Well, it's been a busy few weeks for us here at Midwest Streetcars. We started off the month making a trip out to the west coast til film an episode or two of Street Outlaws. I personally love it out there...as long as I get to be on or close to the beach...otherwise, DAMN. Get your shit together, Cali lol. We did have lots of fun though. Shawn and I started the trip off by driving to Venice Beach with our buddy, Jeff Lutz. Being around Lutz is always good time full of laughs, which is good since Venice was much further away from where the production team had us put up than what I initially realized. At least we got to laugh plenty during our hour and half trek to the beach. What did we do once we go there? Well, Shawn and I got tattoos, and Lutz made fun of us, as per usual lol. What tattoos did we get? I got the I-405 sign since every time we're out that way, we always seem to do lots of driving on that road and just because I think it's cool because it says 405. What did Shawn get? A cockroach lol. Why? To remind him of the hotel we were staying in while in California (it was a real gem lol).
Enough about our escapades though. How'd the racing go, right? Unfortunately, I can't give you too many details since it was filmed for the show, but I will say it should make for a badass episode! The road we raced on almost seems like it was built FOR street racing. Almost like someone on the city council said "hey guys. I know we're fixing to lay this patch of blacktop to connect these two main highways...BUT, this stretch of it right through here; we're going to make it really flat and make it concrete" lol. Very jealous of the guys who get to race there all the time.
We got to spend about a week out there. Spent a couple days on the beach, watched some professional skate boarding and surfing, and got to cross another item off my bucket list by going to watch a Dodgers game at Dodgers Stadium. Very cool stuff.
Once we made the 1300 mile journey back to Oklahoma via I-40, there was no time for rest. In fact, it was time to drop the cars off at the shop for some 'minor' repairs and then haul the trailers out to Thunder Valley to get our pits setup for Outlaw Armageddon 4.
Thursday night testing actually went pretty decent. The Judge and Murder Nova both made some killer licks, and even the OG with me behind the wheel tried to make a good pass. But, if you'll remember from my previous entry (Livin The Dream), I got scared and lifted lol. Friday, however, started the "great shit show" lol. We entered all 3 cars in the big tire unlimited class, which is basically, if it's got doors on it, you can pay your entry fee and race for $50,000. I was first up from the Midwest Streetcars camp in the OG Murder Nova on small tires. I drew the #2 chip which meant I'd be the second pair of cars to go down the track that day. Awesome lol. It was kind of weird rolling up to the waterbox and seeing Chief and Shawn through my windshield. Normally, I'm standing by one of them as the other rolls up. Kinda neat lol.Surprisingly, the car tried to hook in the heat of the day, I just got outdrove by my competitor and took the loss. Next up was Shawn and he drew the living legend, Larry Larson. We had no choice but to turn the new Murder Nova up to 11. So that's what we did. And it worked! Shawn left on Larry and had a couple cars on him until about 400' where it began to shake and stop accelerating, allowing Larson to drive around him for the round win. Larry let Shawn know after the race that he wasn't expecting Shawn to get that far out on him and was on his emergency override (oh shit I need more boost) button very quickly to try and track him down. Finally it was Chief's turn to put on a show for the crowd. And that's exactly what he did...probably not the way that he had hoped for, but it was a spectacle none the less as you'll see in the video below.
While we were all out of competition for this day, it didn't stop all the great fans from coming over to the pits to show the guys some love by getting their autographs and taking pictures to remember the moment by. Winning is relative, right? Once the class racing began to wrap up for the day, a grudge race for $5,000 was setup between Chief and Daddy Dave. Of course Chief came away with the win and the $$$. Then he (Chief) got to add another notch to his belt later in the evening by lining up with the owner of the quickest door car in the world, Frankie "The Madman" Taylor and smacking him around for an undisclosed amount. That's cool stuff there.
Saturday didn't really bring any better luck for the Midwest Streetcars team. I was entered in the Small Tire class with the OG Nova, while Chief and Shawn were both entered in the OG Steel Body class. Shawn drew Daddy Dave first round and just didn't quite have enough power in the New Murder Nova to get the win. Chief drew Robin Roberts and his beautiful '68 Firebird. Unfortunately this race caused quite the controversy both in the pits and on the internet (imagine that). The Firebird made it to the finish line first, but rolled after he was already set by the flagger, a rule that was discussed in the drivers meeting prior to first round. Definitely not the way Chief wanted to advance to the next round, but when you're racing for the $50,000, you'll take it any way you can get it. That's where the "luck" would stop though. After Chief's burnout in the second round against Monza, Monkey looked under the car and found that the wishbone was broke causing Chief to have to sit there and watch that shiny black Camaro make the trip down broadway. Armageddon was then in the books for team Midwest Streetcars.
Just a few of the great shots from various photographers at Outlaw Armageddon 4
From there, we got a small break. Like, a full 3 days to relax before it was time to head east on I-40 for the biggest no-prep in the history of no-prep drag racing. $200,000 to win at Thunder Valley in Bristol, Tennessee. While the Murder Nova was in good shape and didn't really need anything other than a fresh set of GoodYears, The Judge was hurtin'. I don't know the specifics, but besides having to build a new wishbone, Monkey was at the shop until 1-2am for 4 days straight welding on the chassis. The car is really starting to show it's age and is keeping Monkey busy trying to keep it from breaking in half at 170mph. I started my trip a day ahead of the guys so I could get to Bristol in time to get our merchandise trailer setup at the Nascar race that was happening the Friday-Saturday before our race. Quick little nerd fact here: by the time I reached my destination, I had traveled a little over 2,100 miles of the 2,550 miles of I-40 that stretches across the country in the last couple weeks. From desert, to mountains, to flat lands, to rolling hills, and then back into the mountains, each place holds its own beauty...you Tennessee drivers that insist on driving in the left hand lane ONLY, sure make it hard to appreciate the scenery around there though lol.
This is another one of those deals where I can't give out too much info because it was filmed for the show. But, I will let you all know we got our teeth kicked in lol. Shawn was able to make some huge strides in the new Murder Nova and laid down some killer passes both in testing and in competition. Chief on the other hand had his hands full with The Judge both days. He brushed the wall with the bullhorn on the drivers side on his first test pass and then on a later pass another issue struck. The guys still aren't 100% sure what the issue was or what caused it, but it seems as though the line-lock didn't release when he let go of the transbrake. Then, when the car set the front tires down at 400', it almost immediately blew out both front tires sending him in the wall on the passenger side, causing enough damage that they were up until 4am the next morning making repairs so that he could make first round. Be sure to watch our social media pages for the videos of Monkey doing Monkey thangs to fix the car so Chief could race lol.
I will say, even though we sucked at racecar the last couple weeks, the guys (Chief and Shawn) are straight up MACHINES when it comes to interacting with the fans. After both were eliminated from competition on Tuesday, they stood at the edge our pit for nine and a half hours signing autographs and taking pictures with all the great people who came to watch them be awesome on a Tuesday. In that 9.5 hours, the weather swung from 90 degree heat and humidity, to torrential downpours of rain. But none of it affected their efforts to make sure everyone got what they stood in the ridiculously long lines for. On behalf of them, I want to thank you all for coming out to meet us and sticking it out until the end. It's amazing the amount of people that show up on a Tuesday to watch a couple 'dirtbag street racers' and their friends play with racecars. Thank you all so very much.