HILLMAN - The 19th annual Hillman Street Drags, sponsored by Wheels of Northeastern Michigan Car Club, is quickly approaching and will fill Progress Street in downtown Hillman with street legal vehicles that are prepared to race against the clock for one-eighth mile run.
"This is our 19th year. We're happy things have been going great for so long and we get so much support. We're looking forward to giving back to our community," Dennis Walker said.
According to Walker, 30 trophies will be awarded to participants throughout the races, but the race is limited to 70 vehicles. He said pre-registration is recommended because spots fill quickly, but vehicle registration will be available the same day of the race from 9-11 a.m.
"We allow all street legal vehicles, including motorcycles. People who participate in the races run a variety of speeds ranging from 65 miles per hour to 140," he said.
New to the races this year are three classes, trophies will be awarded every quarter-second bracket in all three classes. The first class is blower/nitrous cars and trucks class, the second is for cars and trucks, and the third is a motorcycle class.
"We're also giving out a trophy for the fastest vehicles in each class," he said.
The 2011 fastest car was awarded to David Quinn of Mt. Morris, who raced 1965 Buick G.S. which raced 5.533 seconds at 140.75 mph. The 2011 fastest bike was awarded to Rodney Bidwell of Atlanta, who raced his 2002 Honda CBR 954RR at 6.856 seconds going 113.46 mph.
While the races reach high speeds, Walker said safety is a focus with concrete barricades and fences set to separate spectators from the street. There will be a concession stand available, but alcohol will not be served or allowed at the event. Bleachers will not be provided, spectators are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and canopies and tents will be allowed only in designated areas.
"All together, I would say around 1,400 people come to watch the races. This is the largest event in Hillman. This is one of the only places that allows racing in streets," he said.
The 2012 Hillman Street Drags will be held Sunday with racing starts at 12 p.m. Spectator admission is $5 and children 12 and under are free. Driver registration fee is $40 and will include a T-shirt. All vehicles and pit people must be in the area by 11:15 a.m.
Walker said money will go toward the Hillman Fire Department, ambulances, scholarships, fireworks, and other community events.
Emily Siegmon can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 358-5687.