“Street Outlaws: America’s List” is one of numerous spin-offs from the popular Discovery Channel reality series “Street Outlaws”, which centers on the supposed illegal street racers in Oklahoma City. In this series, we follow racers from all over the US, as they compete for the top spot in the ultimate America’s List. Each episode follows one race between two racers from the list, with the winner ranking up and coming out with $15,000. After a successful first season, “Street Outlaws: America’s List” returned to the screens on 21 March 2022, with brand new names and a complimentary behind-the-scenes series, “After Hours”. The show airs on Discovery Channel every Monday at 8pm ET.
“America’s List” season two news
The new season of “America’s List” moves to the blacktop roads in South Texas, this time with tweaked rules which call for an unpredictable season. Furthermore, this season has five more racers than the last, coming in with 25 names on the list, including street racing legends such as JJ Da Boss, Kye Kelley, Precious, Ryan Martin and Lizzie Musi.
Another addition to the series is the behind-the-scenes show, entitled “After Hours”, in which we can see the racers prepping their cars for race nights, and dealing with the aftermath. For the first time, the 405, MSO and NOLA teams can be seen living together in a shared Southern Texas residency, offering a new perspective on the lives of street racers. ‘During these four, one-hour specials, viewers will follow 405, Team NOLA, and Memphis work on their cars in preparation for the list races, near the border with Mexico, and “drive” their teammates crazy as they find ways to blow-off steam while living together,’ Discovery Channel team wrote in an official post promoting the series.
The rules for season two include ‘race your way in’, ‘chase is a race’, and ‘cross-the-center-line’. To the racers’ (unpleasant) surprise, in episode eight it was revealed that the rules have been tweaked, and they aren’t allowed to call out anymore. As the majority opposed the new rule, Murder Nova called for a vote, which resulted in the rule being changed to #1 being secured from calling out, while the #2 has to defend his spot. Also, if a racer loses against someone, they are only able to call out someone ranked lower than them in the list for the next race.
In one of the previous episodes, we also saw JJ return to the competition, after a devastating crash which left his wife, Trish, gravely injured and having to undergo surgery; the rest of the 405 team called Trish to send her their best wishes.
As of 15 May 2022, the top three on the “America’s List” are Lil Legend ‘Bobby Ducote’ and Lee Roberts followed by Fireball Camaro, although Ryan Martin is still considered to be a strong contender for the title, and a favorite to win according to the fans.
Why we won’t see Big Chief on “America’s List”?
Perhaps one of the biggest disappointments for the fans of “Street Outlaws” is the fact that they won’t get to see one of the show’s biggest stars, Justin Shearer, aka Big Chief appear on “America’s List”. Reports from early 2022 state that he left the 405 team due to the exhausting racing schedule. As he told his fans on social media, he needed time off to focus on his family and his car repair business. However, rumors suggested a different story, with some claiming that Big Chief’s and Jackie’s altercation with Precious at the start of “America’s List” filming apparently led him to leave the show, although some fans think that the feud was staged for publicity. Allegedly, the unaired altercation happened because Precious was unhappy with the rules for the new season, which sparked an argument with Big Chief and Jackie.
The spread of rumors led Big Chief to address the situation in more detail, in a 57-minute-long YouTube video entitled “THE FUTURE OF BIG CHIEF ON STREET OUTLAWS”. He stated that he actually had issues with the production company of the show, which set the rules for the second season of “America’s List”. He specifically had an issue with the ‘race your way in’ rule, which allowed a disproportionate number of racers from “Street Outlaws: Memphis” to compete. He felt that his 405 crew was being sidelined in favor of MSO, which ultimately led to his departure as Race Master. ‘I felt like some of the rules needed to be adjusted, especially listening to the fans. The fans have griped about the same cars racing one another over and over, chase is a race and everyone is hiding. We had some notes that we wanted to discuss with the racers. We wanted to see what they thought and come up with something that worked for everyone. Things change. The world is not always what you think it’s going to be tomorrow’, Chief said in the video.
The situation made it apparent that he had very little control over the show, despite being the face of “Street Outlaws” for almost a decade. Big Chief further distanced himself from the franchise by changing his Instagram bio from ‘“Street Outlaws” Race Master and fulltime goofball/race car driver’, to ‘Professional Street Race Enthusiast’. Right now, it seems unlikely Big Chief will return to the franchise at all, unless a potential 405 spin-off is in the works.
Since his departure, Big Chief has still occasionally been participating in street races, such as the Daily Driver event, RC Car Racing, along with a Cash Days RC event, which he ended up winning. He’s also been quite active on his YouTube channel, onto which he regularly uploads videos which show him working on new car projects.
“Street Outlaws: America’s List” has sparked a lot of controversy among long-time “Street Outlaws” fans, due to the implementation of the infamous ‘chase is a race’ rule, which states that if one racer jumps ahead before the starting signal, the race is still legitimate as long as their opponent follows. The rule is mainly implemented to pay homage to old-school street racing, however, as pointed out by fans on Reddit and Facebook, ‘chase is a race’ rule has largely been phased out of modern drag racing. While some viewers feel that the rule makes races less fair by giving advantage to whomever starts first, others like it, as it adds a dose of unpredictability, and allows racers with less powerful rigs to have a chance in the competition.
Another common criticism is regarding the amount of racing we actually get to see in the show. Right now, each episode lasts around three hours, including the “After Hours” show, but the racing is only shown for roughly five minutes, while the rest of the time is taken up by deliberations, behind-the-scenes drama and calling out. Asone disgruntled fan wrote in their 1/10 IMDB review of the show, ‘All they do is talk. Plus the silliness of calling people out, running around the race areas, hiding, avoiding others so they can’t ‘force’ the other guy/gal to race is just childish. Just race people. Discovery is really milking all they can out of this show… and they aren’t doing a very good job.’
History of the original series
Produced by Pilgrim Media Group, the original “Street Outlaws” series started airing on Discovery Channel in 2013. It has since become one of the most popular automotive shows on TV, building a large and dedicated audience, and spawning 13 seasons and several spin-off series. Furthermore, the popularity of “Street Outlaws” has expanded to video games, through titles such as “Street Outlaws: The List” and “Street Outlaws 2: Winner Takes All”, available on PCs and consoles.
The famous 405 racing crew from Oklahoma City is at the heart of the show, with each episode showing them competing for t first place on The List. The 405 crew was formed back in the 1990s, but they only started hosting the local competitions in 2006. During that time, Big Chief took leadership of the group by organizing the races, and making sure nobody was arrested during apparently illegal activities. He also set up a private online street racing forum called Midwest Street Cars, which was a place for arranging the races.
In 2012, clips from a 405 drag race went viral, and eventually Discovery Channel producers contacted Big Chief through this website, asking him to allow them to film one of their races. Although some of the 405 crew were suspicious of their intentions, they agreed to let them film a grudge between Sean ‘Farmtruck’ Whitley and Tyler ‘Flip’ Priddy. Interestingly enough, the footage wasn’t included in the pilot episode, and was instead aired as a part of the season 11 premiere. The people involved initially didn’t expect the series to last past the first season, and saw it more as a passion project, but the popularity of the first season blew their expectations out of the water.
It’s worth noting that although street racing has historically been outside the bounds of law, nothing that happens on “Street Outlaws” is actually illegal. Prior to arranging the races, the crew would ask for approval from the local authorities, and only proceed with racing if their permit was approved. To insure the safety of everyone involved, the roads are shut down for traffic, while police officers are often present to check up on the racing.
Considering this, “Street Outlaws” doesn’t fully capture the nature of the street racing scene in the US. A lot of illegal races are still happening across the country, some of which cast members of the show still participate in. Due to this, in 2015, the National Hot Rod Association threatened to have the show stars’ licenses revoked.
Another reason behind this threat was the way street racing was portrayed in the show – “Street Outlaws” often fails to establish just how dangerous drag racing actually is. Even the show’s contestants have been involved in serious car accidents numerous times. Most recently, JJ Da Boss and his wife Trish were injured during filming of an episode in La Villa, Texas. They participated in a street race, driving their respective Chery Novas, when their cars crashed into each other. While JJ seems to have fully recovered from his injuries, his wife had to undergo hip surgery, and won’t be returning to the series any time soon.
In September 2020, James ‘Doc’ Love destroyed his Monte Carlo and suffered a concussion during filming of “Street Outlaws” in Nebraska. As he explained in a Facebook post, his car rolled over five times before knocking over cedar trees. Doc didn’t fully remember the crash, but luckily walked away with only minor injuries and a damaged car.
Two of the series’ stars, Butch DeMoss and Tyler ‘Flip’ Priddy have sadly been less fortunate. They lost the lives in 2017 and 2013, respectively, apparently during illegal races.
Where to watch
Out of numerous “Street Outlaws” spin-offs, perhaps the most popular is “Street Outlaws: Fastest in America”, in which racers compete for a prize of $100,000. Fans of the original series also love local spin-offs such as “Street Outlaws: Memphis”, “Street Outlaws: New Orleans” and “Street Outlaws: Bristol”.
“Street Outlaws: America’s List” airs each week on Discovery Channel, and is also available for streaming on Discovery+, Amazon Prime Video, Philo, and Apple TV. The behind-the-scenes “After Hours” series airs right after “America’s List”, but isn’t available for streaming.