Drag Racer for a Day

by Michael Satterfield - 11/20/2015

A few weeks ago I was invited out to Auto Club Speedway for a day of automotive adventure (you can watch my short vlog on that here). One of the highlights of the day was a visit to Frank Hawley's Drag Racing School to take part in their Dragster Adventure Course. This course is designed to allow you to personally get behind the wheel of a real dragster.

Now this is not one of those faux dragsters that are fixed to a rail and you just mash the gas, this is the real deal and allows you to go from the classroom to the drag strip in one day. Now, this is not a licensing program, but it will allow you to experience the thrill of going down the 1/4 mile strip with a 572ci engine just inches behind you.

572ci Chevy Motors propel the dragsters from 0-60 in under 3 seconds 

While I've done some drag racing, it was in street cars so dragster was intimidating. But after our class session and being shown all the controls, I was suited up and ready to head down the strip. The first run is a rest to make sure you can control the car, and you only go 1/8 of a mile. But if you follow all the instructions and keep it safe, you are cleared to go the 1/4 mile as fast as you are willing to push it.

The test run went smoothly so I made my way back around and lined up for my second run, on Auto Club Dragway. After warming up the tires I rolled out onto the pad and waited for the lights to go from red to yellow, to green. I mashed the throttle and took the car the full 1/4 mile. It's hard to explain how exciting it is to have all that raw power launching you down the track, but it is an experience I will never forget. Climbing out of the tight cockpit, all I want to do is try it again, to go faster, to get a quicker time, but our time was over. In the end, I was the fastest in our group, hitting just over 122 mph at 10 seconds (See the video below).

After sitting down and chatting with Frank I learned that they offer this program at all of their schools across the country, including tracks in Arizona, Ohio, Florida, Illinois, and of course California. If you try it and catch the drag racing bug, well Frank and his team can help you with that as well, since they offer a full competition licensing program and have trained about half the pro drag racers in the country.

The one-day Dragster Adventure Course costs just $399 and of course, you can always get a gift certificate for the gearhead in your life.

For more information or to book your own adventure visit FrankHawley.com