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For Metro Detroit native Frank Jiovani, racing has never been an “all play” venture. Starting his racing career at the age of 4 in the quarter midget division, Jiovani has taken a businesslike approach in every aspect of his 20-year journey. Frank’s first two television appearances were at the young age of 5. Fox 2 News Detroit approached the Jiovani family after catching wind of the young talent sweeping up his first feature wins at the MMRA oval in Waterford, MI (also home of NASCAR stars Brad Keselowski and Erik Jones). Soon to follow, a local cable show, “Around Macomb County”, asked Frank to guest star on the weekly taping with his quarter midget race car on set. Frank’s natural candor led him to a radio show appearance and participation in local parades all before the age of 7.
“Professionalism has been the name of the game,” says Jiovani. “It’s easy to see why in today’s day and age a race car driver must dress, walk, and even articulate like a professional business person… it is all about the sponsors.” “Along with carrying a sponsor’s name on the hood of your race car, a driver must also represent that company on and off the race track.”
Frank, who goes by the nickname “The Shark”, has also worked very hard in school to achieve his goals. Obtaining his bachelor’s degree in Global Supply Chain Management at Western Michigan University, Jiovani has used lessons learned in college to his advantage. “Understanding the world of business has lead me to the realization that a race car driver must stay organized and efficient to be successful. Taking detailed notes when conducting chassis setup or documenting changes at the race track is a must,” states the 25-year-old shoe.
A hard working attitude in the gym is also on Jiovani’s agenda. Remaining athletic during the off-season and continuing a drivers in-season conditioning can be a challenging task as the daily obligations of work and family come into play. Jiovani sees this as a way to remain a step ahead of the competition. “As a high school varsity wrestler, I can easily understand the benefits of physical conditioning in a race car. The hot conditions in the cockpit, mixed with noise and dirt, along with other cars bumping/banging into you can lead to a loss of concentration in the closing laps of a long race. Remaining focused is much easier with the proper cardio training.”
“The days of jumping in the car and just driving are gone, a championship caliber driver must be physically conditioned, understand the geometry of the suspension, know the feel of the car from the driver seat, provide accurate and adequate feedback to the crew and not to mention have an elegant signature for the fans” jokes Jiovani.
With all of that being said, let’s not lose sight of the core values of racing. “I wouldn’t race if I didn’t have fun! Meeting up with close friends at the track and enjoying weekends together is what makes auto racing such a popular sport around the world.”
This season Jiovani's No. 45 ARCA Outlaw Late Model will carry sponsorship from Moran Chevrolet, 4th Street Auto, Shadowoods Race Engines, Gemini Electric, Comfort Temp Heating and Cooling, JV Auto, Ultra Grand Slam Sport Fishing Charters, PAC Racing Springs, Painter's Supply Co., Diamond Pistons, Quick Fuel Technology and Valvoline USA.
~Lives in Pigeon, MI