What is No Prep Kings?
No Prep Kings is the latest spin off of the Street Outlaws franchise of TV shows. The name refers to the fact that there has been ‘no preparation’, which is to say that nothing has been done to prepare the track and thus make it easier for the drivers. This is a ‘rough and relentless’ track, made up of untested roads with no bonding agents.
Street Outlaws is an American reality TV series that is shown on the Discovery Channel and that has been running since June 2013. Both the original show and No Prep Kings focus on thrilling and dangerous drag street races, watched live by huge crowds from different cities.
The second season of No Prep Kings first aired in October 2018, with the first episode set in Memphis. It is currently still airing.
One of the most exciting aspects of the show is the ability to watch it being filmed live by attending one of the race events. Each season includes multiple races across the country. If you want to be in with a chance of attending a live event, then the best option is to stay tuned to the website at www.streetoutlawsnoprep.com and to see if you can grab a ticket.
The first season of No Prep Kings finished in 2018 and was popular for its heavy focus on pure racing as compared with the ‘amateur dramatics’ of the mainline show. The mainline series had more of a tendency to focus on dramas, such as the rivalry between the Texas and Oklahoma drivers, and the practice of drivers ‘calling out’ other drivers in order to coax them into competition.
That said, the show does still make some time for backstories and context, with many of the same characters returning.
Racers in the spin-off series earn points each week to become the ‘Ultimate No Prep Winner’. Season 1 of No Prep Kings was won by driver Birdman who took home a $90K prize, as well as the No Prep Kings title. Each week, drivers stand to win $40,000 with over $320,000 up for grabs in total – making for a very high stakes show.
The episodes were:
Making it In Memphis
Ready, Set, Re-Do
Bluegrass and Cash
When the Dust Settles
San Antonio Jumpstart
Lone Star Raincheck
South Carolina Two Step
Tar Heelin’ and Dealin’
$40K and Dunn
OK, Let’s Do This
Back of the Track
The first episode of Season 2 aired on October 22nd on the Discovery Channel. This was preceded by a special that looked at the history of driver JJ on October 15th. The announcement that the spin-off series would be returning for a second season was made on May 22nd, though a large number of behind-the-scenes footage and documentaries ensured that most fans were confident the program would be making a comeback long before that date.
All of season 2 has now already been filmed, with the final taking place at the Texas Motorplex on October 26th and 27th 2018. The first episode was filmed at Memphis International on July 13 and 14 respectively.
The second season sees the race-only show hit nine different states, three venues (Memphis, Tucson, Arizona) – will be returning from season one. Other sites include Maple Grove Raceway in Pennsylvania, Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Bandimere Speedway in Morrison, Summit Motorsports Park in Norwalk, and Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas.
As well as the live events and the awesome high adrenaline action, No Prep Kings is also popular in part for the exciting cast of drivers that race each week. Here are just a few of the racers who take part.
Chuck began street racing from a young age – as soon as he was legally able to drive. That makes him one of the veterans of the group. He was also a professional Drag Racer crowned Rookie of the Year by the NOPI Drag Racing Association. He also won the 2005 Nitrous Express Championship in the 4 Cylinder division.
Chuck is driven (no pun intended) by his loving and supportive family, including his two young girls.
He drives a 1989 Ford Fox Body Mustang, called ‘Death Trap’. Chuck serves as race master in the new show.
Birdman was the winner of the first season. He is considered one of the most feared competitors in the show, with a history of being ‘the baddest around’. He comes from Houston, Texas and drives a 99Firebird.
Ryan Martin was a newbie to the 405 list when the show premiered but made a name for himself climbing the ranks in his Fireball Camaro. He has spent his entire life around professional street racing as the owner of B&R Performance in Oklahoma.
A member of the NOLA team, Scott owns a tow company and runs a racetrack. When he’s not working, he’s either fixing up his ride – John Doe (which is claims is faster than Kye’s Shocker) – or hitting the tarmac.
Kye was declared the fastest street raced car with his Camaro Promod Shocker. He grew up in Mississippi and has been racing his entire life. He works at an oil refinery to support his family but has made a huge name for himself in the racing circuit.
Other drivers and regulars on the show include:
- Ryan Martin
- Jeff Lutz
- Daddy Dave
- Shawn Wilhoit
- Bubby Ducote
- Barry Nicholson
- Jerry Bird
- Ryan Taggart
- Kamikaze Chris
- David “Bird” Jones
- Shannon Poole
- Matt Frost
- Mike Murillo
- Brent Austin
- Chris Poncia
Fun Fact: The driver ‘Farmtruck’ appeared in Iron Man 3. The truck launches from the starting line at the start of one of The Mandarin’s broadcasts.
Street Outlaws vs No Prep Kings
The original street Outlaws show focussed on illegal street racing and competitive driving in Oklahoma. Contestants raced against other drivers to make it into the top ten lists, and against other states in order to establish whose vehicles were the fastest.
The series currently holds a 6.8 star review on IMDB and can also be viewed on Amazon Prime. The first season was generally a hit with fans and petrol heads. For those that enjoy watching cars go fast, there is little on TV that is more likely to scratch that itch. Live vicariously through the show and enjoy the drama as it builds up to the race.
Of course, there is some controversy around a show that glamorizes an illegal activity such as street racing. The show uses the line ‘just because we’re dumb asses, don’t mean you can be too!’ as a way of distancing itself from the activity and avoiding advocating street racing. Nevertheless, it undeniably makes the activity seem appealing.
That said, it also doesn’t stray too heavily into the ‘car porn’ side of things. There are not the long advert-like pans of the vehicles that you might find in some other shows. This is far removed from a show such as Pinks, which manages to make the cars and the activity appear much more glamorous.
As mentioned, one of the other big criticisms levelled at the show is the amount of focus that is placed on the drama. Some people describe the program as being ‘amateur dramatics’. With many of the racers ultimately being middle aged men, the attempts at appearing ‘street’ can sometimes come off as a little awkward. Additionally, much of the trash talk has been scripted.
This has helped the show to appeal to a broader audience than just petrol heads. The program is as much about the lifestyle and the idea of being an illegal street racer, as it is about the cars and the drag racing itself.
This is where No Prep Kings is a little different, with the focus being much more intently on the racing. This ensures that the new series is more appealing to motorheads who are watching purely for the shot of adrenaline.
Of course, the other big difference is the ‘no prep’ nature of the races. Unlike traditional forms of street racing, these streets have not been primed with traction compounds which are used in order to bond the tire rubber to the concrete. This makes traction harder and the action all the more dangerous and exciting.
Both shows also feature time in the garage and plenty of mechanics-talk for those that appreciate it. Of course it is the races themselves that really get you on the edge of your seat though, with multiple shown in every single show to satisfy even the biggest adrenaline junkies.
No Prep Kings is a spin-off series that takes the original show and makes it all the more exciting. For those looking for an adrenaline pumping show that is all about the racing, and for those that found the original Street Outlaws to be a little too heavy on the Pro Wrestling-style dramatics, this is an excellent program and well worth tuning in.