While it was certainly no secret prior to its airing on the Discovery Channel Monday night, “Kamikaze” Chris Day’s devastating ordeal behind the wheel of the fan-favorite “ELCO” was put on display for the world to see on a brand new episode of “Street Outlaws”. The likable Day had spent many years — and his life savings — transforming the El Camino made famous in the Oklahoma City street racing scene by the late Tyler Priddy (better known as “Flip”) into a world-class twin-turbo thoroughbred as he journeyed to compete with street racing’s best.
But all of his momentum came to a screeching halt — literally — last year (the episode was taped previously) when Day lost control of the ELCO on a night he says he didn’t actually intend to race. The incident left the ELCO in ruins — the body, chassis, engine, turbochargers, virtually all of it a compete loss. Day has spent the months since working to pick up the pieces and plot his return.
“I’m an all-or-nothing guy,” Day Told Dragzine in a 2018 interview. “I’m either gonna’ really make it in my life, or I’m gonna’ be nothing. There’s no ‘middle’ for me. It’s something I tried to fight for a long time, but I’ve accepted that’s how I am. And I can’t fake that.”
Despite his fame, Day remains a working-class guy. “There have been times during this show, I’ve been dirt-broke poor. So the ‘underdog’ thing, that I’m labeled as, it’s real. It’s not some kind of ‘role’ I’ve tried to play.”
In his comeback effort, Day has made available the Weld Racing wheel, Mickey Thompson tire, and TBM brake rotor — signed, of course — that were sheared from the passenger-front side of the ELCO when it went off the roadway and crashed in front of the Discovery Channel cameras. The eBay auction, with eight days remaining, has already received 100 bids and is up to a staggering $10,600. Day on Thursday upped the ante a bit, commenting, “This thing gets above $25,000 I’ll come cook and serve [the winner] a steak dinner live on my Facebook with my damn race suit on. Holy smokes you guys are amazing. Thank you!!!”
Day revealed two weeks ago the ELCO’s replacement: a sinister black C5 Corvette. Day is in the process of repairing the engine, transmission, and parts of the drivetrain from the ELCO to transplant into the new, more purpose-built car that is yet to be named.