The PJ North experience at American Outlaws Live
As I sit on the plane here in DFW, the day after the biggest outlaw heads up race in the history of drag racing, I can't help but feel grateful! The weekend was filled with a lot of filler, a lot of circus, a lot of "WTF" moments, but most of all it was filled with EXCITEMENT! Drag racing at it's core is two cars, alike or not, going down a race track (or street if that's your thing) and seeing who gets from point A to point B first. That's exactly what we wanted out of this race, and boy did it deliver! From the moment I stepped on the property at the Texas Motorplex you could tell it just had that "big fight" feel! Big Cheif and Murder Nova were showing out, Disco Dean was talking his stuff, David "Bird" Jones was fresh off finishing his, basically, completely new camaro and proceeded to blow the intake off the second hit, guys were testing just hoping to get a call to the main race, it was everything you wanted in a Thursday no public allowed test and tune! That's right that was THURSDAY!
Come Friday morning I was hopeful and skeptical all at the same time. I got to the booth and met up with the most acclaimed, most decorated, most professional bracket racing commentator of all time "Big Jed" Jared Pennington, and he was on the same boat I was. We were nervous, excited, happy, and weary all rolled up into one small announcers booth. Friday started off slow; there was a pit party for VIP fans, a q&a with the street outlaws, Slate got his sleeve cut off, and hell a band even played! After finally getting the small tire and big tire guys paired up we saw the return of the true street cars directly off their 30 mile mandatory cruise, and that's when we really got the heat turned up! Street cars were laying down laps, putting em' on the bumper, driving down Broadway, and GAPPING THAT BACKSIDE! An exceptional field of 64 cars that are truly street driven and raced set the tone for what could only be described as the most wild spectacle of speed I've ever bared witness to.
Small Tire and Big Tire guys are fast, simply put. They bring the hammer to the show and they drop it like it's hot! A lot of big hitters, bracket racers, former world champs, and guys looking to make a name for themselves lead the Friday 10k and 15k shootouts and a chance to race on Saturday if you won or runnerd up. Only at American Outlaws Live could you see former world champion and #5 in the world top sportsmen driver Jimmy Lewis race a car who doesn't even have an NHRA license, in a heads up race to finish! It was the Vince McMahon meets Wally Parks at the Texas Motorplex!
When all was said and done on Friday we had seen an event that was unparalleled and unmatched. It was slow at times it dragged on, but so is every other race I've ever been to. It was a long day with rising tensions, but so so is every other race I've ever been to. The difference between this race and every other race I've ever been to, is this race had a little something for everyone, it was everything you asked of it, and every car on the property was FAST! True street ended up being won by an import, Small Tire saw the desimation of the field by the damn near bracket time slip printing Keith Szabo! Big Tire saw the pro mods break out cans of "Create a Gap" on all of the competition. All in all it was a great first day filled with amazing cars!
- Highlight of the day - Andy Reynolds going sky high in the red wagon, almost piling it up, and still managing to get the W in small tire round 1
As a guy who is new to go fast heads up racing, it was an interesting dynamic trying to prepare for Saturday. At a bracket race we can find out any information we want at any time, here it was not the case. These guys are steeped in Anynomity! They strive on being known by their nickname not by their given one. Street Outlaw famed drivers seemed to be in their element at all times, while the outsiders were making their own lane. Saturday was not a model for how to run a race, but it didn't need to be! Mitch Clary, the entertainment Ring Leader if you will, had ideas in his mind that played out right in front of our very eyes. Britt and Slate are the consummate professionals and even they had their made for TV moment with the racers. This day from an organization perspective was not good, but it's tough to expect this to be a well oiled machine seeing as how it's the first and only of it's kind, and for that I applaud every single person involved who made this race happen! Pairs got paired, call outs got made, TV cameras rolled, and right before we went racing, I even sang the national anthem in front of 20,000+ at the Texas Motorplex and finally at that point it was go time!
When you talk street outlaws you talk about Big Chief, Doc, Murder Nova, Farm Truck, Etc. but when we talked about American Outlaws live we talk about Birdman! A lot of great racing between all the big tire cars and the small tires on Saturday but the end couldn't have been written any better if you had Aaron Sorkin writing it. Keith Sazbo stayed undefeated in Small Tire as he Gaptized the entire field in Sazbo special Holy water!! Big Tire pitted the Friday nights runner up Steve Wiley who seemingly had an unbeatable pro mod ride vs. Da Birdman of Street Outlaws. Word on the street all weekend was that Da Birdman had a bad hot rod, possibly the fastest Street Outlaw. He proved those rumors to be true for 4 rounds and the final would be a chance to prove you don't need no stinkin' pro mod to win this race. Wiley had a scare in the semis nearly crossing the center line against Jeff Lutz, but the meeting of the brain trust proved otherwise and was given the green light win. The time to give away 75k to the best big tire car on the property seemed to take months but when it came, it came in hot! When the lights turned instant green we had a side by side flat out drag race and it ended with Birdman taking it by less than a fender!!!!!!
What was a long 50+ hours at the track in 3 days, was over so quickly. The anticipation that was built up did not disappoint. I don't see how anyone who saw the shootouts could be upset with the view they saw. Great side by side really really really fast drag racing. We saw monster trucks, lambos, ferraris, a nascar Truck series truck, a jet car (19 times by the way), Grudge Racers, call outs, TV personalities, fires, smokey burnouts, PIMP JUICE, Safety Green and Orange guy, strippers, Okie Running, Slate getting his sleeves cut, Big wheelies, big money, big everything, WE HAD IT ALL AT AMERICAN OUTLAWS LIVE! The inaugural Scoggin Dickey American Outlaws Live was a success, and not without its peaks and valleys, but a success nonetheless! I couldn't be prouder to say I got to announce the greatest heads up racing on the planet and a big shoutout is given to Slate, Britt, Cole, and all the bayou boyz, and Mitch Clary and the whole OverKill Motorsports team for bringing such an event to life and getting it done! Tyler Crossnoe had the best track lite prep I've ever seen, Texas Motorplex and their staff had it together as well. I look forward to the future of American Outlaws Live because it's bright and I'm sure there will be another before you know it.
I will leave you with this, the highlight of my weekend was calling the action with Big Jed who kept me in line and we had the Gap Talk going. I couldn't have done it without him and I want to say thanks from the bottom of my heart buddy!
For those who didn't get to come to the event, you will be able to watch it all on TV soon don't you worry. You didn't miss the live feed 😎
p.s. For those of you who missed the national anthem I posted here's the link to my FB video of it...check it out let me know your thoughts!