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 Street Outlaws 
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Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 12:31 pm
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Location: Bakersfield, CA
Post Street Outlaws
I watched this show for the first time last night, it is supposed to document the real world of serious underground street racing. I was a part of that scene for a bit - I raced up and down CA, in Vegas, AZ, and a little stint into Texas (that was a scene) so I wanted to check it out. Here are my thoughts:

- Some of it is obviously staged. I watched a race setup happen in about 5 minutes, and that usually takes about 3 hours. However - the procedure WAS accurate: walk up to somebody's car and act impressed, let them talk it up for a while, ask them if it's faster than that piece of junk over there (your sleeper), and then ask them if they want to put some cash on it. The thing is, once you start talking cash to somebody who isn't accustomed to racing for cash, the hesitation starts. It takes hours and hours of convincing, conniving, insulting, laughing, and emasculation* before any cash gets put down - and even then 90% of the time they just insist on racing for "fun" all night until everybody just goes home. I've yet to see that whole procedure depicted on any movie or show. Even 2 Lane Blacktop - the movie that gets it mostly right - sins in that regard. They set up a race with the "homegrown" hot rod in about 15 seconds.

- A lot of it is the real deal as far as I've seen. There were 5 or 6 moments during the show that made me comment "I've done that" or "That happened to us" or "That is exactly how that goes down".

- I don't think that their ladder system exists outside of the show. I just don't think a community of street racers could all agree on the structure or the rules and it would dissolve in bickering almost instantaneously. But given the fact that I know it has to be fabricated - they are still real races going down so I'm okay with it. This isn't a documentary.

Today I reached out to some friends who are still in the scene to see if I could find out if it's real. And yes, those people and cars do exist and they are street racers but that's about all I could find. But the most hilarious review was from a guy that doesn't know anything about cars or street racing:

- "These people are supposed to be bad ass street racers that dodge cops but they wear HELMETS?! Give me a break!"

They do wear helmets. You're in a car that jerks the shit out of you and you're surrounded by a roll cage. Do the math.

- "The have the most boring guy on the planet starting the races and he doesn't even do it with any style or drama - they couldn't find a hot starting girl."

That is really how street races start. Once the burnouts are done it's point-point-drop and they are gone. I was given the duty to start a huge number of serious races and that guy is doing it the exact same way I did it.

- "The cars go everywhere on trailers! You ever see any of them (except for one) on the street racing people."

The most serious guys don't do that. It's not about having a fast street legal car, it's about having a car that is fast on the street surface. It's about racing outside of any sanctioning bodies. A lot of people don't get that.

Anyway... it was interesting to see, and if you catch yourself watching it you'll see a lot of pretty damn accurate depictions of what goes on, but it is of course still a "show".


Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:19 pm
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Joined: Tue Dec 23, 2008 12:31 pm
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Location: Bakersfield, CA
Post Re: Street Outlaws
*Some of my favorite quotes during race negotiations:

"How many cars? And the move? Do you want him to pull me like a skier too?" - said by a 400lbs+ engine builder

"Maybe you and your friends could hold a car wash real quick, we'll wait." - same engine builder, same negotiation

"I'll drag that junk with my tow vehicle." - this one is common

"You can marvel that we're in Compton after we're back on the freeway with their cash." - said by me to a visitor from New Zealand

"You better be a hot shoe, when your junk gets squirrely don't put it in my lane." - said to the driver of a Vega on ridiculous 18" tires that had never run on the street before


Tue Jul 02, 2013 4:19 pm
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Joined: Sun Dec 28, 2008 12:24 pm
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Post Re: Street Outlaws
Thanks for mentioning this. I will DVR it.
I have spent too much time on the side of a 2 lane blacktop.
Some of the funnest times of my life.
My best friend had a Blown 94 Cobra. We rolled into a town in Mississippi and saw their legend in a Viper. The race cam together pretty quickly, no money.
We took the left lane and I flagged from the passenger seat. My buddy made the hardest start I have ever seen on street tires. If we were turning 100 more rpm, I think the tires would have gone. Anyway, after he got the hole shot, the blower took over and the Viper never came back.
We rolled back into town and there had to be 50 people at the gas station, their legend beaten. LOL


Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:09 pm
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Post Re: Street Outlaws
One thing I see on some of these shows we never did was race for money and give a headstart. It had to be someone begging to show someone up for that to happen.
Generally our attitude was, If my car is faster than yours, why would I take a chance on paying you money?


Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:10 pm
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Post Re: Street Outlaws
One of the most belligerent hustlings I ever saw on the street took place with a head start like that. There was a notorious LA street racer with a Vega that was known for "winning" any way he knew how. Where we come from there is a hard rule called "a chase is a race" which means if you run your car down the street - that's the official race no matter what happened at the start line. If you think somebody jumped the start, you sit at the line and wait for them to come back and do it right, if you leave with them THAT IS THE RACE and the cash gets handed over at the end.

This guy took advantage of that rule so much that he couldn't really get races in LA (go figure) but then a bunch of us traveled to a little desert town that was supposed to have a really fast street scene and he was with us. When we first rolled in there - a convoy of trucks and trailers - we knew instantly that we weren't going to get any racing done. It was bolt-on, street tire city there and they were simply not ready for cars that were for-real fast.

Still, we got out and socialized, bullshitted, all that noise. Nobody wanted to do any racing of course, they were looking all these "trailer queens" and shaking their heads. Finally we figure out which of these cars is the fastest of theirs, and we ask them to simply pick any of our cars to race against and we'll set them out TWENTY car lengths ahead. They put their heads together and pointed to what looked like the shittiest car to them - the Vega. Bad mistake.

We were able to scrape together a little cash from them (this setup is where the "skier" line and the "car wash" line from above came from) and we headed out to the spot. They agreed to start from a flashlight, then gave that flashlight to one of the Vega driver's friends. Bad mistake #2.

The thing is, being set out so far ahead of the car you're racing has a lot of disadvantages. Seasoned street racers know this, the kids in this town learned it that night. We walk off 20 car lengths and they start their burnout, a crowd of about 15 people holding their car in place. It looked ridiculous. The Vega did its thing - a short choppy little burnout that produced a cumulus cloud of tire smoke and ended with the driver hanging out of his door, backing himself up.

The guy with the flashlight walked himself out far enough for the Mustang to see, both cars flashed their headlights to say they were ready - and then the Mustang got fucked. The starter and the Vega driver didn't need to say anything, they knew exactly what they were going to do. The Vega suddenly just left, and left HARD. As soon as the starter saw that, he turned on the flashlight. The poor Mustang driver was staring at the flashlight the whole time so he had no idea - and by the time he got his foot off the brake the Vega was barreling past him. The kid ran it out anyway, and their cash went home with us.

A couple years ago I saw the Vega driver on an episode of Pinks, still trying to get his hustle on. He wasn't in the Vega though, that thing wouldn't pass any track's tech inspection.


Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:20 pm
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