The world of street racing opened to the public when the Discovery Channel started airing the reality television series “Street Outlaws,” on 10 June 2013. The Pilgrim Studios-produced show featured the fastest cars and drivers in Oklahoma, and Ryan Martin was one of them. He caught the interest of millions of viewers as he rose to the top of the famous OKC “List” and also became the No Prep Kings champion in 2019 and 2021.
Ryan Martin was born on 1 December 1977, in Ventura, California, USA – his family moved to Oklahoma when he was two.
He has been in a relationship with Cherish Casey for quite some time. In an Instagram post in August 2021, she greeted Ryan on their sixth anniversary with the hashtags ‘the one my soul adores’ and ‘love our life.’ She shared that she was grateful for going on a blind date with Ryan, and posted, ‘You are the best thing to ever happen to me, thank you for making all my dreams come true.
Love you babe.’ Her account, @mommafireball, was filled with photos of life on the road with Ryan and their child Dax, who turned four this year, as he found time to be with them in between races. They were also there at the tracks to cheer him on. Ryan felt blessed that his family could come with him, and enable him to create memories for his son.
On Ryan’s verified Instagram account, @fireballcamaro, he mostly posted about his TV show and his business, but he never failed to greet Cherish on her special day, and wrote, ‘Happy 30th Birthday to the most beautiful woman I know!! Love ya babe!!’ He also posted: ‘I want to wish the best mom in the whole world a happy Mother’s Day…Dax and I are lucky to have you in our lives! Love you!’ Every now and then, he would post photos of himself and his son at his shop – it was obvious that he couldn’t wait for Dax to grow-up, so that they could work on cars together. There were some reports that he had two other sons from a woman named Alicia, whom he supposedly married in 2006, but when asked, Ryan specifically said he has one son.
Ryan has always liked everything fast, and with street racing quite popular when he was in high school, getting into the sport just happened naturally. His first car was an ’89 5.0-liter Mustang GT, with around 50,000 miles on it, about 80,000 kms. Fortunately, the previous owner had already given it an upgrade, making it a fast car for any 16-year-old! ‘So it wasn’t long before I was street racing and heading to the drag strip on a regular basis,’ he recalled. Ryan had it for years, prepping it to become a frontrunner in the X275 Radial class. After about four years with the Mustang in that class, he transitioned over to a twin-turbo 2010 Fireball Camaro, built for the Radial Versus the World competition and which he got from Joe Copson. It had the best elapsed time of 3.94-seconds at 202 mph then.
About “Street Outlaws”
How did it start?
Street racing in Oklahoma City was thrust into the limelight when it was featured in Discovery Channel’s “Street Outlaws.”
The 405 crew that included Daddy Dave, Murder Nova, Doc, Monza and Chuck, vied for a spot in the Top Ten list of fastest street race cars with the ultimate goal of reaching the top position with races organized by Big Chief.
A website called the Midwest Street Cars was created, and geared towards racers all over the country, the 405 crew putting a call essentially saying, ‘for $10,000, you can come here and race the fastest person on the street in the whole world.’ It didn’t take long before someone contacted the 405 crew through the website, saying ‘I’m from Hollywood and I wanna do a show about illegal street racing.’ It took months of convincing that it was a legitimate offer before they agreed. A camera guy came to film them as they raced, and “Street Outlaws” was born. Ryan Martin joined the TV show a bit later, as he couldn’t fully commit to it at first because he was very busy building his business.
The show was a hit, and spawned spin-off series such as “Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings” and “Street Outlaws: Fastest in America”, as well as attracting a huge crowd of 35,000 to 40,000 during racing events.
Street Outlaws competitor Ryan Martin showed dominance this season by winning the 2021 NPK Championship and Bradenton…
Posted by HP Tuners on Thursday, November 4, 2021
With the popularity of the show, fans couldn’t help but question its authenticity, as nobody on the cast or production was arrested for being involved in doing what was supposed to be illegal. It was said that they had acquired the necessary permits to race on the street and film it; before an episode started, viewers were reminded that the races featured in the TV series were done ‘in a highly controlled environment with strict safety precautions in place.’ Nothing was staged according to Ryan and the rest of the 405 crew; the races including the fights and wrecks were real.
Ryan Martin on “Street Outlaws”
Rise to No.1
When the Pro Mods were kicked off the OKC “List” to get the real streetcars back on the street, it opened an opportunity for Ryan Martin to get on that list. Immediately after he showed up, he shot straight to No.3, with Monza at No.2 and Daddy Dave at No.1. With most of the guys wanting to race up instead of down, Daddy Dave had to drop off to No.5 as he couldn’t race without his car.
Although Monza didn’t believe Ryan deserved a shot at No.1, he still gave him a chance, with the intention of proving that Ryan didn’t belong anywhere near the top of the list. They raced, and just like that, Ryan won and became No.1.
Since some of the guys didn’t consider Ryan as OG 405, they were unhappy with the result. They convinced Monza to give way to Chuck so the latter could remove Ryan from the top position. Chuck won the race, so Ryan was No.1 for only about an hour, but no matter how short a time it was, it was still a significant accomplishment, as many had tried but few were able to achieve it. He has since been part of the top five.
In the highly competitive world of racing, drivers continually upgraded their cars to make them faster, and so challenge their way to the top. Ryan had to ensure that he and his Fireball Camaro were always on top of their game, as the rest of the drivers would be gunning for his spot.
As Ryan continued to race on the track and on the street, he and his team put a lot of effort into ensuring his Fireball Camaro would work in whatever event he was participating.
He said that many people didn’t really think of him as a street racer, because he continued to do radial racing and no prep racing, but he said, ‘The Fireball team is OG 405. We’ve been racing with the guys from Street Outlaws since “The List” started.’
“Street Outlaws” vs “Fast N’ Loud”
Ryan was the 405 No.1 driver at that time, meaning that his Camaro was the fastest street- raced car in the US, and so represented the “Street Outlaws” team in the Mega Race Showdown 2. To answer the clamor of “Street Outlaws” and “Fast N’ Loud” fans, the first Mega Race was held in 2017. As Richard Rawlings’ Gas Monkey Garage team went up against Big Chief’s OKC crew, they both stepped out of their elements as the latter had to build a brand new car for the race, while the former had to drive a race car.
However, the GMG was put in a bind when Aaron Kaufman, who was supposed to race against the other team, resigned from the company. They called in Alex Laughlin, National Hot Rod Association, or NHRA Pro Stock Racer, as a replacement. Still, Big Chief won.
The GMG wanted another match, believing that they could win, supposedly having the faster car, and that what cost them the race was that Alex left the starting line a bit late. Much was at stake in the second race, as the GMG wanted to establish that the cars they built were not just for show, but could also win races. Alex received flak for losing the previous match, and wanted to prove himself. Ryan, with the reputation of the 405 crew on the line, needed to win, saying ‘I really can’t take Gas Monkey lightly. I know they will be out for blood, and trying to do whatever it takes to make sure they don’t lose again.’
Racing on a prepped track was more advantageous to Alex as he was used to that. Ryan, on the other hand, might have had some experience with it but he’s more used to the street or no-prep track. He and his team worked hard to make sure that his Fireball Camaro was up for the challenge. They kept making passes at a race track so they could tune it well, and handle the added power they gave it.
Kyle Busch, the 2015 NASCAR champion, came as the race master for the Mega Race 2. He helped ease the tension between Big Chief and Richard in establishing the rules that both sides could agree to, but failed initially. The race wouldn’t have taken place if not for Ryan who stepped up to the plate. He and Alex faced off in a two out of three race at the Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Arizona. Ryan won the drag race, proving that 405’s win on the first Mega Race was not a fluke. He also took home the prize money of $75,000.
“Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings” Champion (2019, 2021)
The most memorable win for Ryan happened in 2019, in Season Three of the “No Prep Kings” series, when he beat Kye Kelley in the second round and clinched the championship. It was a first for the 405 crew in the series, which was a celebration in itself. However, what made this extra special for him was that he missed the first two championships by a close margin, and recalled losing the first season by five points, so winning this one was ‘a relief.’
Posted by Street Outlaws on Monday, October 18, 2021
Before his team could come to congratulate him, he just sat down at the end of track thinking, ‘we finally did it.’ Ryan even won the season finale as he raced against Scott Taylor at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis. He took home the prize money of $100,000 and racing equipment along with $40,000 for winning the first event of the season.
There was really no stopping Ryan, as he clinched the championship again in 2021 during the first round, defeating Shawn “Murder Nova” Ellington, also from the 405 crew. Moreover, he won the season finale, racing against Kye Kelley at the Bradenton Motorsports Park in Florida.
What made this win more meaningful was that he drove his new 2018 ZL1 Big-Tire Camaro during the 2021 NPK events, instead of his Fireball Camaro. The reason for this, he said, was that they had to make modifications to the car going back and forth between street racing and no prep racing. ‘When you have two different incredibly demanding things pulling you in two different directions, it’s tough,’ Ryan said.
Posted by Street Outlaws on Monday, August 23, 2021
The time and energy it took to prepare the car and test it had taken its toll on him, his team, and the car itself. He decided it was more efficient to use another car geared solely for No Prep Kings competitions and so called on Bill Gilsbach to build him one. It doesn’t have a name yet, but he was clear that it wasn’t Fireball 2.0. He would continue to use his Fireball Camaro for street racing.
NPK vs Street Racing
Ryan has been driving fast cars for so long that he was no longer scared, and has almost become a bit ‘desensitized’ during a race. Once he was inside the race car, he just stayed quiet and focused after ensuring that his HANS device or head restraint was on right and his belts were tight. He said that having a great team helped calm his nerves.
He was successful at both street and NPK, so many wondered if he preferred one over the other. Ryan admitted that after a demanding and exhausting NPK season, he would look forward to street racing.
He said that it sometimes appeared to be simpler until he was back on the street, and was reminded that it was just as difficult and competitive. The street is said to be the equalizer, as having the fastest car with the most horsepower would not guarantee a win. He had both witnessed it and experienced it – finally, he said, ‘I enjoy every minute of getting to racing the street, and compete with a whole different group of guys,’ but if he had to pick one, then it would be No Prep Kings, because ‘I enjoy getting to race in front of the fans and meeting people from all over the country.’ He’s known for doing a long burnout at the NPK races, because he said that fans loved them.
What does Ryan do for a living?
Ryan is the co-owner of an automotive shop called B&R Performance, described as ‘the fastest performance shop in the 405.’ He met his business partner, Billy Hayes, in high school while street racing, and they both worked in somebody else’s shop before they opened their own. It was established in 1999, and according to its website, it specialized in aftermarket performance products.
In 2015, they started offering their own, called Fireball Performance Cars, such as the Fireball Camaro 900 with package starting at $50,899, and Fireball Truck and SUV Package 1 starting at $8,899. They put performance packages with custom appearance options on vehicles such as GM, Ford and Chevy from their preferred dealers, and the dealership sells them to their customers. Winning races with his 2010 Fireball Camaro and 2018 ZL1 Big-Tire Camaro meant not just receiving cash prizes but also having an effective way of promoting his business.
Ryan makes money from appearing in the Discovery Channel’s reality shows. It isn’t revealed how much he gets paid, but there were reports that cast members had appearance fees of $20,000 to $30,000 per episode. Being part of the hit TV series and its spin-offs also resulted in a huge demand for their merchandise, which included Fireball apparel and handmade Martin Motorsports 2 Car Diecast collectible; they sell them online and at racing events.
His popularity garnered him close to 70,000 subscribers with over four million views on the videos he uploaded on his YouTube Channel, Ryan Martin (Fireball Camaro), which he opened in 2015. However, it’s not known if he’s able to monetize this account.
According to authoritative sources, Ryan Martin has an estimated net worth of over $2 million as of November 2021.