Street Outlaws star Shawn Ellington brought his famous Murder Nova to Tulsa Raceway Park this weekend for the annual fall Throwdown in T-Town event. Competing in the Midwest Pro Mod class, cool temperatures and plenty of sunshine meant personal bests for Ellington. And while he barely missed qualifying for the main show, it was still a successful weekend, including massive crowds at his pit all weekend long. Prior to Saturday’s eliminations, I caught up with Ellington for an exclusive interview with No Prep Racing.
- This is your second Midwest Pro Mod Series event this year. What made you decide to give it a try?
Basically, we’re looking for any chance that we can get to test. And whenever you come to a race like this, and the track is good, the air is good, we can set personal best records.
- What are your overall thoughts of the series?
I come here, the atmosphere’s lax, we can hang out, we can watch racing. Normally when I go to a big event, we don’t get to do any watching, we don’t get a chance to go to the line very often. We like coming here because it’s laid back, there’s no pressure on me – I know I can’t run with these pro mods. So I come here to work on my program.
4.02 at 185 right off the trailer testing here for the Mid-West Pro Mod Series at Tulsa Raceway Park! At 50psi1.032.694.02185FuelTech USAPrecision Turbo & Engine
- You ran a personal best in the new car this weekend with a 4.02 at 185 mph. How much do you think is left in it?
We feel like we can go faster. We turned it up a little bit last night and spun the tires in two of the qualifiers, and it didn’t happen yet.
- You’re currently filming season 13 of Street Outlaws. How is the season going so far?
Well, unfortunately, it’s not going great for me. We’ve been having some problems with the car not going straight, which is part of the problem I had that last pass, which is why I had to lift. But other than that, the season’s going pretty well. We just haven’t made a whole lot of good passes.
- Many fans are wondering why you aren’t running in the No Prep Kings series. What went into the decision not to participate?
There’s really not a reason other than travel. Each race is so far away, and I have to do what’s best for me and my family. Where I go, I gotta make money, and not spend money on traveling that far away. I support No Prep Kings, and I like No Prep Kings, and I’m probably gonna go to the final race in Ennis in two weeks. But other than that, I can’t afford to travel all around the country. A lot of those races are a long ways away. It’s out of control, man. I’m trying to open my own shop, I’m trying to spend time with my family, and that would keep me away from my family a lot.
- You’ve competed in every form of drag racing – street, no prep, prep, radials. What is your favorite, and why?
I still think that the street will always be my home. There’s no rules out there, you can do whatever you want. You’re not passing scales, you’re not teching cars, it doesn’t matter what you have. You go out there, and if you’ve got the balls to run it, you run it.
- What is the biggest difference in going from the street to the track?
Power management. You go to a track like this right here, you can pretty much let it eat. Especially once you get past the 60-foot, you give it all the power you can. On the street, you gotta finesse it the whole way. Power management is a big deal.
- You and Big Chief created an iconic brand with Midwest Street Cars. Recently you decided to branch out on your own, and open your own shop, 187 Customs. How did that come about?
Basically, right now, we’re kind of going separate ways. Chief is doing the No Prep Kings deal. I’m sticking around here, mainly waiting for the streets, testing the car, and it gets complicated. So it was just time for me to start my own thing, and do what makes me happy.
- So what does 187 Customs have coming down the road?
We’re building another SEMA car this year, so we actually have about three weeks to get that deal finished up. We’ve been working like crazy on it to get it done, and other than that, we’ve kind of put everything else on hold to do this deal.
- On a fun note, your car has recently been added to the mobile game Door Slammers 2, and you’re featured on the cover of a brand new Street Outlaws video game. Did you ever envision something like that happening?
I never saw any of this coming. I still wake up every morning and wonder why somebody’s gonna be standing at my trailer wanting an autograph from me. It doesn’t make any sense to me, because we’re still just like anybody else out here. When they first told me about the video game, it was different. You would think that everything that’s happened to me, and everything that the show has brought, and everything that TV has brought, it was different to be in a video game. My son plays video games all the time, I play video games all the time. And it’s almost like, you see your face on the cover of a video game, and you’re like, “Wow, we made it.” And all the stuff that I’ve done, it’s crazy that something like a video game would stand out more to myself. I don’t know, it’s pretty crazy to think that.