He wins races by driving another team’s slowest car. He doesn’t buy fancy equipment from luxury auto shops. Eric Malone, a master mechanic, can take torn down vehicles and change them into speeding bullets on the racetrack.
“Fastest Cars In The Dirty South” is a new series showcasing Malone and his team taking over the world of legal grudge racing. The show premiers every Friday on the Motortrend app. The app is the only subscription video-on-demand service dedicated to the automotive genre.
The Los Angeles Sentinel Newspaper spoke with Malone over the phone about his passion for racing.
LOS ANGELES SENTINEL (LAS): What made grudge racing appealing to you from the beginning?
ERIC MALONE: I’ve always loved racing. I remember a time me and my cousins had Big Wheels. We would always try to race them. Back in the day, my Dad would grudge race. So, it’s been in my blood for a while. Mostly anybody my age started off grudge racing by street racing first.
LAS: Since street racing isn’t the safest, how does the show make sure the races are safe?
MALONE: The time has changed so much that these cars make more power. You don’t want to be on the streets racing these cars. It’s too many things that can happen. On the show, the track is closed and they put down glue to make sure your car sticks. We also have paramedics and the fire department there too just in case something goes wrong.
LAS: That’s great the show isn’t advocating street racing but showing the expertise of cars.
MALONE: Yes, safety is a priority. We have our safety equipment, fire suits, shoes, gloves and helmets. It takes just a second for your life to change. You can die or get hurt for the rest of your life. Some cars now make close to 2000-horse power so when something goes wrong, it goes wrong bad.
LAS: What makes “Fastest Cars in The Dirty South” a unique show compared to other racing shows?
MALONE: The series is really about showing the skills of our team. Every one of our guys has special talents. So, we put our heads together to figure out how to win. We either have a money wager or a car wager.
LAS: So you take another teams slowest cars and upgrade them?
MALONE: Yes, we take your car and make it faster than your fastest car. We then race to see who will win. At that point, we do whatever we want with the car to make it faster. That means if we got to build a bigger motor or add nitrous oxide, we do it. I call it a little recipe. It’s a recipe that works for our own cars so we have been lucky they have been fast.
LAS: What’s usually the reaction from the other team after upgrading their cars?
MALONE: Well the fun part of it is that some bets, win or lose, they get their car back along with the new equipment. They have worked all their lives trying to get this type of car and we help them out. They lost their money but they gained a really fast car they would’ve taken them years to build.
LAS: When someone finishes watching the show, what do you want them to take away from it?
MALONE: I want them to understand that you don’t have buy everything new. Your local speed shop has the equipment. If you have the right parts and put them in the right place, you can go faster. A lot of things we have are used. Everything I got from day one came from people that didn’t want the parts.