Mike Murillo – a king driven by the support of his kingdom and the words of a prince

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  Humble, kind, and funny are just a few words to describe Mike Murillo. The old saying that things are bigger in Texas is not taken lightly, especially when it comes to his personality and heart. Mike is currently the 2018 Street Outlaws – No Prep Kings (NPK) and Dirty South No Prep (DSNP) champion,
The 2018 champion is a self-proclaimed late bloomer to the racing world. He starts around the age of 21 or 22 years old when he used to drive a late 70’s Trans AM (Bandit style being his favorite). During Mike’s early days of street racing in Texas, he repeatedly gets beaten by the current Mustangs of the time. After the Trans Am was rear-ended and totaled, he decided, “if you can’t beat em, join em.” In 1991, he bought a Mustang, but not just any Mustang, a convertible—the heaviest of them all. Small projects on this car snowballed and turned into a performance avalanche. After upgrading his friend’s cars, his popularity grew to the point that he started his own business. Unfortunately, a lack of permits forced the premature closure of his first endeavor. But even code violations can’t hold this guy down. With a positive attitude, Mike made lemonade. He went legit and started his own business officially.
With his business established, news spread fast of what he could do. This ultimately leads to a phone call from Justin “Big Chief” Shearer and Shawn Ellington from the Discovery Channel Street Outlaws, asking for his input on turbos and boost control for their cars.
“I went out there and I started tuning cars and from there I met the rest of the gang,” explained Mike. After months of commuting, coupled with real-life responsibilities, he had to say goodbye to Street Outlaws, for now. He added “I had a business back home that I needed to tend to. I couldn’t be [in OKC] fulltime. I have children and a wife.” Shortly thereafter he buddied up with Ken Herring, and began a show on MAVTV called House of Grudge. Although he only filmed 6 episodes, he was unaware of the rift it would cause between him and Discovery. The final nail in the coffin of Mike’s departure from Street Outlaws was the NHRA. When the largest drag racing sanctioning body threatened to revoke his license he was forced to leave street racing. Knowing he had time to race prior to receiving this letter, Mike made the most out of what time he had. He filmed Cash Days and an episode of Street Outlaws in season 5. At the time, racing at NHRA-sanctioned tracks was part of his livelihood and he could not risk losing his license or not being able to not step on NHRA property.
Nothing can stop Mike from pursuing his dreams. He was forced to make some tough decisions, and with no cameras or television crews, he began winning pretty much everything and anything you can imagine. In 2012 he decided to retire, but in 2013 he was offered the chance to drive a pro-mod. Todd Moyer gave him the opportunity to tune and drive their second team car.
“Here I am driving the pro-mod in PDRA (Professional Drag Racers Association), and I am competing and racing with the baddest mf’ers in the world.” The burnout box was another turning point for Murillo; he looked up and saw no one in the stands, where barely 100 people were spectating. It was then at Houston Motorsports Track where he was testing and tuning the pro-mod, and of course, nothing ever goes to schedule. He and his crew ran into the evening schedule at the track for their normal tuning night and grudge night. Mike could barely get his car out of the spot. There were so many people there, crowds were cheering and the time clocks weren’t showing any numbers. This type of racing was a foreign concept to him, thus began the introduction to No Time racing. It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship.
In 2016 Murillo met his soon-to-be best friend, Scott Taylor. Scott had Mike as the headliner and appearance guest during the filming of House of Grudge. Because of the success of this track day, Mike and Scott decided to have a baby, and name it Dirty South No Prep, which has just finished its third season. Shortly after, No Prep Kings was started and Mike began to race his way to a spot in Bowling Green KY. With much success, he has been able to sell his business and begin racing full time. Mike has a laundry list of championships under his belt, he was able to win his 11, 12, 13th championships in 2012 NMRA (National Mustang Racers Association) and NMCA (National Muscle Car Association). The first major crash he has ever been was December of 2015, where he hit the guardrail and flipped his car 3 times, after that he was on a losing streak for about 2 years straight.
Mike became complacent, which is not his normal way; he lost his drive for winning and improving. That all changed when he was smacked with honesty from the mouth of a babe, his son William. William was 6 years old and made a joke about his dad not being good anymore, and even though little William just thought he was being a silly little boy, he did not realize the gut check he gave his father. At that moment Mike knew it was time to get his passion back. William has since sweetly apologized to daddy as best he could, but that was ignition to light the fire under Mike’s butt that he needed. Since then he has won the championship of No Prep Kings and Dirty South No Prep.
Let’s talk about Lafawnduh for a minute. Now if you don’t know who she is, she is Mike’s mistress, his car. She came about after Mike’s crash in 2015 where he rolled and destroyed the front end. Dennis from DMC Race Cars in Massachusetts gave Murillo a call, they took the car to him, put up a Facebook post looking for a donor body for her.
“Lafawnduh of today is the Frankenstein of the old car,” Mike explains. How did this name come about you ask? She’s got a lot of junk in her trunk, literally just like Napoleon Dynamite’s Lafawnduh. He had this genius idea to attempt to put the two turbos in her trunk. After 5 fires from trying to make this innovative idea work, he decided to take them out and put them back where they belong. Lafawnduh has been good to Mike giving him 6 championships, and the previous Star car gave him 10. Lafawnduh also dons a star as well on her hood, keeping with his Texan pride. Amongst his 16 total championships, Murillo also holds 97 or 98 national event wins. When asked which he prefers between street racing and drag racing on the strip, he prefers to race the strip mostly for safety reasons. Mike has received a bit of grief for his opinion on the matter, but “I never claimed that I was” when others confronted him about being “real street”. To him No Prep is more difficult going down the street; the road at has groves, rather than a flat track with no rubber down on it.
“A dream come true”, “it’s the first time in my life I can be responsible AND go race for a living,” Mike tells us about his current racing situation. He hopes to ride this No Prep wave for as long as it lasts. He was here before the No Prep wave hit, and this is not what made his name in the racing community. If this wave ever dies out (which he hopes it does not) he plans of going back to normal racing and working on cars again.
Mike is blessed with a supportive family who goes to as many races as they possibly can. Both his sons are into cars and racing, the youngest driving a junior dragster, and the oldest learning the ropes for drag strip racing and dropping all his dimes into his own Mustang. His daughters go to most local races when they can to support their dad. As for his fans, Mike is thrilled with all types he has accrued over the years; he has the diehard Mustang fans, and his television fans. All of which he is incredibly thankful for, and hopes to build up from here. Excited for the release of season 2 of No Prep Kings, he promises not to have this newer fame change him. Mike is a true racer, a goof with no shame to his game, a personality that cannot be beaten, and an infectious laugh that causes full-on belly laughs and tears. Let me tell you, Mike Murillo is one of the friendliest down to earth guys with the utmost respect for his fellow racers. If you ever get a chance to see him race, make sure you stop by his pit, shake his hand, buy a shirt, and ask him about his 50th birthday. I promise you will not be disappointed.

You can support Mike Murillo and Team Eat Race Die by purchasing awesome track swag at his store if unable to make it to the track