Reigning supreme on top of the driver list on streetoutlawsokc.com, Ryan Martin is by far the most successful Oklahoma City (OKC) group member, having been declared champion of several “Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings” tournaments thus far. He’s been captivating the hearts of this franchise’s vast audience all around the world for just over five years, as of early 2023.
Ryan’s nearly unbeatable 2010 5th Gen Camaro SS with a twin turbo engine called Fireball was seen on most of the famous race tracks that “Street Outlaws” members have frequented over the years, blowing the competition out of the water on most of them.
The machine sports a rather impressive Pro Line racing HEMI engine, as well as the ProCharger F3-136 supercharger, which boosts the engine up to some of the most impressive power ratings ever seen in “Street Outlaws” and its spin-offs.
Martin initially taught drivers how to dominate the track, most of whom have also ended up in the show, including Jackie Knox and Freakin’ Rican – some of the quickest climbing competitors among the cream of the crop of drag racing. He eventually saw the potential in taking his own place among the stars, and promptly got to work on securing the #1 spot.
This glory and fame come with a substantial amount of risk, however, and the stereotype that everyone in their profession eventually crashes didn’t elude Ryan either. According to Martin’s own Q&A on his business’ website, written prior to a few crashes that he experienced, Ryan answered ‘Have you ever wrecked your car?’ with ‘I’ve had a few close calls, but I’ve been very lucky to not have wrecked. In this industry its less of an ‘if’ and more of a ‘when’.’
His words turned out to be prophetic later down the line, as a series of life-threatening mishaps on the track threatened the very existence of his life and career. Fans will at least be comforted to know that, being the absolute professional that he is, Ryan keeps safety among his top priorities, which is what made the crucial difference throughout these unfortunate events.
The Lizzy Musi collision
Misfortune struck one night during the filming of “Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings,” as outlined by Discovery Channel’s video from 18 October 2022. Just as before any race, the series stars made sure all their affairs were in order, preparing their machines to growl down the track in the blink of an eye.
Ryan was feeling confident as per usual, stating ‘We got the hot tune-up in this thing. We have a good race track, the sun’s going down. This is gonna be a good race one way or the other.’ As he took the car out for an engine warm-up and to position it on the track, the surrounding crew members covered their ears due to how loud the engine was.
Regarding his opponent for the night, Lizzy Musi, he said ‘So there’s been seasons where she’s had my number and kicked my ass all year. I feel like I’ve come to turn the corner with her on that, and I feel like we’ve had her number for the last couple of races.’
As the season was nearing its finale, preparations were being made for tuning the competing vehicles to their utmost settings, allowing for a performance that can stand up to the best of the best who remained in the competition. To that end, Ryan stated ‘We got a good finals tune-up that I think will give these guys a run for their money. Hey, if she goes around us, she got the faster car, it is what it is.’
Tension began to mount when the cars rolled up to the starting line in the second race of the season’s semi-finals, both machines tweaked to the maximum and ready to rumble. Right as all eight wheels sped off the black concrete, it became clear to discerning eyes that Martin had a slight advantage over his female opponent, but it was nothing that could’ve decided the race at that point.
Both drivers gave their best and floored the gas pedals down the entire length of the track, and right before the parachutes were ejected out of the vehicles’ rear ends, Lizzy gave in to the hardly controllable right-side swerve and bumped her car into Ryan’s, causing the crowd to begin shouting in panic. In spite of the ruckus, the announcer made it clear that Martin got the win light.
However, as much of a close call as it was to practically collide two mountains of metal raging at unthinkable speeds, both of the drivers managed to park safely and come out of their seats unscathed. Since this mishap was mostly Lizzy’s fault, she immediately made her way towards Ryan with the intention of apologizing.
Her colleague spoke first and asked if she’s alright, to which Musi replied ‘Yeah, you?’ Martin said ‘I’m good, my car’s f***ed up but it’s all good.’ As Lizzy kept saying ‘Sorry’ over and over, he just hugged her and responded ‘It’s okay, we just racin’, it’s all good.’
Still, Ryan asked to confirm whether he got the win light, saying ‘Yeah, yeah, I wasn’t sure, it was close.’ He then looked up at Musi and asked ‘I guess yours was moving around, huh?’ One of Martin’s colleagues checked the damaged side of the car’s frame, and added that it was ‘sitting on the tire.’
It all came down to Fireball Camaro 🆚 Lizzy Musi at Tulsa Raceway Park📺 #StreetOutlaws: No Prep Kings on Discovery🗓 Mondays at 8p
Posted by Street Outlaws on Tuesday, December 14, 2021
Ryan then uttered the most important statement of the night, remarking ‘Man how lucky are we that we ran into each other at 200 miles an hour (320 kph) and didn’t lose f***ing control.’ Both of the drivers agreed that the situation could’ve gone a lot worse, and that keeping it together throughout the ordeal is an important mutual accomplishment.
Right after they spoke, it was time for Martin to explain how the accident actually took place. He said ‘Lizzy and I go up, we’re pretty stage, green light drops, we take off, I could feel the car drifting towards the center. And then boom, I feel something. She straight up ran into me.’ Of course, he doesn’t really have a habit of being a bad sport or blaming someone else, so the review of the accident continued in a much less condemning tone.
He stated ‘It wasn’t all her fault. We crossed the stripe together, both going towards the middle of the racetrack. She just went a little farther than I did, and that’s just racing, it’s just part of it. It could’ve been way worse.’
Still, Martin’s crew ended up with the issue of having to fix the quarter panel that was caved in, whose pressure on the tire made the vehicle impossible to operate. Since the next race was coming up pretty soon, the group had to combine their best efforts to see the vehicle enter the finale with a chance at victory.
The recent Australian accident
After winning their third “Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings” championship in a row, Ryan and his team made their way to Perth, Australia for the filming of the series’ sixth season, hoping to secure the fourth trophy as well.
The journey has been thoroughly documented on Ryan’s YouTube channel, which has way over 100,000 subscribers and a regular viewership of 50,000 or more per video. One of the most important ones, uploaded on 18 March 2023, entitled “Koalas And Krashes Perth Australia,” details the accident that took place during Ryans test runs of his trusty Fireball Camaro.
The roof camera shows the vehicle reaching regular race speeds on the empty track, near the end of which Ryan begins to lose control over the car. It seems that the issue of swerving has struck again, except this time the fault is fully with Ryan himself.
The Fireball crossed the middle strip that separates the two vehicle tracks, eventually crashing into the fortified safety wall. However, the moment of impact wasn’t shown in the video, most likely due to YouTube’s policies on extreme content.
Various emergency crews are promptly seen heading over, with Ryan’s injuries still unknown to everyone who watched the incident unfold. He was fortunately intact, which is mostly thanks to the safety precautions taken when installing the driver cage.
The front of the car, took the brunt of the impact however, with its fender laying some distance away from the vehicle itself, revealing that the front of the massive engine had also been damaged to serious proportions.
The team then had to get the car back into the garage and conduct the necessary repairs as soon as possible, since it’s the general rule of the franchise that no driver will be waited on past the due date, or given any free passes.
The crew were stumped by the developments, with Ryan himself stating ‘What to do? It’s like the absolute worst time to crash this car. The worst place and the worst time.’ This is because the specialists who usually repair Ryan’s Camaro all live and work in the US, and none of them followed the team to Perth.
A member of the crew suggested that he’d have to ‘see what’s possible,’ getting ready to go on a headhunt across Sydney and Melbourne in search of a viable mechanic who can work on the chassis with enough speed and expertise for the car to be in perfect shape on its performance day. Fortunately, their friend Frank was already on a plane to Australia, and was going to arrive in a matter of hours.
Talking about the incident, Ryan explained that ‘So, we’re here at Perth Motorplex, first day for us in Australia was our test day, and we got to meet some of the fans, and things like that. On our third hit today, we had a little mishap.’
More specifically, he said ‘After the stripe, after I shut the car down, it made a hard move towards the wall. I tried to correct it, couldn’t correct it in time. We smacked the wall.’ Martin also had some good news, stating that ‘the car’s hurt, but it’s not terrible, it’s fixable.’
Even with the friend coming over, they decided that it’d be best to take the car ‘somewhere in Melbourne.’ All in all, the crew was prepared to give their all so as to make the last three races remaining for the event in Australia.
To placate the worried fans, Martin said ‘I appreciate all of you guys who have reached out. I’m totally fine, I’ve not a scratch on me, but the car is injured, so, it could’ve been a lot worse.’ There was also some good news regarding how long it would take them to render the car operational again.
Happy Birthday, Ryan Martin. pic.twitter.com/htLbPXbz1x
— Street Outlaws (@StreetOutlaws) December 1, 2019
He explained that ‘After tearing it apart and moving the blower and the fuel cell and everything out of the way, I don’t think it’s gonna take much to fix it. The biggest hurdle we’re gonna try to get by is just find that front clip.’
As mentioned, the issue wouldn’t have been hard to fix in the US, but Australia wasn’t normally dealing in the parts that Ryan and his team use for their vehicle. It was hence going to be a bumpy ride tracking down everything that’s required in a country that maybe doesn’t even produce or import it.
Ryan’s 2023 so far
According to one of Ryan’s most recent Instagram posts, from 26 March 2023, the car seems to be in superb shape. With that in mind, it looks like he won’t miss out on any important races, while his business is also experiencing a boom.
His aforementioned website offers six very distinct builds at varying prices for any would-be racers with a massive chunk of cash to part with, although one can be even less than $10,000. It remains to be seen whether the Fireball Camaro can secure its fourth-in-a-row trophy.