Justin Shearer is an American street racer and TV personality, born on 9 December 1980, in Louisville, Kentucky USA. He’s known as “Big Chief”, and appears in Discovery Channel’s series “Street Outlaws”.
Although there’s not much information about Justin’s parents, it’s known that his father was a car racer, and introduced Justin to the activity at nine years of age, awakening his passion for track races and cars. Unfortunately Justin’s father died soon after, for unexplained reasons, and his disappearance left him uncertain of his abilities: ‘I didn’t know if I’d ever get into a race car again.’
aaaaaand the engine is now back in the car. time to hit the Hwy. it's 3.32 am and yesterday the motor needed crank, Rod'…
Not long after his father’s passing, when Justin was 12 years old his mother moved their small family to Oklahoma. Although still mourning his father, Justin adapted easily in his new city, and his passion for cars and speed was renewed when he saw Route 66’s races. Years later his decision to pursue a career in car racing was approved by his mother, who was studying to become a nurse.
Justin attended Putnam City High School, matriculating from it with fond memories: ‘When I was in high school, dude, there was nothing but rear-wheel drive, muscle everywhere, whether it was Fox-body Mustangs, F-body Camaros, LT-1 cars, or older Monte Carlo G bodies. Whatever it was, it was rear-wheel drive and it was a V8 and that’s way we did it.’
Justin Shearer started officially competing in street races once he was old enough. However, success didn’t come easy for him as he lost his first competition, which was against a Chevy Beretta driver: ‘I don’t even think it was a GT; it was just a Beretta and this kid wore me out. I vowed right then and there that I would have a car that a Beretta couldn’t outrun. And that’s how it all started’.
Instead of feeling defeated, Justin felt more motivated to pursue his passion, leading him to buy a 1972Pontiac LeMans, modifying to make it suitable for races and giving it the name “The Crow”. Within a few years, at the age of 22 Justin – known as “Big Chief” in the streets of Oklahoma – was already considered one of the top racers in the city.
Justin created a website named The List in 2002, on which the top ten street racers of his city were listed, and were allowed to challenge each other: ‘it was 60 people. It was just our buddies and we thought that we were the baddest street racers in the world and once we were to the point where we could afford a trailer, we started driving around to figure it out.’
Justin didn’t expect to start the most exciting adventure of his life, when in 2006, 1320 Video founder Kyle Loftis travelled from Nebraska to record one of his group’s races in the event “Cash Days”: ‘I still don’t understand that. We just didn’t get it and then before you know it, those videos turned pretty popular on the Internet, and then we had our own videos that were pretty popular, too.’
Loftis also remembers the story behind the success of Justin and his fellow racers on internet: ‘It was their second or third one (Cash Days), and I came down six or seven times after that. Shawn Wilhoit, The Mistress, actually pitched my ‘plane ticket to come down and Boosted GT picked me up and let me stay at his house while being a taxi for the weekend’.
Attracted by their internet popularity, in 2012 Justin and his crew were contacted by producers from Pilgrim Studios, who proposed that they form part of a new series for Discovery Channel, entitled “Street Outlaws”, which would be focused on the street race community of Oklahoma.
View this post on Instagram
St. Louis, are you ready? I got the shiny “Crow” in the box and i’m heading ur way!!! Come out and cheer me on!!…Orrrrrr…laugh ur ass off when i suck!! Either is fine with us, as long as you’re there!!! #streetoutlaws #noprepkings #hellhathfrozenover #cantbeabigdogfromtheporch #youdontevennoprepbro #fuckit #butwhatifwedotho #rideordiecrew #crownholdazcominthru👑👑👑#spinthewheel
Initially Justin was skeptical about the proposal, thinking he was being contacted for shady reasons, though after a little research about the production company, he informed his fellow car racers about it: ‘I just told the guys, look, I don’t know what to make of it and I don’t want to make the decision on my own here because I’m scared that I’m feeding you guys to the cops.’
Making sure it was a serious offer, the group decided to give TV an opportunity. However, the show was initially supposed to last only one season: ‘everyone thought this was going to be a one season, eight episodes and done deal. They were like, no one is going to watch it but we’re going to try and reap everything we can,’ Justin later recalled
Knowing they had found a once-in-a-life opportunity, Justin’s group demonstrated their best racing abilities in the show’s first season. Before they knew it, “Street Outlaws” became the number one series of the network, and was renewed for another season.
Fame is not the only ‘pro’ of appearing in “Street Outlaws”, as the show has made car racing affordable for its cast members as well. However, although Justin considers sponsors as a big part of the series’ success, he knows it’s not the most important aspect: ‘nobody’s just giving us anything. So when this show gets cut, our cars are going to be f**king roll bars again.
Everyone thinks that we’re super sponsored and everything’s free and all this other stuff, but I mean, honestly, I paid for almost everything on my car.’
Justin also considers the secret of the series’ success comes from its racers personalities, and not marketing strategies.
Justin married Allicia Shearer on 29 September 2006. The couple, who welcomed two sons together named Corbin and Covil, met in 1999 in the gas station where Justin worked at the time: ‘I instantly got nervous, and I knew that I would have trouble with this girl… and I was right. I’ve been in trouble since that day!’ He recalled.
The couple shared more than a decade of blissful marriage until 2017, when problems between the couple caused their split-up: ‘It’s no secret obviously that me and Allicia, my wife of ten years, have been having trouble or whatever you want to call it, well, it is further than just having trouble, we are actually getting a divorce, and that is happenin’.
He revealed what caused the separation was that he was more focused on his career than on his family.
Amidst the divorce process, Justin started dating fellow car racer and member of Car Chix, Jackie Braasch. This new relationship awakened rumors of possible infidelity on his part, though Justin fervently denied it.
Largely as a result of his appearances in “Street Outlaws”, Justin “Big Chief” Shearer has an estimated net worth of $2 million, as of mid-2020.
Justin is of Native American descent, a fact confirmed by him to a fan on his Twitter account. Justin has a noticeably strong built, and his hair and eyes are dark brown.
Justin is a big fan of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Justin has a Twitter account, but hasn’t posted anything on it since 2016.
— Danny Parker (@Mrphantom405) November 11, 2015
He loves his sons deeply and regrets not spending enough time with them: ‘They are my biggest fans and my proudest supporters. One day I’m going to look back and regret chasing my bullshit childish pipe dreams of being a professional race car driver, and wishing I spent less time signing autographs and taking pictures, but more time playing wiffle ball and laying on the couch, while Corbin tries to rip my face off’.
In 2016 Justin suffered a serious car crash while driving his famous Pontiac LeMans of 1972. Although he almost lost his life in the accident, he didn’t retire from street racing, and bought himself a Pro Mod. He described his new car as ‘lighter, faster, and safer’ than “The Crow”, which was irreparable after the crash.