Summit Racing Equipment Fulfills Racing Dreams at Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School
Written by Ainsley Jacobs
For almost forty years, Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School has been the primary leader in racing instruction and entertainment for aspiring professionals, thrill-seekers enthusiasts, and everyone in between. Summit Racing Equipment has been involved with the School since 2004 and, thanks to Summit’s support of sportsman-level racing, Frank Hawley’s has been able to make drag racing dreams come true for tens of thousands of speed students.
Similarly, the World’s Speed Shop®, Summit Racing Equipment has provided high-performance parts to its customers at fair prices with fast shipping and outstanding customer service since 1968. The company first partnered with Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School nearly two decades ago as a way to continue its support of the enthusiast and racing communities.
“We value what Frank [Hawley] and his team are doing by helping folks learn to race or take the next step to go faster in their careers. For some, it’s a bucket list-type item, but for everyone, they’re fulfilling dreams,” said Jim Greenleaf, Motorsports and Events Manager at Summit Racing Equipment and an employee of the company for 25 years. “Frank is improving drag racing, and we are proud to be a part of that by supporting the school as well as its students and racers.”
Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School creates a safe environment in which its students can learn while also promoting the sport itself in a professional manner. “I’ve attended some of Frank’s classes and I was impressed with how he presents the materials while keeping students focused, and how he progresses them on-track with each pass to safely grow their skills,” added Greenleaf, a sportsman racer himself who has spent countless Saturday nights blasting down the dragstrip and knows firsthand just how thrilling a trip on the track can be.
Instilling confidence and developing competence are core focuses of the School, as its curriculums are geared towards developing the next generation of drag racers. Summit Racing Equipment supports these same goals by offering a discount on its products to all of Hawley’s graduates, and also by endowing the School with fire jackets and pants, as well as other safety equipment and items that attendees may need.
“Working with Summit over the years has been wonderful,” affirmed Hawley, who trusts Summit as the School’s “go-to” source for almost everything needed to operate its programs and keep its race cars running perfectly. “Summit’s folks understand the needs of the customer. Racers need the right products at the best price and shipped fast. Summit does this better than anyone.”
The relationship has been such a successful one, in fact, that Summit plans to continue to work with Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School in the years to come. “Frank’s a great representative for Summit, and for drag racing,” shared Greenleaf of the School’s founder, two-time NHRA Funny Car World Champion Frank Hawley. “We love giving back to racers through contingencies or however else we can, and Frank’s School is a big piece of that puzzle.”
Summit Racing Equipment has a longstanding history of supporting drag racers at both the national and sportsman levels. “We’re going on roughly twenty years with the IHRA Summit SuperSeries and we’ve got the NHRA Summit Racing Series for bracket racers,” Greenleaf stated of just two of the many programs the company offers. Summit also sponsors the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, held annually at the iconic Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, Ohio. “We love giving racers a chance to race at their local tracks and go on to compete at a divisional level, and even to advance to the national stage where they can be crowned a champion all based on them having started locally.”
Whether it’s a lifelong racer finally succeeding in their goal of winning big, or a rookie whose natural talent takes them to the next level, or a husband-and-wife team competing together at something they both love, the stories that arise as a result of racing are what motivate the Summit team to not only continue their support, but to also expand it through new initiatives.
Ultimately, Summit Racing Equipment isn’t just a supplier of performance parts – it’s a supplier of the parts and pieces needed to turn dreams into reality, and Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School is proud to be partnered in making that happen. For those looking to enjoy the ultimate driving experience, Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School is the most respected and most visited of its kind in the world… all thanks to companies like Summit Racing Equipment.
By Brandon W. Mudd
Part of what makes a business successful is experience. Another part is the quality of people who support that business. Frank Hawley is a two-time NHRA Funny Car champion, one of the sport’s 50 Greatest Drivers, and, for more than 30 years, the owner and lead instructor at the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School, so the experience is a no-brainer.
And the support? Well, when companies like Summit Racing Equipment spend year after year supporting the school, it’s obvious Hawley has built a credible empire based on results and customer satisfaction, both for racers and marketing partners.
Jim Greenleaf, the motorsports and events manager for Summit, said the school has provided his organization the ability to reach out to new groups and new clients.
“We were on board with Frank before I was in this position,” he said. “I’ve been with the company 20 years, so in the eight years I have been in this capacity, we’d already started a relationship with the school and Frank.
“Obviously, the main reason to get involved is because of what Frank’s doing, whether he’s teaching somebody who is looking to improve their skills or somebody who is new to the sport. There are opportunities there for us to help us reach that racer and to be a partner with them going forward in their racing career.”
“We have been with Summit for a long time. Summit has supported our sport for many years at both a Sportsman and a Professional level. I think our customers, the racers and enthusiasts have come to rely on Summit as the source for performance parts. I know that my staff uses them on a regular basis. It’s one stop shopping, with great service and great prices,” said Hawley.
Greenleaf said Summit Racing Equipment maintains its relationship with Hawley and the driving school due to both the programs the former drag racing champion provides for students and Hawley’s abilities to teach and motivate.
“I know folks that have been involved and are very impressed with the program that he runs,” Greenleaf said. “Again, it’s a top-notch program from the quality of the cars to Frank as a speaker and a motivator.”
When many think of the NHRA, they think of the Mello Yello Series and its Pro drivers. While Summit supports drivers such as Pro Stock champions Greg Anderson and Jason Line and Funny Car driver Tim Wilkerson, the company’s bread and butter comes from the Sportsman ranks.
Hobby racers and part-time drivers who have full-time jobs outside the sport are the ones Summit Racing Equipment wants to reach the most. Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School gives them that opportunity.
“It’s a local guy who is home working on his car in the garage, in the shop,” Greenleaf said. “It’s the guy that can go out and race on any given weekend. Whether it’s his daily driver or whether it’s a purpose-built race car, there really is no other form of motorsports that allows the participant to do that, to get involved at such an entry level, without a huge investment necessarily and that’s really our customer base, it’s that do-it-yourself racer.”
And to Jim Greenleaf and many other automotive industry representatives, Hawley and the school is a great way to reach those drivers. Regardless of whether it’s someone looking for a couple days of fun in a race car or someone looking to follow in Frank’s championship footsteps, Summit knows the school is a capable method of reaching a new customer base.
“Frank is kind of the next step,” Greenleaf said. “As they want to improve, they go to see Frank and obviously we want to be a part of that as they grow in the sport.”
Contact the School at 866-480-7223 for information on any of their programs, class dates & locations and also visit their website at www.frankhawley.com. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram!
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.