC/SG/BYOC
Route 66 Raceway: May 17-18 SC/SG/BYOC, May 19 Dragster Adventure
Royal Purple Raceway: May 23-24 SC/SG/BYOC, May 25 Dragster Adventure
Heartland Park: June 20-21 SC/SG/BYOC, June 22 Dragster Adventure
Woodburn Dragstrip: June 28-29 SC/SG/BYOC, June 30 Dragster Adventure, July 1 Dragster Adventure
Summit Motorsports Park: July 16-17 SC/SG/BYOC, July 18 Dragster Adventure (private group), July 19 Dragster Adventure
Maple Grove Raceway: August 14-15 SC/SG/BYOC, August 16 Dragster Adventure, August 17 Dragster Adventure
Paul Shields, 866-480-7223 x102, 904-472-6312 c, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff Arend, 866-480-7223 x103, 909-973-8279 c, email@example.com
Under beautiful skies, Mickey Thompson pitted some of their best employees and customers against each other in a 10 second, 130 mph battle to the finish line.
Kirk Fenn, MT National Accounts and Business Development, had this to say about the event, “Our employees and customers were jumping out of the cars with grins of excitement, especially our VP of Sales, Perry Lease”.
At the end of the day there was only one person left standing and that was Mark Klacik from Cyclone Auto. “Participating in the Dragster Challenge is as exhilarating as when I scuba dive with sharks!” “If you listen to Frank closely and follow what he says, you too could win.”
“We have been relying on the high quality and consistent performance of Mickey Thompson Drag slicks for all our race cars for many years now”. “As the biggest drag racing school in the country we travel to a lot of different locations and we see all types of track surfaces and temperatures.” “We know we can rely on Mickey Thompson slicks to give us the traction, durability and safety for all our students”, says Frank Hawley.
Contact us about a fun day for your group! The Dragster Adventure Challenge is AWESOME for groups – team building, employee reward, customer promotion, sponsor day, etc. Call Jeff Arend x103 or Paul Shields x102 at 866-480-7223 to discuss providing a most memorable day for your group! Read about all the programs on our website and see what class dates are coming up! Private group events are scheduled on demand, as are the 200 mph class dates in the Funny Car or Dragster.
World famous financial magazine Forbes, recently sent writer Jim Clash to Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School. Jim attended the competition license class at Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio. “It’s always a fabulous opportunity when our sport gets featured in the general media. And to have drag racing featured in a world class publication such as Forbes Magazine, was quite an honor,” Frank Hawley.
There are lots of class dates and locations coming up at Gainesville Raceway, Maple Grove Raceway, Heartland Park, The Strip at Las Vegas, and Auto Club Dragway!
Call us at 866-480-7223 to help you get started in drag racing, improve your skills, move up to the 200 mph cars, check an item off your bucket list, or arrange a fun day for you, your company or group!