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StreetOutlaws' Farmtruck and AZN in SA: 'We're just a couple of regular guys'

2019-06-18 08:46

Janine Van der Post

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StreetOutlaws Murda Nova, Farmruck and AZN at the Gas Motorshow in Durban. Image: Gas

'They're a laugh-a-minute and almost impossible to have a serious conversation with, but Farmtruck and AZN,  stars of the reality US TV show StreetOutlaws, are the comic relief amongst the politics of racing', writes Janine Van der Post.

Farmtruck, AZN and Murda Nova are stars of the US reality hit TV-show, StreetOutlaws. The three racers were down in Durban for the launch of VP Racing Fuels SA at the Gas Motorshow. Wheels24's Janine Van der Post caught up with the petrolheads.

If you think street racing is huge in Cape Town, Durban or Joburg, it's many times that in the USA. It's particularly massive in the 405 - that's the state code for Oklahoma in the US, and it's bordering states. Rivalry among petrolheads is rife and the tuned, monstrous cars reflect that. We're talking 1000s of kilowatts and many more Newton metres... 


As City of Cape Town's mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith, is tackling illegal street racing, so are authorities around the world dealing with the scourge of dangerous duels on public roads. It's no different in the 405. Except there, they have 'The List'. Oklahoma boasts that it has the fastest underground street racers in the US. According to the StreetOutlaws: "The List has been a tradition passed down over generations in the 405 underground street racing circuit. The drivers compete habitually to move up The List, but are always eager to team-up and take on any challenge thrown their way."

'The List' only has room for 10 fast cars and their drivers, and grabbing an elusive spot earns you bragging rights. Anyone can challenge for spot number 10 and then move up the the list to the ultimate place of 'King of the List'.

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             Farmtruck lining up a mock launch in Durban, much like he would do in Oklahoma. Image: Gas Motorshow

Races take place as planned events in safe environments where two cars are lined up next to each other, a racemaster sets off the 'dice' by running backwards a few steps in between the two cars and flashing a flashlight. There are time keepers at the end of the racing strip to determine the winner across the line by announcing the faster car by vehicle lengths.

I started watching StreetOutlaws with my husband a couple of years ago when it first aired on DSTV. As a petrolhead, and an ignorant teen coming from the underground racing scene back in my younger years, a hit reality TV show like this was a natural draw card, and we became obsessed, tuning in every week. This passion for the show continues 13 seasons later.

So imagine the stars in my eyes when I was offered an opportunity to have a little chat with three of the biggest stars on the show: Shawn 'Murda Nova' Ellington, Sean 'Farmtruck' Whitley, and Jeff 'AZN' Bonnett.

Murda Nova
                  Murda Nova eating bunny chow for the first time at Hollywood Bunny Bar with Leanne Pillay. Image: Gas Motorshow


Our chat started out a bit technically-challenging as our interview had taken place telephonically while the racers were being driven around Umhlanga and given a tour - and taste - of South Africa. They also had trouble getting used to my Capetonian accent at first, but once we were all settled, it felt like 'talking smack' - as they call it - to a bunch of old friends.  

Farmtruck and AZN are the crazy pair of friends who came onto the original List with their beat-up, rusty and dented long-wheeled based Chevy truck, called The Farmtruck - the biggest sleeper you'll ever encounter. These two are known to "go fishing" looking for unsuspecting bait in the form of other drivers with fast cars and putting money on the line in a little friendly 200m (1/8mile) run on a straight road, albeit illegally.

farmtruck and azn

    Looking under the hood of SA's fastest VW Golf Mk1 at Speed Shop in Prospectin, Durban. From left to right: AZN, Farmtruck, and Nabil Bassa. Image: Gas Motorshow

AZN handles the talking while Farmtruck wins the races. But, the sidekick has a sleeper of his own known as 'The Dung Beetle', a Volkswagen Beetle that looks like ‘Dung’ on the outside, but runs a 746kW (1000HP) turbo-charged engine.

The most ironic and funniest thing is, although their two sleepers are pushing close to 1000kW and over 1118kW respectively, theirs are the slowest, and in fact, they're not even close to getting on The List again.

They don't take life seriously at all, and make fun of every situation they might find themselves in. You can't help liking these two guys. 

Shawn 'Murda Nova' Ellington was in the car too. He currently runs a 1969 Chevy Nova with a small block Chevy engine, twin turbo and, a GM 210 Turbo 400 Transmission, in one of his cars. He told me he has too many cars and can't even pick a favourite because he is always buying more.

It's almost impossible to have a serious conversation with them, and I only wish I could have done the interview in person.

Here's a bit of how it went down:

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