EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Big Chief NHRA Inverview, STREET OUTLAWS Banned?

Posted by: Jesse Kleib on 11/18/2021

INSIDER INTERVIEW: Big Chief Talks STREET OUTLAWS Ban from NHRA

As NHRA attendance wanes and Street Outlaws ratings are on the rise, the NHRA has made a quite shocking decision that has aired on the side of controversy. Many would be quick to be outraged at this but there’s also good reasoning behind the decision.

What’s all of the stir about? A notice was released to the participants of Street Outlaws stating that the association now wants nothing to do with those who participated on the popular television show.

This reportedly was sparked because the NHRA doesn’t want to have anything to do with the perpetuation of street racing whether it be scripted or not. The illegality and danger don’t quite fit into their brand.

While we can certainly get where they’re coming from, the move is questionable as we’re fairly certain that attendance and revenue both rise when the Street Outlaws guys are in town.

Today, Speed Society has gotten an insider interview from Street Outlaws phenom, Big Chief about his take on the matter. While he doesn’t participate in NHRA events, he most certainly has a relevant opinion on the matter.

Find out what Chief had to say about this shocker in the Speed Society exclusive interview below!

Q: So we saw today all over social media, you and a few friends received a letter from the national hot rod association that in a nutshell said because you seem to condone illegal street racing, your NHRA competition licenses were revoked indefinitely. First off can we get your thoughts on what this ban actually entails? Are you banned from NHRA sanctioned events OR any NHRA sanctioned tracks all together?

A: :”It’s very possible and the way that we understand it, the NHRA could pull all of our licenses or is going to pull all of our licenses in the near future and they can talk to the NHRA sanctioned track owners and persuade them to not let us get in the track and knowing some NHRA track owners, they have let me know very clearly that they will not risk their NHRA sanction for anything. If they push this the way that they’re pushing now, if they follow through with it, if you plan on racing on Street Outlaws or have any kind of exposure with racing on the street, in videos or Youtube or anything, NHRA is going to shut you down.”

Q: What was the straw that broke the camel’s back here? Do you think this is blowback from your interview with Drag Illustrated?

A: I think that everyone has just been kind of sitting back waiting on us to fade away, everyone thought that we were a one or two season deal then we would f*** it up, but it turns out that the more we f*** it up, the more people like it and the show gets more traction and it’s moving and gaining viewership and power. That’s the problem. The more people watch our show, the more power we have.

The NHRA doesn’t want guys like us to have a say in the drag racing community because we’re morons. If it has to do with drag racing in this country, the NHRA needs to control the drag racing majority in the United States and the more power we attain, the harder we are to control. Everyone is starting to realize that it isn’t easy to contain. It’s just getting crazier and there’s not a lot that they can do about it anymore.

Q: Do you think that there will be an impact on your relationship with the Discovery Channel or any affiliates?

A: It’s hard to say. The one thing that I know about advertising is that money takes precedence over all politics. It’s not the same as every other business. Even if we’re a black eye on the Discovery channel as we have been for the past few years because we’re doing something that’s not exactly considered main stream, we still have the numbers to sell the the advertising that people need in order to put their product in front of for a good price to sell more of whatever it is they’re selling. Our demographic is the buying demographic that these people are looking for. In the end it’s all about how many people you can put it in front of and right now we’re doing very good.

Q: Who else from the show received one of these letters?

A: As far as I know, everyone who has street raced in the show or has been a part of the show has received a letter. The only ones who haven’t are the guys who don’t have or who have never had an NHRA membership or any affiliation with the NHRA in general. Me, I didn’t receive a letter because I’ve never had anything to do with the NHRA.

Q: How often do you guys actually use the track to dial in you combinations or is it strictly all done on the street with zero prep?

A: I love going to the race track, we go as often as we can. With filming we don’t go as often as we would like to, but we still go to our local track and shake the cars down. We have a very good relationship with all of the tracks in this area for the most part and we’re welcome at most race tracks. If this keeps going the way it’s headed, we’re not going to be able to go to those tracks anymore. We’re going to have to start supporting the smaller outlaw, badass little eighth mile tracks and that’s what we’ll do, we’re not going to quit drag racing or going to the tracks, we’re just going to have to quit going to the tracks that NHRA tells us we can’t go to.

Q: Will we continue to see outlaw races and the grass roots style grudge racing from you? You know, the ones where people are right up on the track…

A: I don’t know about the future of those races on NHRA tracks. From what I’ve been told, the NHRA is putting something together to go after the no prep situation, they don’t feel like it’s something that they want their sanctioned track owners to be a part of. I’m trying to warn people, if you look at what I said, I have nothing negative to say about NHRA. I respect their letter because what they do and what we do is totally different. They’re trying to stand up for what they believe is right. I’m just trying to warn everyone, don’t let anyone lie to you, don’t let anyone tell you that this is a big joke. The real concern here is that if you want to street race, there are consequences. Period. Even if the cops are holding your hand, you still have consequences. Street racing is not easy or free. If you want to street race that better be what you want to do because there’s a good chance that you’re not going to be allowed to go back to your other style of racing.

Q: Do you feel like keeping racing off of the streets is their number one priority like they said in the letter or are they afraid of what you’re becoming?

A: I think that they’re worried that if we get any larger then we’re going to have the power to do pretty much whatever we want then they can’t control it and it’s going to get out of hand and it is. When people die in a street race or people get hurt street racing and it’s in the media, the NHRA is always brought up. It’s constantly a black eye on them and they have to deal with it socially in the media and I’m not hating on them… do what you gotta do. It’s their job to protect their company and their image. Those of us that do this, that really f*** do this, it’s not really bothering us because we don’t care. There are guys who want to dabble in what we’re doing to get some exposure for themselves and their future, but they need to be aware that when they step into the street racing playground they’re risking their whole background in drag racing. You might not be welcomed back where you were before. The speculation that the NHRA is irritated with us, it’s all opinions. I have my opinion, but I’d rather not state that publicly. I’m just trying to stay out of trouble. I just wanted to warn everybody, if you’re going to do this, get ready to pay for it.

Q: You’re obviously going to continue doing what you’ve been doing on the streets. What about guys like Mike Murillo and Jeff Lutz? Any foreseeable impact on there “professional” racing programs, you think? Is there anyone you see pulling out of the show because of this? Have you already filmed the next season?

A: We’re part way through filming some of the future stuff, so yeah, there are going to be some things that are going to be aired that haven’t been aired yet but have already been filmed. There have been some people who have been involved with the show that have gotten into quite a pickle here and I’m sure they’re wondering what they’re going to do but that’s part of it, man. You can’t wake up one morning and claim to be a street racer and not get everything that goes along with it. It’s not Halloween. You can’t dress up like a street racer and go around and get candy and the next day go back to work. That’s not how this s*** works, this is for real and if you do it, you could be f*****. So yeah, I feel bad for some of those guys because their livelihood is drag racing. That’s what they do to make money, so if they can’t do that anymore that’s going to really suck for them.

Q: What’s the fastest speeding ticket you have ever got?

A: I got a ticket for 161 in a 45. That was on 152 highway in Mustang, Oklahoma.

Q: What’s the s****iest car you’ve ever purchased?

A: The 1981 El Camino that’s on the show.

Q: Who do you think is the fastest in the 405 that isn’t on the list?

A: “Your Mom”.. that guy wins a lot of races off of the show. He beat Doc like three times in a row, Doc never beat that car. That’s the greatest name for the car ever. I’d probably say him because he wins the most on regular Saturday nights. He’s out there the most beating the streets up and calling people out. He’s beaten some big name Street Outlaw guys illegally on the real streets of OKC. I’m going to go with “Your Mom” right now.

Q: Outside the 405, is there a spot in particular that is the closest to competing with you guys?

A: As far as a single car, there’s cars everywhere that are fast. I can name a few Kye Kelly out of Mississippi, Crazy Kelly out of California, Boddie out of California. It’s just single guys, the only state that could put up a group of guys and could put something together and whip us is Texas and I say that because we’ve been very lucky against them lately, they haven’t had their s*** together but like just a few months before the show started, we went down there and didn’t win one race and a few months before that, we went down there and didn’t win a race. We’ve had our teeth kicked in by Texas over and over again. But now, it seems that we’re winning against Texas lately, but man if they can just get their s*** together for one weekend, they can give us a run for our money for sure. That’s the only state that has the organization, spots, and security…and the guys that are serious enough to make it happen to have good racing. Texas is where it all started. Everything you see on the show, I’ve stolen from Texas. Limpy had the idea for the top 10 list, I stole that. The website, I stole that s***. Then Limpy had a race one time that he put on called Cash Days, he started it, I stole the f*** out of that. Every time we went down there we were on small tires, these guys had some big tire racecars that they were unloading in industrial parks in the middle of the night and it freaked us out! We had to bring up excuses that they had racecars and we had street cars. Eventually you get tired of coming up with excuses for getting whipped and so we evolved and that’s our biggest rival now, Texas. That’s the only state that has their s*** together enough to scare us.

Q: We love the show and what it has done for the drag racing community in general. You guys are bringing grudge racing into the spotlight, showing a lot of people a side of drag racing that was not often seen. I think it’s great what you guys have done for the sport.

A: We appreciate that. We see it evolve and we think it’s amazing. We can’t get enough of it. We can’t believe it every morning when we wake up and this many people give a s*** about what we’re doing. We think it’s great, so we’re going to keep doing it the best we can. It’s only going to get better from here so keep watching because we got all kinds of new s*** for people to hate on.

Here is the interview.

Enjoy this interview? Check out the lost interview with the Street Outlaws cast!

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