Although drag racing is about going as quickly as possible in a straight line to get the win, life more often resembles a road course with its constant changes of direction. For Chris “BoostedGT” Hamilton, the stardom and success he achieved as a racer on Discovery’s Street Outlaws series has turned a corner, and now the man is enjoying an unexpected second career as the voice of the Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings series.
The Texas-based racer made a name for himself as one of the baddest contenders on the no-prep scene with his bright yellow, turbocharged, small-tire “Nanner” New Edge Ford Mustang Cobra; he later stepped up his program even further with the addition of his orange S197 Mustang, but it seems like fate had bigger plans for Hamilton.
“Back in Season 2 of No Prep Kings, there wasn’t a dedicated announcer. The cast would talk on the mic between rounds, or if someone got knocked out of the race, they’d come up to rehash it,” Hamilton recalls. Pilgrim Studios, the organization behind NPK’s success, was still sorting out a smooth, winning equation for the show’s live event logistics.
During an event in Tulsa, Hamilton was approached by NPK’s producer, who asked him to get on the mic. “I was like, ‘in front of all these people?! Oh God, no, that sounds terrible!’” laughs Hamilton, who had never announced before but was surprisingly good on stage. “But I started doing it, and it was fun. Things flowed well and they asked me to announce at a few other races.”
Hamilton was still busy racing in NPK’s small-tire category at the time, so he balanced his competitive endeavors with his newfound MC gig as best he could. For Season 3, though, Pilgrim suggested Hamilton handle the mic full-time instead of racing. “I’d rather race, and NPK’s small-tire payouts had been $10,000-to-win. But I weighed my options – I could either haul my car across the country and spend a ton of money on parts and fuel, or I could fly in and be a part of something great and growing and still get paid to do it,” says Hamilton.
I love racing, but I’m not going to ruin myself financially and go broke trying to win. Announcing is how I can be a big part of NPK.
Realizing the new opportunity was a win-win, Hamilton decided to go all-in as No Prep Kings’ official announcer. He still raced sporadically throughout Season 3 and often shared the mic duties with Chuck Seitsinger, but Hamilton mastered the microphone and established himself as an honest, fair, and respected Race Master.
“Racing is what got me into No Prep Kings in the first place and I’m a racer first and foremost, but, let’s be real here, I just don’t have the capacity to race at NPK at that level. I love racing, but I’m not going to ruin myself financially and go broke trying to win,” he shares. “Announcing is how I can be a big part of NPK.”
Hamilton has also been a hit with the fans, as his level-headed and professional yet humble nature makes him universally likable. He holds his ground when making calls on particularly controversial outcomes, and he always does so with a keen respect for his fellow racers.
Due to No Prep King’s nonstop schedule for the filming of Season 6 in 2023, Hamilton’s small-tire program came to a pause. And, as his opponents keep moving forward and advancing their own operations to even quicker elapsed times, Hamilton knows he’s now a few tenths off the pace. “My yellow car won a lot, but it really hasn’t changed since 2016. Nowadays, small-tire cars are all back-half at least, if not full chassis cars, and mine is still a full interior, stock suspension deal,” he laments.
Rather than struggle to find a place in the field, Hamilton accepted that he may need to change course once again and picked up a Fox Body Mustang coupe. The car brings him back to his roots, as the racer first started with an ’88 Mustang GT, but he’s even more excited about the fact that the new Mustang weighs nearly 1,000 pounds less than his Cobra.
Originally built by Wizard Race Cars, the double framerail, back-halved Fox body roller will receive the drivetrain from Hamilton’s yellow New Edge, albeit with a new FuelTech EFI system on board. Given that Hamilton already figured out the turbocharged and billet-headed small-block Ford combination and has plenty of data at his disposal, it should give him a much-needed headstart on getting back to the front of the pack.
“I’m trying to get it finished before Season 7 of No Prep Kings starts [in 2024] and then I’ll go testing between races to see how fast we can go,” states Hamilton. While handling the mic at No Prep Kings live events will be his primary focus for the year, Hamilton hopes to be able to hop in the driver’s seat when he finds the time.
With a normal Monday-to-Friday day job and his busy life as a family man only further complicating an already hectic schedule, though, it’s a good thing Hamilton can multitask.
Fans of the Street Outlaws series will know that Hamilton and fellow racer-turned-TV-star, Kayla Morton, have been together for years. Their son, Cooper, recently turned 8 years old, and Hamilton takes pride in being a good father to the growing boy. On weekends when he’s not away filming or racing, Hamilton can be found hanging out in the dugout thanks to Cooper’s busy baseball schedule; during the week, Cooper’s practices take precedence.
As the 2024 No Prep Kings season is about to begin, though, Hamilton is looking forward to being a part of the biggest no-prep series in the world. The supremely successful offshoot of the original Street Outlaws series consistently sees grandstands full of spectators. “No Prep Kings has really set the bar,” says Hamilton.
With events at many major NHRA facilities, NPK’s tour stops at some of the largest and most prestigious tracks in the United States. There’s an unforeseen downside to that, though, as Hamilton explains the track surfaces are so great that sometimes, they can even be a little too good.
“These big tracks don’t have the potholes and divots and bumps and all the things I’m used to racing on. With crappy tracks, the lack of rubber was the least of your worries – you had to navigate around the jump at the 330-foot mark,” he notes. “Racing on such a great surface makes it tough to have a true ‘no-prep’ experience.”
Even though NPK does not glue, spray, prep, or even drag its racing surfaces, after a few rounds of big-tire cars laying rubber through burnouts and hard launches, the starting line at a No Prep Kings race is often on par with standard prep-type events.
While some may argue that the flawless, flat racing surfaces can detract from the purity of no-prep racing, there’s no debating the fact that NPK’s cars are flat-out fast. “People say these guys don’t want the boards on because they’re slow, but the reality is that 3.70s and 3.80s are what it takes to win,” affirms Hamilton. To put those elapsed times into perspective, some of the quickest full-prep racers on 315 radial tires are still struggling to even crack into the 3.50-second zone.
The next season of No Prep Kings will definitely be extremely competitive with quicker passes than ever before seen on a no-prep surface, and Hamilton will be holding the mic through each and every thrilling moment of the straight-line action.