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Trial by Fire: The Burnout King Joey Seaman Takes the Rubber to the Road


“Every burnout is different.. it’s adrenaline, a rush.”

Joey Seaman pulling burnouts for a cheering crowd of truck drivers

Joey Seaman racing career began in an unusual way: as a four year old kid taking a nap. Well, he was in the back of a racing rig that his father, Joe Sr. slid into second place in a top truck race. 

Dream job.

It was a dreamy start to a lifelong passion with trucks, burnouts, and race-rigs. He grew up in the rig that he races today– He was sixteen when he started doing burnouts and racing. Joey’s skills as a driver have taken him to the top of races on Pikes Peak, in Colorado. And he’s been featured on the Discovery Channel, and covered by an expansive number of other outlets. 

He jokes that standing in front of the camera always feels like a line from the film Talladega Knights, “I never know what to do with my hands.”

But that uncertainty fades away as soon as Joey climbs up into his rig to race or burnout. As he makes his rig squeal and smoke as the crowd of hundreds goes wild. Molten rubber sprays and he leaves a double flaming path flickering behind him. 

“It’s most dangerous for the crowds.”

Joey says the burnouts are always the crowd favorite at rig events. But they represent ninety percent of the liability. “We know which tires are going to catch fire.” He nods that it’s part of the fun. 

“We’ve had inner tubes launch 2-300 feet in the air as they explode.”

But for the fans that gather to watch the burnouts every year it’s addictive: Joey and his father take turns dumping soapy water on the tires for traction. The smoke envelopes the truck as the tires scream against the pavement– There’s something deeply untamed about this sport, with some rigs kicking up so much smoke that they are lost from sight as they whirl and spiral around the track.

Starting them younger and younger.

Joey may have been four years old when he won with his dad, but at just four months old, his son Hudson is already being groomed for his future driving career. 

Joey’s excited to hand the cherry red racing truck down to his son Hudson someday. Hudson was named in honor of the Hudson Hornet– the fabulous racing model of the 1950’s that was featured in the animated film Cars.

“He’ll be driving before he can walk. Hudson can almost turn a steering wheel– he can definitely roll over,” Joey and his father Joe Sr. joke. “He’s already got parts laid aside for his truck.”


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