Discovery Channel’s “Street Outlaws” offered people a glimpse into what street racing was like in America, when it premiered on 10 June 2013. Since then, it’s developed a cult following, as this extreme sport was not only highly dangerous but also supposedly illegal. It boasted of having the fastest cars and the best drivers, with David “Daddy Dave” Comstock rising to the top of the list in the Oklahoma street racing scene, thus earning the nickname, “King of the Streets.”
Early life and family
David Comstock was born on 4 April 1973, in Shawnee, Oklahoma USA, to parents, Peter and Marge Comstock. He matriculated from Bath Haverling High School in 1991. His love for racing started soon after he obtained his driving license at the age of 16, and drove his father’s 1978 Chevrolet Impala. He began making a name for himself in street racing, and gave his dad credit for this, as he said, ‘Growing up he taught me and my brothers to love cars, NASCAR, and to drive fast.
It was great then and it still is now.’ Peter loved to race old cars on the streets, with the top speed at 93 miles per hour back in the day. His mother, who was also into drag racing, shared, ‘It’s part of who David is…Sometimes I think he drives too fast. It’s an adrenaline rush I think, but I’m still very proud of him.’
His friendship with Justin “Big Chief” Shearer paved the way for him in gaining a foothold into the television industry. Interestingly, the two didn’t get along at first, for at least a decade, since they had known each other with Big Chief essentially saying that Daddy Dave was not nice to him, much like a bully. Back then, Dave worked for Wayne Varley, who was number one in the racing scene, but it didn’t end well with accusations that Daddy Dave threw the race to someone Varley wasn’t keen on losing to.
Oklahoma City has been generally acknowledged as the world’s street racing hub, but according to Big Chief, he didn’t like the way the racing was run back when he was just starting out, as it appeared to him that no one was really taking charge.
Sometimes the street racers and car enthusiasts would meet at a huge abandoned parking lot, with no race taking place, and they would eventually all just go home. One day he took charge, and would pick guys who would race, and then the others tried to do the same thing, but more often than not would get busted by cops. Big Chief has earned a reputation for keeping them safe so eventually, more and more racers came to join the street races he organized, and one of them was Daddy Dave.
Dave’s first foray into television was in 2006, in the reality series called “Pinks” hosted by Rich Christensen and aired on the sports-oriented cable channel, SPEED. Daddy Dave was part of the Wide-Open Throttle Team from Oklahoma as the driver of a 1989 Ford Mustang that was packing a 355 CID Small Block Chevy, N/X single-stage Nitrous kit, with 150hp jetting, and Cast Iron Vortec Heads. Jeff “AZN” Bonnett was the team captain, and Big Chief was the negotiator.
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Their opponent was the Olympic Armor Coatings Team from Sequim, Washington State, with Brandon Somers behind the wheel of his 1992 Honda Civic Hatchback, packing a dual overhead camshaft VTEC motor and 125 Shot Nitrous kit with progressive controller. The street-car versus race car event took place at the Speedworld Raceway Park in Surprise, Arizona.
With the show’s tagline, “Lose the race, lose your ride,” the winner gets to take home the loser’s car. Before the race, the participants would sign a binding contract that would transfer the title of their respective cars to the production company, to guarantee the transfer of ownership to the winner. The negotiator of each team would inspect the opponent’s car to assess its performance and would then talk about the terms of each race to make it a fair one, including giving a handicap to the perceived faster car that both teams would agree to.
OK, Daddy Dave! 👏👏👏👏 #StreetOutlaws pic.twitter.com/s4sV575rlf
— Street Outlaws (@StreetOutlaws) June 27, 2018
The show had technical advisors who would give their own assessment of what’s reasonable when they were negotiating the terms. After that, the cars could initiate a burnout, then take-up their starting positions.
They first went on a heads-up race, which Daddy Dave won with his opponent accusing him of sandbagging. For the second race, Brandon got 2-1/2 lengths, but Daddy Dave still won. Re-negotiating for the final race ended with Brandon getting 14 lengths, but still lost due to a broken axle. The winning team sold back the car to Brandon at a reasonable rate.
The Wide-Open Throttle team went back seven weeks later, for the best-of-five drag race in a special episode. This time their opponent was another pink slip winner, Alexander Djordjevic’s team, with Chris Chow behind the wheel of a 1977 Chevy Vega Wagon, also known as The Woolly Mammoth, and said to be the most famous car that’s ever been on “Pinks.”
Although clearly reluctant upon seeing the opponent’s engine, which was packing a 468 CID, 2-Stage TNT Nitrous System, and Dart Iron Heads, Big Chief as the negotiator still went ahead with the race. The first one was a heads-up race with the Woolly Mammoth off the bottle, but it still won by six car lengths. The Mustang won the second race as the Woolly Mammoth had mechanical difficulties. Still off the bottle, the Woolly Mammoth lost to the Mustang with Daddy Dave driving, and having eight car lengths as a head start for the third race, and three for the fourth one. Winning the race was not just a matter of having the fastest car and the best driver, but also being on top of their game when it comes to negotiating the terms.
About “Street Outlaws”
Street racing is illegal, but it didn’t stop car racers from doing it or fans from liking it. There’s such a lot of interest in this extreme sport that small independent media companies would come to film the races.
Some of the clips made it online via the 1320Video YouTube account, as it featured the best street car videos and races. When it went viral, Discovery Channel took notice, and Pilgrim Media Group produced the series about the Oklahoma street racing scene for them.
“Street Outlaws” featured the Oklahoma 405 crew such as Daddy Dave, Shawn “Murder Nova” Ellington, James “Doc” Love, Tyler “Flip” Priddy, and the race organizer, Big Chief. The drivers’ goal was to be included in what they called “The List” of the 10 fastest Oklahoma street racers. To earn a spot or move up on the list, one has to challenge and win against someone who’s ahead in the ranking.
In season one, Daddy Dave drove a black and silver 1996 GMC Sonoma S10 pickup that was packing a 632-cubic inch Big-Block Chevy motor with 3-Stage Nitrous System. His team decided to build a truck just to be different and although people called this a dumb move, he said that having the best chassis guy working on his ride made a huge difference.
His truck was extremely light, and worked best on the street. He was No.3 on the list at that time and he retained his spot when he was challenged by Monza (#4) and then when he rose to No.2, he called out Murder Nova to take the No.1 spot from him, and was successful.
Millions of people tuned in for the premiere in 2013, and continued to do so for the entire duration of season one, not just for the racing itself but also for the personalities involved. Daddy Dave and the rest were certainly surprised at the reception, as they’d thought that it wasn’t going to get past season one, so they gave it their all. With the success of the show, Discovery Channel ordered more seasons and created many spin-offs, including “Street Outlaws: New Orleans,” “Street Outlaws: Memphis,” “Street Outlaws: Bristol,” and “Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings.”
It had become so popular that even the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), the governing body that sets rules and hosts drag racing events in the US, became concerned and issued ‘threats’ to the members who would participate in the series that their license would be revoked. They explained that they were doing this to prevent their drivers from engaging in illegal and dangerous activity thru the show.
As in the case of all reality shows, there were many who questioned its authenticity and wondered about the implication of filming a bunch of people doing something illegal. However, contrary to the show’s title, everything they did was said to be legal, as the organizers and producers obtained the necessary permits for every race that they organized. For the safety of everyone including the spectators, it was said that the police closed down the roads where the races were being held. The races were real, as the drivers competed to earn bragging rights of being the fastest on the road.
Five seasons into the original series, Daddy Dave parted ways with his sponsor, the construction magnate Jackie Knox, as he felt it was time to have a car of his own to race. The two had formed a partnership back in 2007, when Jackie underwent back surgeries, so Daddy Dave drove the Sonoma for him, and reigned as the “King of the Streets” for a time. His new 1963 Chevy Nova, nicknamed Goliath, was assembled in his own shop Comstock Auto Service, in Edmond, Oklahoma, and the finished product was unveiled in the “David & Goliath vs the 405” episode in season six of the series aired in 2015. He wanted to rise to the top much like Big Chief did with his twin turbo-charged Pontiac, better known as “The Crow.”
Car wreck in Amarillo, Texas in 2015
Daddy Dave crashed his new car at a No Prep race at the Amarillo Dragway in Texas, as he lost control of his nitrous-equipped Goliath soon after the race began, slammed into the concrete barrier, and then flipped six times before coming to a stop; people who were watching the scene unfold thought he wouldn’t survive the horrific crash.
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He was rushed to the emergency room at a nearby hospital, where he was diagnosed with ‘a serious concussion, a bruised lung, and plenty of bumps and bruises.’
Some reports indicated that one of the nitrous bottles came loose and it struck Daddy Dave on the head on its way out the window as it was being propelled by the escaping gas. Fortunately, it was his helmet that took the brunt of the impact, saving him from more serious damage. His wife, Cassi, shared in a Facebook post that although Dave couldn’t remember anything that happened from the crash to how he ended up in the hospital, he’s doing okay and in stable condition. She also said, ‘I am thankful to have my husband alive! I’m sure he will be back, just need time to heal and go from there!’
When Daddy Dave fully recovered, he competed in the Shark Pool event to get higher up “The List” as he drove the “Plan B” Chevrolet Corvette, which was on loan from Henson Racing Engines.
He made it to the No.1 spot, only to drop out as he wanted to drive his own car even if it meant starting at the bottom.
Car Crash in Georgia in 2021
Daddy Dave was in another car crash at the South Georgia Motorsports Park (SGMP), as he competed against Bob Ducote in a “race your way in” event for the “Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings” in July 2021. After he crossed the finish line, his upgraded Goliath Chevy II went off-course and took a hard right, slamming onto the guard rail. It was believed by some that the rain prior to the race might have contributed to the crash, as it made the road slippery. However, Daddy Dave admitted that he made a rookie mistake, as he kept looking at his opponent instead of focusing on his own driving, and that he released the parachutes a little too late, so he had no one to blame but himself, adding ‘I probably just ran out of talent there at the 1/8-mile and it got away from me. But we’ll be back, I promise, and it’ll be faster than it was and better than it was.’
He was unharmed and the Goliath 2.0 sustained damage mostly to its exterior, as the motor was still in good condition even if it was knocked over. However, the repairs took weeks to finish as the parts were a little hard to come by due to the pandemic brought by the COVID-19 virus. By October, everything was fixed and he was back to racing with Goliath 2.0. While waiting, he competed in the No Prep Kings event with his Chevy S-10.
What’s next for Daddy Dave? His work and his family
Daddy Dave has been widely regarded as one of the best 405 drivers for a long time now, but he is far from retiring. There was no more “List” that the racers in OKC originally wanted to get into, but he and the other guys were engaged in a runoff to vie for a spot in America’s Top 20 List. He will be busy traveling, participating in street racing, and filming for “Street Outlaws” and its spin-offs, as well as spending time with his wife.
He and Cassi have been married for eight years since 2013, but together for 14 years.
She has a daughter named Krisyana from a previous relationship, who celebrated her 16th birthday in 2021 and another named Shaiah who gave birth to her grandkids, Kai and Londyn – Daddy Dave dotes on them. Based on her Instagram posts, she’s fully supportive of her husband’s passion for street racing, and that they have a happy family.
Aside from having an Instagram account with 600,000 followers, and Facebook account with 1.6 million fans to communicate with, and promote his shows and merchandise, he also opened his own YouTube account, “Daddy Dave Racing,” in June 2021. It now has 40,000 subscribers, and the eight videos he’s uploaded have gained a million views. During his free time, he would be at his shop working on cars – the most recent one he did was his wife’s car, a ‘02 Trans Am, which he bought from a guy in Texas for a steal as it had a broken rod. He had fun not just fixing it but also putting in upgrades together with his team.
According to sources, his net worth is estimated at close to $1 million, from what was said to be his $20,000 fee per episode on the show, income from his shop, and profit from race wins.