Street Outlaws’ Ryan Martin Talks Fireball Camaro

Click Here to Begin Slideshow Photo courtesy Discovery. Racing Junk recently got to sit down with Ryan Martin from The Discovery Channel’s popular show “Street Outlaws.” During our talk, we learned a little about his background and his newest car, the Fireball Camaro. Ryan is the co-owner of B&R Racing in Oklahoma City, and Fireball is a race-built 2010 Chevy Camaro SS and it really is a ball of fire on the track.

Street Outlaws' Ryan Martin Talks Fireball Camaro

Click Here to Begin Slideshow

Photo courtesy Discovery.

Racing Junk recently got to sit down with Ryan Martin from The Discovery Channel’s popular show “Street Outlaws.” During our talk, we learned a little about his background and his newest car, the Fireball Camaro. Ryan is the co-owner of B&R Racing in Oklahoma City, and Fireball is a race-built 2010 Chevy Camaro SS and it really is a ball of fire on the track.

Ryan Started Small and Got Bigger

Photo courtesy Street Outlaws

Martin’s first car was a 5.0 Mustang, which he drove to high school and gave some performance mods. In fact, he got that Mustang to where it made a pass at a most impressive 4.59 and 161 MPH. He remembers working on old cars growing up, and enjoyed it so much that he opened his own speed/performance shop when he got old enough. He specialized in building cars that go fast and look great while doing so.

Impressive Skill Level

Photo by Enilda Aguilar

He got so good that you can see some of the cars he built in the first seasons of Discovery TV’s Street Outlaws series. Think Freakin’ Rican and Jackie Knox, among others in the 405. However, he got to where building cars for others to drive wasn’t doing it for him. So, he decided to try his hand behind the wheel of one of his speed monsters, and now he’s driving his own car on the show.

What Ryan Drives Now on Street Outlaws

Photo by Enilda Aguilar

Ryan’s newest creation is called Fireball. It’s a 2010 fifth gen Camaro chassis that’s been worked over by the team at Bill Gilbache. They built the car as you see it for Ryan to build on. He then stuffed the 481X that Pro Line custom-built for him into it. Fireball’s engine bay can be described as “engine porn.”

Fireball Has Gone through a Few Engines

Photo by Enilda Aguilar

The current iteration of Martin’s Fireball Camaro has a 572 cubic inch 481X engine from Pro Line that makes “somewhere between 4500 and 5000 horsepower,” according to Martin. He says there are other engines out there that produce more raw power, but they’re problematic. He and his team got tired of changing rockers and arms, among other things, between almost every pass. With the 481X, all they have to do is tweak with the tune between passes and change the oil.

Sturdy Backup

Image from video.

The 481X is backed up by a beefed- and billeted-up TH400. The rear is equipped with a Detroit Locker with 4.56 gears. Although most of the racing Ryan does in Fireball isn’t timed, he told me that the one time he remembers from when he had it on a timed track, it ran 3.83 seconds at 207 MPH.

Two Sets of Tires and Turbos Depending on Racing Surface

Although Fireball is completely street legal, it’s also completely legal at NHRA-sanctioned events.

When I talked with Ryan, Fireball’s engine was equipped with twin 88 mm turbos from Precision Turbos. He said this is how Fireball is usually driven at most tracks/venues they visit that have asphalt pavement. However, he’s also got a set of 102 mm turbos for when they race on other surfaces.

Adaptability

Photo by Enilda Aguilar

Ryan told me that he occasionally puts a set of massive 106 mm on it to get that much more power out of it. It’s equipped with two sets of 315 Pro Drag Radials; one set is for asphalt and one for concrete.

A Whole Lot of Boost

Image from video.

When Fireball ran its pass at 3.83, the turbos were “only” producing 59 pounds of boost. However, the setup can produce up to 80 pounds of boost and the engine was built with that in mind, so it should be able to handle that much boost. I’m thinking that if the boost is bumped up to that 80 pounds and they have ideal weather conditions (temperature and humidity), he’s actually got a shot at the world record for drag cars equipped with radials, which is 3.73.

Some Questions and Answers with Martin

I had a chance to sit down (well, we spoke standing up) with Martin recently. I asked him questions about his past, present, future, and racing in general.

Surface Differences

Photo by Ryan Martin

This is the wedge motor Fireball had until Ryan and crew got tired of replacing broken rockers and studs.

I asked Ryan what was different between racing on asphalt and on concrete. His answer surprised me: “We had an event in Memphis not too long ago that was on asphalt. I found out that prep for asphalt was way different than for concrete. We had to give the front suspension more travel for the race on asphalt by raising the front end. This also ended up transferring more weight to the rear and making the car more sloppy (sic).”

The Mental Element

I completely agreed with his answer to my next question. “Street racing and drag racing require the same mindset or way of thinking. In both, you’re trying to get from one point to another as fast as possible. You have to be fearless and not give any quarter-drive to win, in other words.

Take Car on Streets

Photo by Enilda Aguilar

“However, there are some major differences between the two. When you’re on a track you don’t have to worry about potholes or the grooves that carry rain water away. You also don’t have to worry about a gust of wind blowing dirt all over where you’re getting ready to drive when on a track. Streets aren’t designed for so much power to be put down, so they don’t handle as much power as a track can. You can easily overpower the street with your tune, so you’ve got to be more careful there.”

Live to Race

I asked Ryan if he thought Fireball had a better pass than the one it did at 3.83, and he said he was sure of it. “We dropped a cylinder on that run. Because of that, I’m pretty sure that next time out we’ll get it to the 3.70s or better.”

To close, I asked Ryan where he sees himself in regards to racing and Street Outlaws in the future. “I live for racing,” he said. “Even when we lose, I’m having a better day than even the best of days in the office. Sure, winning is better (laughs), but I’ll take even a losing outing over a day at work any day. We’ve learned a lot over this season. Fireball is running better and more competitive because of it. We’re all ready to keep representing the 405 on the streets if Discovery will have us.”

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About Mike Aguilar 218 Articles
Mike's love of cars began in the early 1970's when his father started taking him to his Chevron service station. He's done pretty much everything in the automotive aftermarket from gas station island attendant, parts counter, mechanic, and new and used sales. Mike also has experience in the amateur ranks of many of racing's sanctioning bodies.
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