Frank Hawley Dragster Adventure
This class photo is more extraordinary than it seems at first glance. For one thing, it’s at the newly re-opened Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, CA. Note the beautiful, $1,000,000+ sound wall keeping the peace in the neighborhood. But it’s the people in the photo that make it special, some of the best and brightest in drag racing and automotive journalism. Read the text to learn more.

If you’re a regular reader of this magazine, than you know that we think the world of Frank Hawley and his drag racing school. Senior Editor Alex Rogeo has been through the school twice, once just auditing it and once last fall to get her super comp license. Frank is a rare individual, one who can accomplish both in the doing and the teaching. Frank won two NHRA fuel funny car world championships as a driver, and as a teacher has trained so many national champions that it would take more time to count them than to write this article. There are lots of professional athletes who excel in their sport, but they never transition into coaching after their athletic careers are over. That’s because doing and teaching are totally different skills. Frank has the intellect, curiosity, personality and methodology to break drag racing into discreet parts, analyze those parts, research the physiology and psychology of those parts and then design a curriculum to transfer what he has learned to his students.

But, what if you don’t want to be a drag racer, earn a racing license or go into all the detail that Frank teaches in his regular two-day classes? What if you just want the experience of driving a dragster? Maybe it’s a bucket list item. Maybe you’ve done a circle track driving “experience,” a supercar driving experience and now you want to do a drag racing one. Well, Frank now has you covered. Frank is introducing his new “Dragster Adventure” program at tracks where he conducts his school.

The Frank Hawley Drag Racing School is headquartered in Gainesville, Florida, but it travels throughout the year to six different states. You can check the schedule at to find a time and location that’s convenient for you. The new adventure is available at most of the dates on their calendar. It’s a real bargain with prices starting at just $399. For that money you’ll get instruction, be outfitted with helmet, race suit, gloves, shoes, etc., and get to climb into a real big block powered dragster. You’ll do burnouts, stage, launch on a pro tree and run out the quarter mile in the ten second zone. And oh yeah, you can get in-car video to remember the whole day.

To help spread the word about his new Adventure, Frank and his lovely wife Lana hosted a Media Day at Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, California. Members of the automotive press were invited to participate in a full day Adventure class which included a real bracket race after the familiarization passes. Around 20 media professionals showed up to drive, including our own Alex, and another dozen or so to document the whole thing as your Editor-Publisher, Richard Kratz did.

To kick the whole thing up a notch Frank invited John Force Racing world champion fuel funny car driver (and current points leader) Robert Hight and Don Schumacher Racing’s own fuel funny car world champion, Jack Beckman to be team captains for the day. Jack Beckman used to be an instructor at the school and it really showed. Jim Dunn’s fuel funny car driver, Jeff Arend was on hand too. Jeff has recently taken a position with the school to market the school and the Adventure to groups and others—if you have a team building exercise to plan, a group celebration, bachelor/bachelorette party, or want the most memorable family reunion ever, give Jeff a call. OK, so in the classroom to start the day we had four people which included three NHRA fuel funny car world champions and three current pro drivers. OK, we will admit, the pay in journalism these days may make peanuts look like an aspirational nut, but sometimes the perks really rock.