Premiering in June 2013, “Street Outlaws” is a Pilgrim Studios production that airs on Discovery Channel, and follows the wild lifestyles of underground street racers. The main series is filmed in Oklahoma and has been running for over 13 seasons; its plethora of spin-offs include “Street Outlaws: New Orleans” and “Street Outlaws: Fastest in America”.
The Outlaws have frequent run-ins with authority figures and criminals alike. They have also been accused of participating in illegal street races on several occasions. Although the on-screen races are rigorously planned out to ensure their safety and security, the behind-the-scenes races are not.
Dave Cornstock and Big Chief are just two of the “Street Outlaws” cast members to have suffered accidents over the years. Big Chief’s car landed in a ditch during the filming of his race against a fellow cast member, leading to a fractured collarbone and injuries to his spinal cord. Meanwhile, Dave’s car flipped over half a dozen times and hit a wall while he was street racing in hazardous conditions, and the reality star had to be checked into the nearest hospital immediately.
At least two cast members have also had their vehicles stolen. The theft of James Goad’s prized $175,000 1955 Chevrolet was immediately reported to the Oklahoma City police; thankfully, the car was found a couple of days later. Meanwhile, surveillance cameras caught the thieves of David’s six-figure 1967 Chevrolet Camaro in the act, but it’s never been confirmed if the vehicle had been found or not.
The behavior of some of the Outlaws has gained the show its seedy reputation. Rhett Jones has had many arrests including drug trafficking charges on his record, and was even caught selling crystal meth out of his store, whereas one of his colleagues was arrested for drug trafficking, and had stashed half a pound or a quarter kilo of drugs in his workplace.
In a startling incident, Shawn Ellington’s store was shot 11 times by an anonymous gunman in 2015. Luckily, the shop was empty that day, but for months it was rumored that Shawn was involved in criminal activities. Many believe that the criminal and the TV star knew each other personally, as the shooter was seen riding towards Shawn’s residence on his motorcycle.
The Truth about “Street Outlaws”
Viewers remain divided when it comes to “Street Outlaws”, with some thinking that the cast members are actually law-abiding citizens who only act out in front of the cameras, and others claiming that the stars of the show are secretly involved in criminal activities. Whatever the case, the series’ reputation became so bad that in the mid-2010s, the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) threatened to take away the license of any driver who participated in the show. One cast member, Derek Travis, was even fired for participating in the series.
Pilgrim Studios has also been lambasted for glamorizing the rough and gritty world of street racing. As it happens, a great majority of the scenes are scripted and meticulously planned out in advance, but audience figures would go down considerably if the truth came out. For one, local police are informed of every race, and if approved, race sites are cordoned-off to keep traffic away from the roads.
“Street Outlaws: New Orleans” drew attention for all the wrong reasons, when it was revealed that many of its drivers had no prior experience. Although the show has allowed aspiring racers to get a head start in a competitive industry, throwing a bunch of inexperienced drivers together can only be described as a recipe for disaster.
Butch DeMoss and Tyler Piddle are just two Outlaws who tragically died at young ages. Tyler appeared in season one of the show, but passed away under mysterious circumstances before it aired; he was just 31 years old when he was found dead at home. Rumors of suicide or substance abuse surrounded his death, as no official cause was ever provided by his friends or family.
Butch was respected and popular in the drag racing community, which is why his death at the young age of 43 left the racing scene heartbroken. Later on, an old friend shared that Butch had passed away of a heart attack. Some netizens wondered if the health impacts of high-speed racing killed Butch, but we’ll never know the whole truth.
If the name Izzy Valenzuela rings nay bells, it’s because he was one of the most promising young talents on “Street Outlaws” – until he ruined his career by killing two bystanders in a car crash, but claimed that he wasn’t present at the scene. Police arrested Izzy on the spot when they figured out that he’d lied; nobody knows what the disgraced racer is up to nowadays.
Cast Members: Chuck Seitsinger
Born in February 1970 in Edmond, Oklahoma, Chuck Seitsinger is one of the show’s veteran racers, who began tinkering around in his father’s garage at a young age. Raised alongside his siblings Kimberly and Dusting, Chuck studied at Edmond Memorial High School and matriculated in 1988; by then, he had already been driving legally for two years. In 1990, the bald TV star began working as a mechanic for Honda.
Thank you so much to my fans!!! These things are flying off the shelf, we have thousands so get yours today!!! #shopnow #405photo #fna
Before shooting to fame with the rest of the Outlaws, Chuck dabbled in the import business but decided to stick to racing. Having made a name for himself in the drag racing community, Chuck continued to perfect his skills. 2004 was a particularly good year for him, as he won the NDRA National Championship, and was declared the best rookie drag racer of the season. He won the championship for the second time in 2006.
Chuck was approached by Pilgrim Studios in the early 2010s, and has been part of the Outlaws family since the show first aired. Hailed as one of its best drivers, he is a close friend of Daddy Dave’s and other cast members. Chuck drives an ’89 Ford Fox Body Mustang, and holds several records.
Despite his tough and no-nonsense image, Chuck is a family man at heart, and the doting father of three daughters, who all share the same mother. His eldest daughter is named Chelsea Kathryn and is currently studying veterinary science at Oklahoma State University. Nothing is known about his second-born, but his youngest daughter, Maddie, is very active on social media, and loves to post about her famous father.
Chuck fiercely protects his privacy, so much so that nobody knows the name of his ex-wife or the current state of their relationship. The bearded TV personality is rumored to be in a long-term relationship with Elisa Noelle, a live events co-ordinator who works on “Street Outlaws”, but there’s no concrete evidence to back-up the claims. If you believe the rumors, Chuck and Elisa have been together since 2018.
In May 2022, Chuck shocked fans with a YouTube video, “Chuck’s out of Jail Judges and Grudges”, which he uploaded onto his channel. In the video, the blue-eyed racer revealed that he had served two months in jail after being arrested. News outlets previously reported that Chuck was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of two counts, including threatening violence, for an incident which took place in July 2020.
Chuck made sure to reveal his side of events, saying: “The kids were with me all summer. I got COVID really bad and got sent to the hospital in ICU. Their mother made them go home. They had problems over there. Things happened and I got a call.” According to Chuck, he was fixing a car a year and a half later when a misdemeanor charge was filed against him.
“I was supposed to go into court that morning and sign papers for a no contest for the misdemeanor plea,” he continued. “But for whatever reason, the judge thought I needed a harder sentence and gave me a year of probation. Then, he sentenced me to 60 days in jail.”
In the end, Chuck served 25 days in jail and was required to pay court costs and complete a three-month anger management course. His case was officially closed in April 2022, and since then, the fan favorite has kept on the straight and narrow.
Cast Members: JJ Da Boss
Jonathan Day, known on “Street Outlaws” as JJ Da Boss, is a Memphis native, and has become a household name thanks to his role as a main cast member of the Outlaws franchise. The father of 11 is known for his beautiful car collection and warm personality and has amassed thousands, if not millions of fans over the years.
Before entering the world of street racing, JJ earned a meager living as a roofer, and fixed-up old cars with the money he saved. During his adolescence, he was arrested a few times for smuggling car parts and illegally organizing and participating in clandestine races. JJ’s wake-up call almost came too late, but after almost a decade behind bars in federal prison, he turned his life around and left illegal activities behind.
JJ met Tricia Day, his current wife, in 2008. With seven children, not much money, and a criminal record, JJ was very unlucky in love, and having trouble finding a new partner; perhaps this is why the TV personality adores Tricia so much, and has even credited her with saving his life. Although it’s uncertain how they met, Tricia is also keen on cars, and works with them on a daily basis.
However good of a job Tricia has done in cleaning up JJ’s image, he’s still prone to the occasional scandalous incident. In 2018, he was accused of trying to kill Chad Larkin, a fellow racecar driver. Chad filed a federal complaint, claiming that he’d been verbally abused and kicked in the head by JJ. The unpleasant incident occurred during filming – obviously, the harrowing scenes didn’t make the final cut.
— JJ Da Boss MSO (@MSO_JJdaboss) February 20, 2018
According to Chad, JJ got in touch with him so they could participate in a $1,000 street race which would be recorded and included in the show. Chad claims that he was only told the location of the race half an hour before it would happen, and that he couldn’t mention that it would be recorded for the show. Some of the injuries he suffered included a black eye, chipped front tooth, herniated disk and torn left meniscus.
Chad and his spouse also blamed the crew of “Street Outlaws” for what went down. Apparently, the producers of the show and the camera crew continued filming while JJ was assaulting Chad: one of the producers even told a cameraman to come closer to the brawl and get a better shot. It remains unclear if JJ and Chad settled the case out of court, or if the pair are on speaking terms.
JJ’s children are all laidback individuals, and his son Josh is the only one keeping the family name alive, and participating in professional street races. Josh married his longtime girlfriend Chelsea years ago, and the pair has welcomed two adorable daughters named Novaleigh and Kamden. He and JJ have a close relationship and frequently post each other on social media. Outside of the children he shares with Tricia, JJ prefers to respect the privacy of his other kids and their mothers, and rarely mentions them.
While filming for “Street Outlaws: America’s List” in early 2022, JJ and Tricia were involved in a serious car crash, with gruesome images of the scene circulating Deep South Street Racing and other social media groups for racing afficionados. Deep South Street Racing asked their followers to pray for JJ and Tricia; the post became a hot topic of discussion, and spread like wildfire across the internet.
Tricia took to social media months after the unpleasant accident to provide fans a much-needed update on her and JJ’s health. Despite being immobile and needing screws in their legs for an unspecified period of time, she confirmed that they had both recovered and were eager to get back on the race track.