Level-headed, cool, calm, and collected, is not usually what comes to mind when you think of street racing. Especially from what we all see on T.V. today. The excitement, the yelling, the jumping, and the screaming are just some of the normal visuals you see during a street race. But when it comes to being the Race-master, you cannot let that excitement dictate your demeanor. Chris “Boosted GT” Hamilton is the best man for the job. In the heat of an argument or a judgment call that must be made, you can guarantee that Chris is going to make the best call to stick with the rules that were laid out before each driver before the race.
Each and every participant has the same set of rules and regulations. So when there is a discrepancy, Chris is there to help enforce what is already presented. It takes a strong person to be able to handle such a job as Race-master. But Race-master and drag racer weren’t always the titles he strived for.
Chris grew up in Fort Worth Texas, where he spent his days being a normal kid and teenager with his first car, a 1987’ S10 Blazer.
His father was into cars and engines long before Chris was even born. There was a street racing scene that his father participated in with his Chevelle, behind the Miller Brewery in the 1960’s through to the 1980’s. Even though his father had sold the car before Chris was born, he shared all of his stories with him and his knowledge on how to put things together and take them apart. Which came in handy for Chris as he continuously blew the motor in his Blazer, and then upgraded to a 1968 Chevelle of his own. As his father was teaching him little by little about motors, he had no idea he was laying the groundwork and instilling in him the basis of what his life would be like today. The normal household names of the drivers he paid attention to are John Force, Richard Petty, and Bill Elliot, all the old school greats.
There are some drivers out there who boast and brag about who they are and what they do. Chris is not one of them. He takes his job very seriously and has a somewhat normal life off-camera. His family does not fixate on his driving and Race-master life. He remains humble. Even though they support and keep track of Boosted, it is not the main point of their conversations. His health and happiness are. No Prep is not a one-stop shop for Chris. He has a job off camera and his own projects and hobbies. It is hard to think when you see someone so much on T.V. that they can be something else other than what is presented to the masses.
Chris is also a father and he loves every bit of being a dad. Chris also works as a contractor for the military. Just those two things alone can be more than two full-time jobs, then add in No Prep and his own projects and hobbies, this man is a machine. His full-time job has taken him all over the globe. He’s been in the USA, to Norway, to Italy, and Israel, just to name a few. He isn’t some sheltered gear head, that’s for sure!
With all that traveling he has done for work it made it harder for him to race and get his cars ready to run. Although since November he has had some downtime with work due to travel restrictions, he has made quite a new schedule for himself.
Every day Chris goes to work, comes home and works out, makes time for his son, and then works on his own cars usually by himself, and that is just when he is not filming. Although not to sell short the wonderful circle he has behind him helping him as goes along, Chris is a workhorse. The biggest struggle is time management with everything and it is a constant juggling act to keep it all flowing nicely. Not only does everything with the cars have to be ready, but also getting to the actual race itself is time-consuming. The travel to some of these locations is no “right around the corner” for some. He currently still lives in Texas, but a little further south than Forth Worth where he grew up. He is now in Burleson, TX. “Filming takes up a lot of time, but I make it work, I am very lucky to have the work that I do and I love it”. Filming for Mega Cash days alone took about 4 weeks. This life is not for the easily flustered.
Out of all the racing he has done his favorite views are from Bandimere Speedway in Denver Colorado, as well as Bristol Dragway in Tennessee. The views are breathtaking and how badass is it that you’re surrounded by mountains”.
Any No Prep Kings event is on his favorite list, but there is also the hometown small tire radial events. Those are held in the Ennis and XRP (Xtreme Raceway Park) areas. It’s the simple pleasures in life for him, and they are never taken for granted. “If there’s anything that I want to be known for, it’s that I was a good man and father to my son that’s all that really matters to me. All of the other perks are nice, but at the end of the day, it’s me and him. As long as they know I did a good job raising him, that’s all I ask”. His daily driver to and from work and to the gym is a small little car with minimal amenities and is great on gas. Now all these simple things do not mean that Chris is not a thrill seeker and adrenaline hound as well. Growing up he wanted to fly fighter jets for the military. He even has a few hours logged in the pilot’s chair.
He is also a great shot with quite a collection of an armory. No, he is not a doomsday prepper, he just likes the shiny things that go bang-bang.
“I am just a simple man, I don’t really care if I am famous or not and who knows me, I’m just very lucky to be where I am today”.
At home, Chris has a first-generation Lightning that he is putting in a Coyote motor in and mostly doing it by himself. It started small and he was just going to do the motor, and according to him, it turned into a full-on restoration. “I started from the front and continued, to every bushing, LMR (Late Model Restoration) must think I’m their best customer now”. Doing a full restoration and working on it mainly alone, it isn’t bad for having it for only a year. Chris is also known for his two mustangs his yellow and orange one. Both have made it so his work was cut out for him from small tire to big tire and all over. He has worked tooth and nail to get these cars running. “Both cars serve a purpose the yellow car is a streetcar, the orange one is radial track prep. “Street stuff with the orange car is tough, I never could get it right”. It takes a lot of hard work to get these cars just right, and said all with smiles, “I feel sorry for anyone who owns a 99-04 yellow mustang”. If he was to have a dream car it “definitely wouldn’t be a 2005 mustang”. Some people like various types of cars, and then there is Boosted, who would rather have a 55 Chevy, or a Toyota Supra. Two Lane Blacktop and American Graffiti are the cause for wanting the Chevy.
The spotlight that is on Boosted is extremely bright. Being the Race-master has a lot of duties that must be performed and huge shoes to fill.
When production asked him to run Mega Cash days he was of course honored and knew there would be a lot of work ahead of him. His previous work of learning how Chief and Limpy ran Cash Days, Chris was able to have the basics of what was needed to run Mega Cash Days. Discovery wanted something a little bit different and Chris was the man for the job. Circling back to being level-headed, cool, calm, and collected, he has brought to light the professionalism that is needed for such a huge event. For some, you would think you’d need a degree in working with people to be able to keep so many drivers and crew members happy and organized. “There are so many personalities to work with, 64 drivers, at least 3 crew members per driver, that a lot of personalities to deal with at once. Especially if something doesn’t go in their favor.
The hardest part is to be patient and not show back emotion and have tough skin. If you don’t have tough skin you won’t make it, they will eat you alive.
You have to make a call and stick to it.
You have to own it. Never sway, don’t get run over by anyone with a strong hand”. The nights are long and exhausting, there are times that a few Tylenol won’t even help, but Chris sticks with it. “That racing part, being in between those cars at the line, it’s a thrill of a lifetime and I love it”. His best words of advice, was to never take anything personally “when someone felt they were being wronged or upset, it’s not you that they are mad at”.
This specific type of persona is like gravity to others, and Chris has some of the best fans around. Not only for his driving skills and his two cars but also for his M.C. personality. The fans that follow Chris and his world are undoubtedly loyal. “I appreciate every person who supports me and is behind me.
I try to make every effort I can to say hi and sign things for them. They have spent their precious time and hard-earned money to see me, I can do my best to return the favor and try to get to each of them. I’m fine with the haters too; they keep me grounded.
I appreciate it all. From them all”.
Between having the best fans, he also has a fabulous group of friends and a small crew. He does not have large trailers and huge crews that follow him from event to event, but he does have the magic makers in his corner to help him out. Chris Shoemaker and Francisco Vega do all the fabrication that Chris cannot do and have never let him down. “You can’t put a price on that kind of loyalty and care”. He also has an engine builder Budd Morgan, who works double what a normal engine builder will do, just to make sure the job is done for his customer. Let us not forget Mark Bannert of Collision Craftsman in Huston Texas where Chris himself says he has a season pass with them. Chris averages about one crash a year, which to some may seem like a lot. If you look at how many passes these guys put on their cars in one season, it equals about what a “normal” drag racer puts on their car in about five years. Amazingly, these cars hold up as much as they do, and the amount of respect they should get for keeping up with the demand of filming and the fans viewing pleasure.
We all like to know more about our drivers and especially the Race-master himself. It is nice to be reminded that these guys and gals of the No Prep world are human too. A funny story that Chris shared with me is entitled 3 guys 1 truck. It is a tale of three men trying to get to a race. Chris and his small crew of Juan and Joseph were testing the original yellow car in Texas at Kennendale Dragway, they had to make it to Northstar Dragway about 45 minutes away. Eating on the go is a staple in this lifestyle, some tummies are better equipped for it than others. A Frito Pie was on the menu that night. On the ride up when Chris was driving a minivan had cut him off on the highway I-35. If you have ever towed a trailer with an F-150 you would know it is hard to get to speed and hard to stop as well. Joseph in the back had a great idea to bare bottom moon the minivan as they passed them by.
Once Chris was able to catch up to this minivan that was filled to capacity, Joseph dropped his pants like a champ and stuck his rear out the window. Laughing to the point of wanting to throw up is not just a phrase. Juan did just that. Laughing with friends to the point of tears and vomit. Juan sticks his head out the window so as not to get it in the truck. However, Joseph’s rear was still out there, receiving the backlash of it. Frito Pie coming from Juan in the front passenger side going 75 mph and reaching Joseph’s bare bottom in the back seat, all while the full minivan watched in horror as this all unfolded.
It is not to be taken lightly the struggles and effort that each of these men and women face to put on these events for the public to see. Speaking with Chris and getting to know the Boosted GT and Chris Hamilton was insightful to learn how one needs to be almost Zen and calm when dealing with such chaos at all times. Much respect goes out to him and all the other behind the scene workers to make these races viewable for the public.
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