Mike Murillo – Family Man, Racer, TV Super Star
Most of you know Mike Murillo from the decades of time spent smashing the competition on the quarter mile. He’s worked his Mustangs from 14-stockers all the way into 6-second world champions. Creative, energetic, resourceful, and determined, Murillo’s fun-filled, charismatic personality tops all of his attributes. With such a huge fan base and legions of racers who respect the work he’s put into the industry, it’s no wonder that the reality show TV cameras have turned their spotlight on the San Antonio native. Partnered with Ken Herring, the two are crisscrossing the United States in search of the greatest grudge racers the world has ever seen. And, they are finding them. Follow them on your favorite social media outlet and get on their website at www.houseofgrudge.tv.
With all of the work that Murillo packs into a normal day, and all of the mouths that he has to feed, it was a true pleasure to have him sit down with your Cars Illustrated staff to give us some idea of what he has going on. With Mike Murillo as the unofficial spokesperson for street freaks everywhere, the future looks very bright as he shines Hollywood’s spotlight on our world.
You seem to be everywhere these days. What are your top day-to-day priorities?
Good question … well … As you can imagine I’m juggling and wearing several different hats here lately which makes it real hard to concentrate on one particular chore before I’m yanked a different direction several times a day. Not to mention, some of our fans out there keep sending production companies our way to do reality shows. We have already done a couple skype interviews and waiting for the next step.
#1 priority is family. Besides my family and the adventures of Prince William (our 5yr old), Lisa and I have our hands full trying to run and maintain our business Murillo Motorsports on a day to day basis. Next in line is our new baby “House of Grudge” a new TV show which was formed by Ken Herring and myself in December of last year. Then of course my other baby LaFawnduh which has been down and on the bottom of the priority list (for the first time in 15yrs) since January but will be up and hurting feelings over the next few weeks.
House of Grudge is stealing the imagination of today’s heads-up street car fans. What is your team’s recipe for success at these events, and what makes the racers want to come out and perform so hard for you?
Lemme tell ya what. Grudge racing is the root of all drag racing. Any and all forms of street racing is a form of grudge racing. Ken and I didn’t nor do we claim to have invented grudge racing like we are often accused of claiming by some of the OG grudge racers. But…grudge racing is where it’s at though. Racers and fans alike love a story. We all long for a good side by side race with women and men putting their egos and pocket books on the line. We at House of Grudge don’t invent these stories or the drama that comes along with it… What we do is..give these racers and fans a safe place to settle the score and film it so we can show the rest of the world why grudge racing is and always will be the most exciting form of drag racing on the planet.
You spent decades dominating various classes at NMRA, Fun Ford, World Ford Challenge, NMCA, and others. How has that prepared you for your most recent projects?
As you know and most of my fans know I have been racing in an organized format for well over 22yrs now. We have won any and all big races as well as countless championships where our car has competed. My team has won over 100plus national type events and 14 world championships in the classes you mentioned. The answer to your question is simple. As far as I’m concerned all the above doesn’t mean squat in the world I am in now. Besides bringing a bit of credibility to the movement, I still have to prove myself as a promoter, participant and most of all….a true fan to the grudge scene.
You appeared on a couple of episodes of “Street Outlaws” with many fans asking for more. Can you comment on what happened with the cast on “Street Outlaws”? Any bad blood there?
My time with the cast and crew of Street Outlaws is something I will cherish for the rest of my life. I appreciate them all for letting me in to their close guarded world for close to a year and 5 episodes of season 5 that I was fortunate enough to be in. I was bored and burnt out on the type of racing I had been doing since 1994 and the change of scenery was the spark I needed to open the next chapter of team Mike Murillo. With that being said… I had to move on. I’m grateful but not satisfied with just being talent on a show that I have no equity in. I still have many dreams, ambitions and several more chapters of my life to write. As far as bad blood? I have 0 bad blood and nothing but love for the 405. The underlying problem is they cannot and will not participate or support my new adventure like I did theirs do to “conflict of interest”. I was VERY naïve to the TV world and the talent contracts that come with it. It’s a huge travesty that with the downward slippery slope that drag racing in general (NHRA) has been on over the last several years that we as a band of drag racing brothers cannot support one another without egos and contracts getting in the way. I thought that’s what “Outlaws” did?.?…lol
Who has the fastest street car in the world right now?
Larry Larson…Duh!! But I still think Kye Kelley or Chief will drag him up and down the boulevard in a real street race.
Is there any racer that you’d like to call out? How much would you like to race them for?
I have a certain someone that I owe some “get back” to and I WILL catch him at a no-prep race somewhere.
Where do you see Mike Murillo in ten years? And, what will you be driving?
Hopefully, I’ll still be alive and working with Cars Illustrated on more of these interviews. I just hope to still be driving.