Detroit Speed, Inc. – 2012 Year In Review
Mooresville, NC – 2012 was a fantastic year for Detroit Speed that saw us launch our new Mustang line of products, capture a Best New Product Award at Goodguys Columbus, win the Toyota Dream Build Challenge at SEMA, be featured on the Detroit Speed Hot Rod TV episode and watched our Test Cars capture many trophies at the numerous competitions across the country.
Detroit Speed kick-started 2012 by taking our Test Cars out to the American Street car Series “Run to the Alamo.” This was one of the first times the Mustang Test Car got really beat on as Ryan and Matt drove the Mustang 1200 miles from the shop to eventually be greeted Friday morning by unusually cold and wet weather at the event. Unfortunately, the weather hadn’t changed on Saturday for the action. The rain persisted but that did not detour any of the cars from ripping it up on the track. DSE brought out the 1969 Camaro Test Car, 1970 Camaro Test Car, and new 1966 Mustang Test Car. The Test Cars ran all day with only one stop for lunch. All vehicles performed flawlessly. The 1969 Camaro with Kyle driving finished 2nd overall, the Mustang with Ryan driving finished 3rd, and the 1969 Camaro with Stacy driving finished 7th. As if the drive there was not enough testing for the Mustang, Kyle drove it another 1200 miles back to the shop in Mooresville after the competition.
Next up for us was the 2nd Annual American Street Car Series “Run to the Coast” held March
9-11th in El Toro, CA. After the partial rain-out during the 1st Annual “Run to the Alamo” event in February, the racing gods gave the American Street Car Series a break with a picture perfect California weekend for the Run to the Coast.
This was a huge event with 84 cars in the field competing in the road course, autocross, and the newly added speed-stop squared. Kyle Tucker was the lone representative for Detroit Speed at the event but made a huge splash by capturing victory on the road course. Kyle also rounded out the weekend with a 2nd place in the speed-stop-squared and a 3rd place finish in the autocross.
It was now mid-March and the show season was really getting moving with back to back shows in Indianapolis (Hot Rod & Restoration) along with Goodguys Pleasanton in CA. The following weekend the hauler made the trip south from Pleasanton to Del Mar for the Goodguys 2012 Del Mar show.
It was a cold and overcast weekend out in Del Mar for the 12th Goodguys Del Mar Nationals. Fortunately, that didn’t stop the large crowds from gathering or the huge amount of vehicles from competing in the autocross throughout the weekend. A fan and vendor favorite, the Editor’s Challenge, took place this weekend and was a huge hit. All the editor’s drove fantastic and in the end Nick Licata, editor of Camaro Performers, came out on top for his second win in three years in the DSE 1963 Chevy II.
Next up on the circuit was the American Street Car Series “Run to the Shore” event held April 6th-8th in Millville, NJ. Unfortunately for us we were unable to attend the event as our Test Cars were in transit from the California show swing and only arrived at the shop that weekend. We were thrilled to learn that our good friend Billy Utley won the event in his DSE “Equipped” 1972 Nova. Billy won the autocross and the speed-stop-squared challenge and then hammered out a top five on the road course.
In between the “Run to the Shore” and the upcoming “Run to the Ole South” we sponsored and competed in the Evolution Super Shootout that was held at the zMax dragway April 21st – 22nd right down the road from our shop in Charlotte. The Evolution Super Shootout is a two day event that features a four run event where all class winners and 32 of the 64 Super Shootout qualifiers are determined. These top 32 qualifiers are determined from the events overall PAX results, and are then locked into their positions for the Sunday Super Shootout. After the next 32 qualifiers are determined the 64 competitors will be broken into a four bracket system with the winners of each bracket running for the top spot worth over $2,500 in cash and prizes.
The American Street Car Series “Run to the Ole South” was up next and was a nice relief from the cross country driving the hauler and Test Cars have been doing in the months leading up to the event. The event was held at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC and is only a couple hours south of our shop in Mooresville, NC. The Detroit Speed team dominated the road course with Kyle, Ryan, and Stacy finishing in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place respectively. Ryan, Kyle and Stacy kept on cruising in the autocross finishing 1st, 2nd and 3rd in that event as well.
One of the coolest things to happen for us in 2012 took place on May 14th at 9:00 PM on the SPEED Channel. We were featured on Hot Rod TV and were able to give the viewers an inside look at each and every aspect of Detroit Speed. From product manufacturing to project cars and even autocross and road course action from the DSE Test Cars. This was a huge thrill for us to be able to show our customers what we do for them and what we can do for any potential customers or just fans.
The weekend of May 18th – 20th saw the hauler and Test Cars head west across the state of North Carolina for the Goodguys Nashville show in Tennessee. A picture perfect weekend in Nashville provided the backdrop for another fantastic Goodguys Show which saw Ryan Mathews capture the autocross Pro-Class in our new Detroit Speed Mustang Test Car. This was the Mustang Test Car’s debut at Goodguys’ shows and it performed exceptionally well, we couldn’t have asked for more. We set a goal for the Mustang Test Car to win the Pro-Class in its debut, and with the help of everybody at Detroit Speed that has been a part of this project, we accomplished it.
Following the Nashville show, the crew stayed in the south and traveled down to Atlanta for the first ever Chevy High Performance Nationals. Detroit Speed Co-owner, Stacy Tucker, was on fire in her 1969 Camaro, collecting enough awards to fill a large bookshelf.
After the Nashville show, the Detroit Speed hauler stayed in the area and made a short trip north to Goodlettsville for the 2012 Chevellabration show. The show got under way Thursday morning under perfect weather conditions and the A-Bodies instantly piled in to Moss-Wright Park to begin the worship of all things Chevelle, otherwise known as Chevellabration. Tom Farrington won the Detroit Speed sponsored autocross in his Detroit Speed “Equipped” Chevelle as well as the $250.00 gift certificate that came along with it.
Next up for Detroit Speed was a definite first for us, the Mid-America Ford Shelby Nationals. The 38th Mid-America Ford Shelby Nationals was our 1st but it definitely will not be our last. This was a terrific event in Tulsa from the open track time at Hallett Motor Racing Circuit to the drag racing at the Tulsa Raceway Park. The show started off on Thursday and Friday with some open track time at the Hallett Motor Racing Circuit where Kyle and Ryan ran the fastest time of the day on street tires with a 1:28.00. Stacy was right behind them in her Mustang challenge race car posting a best time of 1:30.6. Stacy also competed in the late model race that was held midday Friday and performed excellent, moving from 23 in the inverted field all the way to 6th place. This was a great opportunity for us to show off the Mustang Test Car and introduce our new Mustang parts to interested customers.
Following the Mid-America Ford Shelby Nationals we had a few weeks to head back to the shop and finalize our preparations for one of the biggest shows of the season, the Goodguys Columbus Nationals. This was a hot one, heat indexes easily reached over 110 degrees but that didn’t stop the thousands of car people who ventured out to see some awesome cars and some even better autocrossing action. Saturday evening we were thrilled to learn the Mustang
Aluma-Frame and QUADRAlink™ won the Best New Suspension, Tire, Brake or Wheel product award. This was a great accomplish for everyone who worked hard on getting the new Mustang suspension parts to market. Aside from the awards, Detroit Speed also had two cars in the 2nd Annual Sponsor Shootout. Ryan in the 1966 Mustang Test Car and Stacy in the 1969 Camaro Test Car both passed their initial tests and reached the quarterfinals where they were pitted against whom else but each other. It was a fantastic race and in the end Ryan prevailed and eventually reached the semi-finals where he was knocked out by Brian Finch and his BFGoodrich DSE “Equipped” Camaro.
Another great accomplishment for us came directly on the heels of the Goodguys Columbus Nationals. We were ecstatic to have our new 1966 Mustang Test Car named the Muscle Car of the Year by Popular Hot Rodding during the first annual Muscle Car of the Year competition. The competition is based on recent muscle car projects that were completed in the past 12 months and represent the best in all-around performance.
Ten competitors were invited out to National Trails Raceway for the competition. The event was broken up into three parts that included drag racing, a speed stop challenge as well as an autocross. Each car had to make 10 passes on the speed stop, 10 passes on the 1/4 mile and 10 passes on the autocross. In the end, it was Kyle Tucker and the Mustang Test car that came out on top for the victory.
After the Muscle Car of the Year competition the crew at Detroit Speed immediately took off north for the Motorstate Challenge at Gingerman Raceway. This was one of the best turnouts in recent memory with 108 cars registered for the 2 days of road course and autocrossing competition. Ryan Mathews, driving the 1966 Mustang Test Car brought home 1st place in the Manufacturer class followed by Kyle Tucker in the 1970 Camaro Test Car in 2nd place.
With the Detroit Speed show machine’s gears rolling along at high speed the team took the Test Cars up to Bob Bertlesen’s Ohio Muscle Car Challenge that took place at the end of August. After the dust settled on the event hosted by Orange Cone Racing it was two DSE “Equipped” cars taking home the top spots in the challenge. Billy Utley, driving his DSE “Equipped” Nova won the event with Detroit Speed’s own Stacy Tucker finishing closely behind him in her 1969 Camaro Test Car for a 2nd place finish.
The Ohio Muscle Car Challenge started a string of 6 shows for us in the next month. With Goodguys Kansas, the Holley LS Fest, the 30th anniversary of Shades of the Past, the American Street Car Series “Run Through the Hills” and Goodguys Indy, Detroit Speed plate was going to be pretty full for the following weeks. While all of this was happening on the road, back at the shop the Rowdy Camry and Toyota Dream Build Challenge was just getting started.
Kyle won the Chevy High Noon Shootout autocross as well as the Sunday autocross shootout at the Holley LS Fest. Kyle kept his hot streak going the following week at “Run Through the Hills” finishing 2nd in the autocross with Ryan Mathews right behind him in 3rd place in the Mustang
Test Car. Rounding out the hectic end of August through September show schedule was Goodguys Indy. Kyle’s hot streak continued as he took 1st place in the Pro-Class and the overall top time in the Goodguys autocross.
The Test Cars managed to get a breather for most of the month of October until SEMA and the OUSCI that starts the day after the SEMA show. Next was DSE’s home show, Goodguys Charlotte that took place October 26th – 28th.
The Friday night of the the Goodguys Charlotte show, Detroit Speed hosted their largest Open House ever. Thousands of people showed up for what turned out to be a gorgeous afternoon and evening with lots of sun and temperatures staying steady in the mid 60’s throughout the evening. The guests started arriving and parking their cars at 3:30 and by 5:00 the parking lot was nearly full. There were over 100 muscle cars and hot rods that filled the parking lot and the open field adjacent to the shop.
Following the Open House and the Goodguys Charlotte show was SEMA and the OUSCI. The 2012 SEMA show started with a bang with three Detroit Speed Test Cars, the 1969 Camaro Test Car, the 1970 Camaro Test Car and the 1966 Mustang Test Car in the OUSCI car corral awaiting their shot at the OUSCI crown that was to be held the day after the SEMA show ended.
Detroit Speed also had their new Mustang products on display including the new Mustang Aluma-Frame Front Suspension that was up for a new product award. Although the Aluma-Frame didn’t win, it was a huge honor to be recognized as the Runner-Up for the Best New Engineered products coming in behind Mastershift and their Paddle Shifter that works with a T-56 transmission.
One of our biggest accomplishments from the show was the Rowdy Camry built for Kyle Busch for the Toyota Dream Build Challenge. With Kyle, Stacy, Kyle Busch watching in anticipation from the Toyota Booth and the fabricators huddled around a computer screen back at the shop watching the live feed, DSE was thrilled to hear the announcement that they had been waiting for. With the win, Kyle Busch was awarded a check of $50,000 to be donated to the Kyle Busch Foundation whose mission is to empower young men and women by fostering life experiences and helping them achieve their goals.
With Detroit Speed still beaming with pride from SEMA, it was now time for the Optima Street Car Invitational. The event was held Saturday, November 3rd in Pahrump, NV. The Detroit Speed, Inc. / JRi road rally was Friday night before the competition as all of the competitors lined up their rides and made the hour trip west to the Spring Mountain Race Track where the OUSCI would begin Saturday Morning. Mark Stielow topped the field in a tightly contested Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational in his Detroit Speed “Equipped” 1967 Camaro. Mark Stielow held on for a 1 point win over second-place finisher, Brian Hobaugh 83 – 82.
For DSE, Kyle Tucker finished in 7th place while Ryan Mathews took home 12th place and Stacy rounded out the Top 25 in 25th place. Stacy won the BFGoodrich award at the OUSCI for being the fastest car on the Hot Lap Challenge road course running BFG tires.
Finishing out the highly successful year was Kyle Tucker being selected by BFGoodrich Tires to drive for the BC2 team in the Baja Challenge Class at the 2012 Baja 1000. This was Kyle’s third trip to the Baja and after coming agonizingly close he and his teammates captured the victory for BFGoodrich.
With so many things happening across so many mediums for Detroit Speed, this will definitely be a year to remember. The successful launch of the new Mustang products, the Hot Rod TV episode, the victory at the Toyota Dream Build Challenge, bringing home victory in the Baja 1000 and everything else, this will be one that will be hard to forget.
As we move forward into 2013 and beyond we hope strive to keep pushing the envelope with our parts and products and look forward to your continued support for many years to come.
See you in 2013!
Posted on January 3, 2013, in Detroit Speed and tagged 1969 camaro test car, 1970 camaro test car, baja 1000, bfgoodrich, detroit speed, dse, kyle tucker, mark stielow, rowdy camry, stacy tucker. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.