We know people love cars and races, so asking why “Street Outlaws” has such a big appeal to the audience is out of place. The real question should be, who’s your favorite race driver in the show?
Of course, the audience can also be strongly opinionated on this topic as well, especially if they have already chosen their favorite. Some can argue that what’s more important is the attitude, others can say it’s the humility, and yet others are more focused on results. Whatever you choose, it’s difficult for anyone to dislike the race driver Kye Kelley, due to his good and not over-the-top personality, and that he’s actually the fastest guy in the whole country!
So what happened to him? Is he still racing or has he retired? In this video we’re going into full detail about Kye Kelley and his life nowadays, just watch and enjoy it!
What’s Up With Kye Kelley?
Being named the fastest street race driver in the US can be both a blessing and big pressure.
Even considering that, a lot of people are surprised to find out that Kye Kelley has publicly shown his doubts about continuing his speedway career.
Anyway, at least for now you shouldn’t worry that much about Kye’s possible retirement, as he has been noticeably quite active recently, both on the road and in “Street Outlaws: America’s List”, which premiered in 2021 in a four-episode season, showcasing only the best-of-the-best street racers from all over the US.
While everything seems to be great for Kye nowadays, you’re probably wondering if he ever wanted to retire. The truth is that while doubt is not a strictly-exclusive feature of racers, the whole competitive environment which usually surrounds their profession can lead to both great moments of glory, and hopeless feelings of failure. As expected, Kye is not immune to these feelings, which was the reason that in 2018 he announced in a now-deleted Facebook post that he was retiring and selling all of his car’s pieces.
Fortunately, not long after that, Kye demurred from his decision to leave the speedways, pointing out his early statements were just impulsive or, as he described it, were made when he was ‘just feeling sorry’ for himself. Anyway, we’re just glad he decided not to leave the racing world, and wish to see him on TV more often in the future.
Who Is Kye Kelley?
His name is not unknown to the “Street Outlaws” audience, and fans of cars and races alike. However, we also know that whether or not you knew him from before, you’re most likely still very curious about the person Kye Kelley is off-camera, and before his rise to stardom.
Unlike some of his fellow “Street Outlaws” cast members, Kye didn’t grow up surrounded by amazing cars and seemingly illegal races. The truth is that he grew up in a small town in Mississippi named Pike County, in which he was barely able to connect with other people with the same hobby.
— Street Outlaws (@StreetOutlaws) January 3, 2018
That was probably the reason Kye pushed himself even more, looking everywhere for ways to pursue further his love for cars and races.
We could say Kye’s seemingly out-of-nowhere thirst for speed was the definite call into what would become his passion of a lifetime. That could well explain why his obsession with a Chevy Nova II led him to get two jobs to afford buying it at the time, when he wasn’t even able legally to drive. It seemed that managing to work milking cows on a local farm while being a grocery bagger in a supermarket was the right thing to do, as it allowed Kye to buy that Nova when only 15 years old, which obviously sounds both unbelievable and incredible in a good way.
If you thought that after that then Kye’s path was going to be set, then you’re in for bad news. After a couple years, Kye sold the Nova and went on to buy car after car which he modified, but eventually ended up selling for not fitting his expectations.
Of course, while his situation at the time can only be counted as a string of mistakes, at least it led Kye to better consider his options, and discover what he wanted out of a car. That added to his then recently-acquired knowledge of mechanics, made the whole experience somehow redeemable.
Not being perfect is normal, but the hardest part is the things which have to be done in order to afford those mistakes, which happen to be expensive as well. This explains very well the situation Kye was going through following his high school matriculation, which saw him entering the field of refining petroleum. Working for $10 per hour was easier said than done, when his first role in his work place was to literally watch fire, which in his words made him feel like ‘the most useless person in the world’.
Despite the circumstances, Kye was a man determined to always give more than what he was given.
Just like he ended up pursuing his car race-loving hobby in a small town, he also became his petroleum company’s superintendent and was even able to buy a Camaro, which fortunately set his career on the road and in the right direction.
Career & Debut On TV
For a long time, Kye Kelley’s life was spent between work, family and his passion for racing. Of course, having his job responsibilities and bills to pay, meant he couldn’t race all the time, but he did it when he could on the then-very active Mississippi street race scene.
While driving and betting was the whole thing for him back then on the speedway, it was enough for him and the Camaro he had bought on a website, and in which he had to install a motor of 838-inches. The result wasn’t as aesthetically good-looking as one could expect, but it was one of the best decisions he could ever have taken, even without knowing what life had prepared for him.
His Camaro was baptized as “The Shocker”, and following a year-long period of familiarizing with it and making some money in local races, Kye caught the attention of Discovery, which was looking for people to join “Street Outlaws”. That’s how after a couple of tags on a Facebook page, he and his pal Corey Temple became recurrent cast members of the show.
The Rock On The Road
Especially when it comes to competitive activities, mistakes and failures are the usual things everyone involved in it has to face. However, what happens when you’re punished for something you didn’t do? We know, that’s when it gets harder.
If you’re not sure what we’re talking about, then you have saved yourself a bad time for quite some time. As it happens, in January 2018, Kye Kelley and his fellow show cast members were at an event showcased in “Street Outlaws Live”, but the situation turned out unfairly for Kye.
The issue back then was a malfunction which admittedly could have been prevented. To sum it up, Kye was disqualified from the race for leaving before the green lights appeared, marking him with a red light when the race hadn’t even started.
If you’re wondering why this was most-likely not his fault, the reason has to do with the fact that there was a change of the lights’ system which confused the timing, hence triggering the red light which negatively affected Kye.
As you might imagine, the situation shook Kye, especially since he had invested not only a lot of money on the event, but also a lot of effort and energy.
How Much Does He Earn From Races?
One common question about “Street Outlaws”, is how could the drivers afford fixing and upgrading their cars that much.
While most people assume the show pays them good salaries and so be able to do all of that, the truth is that there’s no official statement of the real salaries the show’s cast members receive. This means that while the figures could be quite good, there’s also a big possibility that their payment isn’t really much.
Even if there’s nothing certain when it comes to the topic of finances, Kye Kelley’s net worth is estimated at $500,000, which is not that much compared to other popular drivers in the show.
Whether this estimation is spot on or not, we should pay attention to Kye’s words on the subject. As he told Dragzine in 2018, the truth is that his budget for each race event is very tight, the very same one he had when he started. This is quite impressive considering his status in the racing field, but at least it puts his profession and own discipline of restraining from spending too much money, in a whole different perspective.
You already know about Kye Kelley’s first Chevy Nova II and his upgraded third generation Camaro, with which he rose to fame. However, Kye has actually owned several other cars you most-likely don’t know about. Such as his second car ever, a 1972 Chevy truck he upgraded himself by building a brand new chassis and motor. Unfortunately, he didn’t last long with that one, selling it in order to buy a Dodge Charger from the 1980s, for which he had the ambitious project of upgrading it with a 638 motor that also didn’t bring the result he wante, so selling once again, and after rethinking things for a while, he acquired the 1984 Camaro we have all come to know as the “Shocker”.
Later in 2020, Kye admittedly stepped up his game by acquiring a 2014′ Camaro he baptized as the “Show Stopper”, a slick-looking but powerful machine he commissioned a local Mississippi car supplier for.
As he’s said, he had been waiting for the “Show Stopper” for a long time, which makes this new milestone in his career more meaningful, especially considering his previous history with cars.
It doesn’t come as a surprise when reality stars or celebrities in general begin launching their own businesses when they achieve a certain degree of fame. Of course, not a lot of them invest in the same things, but it’s usual that some go the easy path and start offering their services as guests in public events.
This is exactly what Kye Kelley does nowadays. On his website kyekelleyracing.com, his fans and interested people can easily book him for a public appearance, and while it’s inherently expected that his range of events are related to races and cars, it’s not stated if invitations to other types of events are allowed too, as long as he accepts the offers.
Before you ask how much he charges, the website unfortunately doesn’t show this information. However, it’s supposed his honorariums vary depending on several factors.
On the same website, his most dedicated fans can buy merchandise with Kye’s logo as well.
Kye Kelley is admittedly not much of a social media fan. If you only take a quick look into his Instagram page, you’ll see that he rarely updates his fans on anything.
Kye is one of those few reality stars who doesn’t want to reveal too many details about his personal life. Due to this, we barely know anything about his family, except that he has two children, and was married to Alisa Mote from 2016 to 2018.
Although the separation from Mote was, as expected, never cleared up, it seems Kye has already moved on.
Nowadays he maintains an apparently very stable relationship with Lizzy Musi, a fellow race driver who also appears in “Street Outlaws”.
Is Kye Planning On Leaving The Show?
Despite the financial and systemic difficulties which have affected his performance both on the speedway and in “Street Outlaws”, it seems that leaving either of these is not in his plans.
If you wonder why we assure this, the answer is simple: Kye has been pretty sincere about it repeatedly, and in his words, he ‘enjoys being a part of it’. The reason he’s determined to keep putting his life at limit by not leaving the speedway and in consequence the show, has to do with the fact that he considers racing an essential part of himself, and ‘a dream come true’.
Whether it’s the thrill of the competition or simply his desire to put everything of himself into what he does, we’re more than pleased that we’ll keep seeing Kye Keller on our TV screens for more years to come.