The Talent Tank

EP 36 Levi Shirley

October 26, 2020 Levi Shirley Episode 48
The Talent Tank
EP 36 Levi Shirley
Chapters
The Talent Tank
EP 36 Levi Shirley
Oct 26, 2020 Episode 48
Levi Shirley

A play on the triumph and losses in performance and life.  The Talent Tank podcast will navigate the inner workings of lifestyle, lives, family, teams, careers, programs, and technology in and around the offroad motorsports industry.  What breeds success with your Talent Tank on full, failures when its on empty.  From the journey to the Starting Line to take that Green Flag, on to exploring trials and tribulations on and off the track in pursuit of victorious achievement and the Checkered Flag.

When you think about Dodge City, Kansas the fastest gunslingers to walk the west come to mind.  The likes of Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and even Jesse James.  Here in the modern era, competing for that title of the fastest in the history books hailing out of Dodge City is none other than  ULTRA4 Racing's driver of the #81 Unlimited 4400 car Levi Shirley, @levishirley.  Levi is one of the offroad endurance racing's second generation young guns, and remarkably for how young he is, has over a decade in rock sports.  So dial it in and rip off the knob as we go deep on The Talent Tank with Levi discussing everything from prep, tech, sponsors, to the successes and failure that have him at the top of the 4400 game.  

After the Checkered Flag-
The beef cattle sector has been and continues to be the single largest sector in the Kansas agriculture industry, with cattle and calves generating $8.27 billion in cash receipts in 2017, which accounted for more than 50 percent of Kansas agricultural cash receipts that year. Not only does Kansas have the third largest number of cattle on ranches and feedyards at 6.35 million on Jan. 1, 2019, the state also has a significant footprint in the cattle processing sector. In 2017, Kansas produced nearly 5.69 billion pounds of red meat, or nearly 11 percent of the nation’s total.  
The Dodge City National Beef  plant employs around 2,900 people.  While the Dodge City Cargill plant employs around 2700 employees and process 5,800 to 6,000 cattle per day. Together Cargill and National Beef process about 11,000 head every day in Dodge City, Kansas.

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Show Notes Transcript

A play on the triumph and losses in performance and life.  The Talent Tank podcast will navigate the inner workings of lifestyle, lives, family, teams, careers, programs, and technology in and around the offroad motorsports industry.  What breeds success with your Talent Tank on full, failures when its on empty.  From the journey to the Starting Line to take that Green Flag, on to exploring trials and tribulations on and off the track in pursuit of victorious achievement and the Checkered Flag.

When you think about Dodge City, Kansas the fastest gunslingers to walk the west come to mind.  The likes of Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and even Jesse James.  Here in the modern era, competing for that title of the fastest in the history books hailing out of Dodge City is none other than  ULTRA4 Racing's driver of the #81 Unlimited 4400 car Levi Shirley, @levishirley.  Levi is one of the offroad endurance racing's second generation young guns, and remarkably for how young he is, has over a decade in rock sports.  So dial it in and rip off the knob as we go deep on The Talent Tank with Levi discussing everything from prep, tech, sponsors, to the successes and failure that have him at the top of the 4400 game.  

After the Checkered Flag-
The beef cattle sector has been and continues to be the single largest sector in the Kansas agriculture industry, with cattle and calves generating $8.27 billion in cash receipts in 2017, which accounted for more than 50 percent of Kansas agricultural cash receipts that year. Not only does Kansas have the third largest number of cattle on ranches and feedyards at 6.35 million on Jan. 1, 2019, the state also has a significant footprint in the cattle processing sector. In 2017, Kansas produced nearly 5.69 billion pounds of red meat, or nearly 11 percent of the nation’s total.  
The Dodge City National Beef  plant employs around 2,900 people.  While the Dodge City Cargill plant employs around 2700 employees and process 5,800 to 6,000 cattle per day. Together Cargill and National Beef process about 11,000 head every day in Dodge City, Kansas.

Please like & subscribe.
https://www.thetalenttank.com/
https://www.instagram.com/thetalenttank/
https://www.facebook.com/thetalenttank
Insiders Group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheTalentTankInsiders/ 

Intro/Outro:

Let's drop the green flag on this episode of the talent tank podcast with your host Wyatt Pemberton bringing you the best, fastest, most knowledgeable personalities and ultra for and off road racing.

Wyatt Pemberton:

All right, all right. All right, here we go. Welcome back. Another episode of the talent tank. Big deep dive here. As you guys clicked on today's episode, man, here we go. Levi, surely. Awesome. Levi, what's up?

Levi Shirley:

Nothing man just enjoying a cold windy Kansas day here, man.

Wyatt Pemberton:

Well, you are. You're the driver of the 4400 driver of the number 81 Campbell chassis car. Most people recognize you for the bright orange, which was a you know, a little bit of Yokohama a little bit of Maxxis yellow, white, black. I mean, orange, white, black.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, man. And this year, we switched the campaign colors to black and red. And on a car better known as a Loretta, which has been my car for the better part of shoot would be five or six years now. I guess. 2014 was full full season. So yeah, man.

Wyatt Pemberton:

Do you feel like you're racing a dated chassis?

Levi Shirley:

You know, some races? Yes. Primarily, when when we got to go to short course races, I feel like I'm racing a dated chassis. Just the car is super narrow. I think we're at six inches wide. And we're about 112 on the wheelbase versus the cars that I'm competing against are obviously the better part of 90 and 116 plus, which really, really helped on the short course. But when it comes to say King of the Hammers or any sort of woods races, I really do not feel dated whatsoever. That's been a solid, solid car. That car has got me to the finish line more times than I can count. So that old saying have to finish first. First, you must finish that that car is a testament to that and what the Campbells build,

Wyatt Pemberton:

I mean, kind of going into that. I mean, I know we're deep diving on your interview, like right off the bat, but I don't want to go too deep because I'm gonna drop a carrot here and we'll talk about it later in the show. But, uh, you have a new car being built?

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, we have a new car being built I've kind of kept it quiet for the better part of a year because we've been designing for the better part of a year you know, I the car started off as a front engine car and went to a rear engine car and IFS and it is remaining life as car but you know, I never really knew what to talk about on it you wouldn't people would ask me about a new car or whatever, just because like it would change from day to day and yeah, I'd like to say that I just didn't really know how to talk to people about it because it was evolving and changing and like we'd come back from race and be like changing stuff like this didn't work at this race. So why would you want to do this on this car so every thought of this car we didn't just dive into it. We've taken the better part of a year year and a half designing it and stuff we've learned and yeah, I'm super excited to kind of get more wheel travel numbers up front, more horsepower, more fuel and hopefully it's gonna be a killer car.

Wyatt Pemberton:

We'll bring that up here when we get you know all the way down in the Ultra4 sections but uh, here in the meantime talk a little bit of current affairs talking about who you are where you came from and all that jazz you just got back from Trail Hero in I think you're wheeling the the Tribe car that uh, that that your dad had built the Jeep I mean beautiful patina. Tell me about that thing real quick just short blurb Yeah, so the Sleepster man the Sleepster came from some guy down in Oklahoma as just a box stock 1967 Jeepster. And you know, dad and I were talking one night in the garage Go man, this thing the machine is awesome. You know what, let's, let's build it and but we want to build it right. And so Dad and I were talking about chassis designs and dad and I just were great fabricators. But we're not really great on the geometry side of things just because there's a lot to it those guys that build those cars like there's a reason that they're they build these cars like they're they're obviously extremely talented and good and very, very experienced. So we wanted to build something that would that we couldn't build ourselves to the quality you know, that we can build. There's the same reason that we drive you know, Chevy's and Fords because we know we can't build as good quality pickups as Chevy and Ford. So that thing went down to Tribe4x4before and it is a monster basically is a 1967 Jeep jeepster body and has all kind of an Ultra4 heritage behind it. So I was like 14 inch 3.0 Kings bypasses front and 16 inches in the rear and it's got trailing arms LS3 6L80 Atlas. I mean it is just a mess.

Levi Shirley:

Sir the guys that tried to do the amazing amazing job on that

Wyatt Pemberton:

just a laundry list of the who's who and what's what are on that on on that sleepster?

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, absolutely it is it is just an amazing thing to drive it needs shock tune something fierce you know dad and I built it we use a lot of my sponsors to build the car. And you know for the attentions that he obviously uses it day in day out when he's you know, live in Colorado. And then I get to take shows and do stuff like TrailHero and wheel the crap out of it. But yeah, there's not much need for shock tuning up in the Colorado mountains. So when I got allowed to the Utah desert, it was beating the crap out of me. So we need to tune that thing just a little bit,

Wyatt Pemberton:

and you might know some guys to do that, right?

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, I happen to have some pretty good guys in my corners that can shock tune a car.

Wyatt Pemberton:

That's thats solid. So as we sit here talking, um, today is actually you know, we're looking at Nationals nationals as this coming weekend. And by the time everyone listens to this, sorry, guys, but some real time, this will nationals will have happened, we will have known exactly what the outcome is of what is going to go down at a Davis, Oklahoma, we'll all know it'll all be laid out there. Hopefully there's official results and there's no timing issues or whatever that equals right. But it would have happened this past weekend cuz that's based on the time this airs. So we recorded this beforehand. And clearly everyone everyone knows that. So Levi to caveat that, you know, I'm gonna ask you to handicap the race handicap the 4400 race. What do you think the podium looks like?

Levi Shirley:

Well, it's gonna be me on the top step. Hopefully. Of course,

Wyatt Pemberton:

I'm gonna interject you can't act about this. Hopefully you have to be very, very confident be like, yeah, it's gonna be me. And I'm gonna put my Campbell chassis out there Loretta, she's going there. She's going all the way to the top of the box. Everybody Watch out?

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, you know, I think you're just kind of going back to the humble Kansas roots, you know, kind of the way the way like say You and I are raised on that and just like not being any sort of, I don't know a jerk just because like in Kansas, you know, that's that's why we were raised you know? Yes, sir. Yes, ma'am. And just being humble. And that just kind of like I said, goes back to our roots. But yeah, I mean, I've had some great luck in Oklahoma. I've had some bad luck in Oklahoma. You know, last year I was obviously I was poised to win this thing. And lost left rear hub on the car so just overall I had some bad luck but as far as the podium goes, you know, I'm obviously gonna put myself right up there on the top spot and then it's gonna be hard to beat those mil dang Miller cars, man, this is kind of their This is their, their their deal. You know, they are great fast on a straight line, which Oklahoma has a lot to offer and then they're fast in the woods and you just don't get better drivers then. Josh Blyler and Eric Miller,

Wyatt Pemberton:

they're they're pretty good guys to have and they do have targets on their backs, especially in the points race. So you finished was this was it 2019 that you finished third at Davis? Or is that 2018 I get them confused

Levi Shirley:

2018 because 2019 I lost that hub on the car. So yeah, 2018 we went into qualifying not knowing that my dad pulled my shifter off to give a guy a Part number on it because the guy cuz 6L80's you can do manual shifting and or electronic shifting and so they take like a special little momentary toggle shifter this guy was asking about it so my dad pulled it out and not knowing me I show up qualifying and the car won't shift and I ended up rolling the car because it was in too high of a gear and I just couldn't drive out of this thing flat corner and I get back to the pits and like I'm like this thing will not shift he's like he just gets like this like crazy look on his face he's like I put the shifter back in upside down on accident like oh no so anyways we we started at the back of the pack that race and I and anybody that knows me knows that I love chasing dust I just love the fact that there's no pressure on starting up front so like there's that nowhere to go but up mentality. And so starting at the back I hunted people all day I mean I was on it and we ended up losing I want to say we were outside of first by 50 seconds on the day and we're outside a second on like 24 seconds behind on the day so starting at the back to come into third was I mean it was like an awesome feeling but of course I want to join it

Wyatt Pemberton:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean you did get I remember being at that the race were unit finishing third and be like me I don't even remember who won first or second but I knew you won third because I remember sticking my head and your window net and being like that was solid that to see you, you know have a tight relationship with you in the sea. You know that I'm pulling for you and what you were able to pull off was, I thought it was I thought it was awesome. I was I was so excited for you. Just a Realize the fruits of all your hard labor to get that point.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, totally. Man. I remember my first ultra for podium and, man, that feeling still doesn't go away, you know, standing on that podium at all.

Wyatt Pemberton:

Oh, no. Right. Well, hey, so let's jump back. But as we jump back, I wanna talk about we've talked about your dad a little bit here already. Your dad's Brian Shirley, he's a retired 4400 driver, which we don't have a ton of retired drivers. We have drivers that have quit or fallen out or for whatever they didn't necessarily just retire from Ultra4. But your dad's retired and he's gonna listen to this. He's good like that. Damn, Wyatt, you know, give him a hard time about his age. It Brian is not that old at all. He's like Doug Jackson. Not that old at all. But they've got to a point where they're like, Okay, I'm graduating. I'm gonna enjoy my grandkids. And again, not that old. But yeah, your dad Brian and your your dad. He was one of the very first people I met when I started racing in what evolved into being ultra4 but XRRA stuff. And there's no one nicer than the Shirley's and your dad was amazing back then. And you know, guys like Mike McClure that he always had around and just the list goes on and on, you know, Kelly Hauling just I mean, you know, those guys and you just you on and on and on for days. But that said, I just mentioned you know, my first you know, time how I got into offroad racing and, and I got in because I got a buggy from Mike Colville out of Michigan, it had some worn out Jesse Haines 37 inch Maxxis on it. I wanted BFG's, red labels, that was the thing. And really, you know, you go out and buy I think at the time, they were maybe 400 bucks on like the black market. Or you could go race, a race and I was like, ah, let's go race, a race, the seams. And it was the most expensive set of tires ever, you know, led to the next 12 years of racing, but at you know, leading up to that Mike mccullar He's an Ness City Kansas guy, you're a Kansas guy. You guys race at Dodge City and me being a Kansas guy as well. And no one across Pirate I've reached out to Mike McClure was like, Hey, man, you can't give me the ins and outs because your family had been racing exra in 2007, maybe even before that, I'd seen your dad doing some stuff way before that. Didn't know him. Personally. Mike gave us you know, a lot of heads up a lot of hand holding Hey, what to expect how to get to this first race. So we show up with that first race 2008 XRRA XRRA as I pronounce it, you know, fully at Grey Rock, Alabama. And that was your first race. So I know we're going to talk about that that race further I you know, further down the way about what your first race was, but I just want to get that Levi's first race and here you are at 28 28 years old and you've made a career out of being a racecar driver and me I have not made a career as a racecar driver but our our start point was the same day kind of funny, right?

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, that that day is a day that I'll remember forever. It was it was definitely oh man that was that was a tough day and I thought like my racing was over at that point in time but I vividly remember you and your crew

Wyatt Pemberton:

well yeah don't don't let the catback because that story is one to remember at that so man Yeah, we talked about you Kansas you guys are Dodge City you were born in Dodge City right and you've grown up there you've been there your whole life correct

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, yeah then born raised here obviously went to school here high school here college here yeah still reside here so

Wyatt Pemberton:

raising the family and all and then your your mom and dad you know so So Brian and Suzanne by the way love them if anyone if on the lake bed you're out the King of the Hammers go by you know what is now Levi Shirley racing or still people still call the legacy lucky dog tent. They've got a hospitality tent with their pit that you know they've got couches in there. There's always food wives, girlfriends buddies. I mean, just the beer and the cookies and the brownies and I'm dead serious. I probably eat least one meal during Hammers week with your family in that tent. Like somehow we'll stop by for beers. Next thing you know, your mom's feeding this or Miranda feeding us or somebody's feeding us. It's a welcoming.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, I highly encourage you if you're listening to this stop by the tent. I don't really remember our address some Spidertrax Ave you'll see the toter out front. There's the be a tan, military tents. Just a great place to get out of the wind catch up with people and just take a break from the elements of of Johnson Valley.

Wyatt Pemberton:

Yeah, those tent walls could talk right, like the stories they could recant.

Levi Shirley:

I'm kind of glad they can honestly that that

Wyatt Pemberton:

That's that's that's fair. So yeah. So your would be. mom and dad you know, they're, you know, raising you. They're in Dodge City and then they they bailed out a few years ago to move to Colorado to Buena Vista and do this kind of retirement thing. So leaving you and you stayed in Dodge City and you've got two sisters, right. You've got Samantha Who I don't think I've ever met and then Rebecca who I know I've met, is that right?

Levi Shirley:

Okay, so yeah, I have Samantha, my older sister. Her and I are 13 months apart. And my little sister which is I want to say about three years younger than I am. She lives down in Alabama. I mean, both my sisters are BAI mean, awesome parents awesome just in life. Highly respect them highly respect their spouses. Yeah, so Rebecca just had twins, my little sister. Great, great. I mean, she's she's a fantastic parent. I could not imagine having twins and my older sister has three kids herself. And obviously I have my kiddo. Mr. Dawson Payne.

Wyatt Pemberton:

Mr. Dawson. Well, talking about Rebecca and I do so this is a question about your older sister, Rebecca is highly competitive. She was this competitive like power lifter? And so she's she won a lot of stuff. So she has that surely competitive gene, you have this surely? compaign gene. I know your dad, I know he has it. Does does your older sister have that?

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, so we always make we always make fun of my older sister, Samantha. She is 28 years old, or sorry, 29 years old. She's done everything in life as you should do. I mean, it is literally from you know, high school, going straight to a four year college, you know, doing internships, you know, getting a job, getting married, having kids and like following up everything just like as you can do it like as per size. Like she has that mentality of just like things should be done right. But she's never been a gal that is super competitive in the fact of anything extreme sports, so we call her the normal one. So so we got a laugh about that. And then my little sister, which is a complete, I mean, nutjob anything she gets started on she like sees it through. So like, she started shooting guns, and then she started getting archery, then she got into powerlifting. And that powerlifting she took like, extremely, she has national records as far as like deadlift goes, and what else in state records and she's just like, she goes to Vegas to go do the powerlifting you know, world meats and stuff or whatever they are. Now she has taken the parenting may head on, and there's no doubt in my mind, she's gonna kill it on that. Well, that's exciting. So I see it, you know, your mom has various Facebook posts. And so you kind of get to know, you know, when you see people that you know, having success and what they're doing, it's kind of nice to stay in touch with them and enjoy their enjoyment. Right. That's,

Wyatt Pemberton:

that's one thing. I think I get the best kick out. I don't think I think there's some absolute downfalls to social media. I think there's a lot of obviously, it's been successful B because the upside of that, you know, being able to share in those moments of Granger with your acquaintances,

Levi Shirley:

yeah. d. I mean, there's so many people that I follow on social media I've ever met my life, but I'm so hooked on their life story. Just because it's so positive and has ups and downs. It's just so familiar to like, say my life or anybody else's life, it just, you know, you kind of get a kick out of just watching them you're very invested in their life, I should say,

Wyatt Pemberton:

right? Well, and you know where you're at in Dodge City, I know your job and you can his we can jump forward. I want throw this out there. But I know this, this will ring true with you. And you know, being in the cattle business, which you are we dig into that the grass is not always greener on the other side. So I always have to tell myself that when I'm watching these guys, like whoever they are in their amazing social media presences. I'm like, well, you have to caveat with it's not always greener.

Levi Shirley:

Oh, well, I mean, you got to look at you got to look at social media as a non stop highlight reel. People don't post the bad stuff, right? They only post the good stuff and so you only see the good stuff. So you kind of got to take all these social media posts with a grain of salt you know everything day in day out like you said grass is not always greener on the other side.

Wyatt Pemberton:

I like what you said they're not the aggressive grows greener, but that it's a constant highlight reel. I haven't heard described that way. But that is exactly that is exactly what it is. With no bloopers.

Unknown:

Exactly, exactly. Oh, man. So use

Wyatt Pemberton:

a kid man. So girl growing up in DC there. What were you like as a kid? Were you into sports? You know, out there. It seems like everyone I've met from like Garden City. Dodge City was always big into wrestling from a dude perspective. Like they were big wrestlers. Like all the way through high school. Were you into any sports particularly?

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, so like growing up. I always you know wanted to fit in with the norm of you know, basketball, football, baseball. But you know, my parents never really pushed me to do anything like that. You know, is always just me doing it and I was shoot I remember like eighth grade signing up play football. I was like 98 pounds, you know, so like, did not hardly even tip the scale whenever I stepped on it. And they actually bumped me up into the triple digits just so I could see more intimidating on the roster not having a 98 pound. So yeah, so I just I was never built to be like an extra like a classic, you know, football basketball athlete, although I did try. You know, I played football in high school up until my sophomore year, I just did not get along good with the coach. You know, I just like racing, I put my heart and soul into it, you know, like, weights all summer weights every morning, you know, going about it that way. And then junior year came around, you know, I was obviously kind of out of it on the football side of things. We had a new wrestling coach and a wrestling coach came up to me and was like, hey, you're do wrestling. And I'm like, you know, I always used to make fun of the guys that wrestled, you know, like, wearing tights and like, you know, you know, groping other men and this and that. And I'm like, sure, you know, whatever. I'll give it a try. And from that day on, I was hooked on wrestling. I mean, absolutely hooked. So I went out, you know, my junior year. absolutely terrible. I made varsity just because I was a little bit better than the hundred and 23 pound kid, I think at that time, bumped up to 132 later. But, you know, I was had great, I was great muscular. I mean, I was just built like a wrestler, not built like a football player. But you know, my parents, they pushed me to do that. But the racing stuff always came first. So like I remember one year I qualify for state in wrestling. But it was the same time as King of the hammers. I had to choose basically, racing was more important than wrestling at that time. And my parents just said, You know what, you know, we're obviously heavily invested in the racing side of things. Most of the time with high school sports very rarely do anything kind of transpire into anything more than just that. You know, we'd rather see do this so yeah, so I missed out, you know, on a lot of wrestling stuff or whatever state you know, to go go race came hammers.

Wyatt Pemberton:

And there's some good stories around that. Oh, yeah. Well, absolute man, guy. we're dropping carrot after carrot man ever movie. Like, are they ever gonna get to actually any of these great stories that they've been talking about? But we'll get there? What did you want to do when when you grew up? I mean, you're obviously have, in theory, a dream job. Right. You know, growing up, like, I want to be a racecar driver. Did you always want to be a racecar driver?

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, I mean, that was kind of a that was big. I mean, the goal, you know, obviously, you know, we started out doing circle track stuff, which is just like very local stuff. You know, I started out when I was eight years old. And I was absolutely terrible. I mean, like, my, my dad was having to put like, new plastics on all the time, and I wrecked more cars than I could count. I won the very few races, but I did win some Yeah, not kind of eventually led into like, kind of these little miniature stock car races that we have, or should we call them Hornets. But they were four cylinders. That kind of transpired into you know, X ray and Mike McLaren, my dad co driving and then that transpired into me getting a shot at it and rock crawler. And then where we are today, kind of the rest is history, you know, cliche term.

Wyatt Pemberton:

Well, you know, Mike McLaren Senna. He told me at one point, and this has always stuck with me. Nobody remembers who won. They just remember who put on the best show.

Levi Shirley:

I would probably agree with that.

Wyatt Pemberton:

And yeah, I took that to heart. So so what what was your first car? off road car? No, just first car on road.

Levi Shirley:

light on road Oh is in 1987 Toyota pickup 22 sorry. My dad and I spent the winter building it in the shop over kind of my eighth grade year. We put Dana 40 fours under front rear leaf spring front end, my dad had seen this like crazy onelink kind of wishbone suspension on somebody else's jeeps. So we put it underneath the Toyota kept trying to re put like 38 five Ts cells on it, you know, in our co T cells and I underglow on it and I thought I had a silver EXO cage and you know what's funny about that is we thought it was the coolest thing ever. Like I literally thought I was the you know, big man on campus driving that thing. But that thing was so ugly. I mean, it was it was incredibly ugly. And on top of that, I didn't realize the genius My dad was for building this for one thing and you know, put me in something so recognizable. I could not do anything in Dodge City without like him getting a phone call saying hey, Brian is your son You know, on the golf course or whatever with that pick up and you know and so I like I said, I just I couldn't do anything in town on without being recognized and that had an EXO cage so it was a roll cage so it was safe. And it was like a little extra cab so I couldn't like load up to me my friends in it and it was just like, boom, like now that I'm a father like I realize how genius that was

Wyatt Pemberton:

right small town living, but also he put you in something with a 22 Rv that it's so slow. You couldn't go fast enough to get into trouble.

Levi Shirley:

No, no, no, exactly. What

Wyatt Pemberton:

a win by Brian. Wow. Yeah, so I know the Shirley's you guys don't sell anything ever. So you probably still have that right. But

Levi Shirley:

it is it is happens to still be in my garage at my house. So yeah. You know, you know, I feel like everybody regret selling the first vehicle. Regardless of how big of a turd it was.

Wyatt Pemberton:

Maybe I think you go I think that there's a romantic romanticization man I said this on Alan's podcast. We just talked about it. I miss mispronounced romanticize it right. You were romanticized, what that was, or, you know, you're like how good it was. And then you get back to Man, what a pile?

Levi Shirley:

Well, dude, it's such a pile that I don't feel comfortable selling it to anybody. It's barely roadworthy. It was barely roadworthy when I was driving it, so I do not feel safe putting it you know anybody else behind the wheel of that thing?

Wyatt Pemberton:

So I figured you were gonna say like your first vehicle is one of those little mini trucks. You guys had those little what were those? The hot suits or something? The little bitty? What were these mini trucks, Japanese mini trucks and your dad always had a couple of them around in I know, you go check Catalina um, go run to town and him, I think even helped get him street legal in the state of Kansas even like, Oh, yeah,

Levi Shirley:

yeah. So. So our trailer shop, we call it the trailer shop, because that's like, what it originally started out doing is we basically had the tools and the expertise to set up the farmers and ranchers around here. Their their pickups, their trailers, whatever. So they could go do their job, because we're obviously huge in agriculture around here in southwest Kansas. That is what drives this area. So dad came across these Japanese mini trucks and we started importing them. And I want to say we imported close to 150 of them total. Straight from Japan. We had a guy that would you know, obviously they're nine times at a time so we had a guy that would bid on him all night. We'd wake up the next morning and see what all trucks we got. and ship them over here and import them and yeah, they were fan fantastic trucks we great to you know, check irrigation. Great to check cattle. They were obviously better than a ranger or Kawasaki meal. They had full cab that air conditioning, they had heat. So it just they just worked great for you know, that agricultural thing around here.

Wyatt Pemberton:

Yeah, right. Yeah, you guys always hold on to two races. That was the kind of like a golf cart or razor before razors were being raised or side by sides being raised. It was you guys would have the little mini track and you'd all be a spare 39 and then a toolbox and you pile in that little thing. And they were on the right hand drive some and then some were left and it was like in your dad would walk through like what the configuration each one had a different configuration. He was always trying to get me to get one i was like i right. I don't know where I would ever try that. My in and out of my driveway. Like that was the extent of it. You're like, Oh, yeah, I take mine to go get like coffee in the morning. Like I just tooled around town and I'm like,

Levi Shirley:

that's pretty cool. Dude, I drove on. I drove on occasionally to high school, but you know, we still have that exact same one. And I've been itching to get it to a race. You know, it's pretty cool. It has a scissor lift. So you could like come to a crowd of people you can like just like pick yourself up and watch the race from above everybody and it has like a tilt bed but now it's just it's a it's just a workhorse around here around the our recreational ranch as we like to call it around here.

Wyatt Pemberton:

So what are you into outside of racing before we get you know, fully embedded in that and there's a lot of cool stuff around that area. You know, the river raisers. You will know that your your mom dad have a place in a when a VISTA all the mountain trails on I think you're in the razors out there. I even think you're into jet skis. All right.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. You know, there is we obviously have the I get this I get this question asked a lot like, where do you go practice like where do you go like what do you wear? I mean, it's Kansas and little known fact about Kansas. It is like next to Rhode Island. It is it has the least amount of public ground, you know that you can go recreate on in the United States. So if you think about that United States It says, I mean huge Kansas is like, obviously all used up by farming and ranching, it's all private. So we don't have anything that we can actually go. Besides our own fields and our own stuff that we can go, you know, go wheel and have a good time on besides private, privately owned stuff. But we do have the Arkansas River that runs right through the heart of Dodge City, Kansas literally runs right through the downtown, but it's bone dry, it's been bone dry for, I mean, my entire life 25 plus years, it has never had any water in it whatsoever. It gets dammed up further up at the john Martin reservoir in Colorado, then obviously, all the irrigation around here sucks to dry. So it's been dry for 25 years. And it is the most awesome razor riding a dirt bike riding whatever that you'll ever ride in your life. I mean, it is like literally, probably a good chunk of it, probably 50 miles is just worked out straight line as fast as you can run, you know, if you imagine curves and cutting and it is just a blast, go run. So that's kind of like where I practice in tune and really just kind of dial in the skills on the, you know, on the razor to kind of prepare myself kind of hand eye coordination for the coming races. But, you know, outside of that. I love my 1980s jet skis, my old standup jet skis they are. They take up a majority of my time and my wife absolutely hates it.

Wyatt Pemberton:

They can't love everything. Right.

Levi Shirley:

Exactly, exactly. You know, I told her, I said, Honey, you know, I could be chasing 30 year old women around, you know, but I'm chasing 30 year old jet skis around. And to me, that's fun, just because there's no pressure involved. It's a great work out. And you know, every Thursday night, my buddy not buddies and I load up go up to like, and have a good time we bring our families hang out. And so it's just kind of like a good, you know, r&r more or less.

Wyatt Pemberton:

That's fair. So we've talked about your wife Miranda a few times. How long have you guys been married? Guy? Why would you ask me

Unknown:

that? Why don't you have like, man, I get it

Wyatt Pemberton:

engraved on your ring or something on the inside. That's how mine Look what yours this way?

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, I think we've been married for years. We've been together for 10

Wyatt Pemberton:

years. You guys want to go since you're like 1819 years old? Like,

Levi Shirley:

yeah, I was 18. So

Wyatt Pemberton:

now she a little bit older than you.

Levi Shirley:

Nope, she's younger than me. I actually started dating her. She was 17. And I was 18. But like I said, I think the statue limitations are up on that. So I think I think we're good.

Wyatt Pemberton:

So, and we did talk about college a little bit. I really love her. I've only met her a couple times. But she is she's a K stater. She's a graduate of Kansas State University. And that is my alma mater as well. And anyone who is willing to wear purple on a regular basis, either for sporting events or just because it's Monday, and it's what's in the closet. You just have lots of purple. I'm a fan of

Levi Shirley:

Absolutely, absolutely. We wear a lot of purple around here. And I've seen that on your social.

Wyatt Pemberton:

There's Levi with some case stayed on. I'm like, yeah, you can't hardly get around out out in western Kansas without you know, every every pickup truck has at the front license plate as a power cat. It is what's talked about. I mean, because Kansas State University in a land grant college really supports agriculture, it's the extension offices, all the farming pretty much rotates in and around the University and the University outreach. So you tend to be they tend to own the as far as you know, the rural community the rural community is behind him.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, absolutely. They they support the agricultural side of things here and so obviously that's what this community is built on. So they are definitely the favorite team around here day in and day out.

Wyatt Pemberton:

And they've done pretty good this year you know, beating Oh, you whenever you was ranked five doing wrong we lost a Central Arkansas, but we want against oh you we've won against Texas Tech, we won against TCU and TCU is my wife's alma mater the other purple and white. So my house is purple versus purple. You know, and that was a week ago and then this week they were off but we lost Skylar Thompson that's sad, but you know, I was talking to somebody last night and I know people listen to this are like dammit like get off ball sports. We don't listen to ball sports. We don't care about your Midwestern crap football. But we're talking to this guy. He's an he's an Iowa stater. And we may be playing a big club championship between I was state and K state and we're like Yeah, man. Chambers like farmageddon his can be combines versus combines.

Levi Shirley:

Right? That's hilarious.

Wyatt Pemberton:

Oh, farmer farmer v farmer.

Levi Shirley:

I wish I could talk more about the football side of things. But you know my buddies that stuff are obviously very into it and can tell you like exactly the schools and the records and this and that. I'm like, I love watching it. I love drinking beer. And I love going out. Manhattan can just like that is probably my favorite place on Earth. You know, outside of some of these other places I could deal with a lot. You know, if I had to move anywhere, it probably be Manhattan, Kansas. Just that community is amazing. My cars. My race car actually gets wrapped up there. J assigns the my powdercoating gets done up there. So it seems like all the time. I mean, I'm going to Manhattan, Kansas,

Wyatt Pemberton:

really so john Stroh. Does your rapping I did not know that. I know. Yeah.

Levi Shirley:

That's funny. Stroh is an amazing dude. He He is a creative creative dude. JOHN shows what rap my cars for the past three or four years. And yeah, it is amazing. I didn't know you knew john

Wyatt Pemberton:

Hart partied with him 25 years ago, 20 years ago, even my, my Bally Bender, you know, my sheet metal Bender, you know, the magnetic press break or whatever you want to call it. It came from Stroh. I bought it from him maybe five years ago. What else do I buy? Oh, I got a Bailey I've got a tube roller that I also bought off him but he did some some stuff for me way back in the day with you know, press breaking and making some picture frames. They're huge picture frames are like, you know, four by eight or five, eight, something like that. Out of bakwin. Bright polished aluminum treadplate was cool. I can't stop

Levi Shirley:

showing your age there, buddy.

Wyatt Pemberton:

Yeah. Oh, no. Yeah, Terrible. Terrible. Yeah, man. I like it. I knew he did a bunch of stuff with like, sand cars and roundy rounds.

Levi Shirley:

Yep, he's big into that. He is literally the most creative guy. I know. I really look up, you know, up to him. You know, like, obviously, we know some pretty creative people between us, you know, just in the off road world because he kind of got to be right I mean, fabrication is like it like that dude ranks right up there with all of them. And he happens to do my math now. You know, all my all my straps and stuff. So

Wyatt Pemberton:

Wow, what a small world that you took Manhattan. I do love Manhattan. I really do love it. I'm kind of like you. I would move back there. There was like a possibility. But then at the same time, I have to think about man have I romanticized it to be what it was when I was in my early 20s to what it is today. Now I'm in my early 40s. So I don't know but I do love john Stroh. He's a great guy. And that's, that's awesome that he's the one that's taking care of your raps. he's a he's a good dude. Hopefully listen to this and be like, man, yeah, I know why. Oh, really?

Levi Shirley:

I'll send it to him. Don't worry.

Wyatt Pemberton:

Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. But now let's talk about back to you. And Miranda in her case, Dayton. You guys have been together for 10 years. You guys have a two year old Dawson. And now your dad, she's a mom. How's that? Like, tell us about Dawson. I mean, I love how you known us when you were a kid for the most part two. Now you have kids is kind of a commander who,

Levi Shirley:

you know that they say like, you know, if you were a wild child, more than likely your kid is going to be the same way as payback. And your parents are going to sit there and just laugh and smile watching that, you know, while child pay you back for what you did to them. And that is exactly what happened with my kid. He is in everything. He is wild, but he's he's a dang good kid. But yeah, man, just being a dad is amazing. You know, it's just, it sounds so corny. And I tell everybody that's gonna be a new parent, because I'm somewhat of a new pair of myself, but I feel kinda like a veteran now. You know, it's been two years and, you know, we got a hard anthem alive. Yeah, battle hardened. And a lot of the stuff that, you know, I have forgot about, you know, that has like happened. Over over the past couple years. I've just like, planted at the backside of by memory. But as we were kind of talking about having a second kid or whatever, which, you know, hope happens. It is literally the best thing that's ever happened in my life. It is being a dad, I can say I can I can honestly put that over racing, I can say I put that over any win I've ever had. It is just like so rewarding as as corny as that sounds it is. It is literally the best thing in the world.

Wyatt Pemberton:

I don't think it's corny at all. I think it's awesome. I think that when you get a look at them, I mean, and when you start to see it, you know, every day is they discover something new or they pull off some new talent or feet, or it kind of gives you a little, you know, takes a little puts a little tear in your eye like that's on made, you know, I made that and then when they get to certain ages, and they start having success and realizing their own successes, that you get a you live vicariously through their successes, which I know I see that I'd be like your dad, your dad, you know, he's he lives and breathes ultra for racing still, but he's doing vicariously through his son.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, absolutely. And that's that's the relationship that you know, I hope to have someday too. You know, like I don't really know at what point Am I gonna get out of racing and what you know, Dawson take control of his own racing. As you know my dad did with me in maybe he'll like to go play the tuba In a frickin band, I don't know man like, I hope he loves racing as much as I do. You know, I, I've been around plenty of people that they have been into racing, they they push their kids as far away from it as possible because like they like there's no money in it and blah, blah, blah, like, end of the day, I want my kid to be happy. I don't care about any sort of money side of things. You know, obviously, I want him to be, you know, financially independent, but I want him to enjoy life. And if that's racing, that that's that's what matters to me. So

Wyatt Pemberton:

would you be happy if he was the tuba player for K us marching band?

Levi Shirley:

Now at that point, I'd probably disown him.

Wyatt Pemberton:

The Fair enough. I want to make sure we're on the same page support until we've gone too far. too far.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, no. Yeah. If he if he's a two player in K states band, yeah. By all means, but but k you. I'm probably not going to happen. Probably not going to. He's going to figure that one out.

Wyatt Pemberton:

Somebody sent me the gift yesterday. This is yesterday, just yesterday, and it's of the K state marching band when they did the Jayhawk with the Starship Enterprise. And the Starship Enterprise looks like it's penetrating the Jayhawks mouth. It's terrible. It's terrible that the marching band pulled this off. It was supposed to be the celebration of I'm not sure what Star Trek Enterprise had to do with it still to this day. But it was very phallic to the Jayhawk

Levi Shirley:

that that's the best thing ever. I mean, put PC aside that that took some guts, man. I don't

Wyatt Pemberton:

think they realized what they were doing. I don't I really still believe to this day. They didn't think it was be that terrible. Anyway. Well, I digress on that one. So Miranda, you guys have been together. Like I said, 10 years. You might machine High School. Dodge City. She Dodge City. Yep.

Levi Shirley:

Yep, exactly. She was a. So I just graduated high school. And she was a junior in Cimarron, Kansas, which is about 15 minutes. Sorry, 15 miles to the west of here.

Wyatt Pemberton:

That's the same number there. Right. 15 miles and 15 minutes. Same

Levi Shirley:

exact thing. No, no, exactly. Exactly. I mean, straightline Kansas set the cruise. 70. Yeah, it's it's exactly. So anyways, but yeah, no, we we met at my buddy's house. And the rest is is his history. She is like this good church girl. You know, family background, and I had to kind of pull her in the direction of off road racing. And you know, probably not the most churchy people in the world. I can't say that. But yeah, you know what I mean, you know what I'm trying to say by that. Yeah.

Wyatt Pemberton:

Well, the fact that we're recording on a Sunday morning, probably after you after you went to church already, right?

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, exactly. Yeah, exactly. But no, no, no, like said she is just like this super came from the super sheltered yet kind of family and not really getting out much. And she obviously married a guy that experienced one nine jellico you know, I old X ray parties and stuff. So I'm kind of a seasoned veteran when it comes to parties and what I've experienced. So yeah,

Wyatt Pemberton:

I think that's easy to say you were very well versed by the age of 19. In dumb mastery.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, you know, it was just like, you know, going to go to parties, just like in like college and stuff. It was like everybody sitting around playing beer pong. I'm like, you know, and I've experienced, you know, one night and jellico brannick parties and all that stuff. And it was like, Is this all you guys are gonna do? You're just gonna sit around where the pit bikes and fireworks and where's the commuter van doing donuts in the fields? Like, where's

Wyatt Pemberton:

Adam Woodley? Where's that

Levi Shirley:

on Woodley? What do you eat him so like nothing has ever compared to anything like that.

Wyatt Pemberton:

But I'm gonna leave I from the flip side, you know, I've done all that. And I still haven't figured out anything that is compared to that, like that whole that whole era of boo Yang's and which the mini pit bikes and mini bike races after races, Adam Woodley in a rental 15 passenger van cut down it's in the dark with the lights out and the only thing going off in the car, or in the van is people's flashes from cameras, like predates the iPhone. Oh, man, Wow, great, great, great memories, you know, flashback down memory lane. So yeah, so she didn't experience that. But was she so she wasn't offroader Have you converted her off roading? Because I think she looks like she enjoys razor rides and leaf looking right?

Levi Shirley:

Uh, she enjoys them. Yeah, she absolutely enjoys them as long as they are at a slow non race pace. I have made her puke on multiple occasions just being my passenger. You know she is she gets motion sick and stuff. Uh oh just let's just say we will never be that that husband wife Power Team that you've seen in the past that races of you know driver co driver boo she Yeah, we're just gonna have to stick to leaf looking with with her.

Wyatt Pemberton:

Well, she does enjoy it though outside of if you're going a small pace, right? Yeah, but

Levi Shirley:

I have such a I have such a problem going at a slow pace like even in the razor in the mountains whatever like I'm like, screw the scenery like I'm looking at the trail in front of me. And that's all I worry about. I see jumps, I see rocks, you got to go around it is training day for me. And regardless of who my pastor, you could have the pope as my passenger and literally I'm gonna I'm gonna drive the same way.

Wyatt Pemberton:

We're gonna be fully getting it. Well do you let her drive ever?

Levi Shirley:

Yo, yeah, no, she drives so like, you know, I have a I have like a 2016 players razor turbo that has a million miles on it. Now I'd like seven or 8000 miles on it now. And they've been hard miles but I leave it in the garage here at the house. So like if I'm out of town, I don't have it with me or whatever. I get pictures and videos of her and Dawson out just like cruising in a you know, taking taking it out because they're street legal here in Dodge City, Kansas. So yeah, so she she drives it. She loves it. I just it's time to get a four seater?

Wyatt Pemberton:

Well, yeah, and especially if you guys are talking about maybe having, you know, a little sibling for Dawson. I mean, I'm looking forward to let's call it right now 16 years from now, like a head to head challenge between like, your kids versus the Miller kids, and everyone else who's in this generation that are now having having kids that are current current top of the, you know, you cream of the crop, you know, some of the best offroad drivers in the world are all having children. And then so we're gonna have that generation of them all come into play here. 16 years or so. It'll be awesome.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, it's, it's so funny, because, you know, like, a bunch of us had kids just right. At the same time, you know, we have Wayland Campbell had his son River. You know, Eric had his son Nixon, Bailey is is now expecting and like, and Brian and so there is going to be a flood. So we know the future is bright with or for racing, just because we are going to have that second generation or third generation now. Really? I mean, once you say probably third generation,

Wyatt Pemberton:

third generation, yeah, for a lot of people. But So does this mean. I mean, this is a dead serious question here. Have you gotten in like your request for hammer town to get a location in South hammer town? The quiet you know, the retired ish, you know, where it's? Yeah, it's a nice neighborhood down there, Levi. It's a nice neighborhood. Oh,

Levi Shirley:

yeah. Versus, you know, you know, being around the Indiana crew, which is generally up till the wee hours of the morning. Normally, some fireworks being on. But no, yeah, no, we're probably going to be moving to the south side, the gated community, more or less

Wyatt Pemberton:

the community, that's liquor. They don't let just anyone in there you have to go through like six forms or background checks, you know, you have to be over a certain age or whole crew. And then minimum, you need X amount of kids per unit, you need to be a ratio, you know,

Levi Shirley:

a formula just to get in there. Yeah. Yeah, there's security guards in there. I mean, there's gonna be gates, we're gonna really do it up right this year, especially as our kids kind of are, you know, they're more mobile this year, and they're able to run around. So yeah, we're gonna put some pretty strict safety precautions. And anybody listening to this, I would say that, you know, if there was a daycare service offered at Kingdom hammers, you can make bank so I'm just putting that plug out there.

Wyatt Pemberton:

I think they could I really do believe they could clean up especially if they did like the five and unders or the seven and unders. You know, that? Does there are people that have the kids out of school that have brought them out there to experience but every day on the lake man, I don't know, man, like I do. I do recall a Ethan Howl, which, you know, Rhonda and Matt house son he was in he's in high school or maybe he just graduated him being there, you know, the last couple years and in doing homework, like sitting in, sitting in the tent there hospitality tent, doing his homework because he was skipping school that week to be on the lake bed. But he didn't he wasn't missing out.

Levi Shirley:

You know, it's funny, because I was actually that kid when I was, you know, I was of age to race cameras. Obviously. I was that kid doing homework on the lake bed at one point in time.

Wyatt Pemberton:

There you go. See? So don't stop laughing about this. And we're down to data community. The HOA dues are a bitch. That's

Unknown:

Oh, man, are you are you gonna be an HOA guy?

Wyatt Pemberton:

No, no, I'm not. You know, I lived in South hammer town this past year. And it was it was quaint. It was quite, you know, picket fences and, you know, dogs peeing in their own lawn.

Levi Shirley:

It was it was awesome. Did you have to bring your lawnmower and make sure you're grass was like shorter than your neighbors.

Wyatt Pemberton:

Yes, there was a competition. It was definitely solid competition. So there's Marina comes to most of your ultra for races. Not all of them, but most of them right? She enjoyed for the most part.

Levi Shirley:

Oh yeah, absolutely. Like we're learning. You know, the traveling deal is the hardest, you know, when Dawson was probably under a year old, they will throw him on an airline you know, before he was even one he'd been on like 16 flights or something just insane. So he was great at traveling, but now that he's more mobile and loud, you know, nobody wants to you know that they get really obsessed over the their own kid. But as far as noticing anybody else's kid Yeah, there's some like very bad ones. But, you know, the traveling deal has been a little bit more tough for us. You know, like, the first race that they drove with me to this year was in Grand Wisconsin was 20 hours. And that's a long time for a two year old, not even a two year old in a in a motorhome and you know, bounced off the walls and we drove straight through because we were running late as usual. So but yeah, they they try to come to about every race with us.

Wyatt Pemberton:

That's all well, I look forward to seeing both them here. Well, this past weekend. A week in the future.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, man, Oklahoma is our essentially more local track. And it is it is five and a half hours away from us. So it's a nice trip. So they're definitely going to make it there.

Wyatt Pemberton:

That's awesome. That's awesome. So she's there. She's supporting you. What does she handle for Levi? Surely racing, she handled a bunch of stuff for you write checks a lot of boxes.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, she obviously she's in charge of all my apparel, she's in charge of making sure that coders clean. She handles all of my bookkeeping my bill paying. So yeah, so she she handles and I probably missing so she runs my social media as well. You know, not I run my social media, but she is definitely the more business side of social media saying, hey, you need to post about this, or you need to do this. Versus I would just be posting random, probably jetski post photos 24 seven. So yeah, she she is a saint. And you know, my mom, you saw me quite a bit with that stuff. And now kind of transfer the reins over the past two years, kind of as it has transferred from lucky dog racing into Levi surely racing, you know, so so to have that teamwork and qL to have her do that, like, there's no way I could I could manage the race car everything and, you know, and the bill paying and all that.

Wyatt Pemberton:

Well, you know, I can't help but draw the parallels between you know, agrarian society, which is what Kansas is, you know, it's it's ag farms and all and we say the parallels being farm wives and race wives, and how the parallels between them you know, handling all the books while the guys that the husband's out, you know, on the tractor work in the cattle or whatever that is, you're in the shop or at an event and she's handling, dotting all the i's and crossing all the T's for you fair.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, absolutely fair, you know, without her I couldn't do what I do. So yeah, huge shout out and thank you to her. Oh, absolutely.

Wyatt Pemberton:

Well, so but So growing up though, Bs trailer sales. What's it Brian Shirley? was a branch really creative sales so that was so bs Trina says it always made me laugh.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, I don't ask that has always been like a as a as a kid like I'm like, Why? Why did you name it bs like so everybody call it B and S trailer sales for growing up not bs trailer sales. So but no. So it said for Brian Shirley. Just guy just had to totally capitalize and and you know, truthfully, it was probably great advertising. I mean, like, really? I mean, the name recognition behind that. I mean, you're not gonna be confused with anybody else. You know,

Wyatt Pemberton:

no one's gonna mess that up and and put you in that that same box but uh, but that's it you know when you guys see and this is my memory so my memory is wrong, please correct me here. You guys were selling a lot of like, I like cattle pots and green trailers and stuff like this. This wasn't little 18 car haulers. You did those? But I think at one point you guys were like a very large seller of a big cattle trailers. Is that right?

Levi Shirley:

No, no, no, no, we never we never sold cattle pots or big green trailers are our bread and butter behind the business. You know, it started off as trailers and doing like repairs on it selling stock trailers, you know, you know, bar tops or, or horse trailers and car trailers and eventually, you know, climbed into into enclosed trailers and then probably I'd probably say 80% of our business after that grew into pickup accessories. Like that was the bread and butter like flatbeds on pickup. I mean, I don't know how many we saw. We probably had Install we were not a huge shop by any means, but we do probably on average at least two to two a day if I were to imagine so that it grew into but hitches and pickups right controllers like I grew up being 1011 years old pulling customers $70,000 $60,000 pickups around back and putting doing a brake control installed myself on them. You know grille guards to you know, mainly just Truck Accessories. That's kind of what the business turned into.

Wyatt Pemberton:

Well, I'm glad you cleared that up. Because in my head for all these years, I've always thought you guys were this big pot trailer guys and green trailers. Wow. I'm glad you know what I had in my head has been wrong for Yeah, 12 years. I think that's a that's an epiphany. epiphany level.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, yeah. Yeah, here you go. widow. We were just the flatbed installers. So

Wyatt Pemberton:

I got you. And then at some point here in the past handful of years, your dad I remember hearing the story your dad got some came in to buy bs trailer sales. And because he just had whatever decide to retire or that made him decide to retire. And I remember you being you know, getting tapped, like, do you want to buy the business? Do you want to carry this on? And you kind of said, I don't think I'm ready for it. Is that about the timeline? You know, four or five years ago or so?

Levi Shirley:

Yeah. Shoot, yeah, probably about four years ago now. And that might even be a little bit of a stretch, you know, we had hired an individual that was a very, very, very, very smart business savvy individual does basically fill in for say, you know, my dad when my dad and be off racing or flying or or, you know, whatever, you know, so he can transfer more into the retirement side of things. That individual bow, actually his name, Bo Ricky, he actually Khodro for me, my second king of hammers I ever raced. So he's an awesome dude. We hired him in 2000, and probably 17 1617. And he worked first about a year and he formed a game plan. His wife wasn't having the best time at her job. And he said, you know, what, screw it. Brian USL business, and, you know, dad thought about it, he's like, yeah, yeah, I think I think I wouldn't, you know, unless, you know, leave out, you know, you would like to kind of continue it on, you know, I was 23 years old at that point in time. And, you know, I see how hard my mom works at the books I saw, you know, the, the blood, sweat and tears that, you know, went into that business and kind of they were starting to have grandkids, you know, from from my older sister, and I never wanted to be the reason that they couldn't retire and go enjoy life. Because, you know, more than likely, if I were to keep business, there be quite a bit of a learning period at 23 years old, on how to properly run the books and how to do stuff. Or she would have to stay around for a number of years until we get trained enough to basically be self sufficient, you know, and you just, you just never know what's gonna happen in life. And so I said, you know, what, I'm not mature enough to do this, I want to see them happy, they have given me so much to, you know, you know, so many life skills, that I think I'm gonna go try this racing thing. I don't, I don't know if it's gonna be a good venture or not, but I'm gonna try it, you know, the the trailer shop, I loved it. It's what I knew. It's what I planned on doing for, you know, my entire life. Like, that's what I was gonna take over. And that's what I was gonna do. I really have a passion to racing, I saw a unique void, that, you know, I could possibly, you know, fill or get into with the offroad side of things. So I ultimately decided to choose that route, sell the business, let my parents enjoy their life, and retirement, and kind of start my own thing.

Wyatt Pemberton:

I think there's something extremely poetic about that story. I think that even at a young age, you were able to recognize how your decisions impacted those around you that you love. And sometimes the easiest decisions or the hardest decisions, or sometimes the hardest decisions are you know, exactly that. And I think that's kind of poetic that you were able to step back and say, you know, I could absolutely do the trailer business, but is it gonna be what's right for the entire family and and also, I want to be a racecar driver. So there's always that right.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, but like, I don't know, if I would have had any other business going, I probably would have, you know, chose that I wouldn't necessarily have to be racing. It was just something that like, I was I was racing in Europe quite a bit. You know, I was starting to get kind of the wheels under me as far as like my social media goes as far as everything with racing and sponsorship goes that I'm like, don't stop now. Like, there's Just that, like, you're so young, like right now, like, right, now's the time you need to be doing this stuff, you know, even at say, 30 you decide to pack up the racing thing and start start a business, whatever. You're so young at that point, you know, like, I'm a big guy into, like, obviously podcasts and, you know, listen to Gary Vee or Andy for Sella from first form to where they're just super business savvy podcast to where, you know, they say all the time, like you have time to screw up and still start again at that, you know, but I've also heard the term like, don't, don't wait until your 30s to start doing what you should have done in your 20s. Like, I get that, but same time. I don't want my life to have any regret. And I'm so passionate about the racing thing. And I know I'm obviously very, very talented at it, but I don't want to see it go by the wayside. Just conform to society. You know, like, I look up to a lot of different people in the sport. One of them is my good friend, Eric Miller. I look up to that guy. That guy came from a line of doctors, right and very, very successful people. And he stepped out from that gun. You know what, like, he's obviously very, very intelligent dude. He could have been that guy. But he's like, No, I'm gonna try this racing thing. And then you look at guys like Lauren Healy that came away from his very, very important well paying, you know, oil job into the racing make an orc I'm like, you know, what, if, if there is a time now is going to be a time for me to do that.

Wyatt Pemberton:

I hear you got me. You're preaching to the choir talking to me about that. I think what I've seen a good handful, you know, multiple handfuls of guys that I do have a lot of respect for and I've seen him come through the ranks or, or show up and like yourself, known you for prior to even being like a legal racer, and what you've done with that, and the ability to where, you know, I'm looking at you right now you're wearing a Yokohama hat and the representation you have of that company, and you're passionate about your stuff. Like I was fully shocked you were your family. In lucky racing, you guys ran Max's tires for absolutely ever. And everything crate and King I know you guys it was you're buying the relationship. That's what it is. And to see when you move to Yokohama, I mean, I think it through the industry back but through myself back going, and this guy, he's actually he's making moves, he's making changes, and he's fully embracing what the sport is just not, you know, taking what is given to them. He's actually going and fighting for fighting for opportunities, and you can do that in the business world. But then turns out you're in the business world. It's just a different business. People can look at it all day long. And like listen to Eric Miller. I've had him on the show he was Gosh, last spring right after King of hammers. And then you know having Lauren on having these guys on the you look up to I look up I think the industry looks up to for what they've done to bring in money and sponsors and attention and how they've made that their lifeblood. It's pretty uninspiring I see you doing that as well. You've done a you've done a bunch of things that are just way out there. You know that I actually plan to touch on it way later. But I think now's a perfect segue to it is last year ultra for went away from carrying the live feed they did for it was $1 thing Dave looked at it as it was $1 line item, it cost a whole bunch of money. He didn't feel like he was getting the return on a lot people watching it live. The thing was a lot of people might not have watched it live because of timing. And you know, there's the right way to put it and I don't this probably I say it the wrong way things do come out of my mouth the wrong way on a regular basis is people have some free time during the week, hence why king of the hammers is on a Friday because he wanted the people sit at their office who are able to make the lake bed were able to watch it online. while they're at their job. You're basically stealing time from their job, which again, that's neither here nor there on that argument. But when you're doing a live feed it's on Saturday yeah man people have they've got baseball tournaments, they've got their their kids horseback riding they've got you know, any number of things going on, they got honey dues, or they've just got to go the grocery store or they got laundry going it's just not the things that you knock out during the week during that you can't do during the week so the live feed might not have got a ton of watches live but come Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday people go back and see in jump through well that went away and leave I surely shows up. Well, you I live streams from the inside of your car, an entire event. What now that I've got you on what drove that decision, like who brought that tech to the table and said hey, let's do this who brainstorming came up that idea to do it.

Levi Shirley:

Honestly my my good friend and media guru Cory NASSCO from Pitkin, Colorado. He has taken Get over my made my media my videos for the better part of two years now. He went with us to this race and he was talking about it on being able to livestream now I've seen people do a live stream, but he literally set up the whole thing from start to finish. I did not fully appreciate what exactly he was doing. He was like, Hey, man, we're gonna we're gonna pull this GoPro in your car and I'm gonna I'm gonna leave my phone with you the entire race so it can stream properly. I'm like, oh, okay, cool, cool. I I'm focused on the race. I'm not focused on that like, like, whatever. So it wasn't till after the race I realized how cool that really just was. I went back and read the comments and saw the reach going. Holy crap, like what did we just pull off we were literally the first people to ever pull off a live stream entire race, you know, you know from from a car and it's, it's a hard thing to do.

Wyatt Pemberton:

There was a total void, and you guys filled it. And that's everyone watched that race through your eyes.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, exactly. They saw exactly you know, we had man we miss first by like 20 seconds with Josh beiler. And there was some old for timing issues. Surprise, surprise on that, that. Still to this day. I don't really I really don't know who won that race. But anyways, yeah, there was a total void that needed to be filled. And I feel like just social media is going towards that I don't feel like people really care about watching the entire televised broadcast race I mean, they do but like before you revert to any other sport like say f1 for example, like I would rather watch Lando Norris via what he sees and everything or be able to select on the driver and pick what live stream we want to do and I still think there's a huge void for that for ultra for to be getting cameras on these cars and be able to broadcasts like that that would be huge.

Wyatt Pemberton:

I think it not I think I know it comes down to dollars it's that it's not an easy tech to pull off on a mass scale. But if you can, you know shoulder that burden on your own, I think it'd be cool if ultra for if there were drivers that were doing that ultra for have the ability to toggle and grab your life your stream and feed it into there's like an aggregate so they could flash over and say hey, you know we can do this. I mean they do is that somewhat a king of the hammers but King the hammers has its own separate massive media marketing, televising budget. And team, you know, Travis Walters team and what they're able to pull off, literally bouncing video signals off of satellites, to get them up late to the world.

Levi Shirley:

Mind blowing, it's amazing, you know, and I look at it from the business side of things going like, man, like, how can we monetize off of this? How can we almost do a pay per view to basically sell that and I know there's a way to do it. And it's just like said, it's all comes down to dollars and kind of rolling that dice and figuring it out?

Wyatt Pemberton:

Well, at a minimum, what it does is, even if you aren't able to monetize it for pay per view, what it does is you're you get product placement, you get logo placement, and you get to represent and hold up your end of the bargain that you've made with your sponsors. And you've got some amazing sponsors, you put their their logos in plain and awesome view sight of that. The onboard camera and you're giving you're giving back or you're earning what the each dollar that they're giving you.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, absolutely. I definitely say that.

Wyatt Pemberton:

So I'll sort of that as we come down with you guys. Are you guys run some cattle today? Right?

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, yeah, we run some cattle also known as recreational ranchers, which is trademarked by the way. Just a hobby farmers. hobby farmer ha ha. Yeah, exactly. It's, uh, yeah, so we're not big cattle producers by any means. Although that has basically come from that. That is my my family's roots is the cattle market. So basically Dodge City in like four county that we're at, like, we're in Dodge City and Ford County. How funny is that?

Wyatt Pemberton:

I've always laughed about it my whole life.

Levi Shirley:

But anyways, uh, you we are the basically cattle hub of the world. You know, we have two packing plants here. A Oh, here in Dodge City. We have two packing plants. Each one of those packing plants kills 6000 head of cattle that day apiece. So just in Dodge City, there are 12,000 heads a cow a day killed like and then you go over to Garden City, which is 50 miles to the west of us. There's one there then you go to Holcomb. There's one more and so there are. They say that Southwest Kansas produces 75% of the world's beef,

Wyatt Pemberton:

they absolutely do that is that is that is truly the number and it comes right out. Everyone gets gets it trucked in, which was this problem back in like the early days of COVID. You know, what were month, two months into COVID. And, you know, they said that it ran through at least I think the whole complaint so then they shut down garden and Holcomb which is like monforton ibp. And then you guys they're in Dodge, I think had at least one shut down or did both of them shut down?

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, no, we had one that shut down during the COVID deal and go to about 50% on that. And then the the the second one stayed open. They they had the mindset of letting COVID run its course and kind of the herd immunity. So they took a gamble. And within a month or two COVID had ran through there seemed like a lot of the employees had it. And they kind of developed a herd view you know immunity Academy markers are down they were they were killing it as far as like profits go because they were the only ones obviously bought operating at full capacity. And yeah, they were able to keep the production up because like you want to see a mass like chaos is like you want to see a meat shortage. You shut those plants down and see see see what happens. And you talk about we supply 75% of the of the beef the world. Shut down one of those plants. You're talking like some major major kind of downstream effects. So

Wyatt Pemberton:

well, not just upstream. Yeah, well, I'm talking about the upstream, the upstream from the producer standpoint, all the cattle farmers, cattle ranchers, all your feedlots, all that all of that that takes everything that's in place that to take from huff to box, beef, everything in that process. When it backs up, it backs up hard. And there was such a glut of beef on Earth, walking around all the Midwest, not just everything that was piled up in the feedlots will feed lots or you know, they're on a certain timeframe, you get them you get a minute, this weight, you feed them, you put on x many pounds per day, through this many days. It's a formula is a formula formulate equation, you know exactly what that beef is going to do. By what day, what day it will be ready, and they are Ford contracted to supply that contract to the slaughterhouse. And if that doesn't happen, then they start backing up, then there's not being room in in the feedlots, then there starts to not be a room, you know, going through the sales, and then that leaves the producer with what is cheap. I mean, it just backs up the cost. But then on the flip side, on the other side of the box beside where it's being shipped out to grocery stores and for distribution, they couldn't get enough of it. Right. So it went through the roof. We saw we saw hamburger here in South Texas go from like 340 a pound to like 750 a pound. That's like ridiculous. People couldn't get it.

Levi Shirley:

Right. I mean, there is lines and grocery stores and postcards stores were completely empty. But yeah, that that whole Cove deal. I mean, the farmers, ranchers are resilient people, they are the toughest people you'll ever meet in your life. So my hats are off to them for basically surviving through that stuff. Because they had they were feeding cattle and pigs and everything like that at a loss. So anyways, where I was going with this, sorry. Nobody probably even cares. Listen about that. So I wouldn't be surprised me if it doesn't even make a cut. So

Wyatt Pemberton:

anyway, my show I wanted to talk about it.

Levi Shirley:

A second. Exactly. Yeah, exactly. But where I was going with that is, you know, my family's history behind the cattle side of things are my grandpa and three other business partners started the very first packing plant in southwest Kansas period. So the legacy that they left, you know, him and three other part business partners, I want to say started the very first one to killing like probably 2030 head a day is now 6000 head today. And I actually in the gun safe have the very first 22 pistol or not pistol sorry rifle that killed the very first cow in Kansas in 1963, which is just an amazing piece of his history to own because like, apparently they built this full facility. You know that here in Dodge City, Kansas. And they're like, they got everything and we got cattle and they're like, well, we didn't work through how we're actually going to kill the cattle. And my grandpa was like, well, I got my gun on my truck. And so he walked out and got this 22 rifle and they killed him for a few years that way with the 22 rifle right there and we still have that gun in the safe to this day. So

Wyatt Pemberton:

if you haven't seen in which I mean it's a group. It's gruesome, but it's very humane, how the process is today of how they break In a pin of cattle and how they, how they, they harvest, harvest the beef it's up if people are into that, but taking a tour of Indian slaughterhouses is a very eye opening and a very cool process of how we feed. We feed a planet.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, absolutely do absolutely do. So, anyway, sorry, Your Elio not deal

Wyatt Pemberton:

Oh, hell no, that's awesome. So back to leave I surely racing. You know, being in Dodge, you've got to have a little bit of a in you know, like we talked about your car gets wrapped in some work that you have done all the way up in in Manhattan. I know you ship your motors out you do various work here and there. You have to have a little bit of a problem getting guys to work for you, right? You're a one man show you you race prep pack everything your own car.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, it is. It has been a it's definitely probably my Achilles heel is just to get around to that, to get the knowledge and the manpower to come work on these cars out here in southwest Kansas, like I have to drive. everywhere, all my parts get shipped, everywhere. You know, like, from rapping, I drive three and a half, four hours. powdercoat Drive four hours, my motor actually is my only local, somewhat local piece. It goes down to our south of me, my transmissions go to Phoenix, my shocks go to LA my diffs go to LA so we get home from race, we bought a car partner, all the parts gets to now I let the experts be experts. But having help. I've had a handful of solid solid individuals that have completely volunteered to help me out like, matter of fact, right now we're talking it's 10:47am right now, and one of my best friends Aaron Dupree has been with me literally from the beginning of my racing career. He's out in the shop right now putting the car back together so we can go race Oklahoma. So my ultimate goal is to, you know, be be financially sound enough to where I can actually hire people to you know, obviously helped me out because I do everything from the repairs to the work to the disassembly to the washing to the reassembly to truck driving to the race to the marketing side of things going home and it is been pretty much all volunteer base like if I do have help so i i beg a lot of people come help me out. It's not this big, big operation that everybody thinks it is. It's just a lot of time away from my family. You know, being the truck driver being the being the mechanic to the crew chief marketing guy. So yeah, it is just it's definitely a tough thing.

Wyatt Pemberton:

Well, I think I have to put that in perspective guys that you know, this is the dream right? This is the dream I'm gonna go race culture for this is the dream. They have day jobs. They have full time jobs and then they're also trying to do this and pull this off solo. And this was exactly my Crux This was exactly where I ended leave. I'm in the exact same boat that is as you are I have this this day job and time away from family, I realized I realistically cannot race this series. I couldn't make it happen without you know, really good help. And really good help is really easy to burn out when you're not paying them.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, exactly, exactly. And that's where it's tough. I've just like that I've been very blessed and very fortunate for a lot of the major races, I have help that takes time off of their jobs to come out and help me you know, just like my best friend here Aaron do pre to Jay hawkinson from necessity takes time off his stuff. My dad, my parents, my my wife comes out it is definitely a group effort. And it is very selfless of them to do that. Because, I mean, I would think if I was in their shoes, I would help somebody else out like that, but it's kind of hard to do. And you know, just like my friend, my friend group, you know, like we're all getting older and we all get, you know, we all start to have families and we all start just just things change and evolve. And I'm still the guy that's out racing, you know, with my kid and stuff where a lot of everybody else have kind of had to buckle down and stick to their day jobs and day jobs and support their families and I completely get it so I'm just the one stupid enough to still be out here doing this.

Wyatt Pemberton:

I don't know if it's stupid, but I think I think it's amazing. Personally. That's why I got you on the show. You mentioned Jay hawkinson I would like to you big shout out to Jay Jay might be the nicest guy supporting over four nicest guy like I saw we were at a we're at a race. I think somebody had maybe like an air conditioner issue on their truck that was doing something funky. He had a charging kit in his tool belt and in his toolbox walked over. He's working on these other people's car and event you know like Jay nicest guy ever. I love him. I love that you have him in your toolbox. I love him. having him in just my toolbox of having been a friend that's a man that will give you the shirt off his back and then drive you somewhere to wear that shirt. I mean, he is that good

Levi Shirley:

guy. He's the guy that I've had at the hammers every single year for the past 10 years we put him in a pit we put him in the remote pits because he's a guy that came from a I mean just farming oil I mean everything make do with what you have background like if I we always joke like saying hey, like if we need a wheel bearing outlet and desert Jay will pick up a rock and like carve it out with his pocket knife and we'll be able to have a wheel bearing fits on the race car perfectly.

Wyatt Pemberton:

He's a resourceful individual those guys are you know, they are a dying breed. Man. Um, so you when you got into first got into racing like we talked about you starting you know go karts at a which was like a circle track stuff and and kind of on there and how terrible You said you were you know, wreck and stuff moving into you know, stock cars was there good stock cars circle car you know circle track guys, is there a good series for that in western Kansas? I know this is jumping back but it seems like to get started.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, Dodge City had it had an amazing amazing track at 1.9 still is amazing. But it started off as an asphalt track and we're the only asphalt track and forever so that's that's kind of where we started but yeah, I've kind of lost touch with all that series and stuff you know I it was just mainly see time as a cheap hobby to go do we're still running a trailer shop at the time so racing obviously was a hobby but you know I'm sure there are good stuff out there I just don't pay attention to it right now. I mean I'm so I'm so involved like I always say like if I wanted to go get more wheel time, I'd probably get you to get in a sprint car modified and just just go get more seat time go bang doors with some people so but now that that was definitely fun, but it doesn't we were obviously as a family we were out there going to Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, all over wheeling all over as a as a family. So like, obviously, like we love racing and we love wheeling and then obviously X ray popped up and it was like suddenly we were able to do both we're able to wheel and race so why not combine the two

Wyatt Pemberton:

right and then so zarei it's 2008 it's great rock Alabama it's Levi's first race it's Wyatt Pemberton first race as well. You were the you were still the you were at one then because your dad was 18 Yep, I was the triple nickel 555 and describe your car your car was a single seat. Campbell car

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, so no so at that point in time that car The car I just don't remember who built it. I

Wyatt Pemberton:

thought it was like a Liberty hood.

Levi Shirley:

Yep, it was a schaefers Diablo is what it was so right that's

Wyatt Pemberton:

right

Levi Shirley:

I I obviously wasn't around and the but neither was like my dad or anything which I don't know why we confused for that a lot. I know we've just been in it for so long. But we were never in the golden years of rock crawling we were never in the prime of Las Vegas parking lot we are none of that we were not involved in any of that so but this car was my very first car was you was basically one of those golden years Rock Crawler so I was I was still in high school I want to say I was a sophomore junior in high school. And you know my parents wanted to get me more involved with the racing side of things because dad was and they knew I was coming to the age and kind of start that so they they end up buying me my very first race car it was I remember this day it was $12,000 is what they end up paying for it what wasn't on me they ended up paying for it and paid $500 for a hot shot to get it out of Washington down here to us. So that car was a single see like had a what they call a short star motor which was basically like a Cadillac North Star with a V six a little 3.5 liter I want to say with a 700 for an atlas had I want to say I want to say like dynatrac Dana 60s front rear and little tiny Walker Evans. Like one inch air shocks on it front rear. So yeah, that car was great. It was a great learning experience and let's just after the first race it got updated a little bit.

Wyatt Pemberton:

So yeah, so the first race was this the first heat this went down was a first seat like the first hundred hundred feet of your very first race ever.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, like literally This was my very first offroad race ever as a driver anything like period. I mean, from there's no pre running there was no qualifying there was you started how you started so it was my very first hundred feet as a driver.

Wyatt Pemberton:

We got to walk the course but it was to two lanes side by side and a gray rock you started out on the flush flat top area that was at the top of what was the cable Hill cable. Hill was, you know, people in southeast Brock grounds, there's no cable Hill, cable Hill was maybe 100 yards behind the start line, and you took off and then you had a downhill drop after the first hundred feet. So green flag drops what's leave? I do?

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, so green flag drops, I take off like a bat out of hell, there was this little series of drops right off the bat, the I am going all sudden hits the first one, it bottoms out really, really hard. It breaks the panhard bar, it goes to the second bump, and obviously at a three link front suspension. So once you lose that front one, it shifts the axle over, it shifts the axle over, it broke the lower control arms there. And the next thing I know, I am upside down. The axle is about 50 feet up on the trail. And I am like just what just happened. My very first race.

Wyatt Pemberton:

Yeah, so we witness that I'd already gone so my head gone. And my feet one I'm done. I can't remember if we won or got second, you know in that first date, but we're standing there and see you launch down this downhill. And you just the front axle just folded underneath and you just wrote it down like you surfed it. Like you surf the front axle, down the hill. And then finally it hooked on something it stayed you went over the axle and went all the way over upside down in this block single See, you know if they have flames on it. I feel like it had flames on the flame

Levi Shirley:

thing. Yeah, I want to say it was black, green, orange, if I remember it,

Wyatt Pemberton:

that's what I recall as well. And so you just want it up in the noise. The sound. You could have heard a pin drop in that Canyon, gray rock, Alabama, you could have heard a pin drop outside of the crash of your like a collective like happened where everyone just sucked in like, Oh my gosh, did that just happen is you're careening down this hill, like Like I said, you were surfing on the front axle.

Levi Shirley:

I couldn't stop man. I was just it was like you said the bang that it made and it was just terrible. I mean, it's it's a wonder that I just didn't like quit out for that. But I vividly remember just being so embarrassed. That just had happened like thinking my life is over. I just totaled a car the first hundred feet ever that I've ever been in an off road car. As far as racing. It goes, Yeah, I remember getting a winched out of there. And I remember Bender, the guy that actually built the car,

Wyatt Pemberton:

Rob bender Park, he was there.

Levi Shirley:

Yep, he was there. He built that car. And so we had to get a photo of, you know, right next to the car as it was still upside down. And the axle was 2050 feet, you know from it. But I remember giving back to the trailer and I'm and I get in the trailer. And I don't know why this will stick with me forever. And I go in there and dad has his hands, you know, on his face. And he is he is crying. It's been a few times I've ever seen my dad cry. And he wasn't sad about the car. He wasn't sad about that. He was sad, because he knew that I was a good driver. And then that just had happened. He was more or less just sad for me. And for you know, as probably I would be for my son, you know, because Malik can be replaced and yeah. And that that just kind of stuck with me.

Wyatt Pemberton:

Oh, yeah. I mean, you walked away from your safe car. I mean, I think they were I think that was an inch and a half chassis. So it was in, you said you took off, you know like about, I mean, you took off as fast as like for squirrels chasing him back to go. That's when I look back at Old zarei videos like man, we were slow. You know, we're not fast. It's kind of funny, but we go as fast as we could. But so then the next race that year was Tennessee, and then the following race was Hannibal, Missouri. And you want Hannibal that year, but you want it in a Campbell car. And it was Shannon Campbell. he loaned you a car and to be at the time 16 years old Shannon Campbell legend, you know, still legend today. Definitely way up on the legendary status back in this era. He to loan the 16 year old kid from Kansas a car and you go out and beat the field. How cool was that?

Levi Shirley:

I was I was insanely cool. You know, I was 16 years old that time. Kind of how that story kind of progressed is. We were hanging out in Colorado Springs. My dad had just got done racing a West Coast. I don't even know if you call it West Coast back there but a Colorado Springs X ray race. And Wayland was there at that time too. And we're all hanging around there. We had my car there and Waylon could fit in the car because obviously you know we pedal extensions and the seat wait for it because I'm not a big guy whatsoever bill fit in that car. Waylon could fit in that car but kind of fitness dads. So, Shannon said, you know, Waylon can drive your car, but how about you go drive mine? And you know if that was like a Sir, sir Shannon, I don't feel comfortable doing that, man. No, don't be. So. Okay. And so I wheeled it around and you know what, through the course or whatever came back Shannon said, I want you to hit that gap jump at this car. Oh springs, she can look it up. It was like at that time, it was like this huge uphill gap job. Like very, very everybody. Everybody knows this jump. He said, I want I want you to hit that jump. I'm like, No, just drop off the drop off the hill, go to second year pennant. And I'm like, uh, he's like, just do it, you'll be fine. So I did it. And I jumped it. And, you know, flawlessly, and I was 16 years old at that time came back around. Chan's like that, you know, that was, you know, great, you know, and like, he's like, one of my heroes, one of my idols telling me that, you know, it's like, oh, my gosh, Superman standing there telling me that I just drove his car, like, really good. And so, you know, Shannon probably had a few beers. And I'm at that point, more likely after the race, you know? And he's talking to my dad, and he says, why don't why don't you guys take that your next race? Like now, you know, that's, you know, that's really nice. No, no. He's like, you're never gonna win in that car of yours. Like, yeah, probably not just take mine. Okay, so we hauled it home, prepped it, and, you know, the very next race we we took it to Hannibal, Missouri. I remember not thinking about a chance, you know, I'm very, very green. It's like my third or fourth race ever. out there racing. As the cards would fall, I just got lucky and got lucky. And next thing you know, we're lining up for finals. And I'm wanting to like, I just had to complete this next run to actually win and ended up completing the run won the race. You know, take it home top honors, and Shannon samples car and the media went crazy, because a 16 year old kid, borrowed Shannon Campbell's the famous Shannon Campbell's car and went out and won a race like how much cooler what, how much more Disney Channel does that get? Right? Like, it's just, it's awesome. And so yeah, the rest is kind of history. And I'm very thankful. But to be able to have that opportunity, because there's no doubt that without that opportunity, I'd be where I am today,

Wyatt Pemberton:

in that field was pretty stacked with some guys that are still in the sport, or even the guys that have gotten out of the sport, since it was still a pretty stacked field. But you had a flawless day. But the guy who was always kind of in that East circuit to beat was Derrick West. And I remember he had a he had he did not have a flawless day. He had one really bad run I think was like maybe heat three. He had a bad run. He got hung up on a rock and that took Derek out and with Derek got knocked out of contention then it was anybody's game. But up to that point it was Derek was always the guy to be, you know, the nice, polished Jimmy's car. And he just he just, they're they're just just a student of the game and he will be you eyes closed. That that dude's amazing driver. I mean that that guy hands down anybody's race. I mean, that guy can wheel a car period. I remember, you know, beansie brought up Derrick West. I remember like being nervous, you know, full blown Ricky Bobby up there on the podium, like, giving my speech like, uh, I don't know what to talk about what to do. And Derrick West's goes, he said, Hey, hey, Levi, he only shouts it from the crowd going, Hey, just tell fast is his 16 year old kid and I'm like, embarrassed, you know, I'm red. I'm like, fast enough.

Levi Shirley:

And that's, that's how I ended my speech or whatever that day is being just how fast and six year old kid fast enough. So

Wyatt Pemberton:

yeah, I mean, that's just a pinnacle. And so you went from, you know, destroyed hopes and dreams of two months prior in Alabama to the king of the world. You were the kid to be in a Campbell car. And that was a it was it was really cool to know you guys during that in be formulating relationships during that, that time of my life. And that's one of my amazing memories of you is like, man, just, you're just awesome. I've another memory that I have of that is I loaned. So I had Kelly Kaiser was my co driver. But at that event, we didn't need a co driver. So Kelly drove heat three, and he rolled it and you just end up that gets flipped back over and you know, LS oil, it's just smoking on startup. In the picture. I think it's Nolan Grogan, you know, the rock midget. It's his picture, I believe, but it's my car sitting there smoked. And of course, I'm the one who takes the heat for it for rolling the car because I could roll a car. I mean, it's known I could rent a car and smoking and at the bottom right next to the car is your dad and Kelly and Kim Sears watching the smoke show.

Unknown:

That's the picture

Wyatt Pemberton:

Wasn't mean anyway yeah man moving on so so we so out of that like this is kind of the era where X ray is coming to kind of an end because 2007 k ah it happened with the od 13 the 12 then 2008 February had been what 70 or however many drivers showed up and it was kind of the buzz that year like getting a hammer is and then Dave Cole put out Dave and Jeff put out the thing about 2009 Your dad Your dad got the the look and the call to come out to King the hammers. 2009 I got the call to come out two cameras 2009 and we parked side by side so we pitted side by side of your trailers and that was back when there wasn't an infield like there was just a drag strip headed out of what we know today is Ammar town. But 2009 was it was your first year k wage suspecting right?

Levi Shirley:

No, I was actually I was actually in school at that time. So I didn't get to go to King of the hammers. 2009 I just got a watch it and like asked my dad about it and just kind of relive it via stories and stuff because that was before really so I mean, there's social media, but it wasn't like it was today. Like I'm sure my like dad and King Lammers, like didn't have it. So you know it. We just had to go by stories at that time. 2010 was my very first king the hammer is actually

Wyatt Pemberton:

in that was just spectating. Because your first year race it was 11

Levi Shirley:

Is that correct? No, no, my, my I, the first year I ever went to Kenya Amazigh raised so 2009 I did not go My dad was running his single seat Campbell car. And then I drove a little cat caddy buggy, the old Cadillac motion was a third gimmies car ever produce.

Wyatt Pemberton:

And so that was the year that you you were like statue limitations, they are out you can't come back the story is kind of in circuit. So I know the story very vividly because your your dad had called me numerous times when this was going down was Hey, can you like you know, circulate the word that we're gonna have Levi's 18th birthday was like in January or December. And like we're gonna fake your birthday, like fake a whole social media blitz on Hey, it's Levi's birthday. He's 18. You end up having a fake ID it was all to ensure that a 17 year old could race King the hammer set here.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, like I had just taken a Photoshop class in, in high school. So I like Photoshop, my ID making one that way. And for a fake ID It was also I could race because the rules that came hammers were that you had to be 18 ranking of hammers. And Dave Cole said, Nope, absolutely not. You know, nobody under 18 can run this or like, I'm okay. And I was 17. It was in February, obviously. And that particular year, I want to say we raced on February 12. So when I wrote down my birthday, My birthday is may 11. I wrote down February 11. You know, I got the two cups confused with the five like it happens all the time. Like so. So yeah, so we were just as luck would have it. We were a day short. Now. We had to fake a birthday party and stuff. And to this day, my dad still wishes me happy birthday on February 11. Because he obviously still thinks that's my birthday.

Wyatt Pemberton:

Well, but you got you got a race nonetheless. And you've raced every year since?

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, yeah, I've literally I've had some good years and some bad years. For sure. I've raced it we've lost the motor. We just had some local guy building the motors here last bike 60 miles and then blew up. Kelly hauling was my co driver. Yeah, every year we've raced since and I've had a great finishing record since then. I can tell you what that is. I think I've only DNF King hammers twice. But yeah,

Wyatt Pemberton:

that's a that's a stand up statistic because, you know, there's a lot of people who haven't won finish and a free statement. Somewhere somewhere in there. And then you you raced a sniper fab cars kind of in the middle there prior to 2014. Like, maybe 1213. You raised your sniper fab car. And then yeah, and then you build then you guys built Loretta, Loretta. She showed up in 2014 was the first race on that car

Levi Shirley:

actually was nor cow rock race in 2014. So it would have been the second race of the year that year. We ran lower. We ran Layla my sadhaks car cameras because Loretta just wasn't quite ready yet. And I like the idea of having two seats today. Yeah, that 50 or sorry. 2014. Norco was Loretta, his first race and it was consequently This is Jason sheers car. It was his first year race on his car, his still current car that he races today as well. And the Red Dragon, the red dragon was going home the second race,

Wyatt Pemberton:

it was some but they were all kind of riding They're they all kind of got built the same time and now mean Cody Addington is still having good success in his Campbell's have moved a couple generations of ipfs forward from your current car. So which is why you're, you know, in, in this scene to be building a new one right now, which is a great segue to talk about that, that new car and where it's being built. Who's building it was you were doing you're racing ultra for Europe, and you had a lot of success. So you want an ultra for Europe series? What couple years?

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, so we actually won the there really wasn't a series to win in 2013. We first went over there Dave call my buddy Aaron Dupree and I went to Glen Helen and for one race by ourselves and pick up with a car trailer and went out there and raced Glen Helen, Dave Cole was like trying to find somebody to go race over in Europe for the green, the greens that he would pay half of the freight to ship a car over there. And so nobody else want to do it. I want to say it was like between me and Andrew mcglothlin. And Andrew is like, Nah, I got too much stuff going on. Too busy, whatever. So I'm like Nate, Dave, I'll do it. So after the event, and Dave and I got to talk and he was like, you want to go do that? I'm like, yeah, let me get back regroup from this glenallen race. When do we need to ship garden He's like, in like, two weeks and I'm like, Oh, I gotta ship my car halfway around the world and in two weeks, so we got Layla which is my current legends car right now still still on it. Like he said, Truly sell nothing ever. And, and actually ship that car over there and race it for King of Wales and Wales the very first year in 2013. That was actually their second year they've actually had that race. And went over there and good. I mean, relatively Okay, we're in a third third place. had some bad luck, we just realized we didn't quite have the winch to compete with those guys. Because those guys do a lot of winching we had like this little tiny you know, ultra for style winch wishes, like has 50 foot rope on it. And those guys have big twin motor at 274 is that can just like pretty much pull faster than they can literally drive. Yeah, and up with a third. And then we're playing on a ship with our home. The promoters there's this new race going king of Portugal going on, in like, two weeks. And after this, and the promoter was there and the UK saying like, Hey, you should come race or race. I'm like, Nah, dude, I'm kind of I'm kind of burnout, like, this is a lot like whatever. And my buddy Rob Butler, which was not my buddy at the time, he was just a guy said, Hey, you know, you can stay at my house, we'll find a ride for you. You can use my workshop. And we can prep your car. And I'll just basically take you under my wing during this. So we did that. And we went to Portugal and ended up third there. So we were the only people to do that. So we would kind of officially call ourselves the 2013 was for Europe championship. They're champions because they were those are the only two races and we've placed higher than anybody else. So then in 2014, we actually decided to, you know, do this thing, right. We shipped Layla back and we actually built a car with Rob Butler of offroad armory, over there, you know, in race the full series and ended up winning three out of the four aces over there. Yeah.

Wyatt Pemberton:

Yeah, man. So Rob Butler. So the first time I met Rob Butler was this past year or the year before in your pits? I'd never met him before. Talk to him. But it was you had called me. Man, what year was that Levi like? 2015 or 16? You called and said, Hey, can you go pick up a car from Port Houston? Oh, yeah,

Unknown:

dude, I forgot all of that. And

Wyatt Pemberton:

yeah, and I'm like, Yeah, man, no problem. So hook on my trailer and I ran over to the port and pick up Rob Butler's car. And there it is sitting in a whatever you know, called the holding area. And these guys are like, looking at it. Like, they wanted to come pick it up with a forklift. I think it had been forklift it to where it was that and I was like, No, man, I'll just drive it. They're like, how do you drive it? We looked it doesn't have keys anywhere. I didn't even know Rob's car, but I think maybe either you told me how to start it or I figured it out, got it internet started and drove the thing out of there drove down the loading dock and loaded it on the trailer. And these guys were just like that is the craziest car they'd ever seen. I mean, this is the port of Houston. We just don't have offroad cars in Houston. We're down on the Gulf Coast. And it's just way look like a fish out of water to them. But yeah, then you know, I don't even put down ramps off the trailer. I just drive it up on the back of the trailer. These guys were totally floored and then I put it in a shipping container at my shop until you came down. Maybe a week later to grab it. My story about that. That's funny is it's so it was an awesome story. You roll up you've got a red three core 10 Chevy I think or maybe it's a one time Crew Cab may is a half an hour no but I just remember you this red Chevy and you show up in your little 16 foot car hauler open trailer, and you only had you had the front axle strapped up with no tires on it. And the tires are stepped down on the bed because you just were saving the mileage on your tires. And so before we get loaded, you're like, let me put my tires on my trailer. And then you turn around, you're headed right back and he was like, I don't know you woke up that morning, drove all the way to Houston, which is 12 hours for you. And then load it in immediately went straight back and you hit me up the next day like, Hey, I made it safe. Like you did it. It was like a 25 hour turnaround. I think you slept in your truck maybe a couple times. But

Levi Shirley:

yeah, yeah, my buddy went with me and we took turns and heated up driving the last like probably a third of it because I was like I was done. I was done. But yeah, no, we will made it all the way home. I remember pulling over cuz he had to sleep. We're 30 minutes from home. And he was he drove as far as he could. We're just so close to make it home. He had to pull over for a little snooze. But yeah, no, it was like a crazy, crazy turnaround. So yeah, so we had we had to go get that car he racing came hammers in 2015 I want to say he was the first European ever complete King the hammers in that class with his own car. So kind of cool story.

Wyatt Pemberton:

Now it was it was a cool car, having it in my own shop, you know, being able to look over it and see how he did things differently, you know, European style or whatever, but and how the similarities, similarities and the differences. But so now you've, you've engaged him now to build he's building you your new car right now. So as we talked about the very, you know, like an hour ago, we're out and half ago, we talked about the very beginning that you're having this new car bill, you're having it built over in the UK, which seems totally crazy, but I'm gonna throw this out there. Why why I think it's, it's amazing. Right now you need to look at you're looking outside the box, right? Where can I if I do the exact same thing as Paul horschel. I'm only going to keep up with Paul horschel. I do the exact same thing as Eric Miller. I'm only going to keep up with Eric Miller. So I'm going to go completely outside the box. I'm going to go try to get an idea. An idea guy that is completely outside. He's inside. He's inside look for buddies outside, we're thinking to see if you get an advantage, right and advantage that these guys have to chase, right?

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, like like no, absolutely no, nothing against any builder here in the States. They're all amazing, amazing builders. But you know, consequently, who are you when you go to any other builder you are getting what they want to build. They they are not building what you want to build. I'm sure there are people that that probably would. But you know, Rob Ballard offered army is amazing with SolidWorks. And he's amazing with kind of just the next level of jig work. He is a one stop shop man from designing to, you know, cutting his own tube to CNC stuff. He has his own CNC lathe. I mean, it's just, he is a one stop shop. So essentially, he can design a car, have it all cut, weld, I mean, do everything himself, dial it all in. It ultimately makes an awesome, awesome car. He's building what I want to build. So like you said, like, like I said, we have been over this car for the past year, year and a half changing stuff, constantly changing stuff on it, because we're, we're seeing stuff that works. And he's willing to listen and say like, Okay, well, why do you want it like that? And I tell him, he's like, Okay, well, that that makes sense. versus just like, no, that's the way we do it. It's, he is awesome, dude, that, yeah, hopefully I can kind of have a one up advantage on some of these other guys.

Wyatt Pemberton:

Well, I think that's the key to this, continually advancing the sport, either it's from Lauren and Vaughn doing it from marketing, or a guy like Paul horschel. Or you're doing it from, you know, car design, or, you know, there's so many people that are involved in that in that level of car design. But getting that I don't know, learning from, like learning from lessons learned, right? taking what has worked in the past and saying, How can I make it better and, and we've seen ultra four cars jump leaps and bounds since you're racing a schaefers Diablo one a chair shocks. That was only 12 years ago. That's not I mean, in the grand scheme of things, you know, I have a 13 year old son so this is he, he's he struggles to brush his teeth in the morning. So that's kind of how I I kind of gauge things in life. And, and we look at this to where we're at today. We've grown in leaps and bounds. But over the last 123, maybe even four years, the advances in technology have slowed down like the curve is, is starting to flatten some so now it's take finding that you know as I talked to like Eric Miller about it's like, you know, shifting across member an eighth of an inch means I can switch up my transmission one hour faster, or what? That's where we're at. We're at this really finite finessing of our designs. I find that super fascinating to see what you're doing. So Currently the car that Rossville new is it's gonna be mid engine idfs

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, yep. It's gonna be a mid engine Fs car. So but it's we're kind of dubbing it a 1.5 seater, which is kind of unique because it goes back to like the the old debate like what's faster a single seater or a two seater or whatever. And each track they have different advantages that you know, two seaters that can you know, historically have a little better finishing record and then the single seaters kill it at that short course. So this one we're done the 1.5 seer because that See, I don't know which one's a half a seat probably mine because I'm a little dude. But the the CO driver seat is not a comfortable position whatsoever. It is a you know, it is a little tiny seed that can be used if I want a if I want a second person sitting there beside me of the race IQ hammers, but 98% of time I'll be running as a single seater just because that's what I'm used to with Loretta and you don't have anybody affecting how you are driving. That's what that's one thing I've just ever really liked about a two seater and what I've really liked about my single seater in fact that I can drive my own race I don't have to worry about hurting anybody you know, just like you know, co drivers and past they have had families I've got to go home to put you know, you know, put put food on the table for and stuff and so like in a bad wreck or something like that's always in my mind and how I drive. But knowing that I can go out there by myself and not have to put anybody else's lives in danger. Yeah, like that's, that's huge. It's what I love about it and then it's funny because you have the CO drivers like the couple times I've either had a passenger from a legends card actually going and driving somebody else's car you know, you know for them like last year I went over to Europe and ran King Burton and Axel Berman's car I noticed like the CO drivers and stuff they make these like involuntary noises like when they're uncomfortable like they like if I go into a corner too fast here like they have like and it like slows me down just screws with the man it gets me out of my train of thought. I hate that. So that's what I really really like about the single seater is just the fact that I can race my own race but adelong race like said this new car will have a secondary seat.

Wyatt Pemberton:

That's obermann just have a birthday

Levi Shirley:

live I'm sure he has one every year whatever you

Wyatt Pemberton:

whatever you know, I feel like I just saw somebody wishing Happy Birthday like yesterday,

Levi Shirley:

I'm sure I'm sure he did. I did not see that actually,

Wyatt Pemberton:

I will say so what you wouldn't know about the you know the big seat little see my the last car that I had that I was at when I was actively racing on a regular basis. That car had two different size seats when you looked in the car, that the headrest were the same height. But the passenger seat was two inches shorter. The seat bottom was two inches higher because you got a you got a driveshaft under under you, that's that was how that had to happen. So when you looked at the car from the outside, they looked all that look normal, but when you got inside the passenger seat was mounted two inches higher because the passenger seat was two inches shorter. So you have

Levi Shirley:

that's the way we're gonna be on this except my mind's gonna be two two to five inches taller than my co driver seat, just so I can actually see over the hood

Wyatt Pemberton:

lineup line of sight. So to be a co driver for you, they're going to have to pass some pre criteria that you can be you can't be over five foot two, you need to weigh less than 100 pounds. You're kind of borderline getting into having a female co driver situation like you're you're gonna have trouble finding a dude that small. I will volunteer again blaze Melanson, he's blase blase blase. He's co drove a UTV a bunch. He's about the only guy I think he's he's probably five foot four but he only eats Twinkies and ho hos he does not eat any protein breadsticks. He lives on a diet of breadsticks. So I don't think you'll find anyone smaller, so I'm gonna throw his name out there. He'll be like, Hello, yo, co drive for Levi.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, come on, man. Come on, boys. I need I need a hand here. But now we'll make it make it work. And it's funny. We were talking about shop help earlier and stuff like, you know, consequently, I had to build my own. I have my son, which I'm going to have in the shop as much as I can. And he'll eventually be the one in the CO driver seat. So hopefully he doesn't grow too fast. But he's getting he's gonna have to really be able to co drive for the next like year. So they start

Wyatt Pemberton:

getting handy around 1011 and then you lose him for a couple years through puberty is what I'm told. I'm currently in the last phase. I'm hoping I'm hoping his brain comes back but I love him but

Levi Shirley:

is currently up his butt.

Wyatt Pemberton:

Yeah. And I look at my dad and I'm like, tell my dad I'm like, how did you deal with me during that age and he just, he's like I purge that from memory. Like, I don't even remember, I'd remember it was bad. Like, okay, yeah, I mean, I guess that's how it's gonna work,

Levi Shirley:

dad and I just like constantly got into it at that age to, like, truthfully.

Wyatt Pemberton:

So I mean, that's a very valid point, as you're talking about, like building, building your own and creating your own shop help for the future, like so you're planning out 10 years into the future, with your, with your own kid being your help in the shop? What are the lessons learned? Do you kind of have for, you know, either new guys coming into the sport to glean little nuggets of knowledge of what it's taking you to be an overnight success and just under 10 years, and maybe even the veterans can look at you and say, what has been you little tidbits that maybe I'm not asking you to open up the Bible and you know, hit us with everything that that is the Levi playbook. You know, for Levi surely racing. But are there anything that just strikes you as how you deal with sponsors or sponsorship or something for either new guy or maybe even a veteran competitor to to glean to maybe help further their program?

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, totally. So I out of all of everything that I've learned through that which it has been a trial and error thing it is it is to totally be patient through all of that, you know, I never opened up the door to a sponsor and say, I need this much money. It's like no, you don't approach things like that everybody thinks it's like, that's how you do it. Like, if you don't ask for it, you're not going to get it like, which I see that being part of it. But the main deal is get your foot in the door, under promise and over deliver and just be patient and develop those relationships inside of those companies and go from go from there. You know, a lot of my companies I've been with my entire racing career, and it has been a process to, you know, from where I started to where I am now and developing those relationships inside the companies on on getting there and getting that level of like, Hey, you know, maybe there is some cash or you know, you know, sponsorship available, you know, beyond just product, it has taken some serious time to develop those relationships. But like I said, always, always under promise and over deliver. That is probably some of the best. The best advice I can give and be patient like like, it doesn't happen overnight. Nothing happens overnight. Like some people go like, Oh, I I race all season like Why don't I have sponsors? It's like, well, like what did you provide? So you've got to be able to provide a service to these companies. And and I look up to guys like, you know, Vaughn get and Lauren, on what they're doing from a marketing standpoint of things going on, like hey, like, Where do I need to change my program that and look at like, how are they doing things? And I've had some very good conversations with both Vaughn and Lauren on that.

Wyatt Pemberton:

Yes, I constantly see you know, and this been brought up by many people just certainly through COVID we you know, we saw racing stopped, but marketing did not stop marketing did not stop from many people's perspectives, but I'll say the one that always got me I've said it in the past is that Lauren's ability to continue pushing marketing out for his his party partners we call income sponsors, whatever I I'm to the point like on some of these guys, they are definitely partners, you guys have a long standing relationship that you've moved forward with in time and you're constantly giving stuff back to them. Like I saw just Lauren yesterday was at the San show that end up getting canceled today for all of that for a noncompliance and what whatever worked out there, which I'm still I think us as a country are kind of you'll be livid about this type of stuff when we do look back on it, but that Lauren was, you know, had his whole fun, however, set up out at the the sand show. And, you know, he's just always constantly working to create that extra value to give back to his partners. And so when he goes back to the table looking for money for next year, the following year, whatever, it's easy for them to have the conversation like, Yeah, man, we saw what you did for us there. Yeah, that's, that's no problem for the ask or, hey, you're worth it. We just don't have it or something along those lines. I don't know. So yeah, leave I think that's, you know, where you've taken some of these lessons learned from you know, like Lauren and company and apply them to yourselves. I've really seen you you really have stepped it up in a lot of ways and leveraging what we've seen again, guys like Lauren and Vaughn get and give back to their sponsors. You certainly not a slouch in giving back I can open social media and see leave I surely stuff on the regular. But, you know, one of the lessons learned that I've seen out of that is and what those guys do is you know, again, Lauren out at sansho is he's out mixing with the crowd doing autographs and I mean, I've seen you you out doing the same you know, given autographs, but there's a I mean, there's some lessons learned To round autographs, no.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, no, absolutely just getting out there, you know, you know, getting involved with your fans, like, I'm always I'm a sucker for kids, right? Like, I give way more body panels than I keep because again and also like, what am I gonna do with those body panels? Like, like nothing. So, I mean, I am a sucker on just like getting that younger generation involves because without that younger generation we do not have a future sport, you know? So, get those kids involved are huge.

Wyatt Pemberton:

And who do we see start doing that, like on the regular you can always see this guy doing it. Who was that guy?

Levi Shirley:

110% Shannon Campbell, I I have seen that guy giveaway his national trophies to kids. You know, like, like that is just like no, such a selfless act,

Wyatt Pemberton:

right? They're completely, completely I mean, and so he gave my son his hard charger hat from from Davis, Oklahoma, you know, a couple years ago, and my son will bust that out, you know, randomly and you know, this past, right? It was the week before COVID kind of hit. In March, we were in Florida. We're on South Beach and we were having dinner at a restaurant in South Beach. The Clevelander actually was where we were eating. And it was a party it was Spring Break was going on. So there's people partying all around us. My sons were in his hard charger hat. So I had to, you know, take pictures of your close up headshots of him and text to Shannon and be like, look at this. Look at this clown. He's wearing your heart charger down here on South Beach, you know, just because he still enjoys it, the kid still enjoys it, you know, it's still he knows where it came from and what it took to earn that and at least my kid appreciates it.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, heck yeah. I think most of them do. I really do.

Wyatt Pemberton:

But you know, I kind of segue there and I didn't you know, hold you to it there. Lessons Learned on autographs. You have a pretty terrible story about doing an autograph that kind of didn't go the right way.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, yeah, probably easily one of my most embarrassing stories that I have ever been involved with. So this year, it king of the hammers, or head through checking contingency. And this lady comes up to me with her kids, you know, saying like, and I have my posters, they're saying, like, you know, can you sign these for me? I'm like, Yeah, no, yeah, no, no problem. Like, I've no problem, you know, sign on these posters, whatever. Well, she said, you know, can you can sign my back? And that's what I heard is like, Oh, you want me to sign your your, your your back, like, oh, okay, we're but yeah, whatever. I mean, I've signed t shirts before is five without my permanent marker and cider shirt. And then she has been another poster. They can I just signed a poster on her back. And I was like, oh, by that time it clicked, like what she said and what she wanted. She just wanted me to use her back to sign her kids posters. Not actually sign her back. And I just beat red in the face. And it was like, like I said, easily one of the most embarrassing things I've ever done. I was like, Oh, my gosh, you said you you said to actually use your back to sign the posters. Not actually you didn't want your shirt signed. And it was like not even a race shirt or whatever. It was like a regular tank top or something like and I was just like, red man and embarrassed and our kids thought it was hilarious. I'm like, you guys have got to come by my pits here. Let me hook up your tire family with LSAT one shirts because like that's how embarrassed I was. And so they came by an hour later and I hooked them all up but yeah, that was a hilarious story.

Wyatt Pemberton:

I mean, well, they now they have a story is certainly memorable. They burned Levi surely into their into their, their psyches? Yeah. So what is all the the future for Levi? Surely, I mean, we've got you know, obviously nationals just happened this past weekend, I hope you want to help you put it on the box. There's a lot of other people I'm pulling for as well. Because, I mean, I like the whole field to be honest with you. I just want to see good racing, good fundraising, I will see people having a good time I want to drink beers with you or I will have drink beers with you the point everyone's Listen to this. But uh, as we look forward to catch 21 what do we kind of expecting your new car will not be done by then. So what's kind of that? We didn't we can skip that. What's the timeline in the event horizon on it kind of showing up on the scene?

Levi Shirley:

My projection and my goal right now are probably I'll probably February March of 2021 is going to officially get that new car and really start working on it. I'm a believer that Loretta can win king of the hammers. It's a great car. I'm so comfortable in it. I mean, I was like super close this year. I believe I was one of the fastest cars there. So I want to go out this next year. Prove that car can win king of the hammers. And I'm also a firm believer in a race car is not a good car until it is at least two or three years old. You know, all these cars have what we call new car blues. And so, you know, with that, I don't want to put an entire season on a new car just yet, I want to get out there and I want to get testing on it. And I, I definitely my goal is to win, you know, another national championship. Like I said, I don't I don't think that car is going to be contender till possibly the second or third year till we kind of work some blues out of it.

Wyatt Pemberton:

You just got to put miles on it, put miles down there in the Arkansas River bottom down the wash, run it out, and then break it down, put it back together, figure out what works, what doesn't work, you know, just keep doing that. Keep doing that. And then then you'll finally be ready versus what we've seen, you know, we always see those guys that show up with a brand new car at hammers with no test on.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, yeah, it's kind of a tough like, just like, racing ultra for in general is is a pretty tough timeline, right. So like, we race year around, it seems like we are getting ready to wrap up here. You know, our season here, it's the end of October, then we're going to have about a two month break is all if you really even call that a break. And then we're going to be into 2021. So the season goes so long. And it starts so early, that there are hardly any time. I mean, there's very, very little idle time because you have family holidays in the sense, you know this right in the middle of that. And so that is really the only time we as ultra racers ever get a break and produce a new car is before our Super Bowl, which happens to be our first race of the year.

Wyatt Pemberton:

That's kind of crazy. It's it's backwards, but it is what it is. And it's been this way for a long time. And I just don't see that ever changing.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, you know, if I had if I had a choice, I wish that King the hammers would be pushed back about a month. I think that would give us more time with our families. Holidays. So we didn't have to because I mean there's so many holidays like you know Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year's or I'm in the shop because I know King the hammers is coming right up and there is no time to waste. So it's kind of unfortunate that you know, we kind of have to we have to do that. So, but in the same aspect. I know there's people probably out there listening going like, dude, you could push that race two months, and there's still nobody would be ready for it. So you might as well just get it over with in February and Quit whining. I was

Wyatt Pemberton:

just gonna play that devil's advocate. I'm brought I'm glad you brought it up on your own. So so next future we kind of talked about Yeah, you Miranda maybe thinking about a you know a little little play buddy for Dawson. That sounds pretty exciting. You've got a new car in the works. You know, hopefully with a new car comes maybe better finishes more lucrative sponsorship deals. Right? The ability to hire, hire help move the program to the next level those all fair futuristic goals for you.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. That is definitely you know, my my goal. I know it's possible. Just kind of got a stick my head down and do it. And commit. Yeah, good things happen when you commit. I think

Wyatt Pemberton:

I'm, I'm a firm believer. Well, hey, Levi, I want to thank you. Thank you again for coming on the talent tank is where we ran through everything I plan to cover today. We bust out everything that you wanted to share with the world.

Levi Shirley:

Yeah, I mean, absolutely. I have had a blast talking you Wyatt. Thank you for having me on. I look forward to maybe doing a nother another podcast in the future with yeah.

Wyatt Pemberton:

Oh, yeah. We'll start we'll circle back as you get the dust and the issues worked out and the bugs worked out off of this new car and you start having success in it, man. Leave I hope you had success on this past Saturday, you know, a couple days ago. I do look forward to having a beer with you this week. guys. I hope you guys are really enjoyed this episode number 36 of the talent tank and listen to my good buddy Levi surely out of a Dodge City, Kansas racing the number 8104 for car, guys. Thanks for tuning in. Come back next week. We're out.

Intro/Outro:

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