No prep racing fans were treated to a ton of great heads-up, clocks off, side-by-side drag racing action at the nineteenth running of Chi-Town’s King of the Streets (KOTS) no-prep event, held at Great Lakes Dragaway in Union Grove, Wisconsin. King of the Streets is well regarded as the birthplace of no-prep drag racing, and it has remained near to its roots over the years. The eight-class event brought in the usual no-prep heavy hitters, along with some new blood that set out to give the veterans a run for their money.
The day began with rain showers that cleared out mid-morning, leaving the event with overcast skies until fog and mist set in around late evening. Downtime between classes was kept to a minimum, which helped to get racing completed at an event record-setting end time of just after eight, before unfavorable weather returned.
New names were added to winners history books in the Juniors and Seniors car classes; A KOTS veteran racer, Max Pizzi, claimed his first KOTS win in the Juniors class with his pump gas El Camino, ‘Kilpil,’ after taking out Cranky Frankie in the final round. Anthony Mangiaracina, known in racing circles as Tony V, piloting his burnt orange fourth-generation Camaro in the Seniors class, successfully made it through three rounds and took the win in the final from the recently rebuilt Fox body Mustang named ‘Section 8,’ driven by Kevin Connolly, better known as Plumber Kevin.
Kevin Connolly may have finished runner-up with the Fox body Mustang, Section 8, in the Senior class, but Connolly secured the win for his team in the Gangster 26 class after beating out Pete S’s Fox body Mustang in the final round. This is the second win Connolly has earned piloting a car for Curtis Martin, a fifth personal Gangster class win, and he still continues to hold onto the record for having the most KOTS final round wins.
Repeat Unlimited class winner, Craig Shefchik was back with his beautiful purple Chevelle in an attempt to claim a third win, but the 2015 class winner, Kilpatrick, ended up the victor after taking the win in a suspenseful final round against Brian Mitchell, best known as Tuff Enuff, and his Chevy II Nova. A perfect reaction time of .000 from Kilpatrick over Tuff’s .012 red-light only intensified the celebration.
Two quarter-mile exhibition car classes were added to the day’s run order: a 220 Hard-Tire class for non-AWD cars with a minimum 220 UTOG tread wear rating and a 275 class for cars with a maximum size drag radial of 275. Both classes were invite-only and capped at eight cars. Matt Strange took the win over Greg Olejars in the final of 275 and Christo Papagaris was the victor in the Hard-Tire class against Joey DeYoung.
Three bike classes rounded out the event with the Junior class seeing 16 entrants and eight entrants each in the Extreme and Senior classes. Sam Reichelt came out on top in the Junior class after the final round against Phil Stoll, a two-time Senior Bike class winner. Shawn Books collected a repeat win in the Seniors class after winning the class last fall at KOTS XVIII, and the final round of the Extreme class came down to Joey Peters and Mike Sarauer, with Peters taking the win.
For those interested in racing or spectating at the 20th King of the Streets event at the end of the summer, Great Lakes Dragaway in Wisconsin is the place to be on September 15th, 2018, and you better believe we’ll be there!