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  • Writer's pictureKings Of Street Outlaws

15 Things Fans Don't Know about Street Outlaws

Updated: Mar 10, 2023

Every car reality show has its mysteries, and the cast members have their issues. Such kind of bitter-sweet state offers a great balance for the show. Such kind of a situation is always desired in most reality car shows these days, and one such show is Street Outlaws.

Most of the drivers competing in the race lose the impulse control that makes them stay in check while driving. Thus, it became evident that some of the riders made all sorts of bad decisions on set.

For this reason, and many more that you will listen here, it’s not surprising that the Street Outlaws show and its crew members have a ton of harsh stories hanging around them. We will be listing 15 things that fans don’t know about Street Outlaws. Check it out.

1.The Producers Never Believed It Would Succeed.

Justin “Big Chief” Shearer let the world in on a big secret, literally nobody had any faith in this show. Big Chief said it all started with smaller, independent media companies filming their races and everything grew from there.

When a company called 1320 Video's clips of the races blew up online, that's when the Discovery Channel came knocking.

Big Chief admitted that nobody, even the show's producers, thought it would last past the first season. Believing they had nothing to lose, the cast didn't hold back while filming season 1.

Their enthusiasm and racing talent wasn't lost on the Discovery Channel, who was so impressed with the show's freshman season they gave the gang 10 full seasons, so far.

2.The National Hot Rod Association isn’t a Fan of The Show.

It appears that National Hot Rod Association doesn’t like the show in any way. The reason why National Hot Rod Association doesn’t like the show is that according to them, it’s quite difficult for them to honor competition licenses to those that take part in the Street Outlaws show.

According to Screen Rant, National Hot Rod Association went as far as issuing letters to some racers that appear on the show weekly. In the letter, National Hot Rod Association warned racers about being ineligible to participate in future racing at National Hot Rod Association events if they continue appearing on the show.

3. Rivalry Between the Original Series and The New Orleans Franchise.

The New Orleans franchise of Street Outlaws was created by the producers because of the increasing number of viewers. This ensured that more car lovers in New Orleans could learn about street racers in their area. Thus, Kelley, in the original Street Outlaws series, was moved to the New Orleans series.

Kelley’s new relocation made a large number of viewers abandon the old series for the New Orleans franchise. It happened because most of the viewers wanted to watch the career development of Kelley. This action raised a lot of dust and caused a fall out between some racers and fans of the two shows.

4. The Show Itself Wasn’t Actually Illegal.

Despite the controversy and worry surrounding Street Outlaws, there wasn't actually any illegal activity going down on the show. Every race was cleared and permitted by the city the crew happened to be visiting that episode.

The crew would put in for a permit, which would either be denied or approved by local officials. To keep things extra safe and legal, local police officers would often drop by to keep an eye on the races and the roads were always shut down for the racers' private use.

Really as far away from illegal (or street) as you can possibly get. Unfortunately, some cities, like Tulsa, Oklahoma, for example, wound up changing their minds and eventually stopped allowing Street Outlaws to film on the streets.

In the case of Tulsa, the thinking was the same as the NHRA, the city was worried it would appear they were promoting illegal activity.

5. The Street Outlaws Series Started with A Website.

According to, in 2002, Justin Shearer, who is also known as Big Chief, created a website which was a platform to publish work for "The List." There were only 60 people involved at that time. These people comprised of car lovers and friends who were considered the best street racers in the country.

Today, the website has grown to become a hit show that's aired on Discovery Channel every week with the number of viewers increasing exponentially. It does show that diligence and consistency pay off.

6. The Show Attracts Discontent.

The same way that the show is receiving a ton of accolades from car lovers across the globe, it’s also receiving all sorts of criticism from a lot of people. A good example is the National Hot Rod Association. They detest the show. A few other big names in the automotive industry also dislike the show alike or with a little bit more venom.

According to Discovery, some people hate the show so much that they are appealing to the Discovery Channel, asking for the show to be canceled.

7. Racers Took Part in Illegal Races

Street Outlaws racers have been accused by more traditional drag racers of not only flouting the rules of the game but also participating in illegal street races, which Justin “Big Chief” Shearer shares more about here. The aired races were usually done in a safe and secure manner, but what the producers don't show viewers is that racers often participate in local races across town just before or after shooting.

Fans of Street Outlaws have raised concerns about the legitimacy of the show since street racing is illegal. But making a show about something illegal does not make the show itself illegal. Those that have had run-ins with the law were as a result of their illegal activities – which we would shed more light on as we progress – and not for being cast members.

8. Street Outlaws Crew Has Been Involved in Serious Accidents

The Street Outlaws crew is not new to accidents, and that's particularly the case for Daddy Dave, Big Chief, and Derek Travis. Dave "Daddy" Comstock's accident occurred when he was street racing with no rubber on the track or anything sprayed on the road. Daddy Dave's car flipped up to 6 times before hitting the wall and landing him in the hospital.

For Big Chief, his accident took place during the filming of his race against Brian "Chucky" Davis. Big Chief's car landed in a ditch, and he suffered from a fractured collarbone and spinal cord injuries. In the case of Derek Travis, he didn't mention the cause nor the location of the accident, but we know that the vehicle, which he borrowed from his friend, Bill Brown, suffered substantial damage.

9. At Least Two Street Outlaws' Members Cars Have Been Stolen

James "The Reaper" Goad's 1955 Chevrolet, which is valued at about $175,000 was stolen. James reported the theft to the Oklahoma City police, and luckily the vehicle was found in good shape two days after the theft incident. Another Street Outlaws member that has been a victim of theft is David "Bird" Jones.

The Bird's 1967 Chevrolet Camaro, which is worth about $100,000 was nicked by someone who was caught on surveillance camera, but it's not clear whether David Jones ever got it back.

10. A Racer Has Been Arrested for Drug Peddling

Apparently, participating in illegal street races and smack talks weren't enough for Street Outlaws members, so they had to be involved in more serious crimes like drug peddling. Rhett Peters confessed to using his shop for selling crystal methamphetamine and has been convicted multiple times for drug trafficking.

Another racer who couldn't stay out of the drug business is Pass Christian. He stockpiled about half a pound of drugs for almost a month before he was busted, and slammed with several charges bordering on drug trafficking.

11. The Shooting Incident

The thing with fame is that it brings you money, influence, and in the case of Shawn Ellington, a hail of bullets. While Street Outlaws members were involved in criminal activities, it seems other criminals had a keen interest in the show. In 2015, an unidentified gunman fired at least 11 bullets into the shop of Shawn Ellington.

Fortunately, no one was in the shop located in Oklahoma on that fateful day. From police reports, it appears that the shooter showed up on a motorcycle and even headed toward Shawn's residence. Midwest Street Cars, the Street Outlaws crew's auto shop placed a $5,000 bounty on the shooter.

12. Ronnie Pollard Was Arrested for Stealing an Engine

Despite having occasional run-ins with the law, Street Outlaws drag racers still did not shun vices. Ronnie Pollard, an occasional drag racer on the show, along with Christopher Goodman, and Jerry Clyde Stephenson Jr., were arrested for stealing two engines estimated to be around $500,000.

Ronnie Pollard and partner in crime Christopher Goodman

Although Ronnie Pollard was not really the mastermind of the operation, he was charged for his involvement. The gang leader, Jerry Clyde Stephenson Jr. is a well-known criminal with five felonies, so Ronnie knew exactly what he was getting into.

13. A Street Outlaws Driver Was Slammed with Murder Charges

With many Street Outlaws racers involved in accidents, it's only a matter of time before someone gets killed. Unfortunately, for Izzy Valenzuela, two people were reported dead after his opponent, Michael Gevorgyan, lost control of the wheel and crashed into the bystanders.

14. Two Street Outlaws Drivers Died due to Undisclosed Reasons

The reality TV show introduced Butch DeMoss in season two, and his 1966 Chevrolet Chevelle instantly caught the attention of fans. Sadly, before DeMoss could really make a name for himself in the show, he died at the age of 43. Butch's family or Street Outlaws didn't disclose any reasons for his passing.

Another sad demise on the show was that of Tyler "Flip" Piddy. Just like Butch DeMoss, the details surrounding Flip's exact cause of death are still sketchy, with neither Street Outlaws nor the family going into any specifics.

15. One of The Show's Stars Once Fell Asleep on The Wheel

With a lot of crazy activities that take place on and off the set of the reality TV show, it doesn't come as much of a surprise that a drag racer by the name, of JJ Da Boss, literally fell asleep on the wheel. This unusual crash occurred when JJ Da Boss was heading home after a long night of street racing.

JJ Da Boss was driving a pickup towing a 1949 Chevrolet pickup and a 1966 Chevy II when he dozed off, and both cars he was towing landed in a ditch. To make matters worse, JJ Da Boss had a broken rib and hand, as well as a few cuts and bruises.

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