Frank Hudson has been racing cars since he was 18 years old. Every chance he had, he was heading to the Detroit Dragway or Motor City Dragway to race something… anything.
Frank not only loved racing cars at an early age, he had a passion for classic cars as well.
“My entire life, growing up in a Shell Gas Station with my dad, I started working on classic cars,” says Frank. “I received my auto mechanic license and I now own my own NAPA / AAA auto repair and towing business.”
Frank can take a look under the hood of most types of cars and diagnose what is wrong with them, but was unable to diagnose the cause of his shortness of breath when exercising.
When he saw his doctor for a routine stress test (heart disease runs in his family), he was admitted for a heart catheterization and was diagnosed with a severe blockage of the left main artery of his heart. In addition to the main artery, three other arteries were partially blocked.
Nicholas Tepe, M.D., Beaumont cardiovascular surgeon, who Frank would later learn shared the same passion for drag racing and classic cars, was called in to explain the surgery to Frank. On May 7, 2013, Dr. Tepe performed Frank’s coronary artery bypass surgery.
Fast forward one year and Frank’s recovery is going well as he prepares for one of his favorite events of the year – the Woodward Dream Cruise.
“I have lots of memories of the Dream Cruise. Lots of beautiful classic cars, hot rods and meeting different car loves from all across the country,” Frank explains.
Dr. Tepe describes the Dream Cruise as a, “unique world class event that just happens to run right by Beaumont, Royal Oak. There’s nothing else quite like it in the world.”
During his recovery, Frank and Dr. Tepe bonded over their mutual interest of cars. Frank owns a “very serious” stock drag car and also sponsors Ron Capps NAPA nitro Funny Car in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) circuit.
Frank even invited Dr. Tepe and his wife to join him in Las Vegas this year for the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show at the Las Vegas Strip Race Way to meet Capps and visit NAPA’s VIP tent.
“Frank and I hit it off because of our mutual interest. I am a drag racing fan and he is in the business,” said Dr. Tepe. “It isn’t often you’re invited to events like these, so we’re quite honored to attend.”
“Dr. Tepe saved my life and this was my way of doing something special to repay him,” Frank explained.
“Since my surgery, I feel better, I have more energy and, most importantly, I’m alive,” Franks says reflecting on the past year of his life.