Arend’s entire career has been devoted to drag racing. He has worked as a mechanic, instructor, sales rep and race car driver…a position he continues to hold as driver for the “Grime Boss” NHRA Nitro Funny Car owned and campaigned by drag racing legend Jim Dunn.
Arend and Frank Hawley go way back. Both natives of Ontario, Canada, they grew up racing at the same drag strips in Southern Ontario and both fulfilled their childhood dreams of one day getting a shot in the “big show,” driving NHRA Nitro Funny Cars.
When Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School opened its West Coast program back in 1996, Hawley needed experienced, skilled drag racing mechanics and drivers to maintain the school cars and instruct the classes. Arend was one of the first people he called.
“I had known Jeff for many years and was very familiar with his skill set,” said Hawley. “I needed someone that could tune and maintain our Alcohol cars as well as instruct our drivers. Jeff could do it all. I met with Jeff, offered him a position and he accepted.”
About the same time Jeff signed on, another “up and coming” driver came to work for the school: current Don Schumacher Racing Funny Car driver Jack Beckman. “We had quite a staff!” Hawley said.
When the school’s lease at Pomona was not renewed several years ago the West Coast staff continued building their own individual drag racing careers, but the relationships and friendships stayed intact.
“We are enjoying a time of growth at our racing school,” said Hawley. “We have new programs we are offering and new race tracks we will be attending. Jeff will be a great asset to our team and a great help to our customers. He understands every aspect of our business and of course everything about drag racing. Jeff will be able to help answer anyone’s questions and guide them to the perfect program.”
For Arend, his new position feels like a perfect fit.
“I’m excited about working with the school again,” he said. “I love talking with folks about drag racing and my job is wide ranging. On one call I’ll be talking with a guy that wants to come out and race his friends in our “side-by-side” Dragster Adventure, the next call I’ll be helping a future racer decide on the right direction he or she should take with their racing career and then I’ll be talking with a company executive or owner about a corporate day for their sales force.
“The fact that I’m currently racing a Nitro Funny Car on the NHRA Mello Yellow series is a real bonus for me and our customers,” Arend continued. “I’ll be at every major drag strip in the country this year and although I get very busy sometimes helping the crew with the car, it will provide a great opportunity for folks to stop by our pit and talk about their racing plans and how Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School may help them achieve their goals or fulfill their dreams.”
(Photo by Ian Tocher: Click to enlarge)
Contact Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School at www.frankhawley.com or 866-480-7223
Paul Shields x102, [email protected]
Jeff Arend x103, [email protected]