OPTIMA Brand Ambassador Dave Tucci and son Dom of Tucci Hot Rods had been working tirelessly this year to get their hot rods competition-ready. Late this summer, they hit the track at New Jersey Motorsports Park in OPTIMA's Search for the Ultimate Street Car series.

Dave competed in his 2006 Mustang and Dom in his 2016 Fiesta, but one of the vehicles didn’t finish all of the challenges. In Tucci fashion, the duo kept working together and their spirits high all weekend long.

Dave completed a full session of the Detroit Speed Autocross in the Mustang, but then noticed a strange noise in the engine during his last pass. He had absolutely no oil pressure which caused him to remain on the sidelines for the rest of the weekend. “I had so much fun, even though I wasn’t able to continue on with the challenges; I was grinning ear to ear,” said Dave.

The speed bumps for the Tucci duo didn’t end there; instead of being bummed about his Mustang, Dave focused on Dom and the 2016 Fiesta. Learn more about the Fiesta’s run at the 2016 OPTIMA Invitational here.

“On the first lap, the Fiesta went into emergency limp mode and I couldn’t move. I was on the autocross course and the horn was constantly blowing,” said Dom. This happened again at the exact same spot on the second and third pass on the autocross course.

Unfortunately the final pass was already over by the time they had finished tuning the car. Dom and Dave persuaded the event director Jimi Day to allow them to make another run and though their time would not count, they were able to continue participating in the other challenges.

“We realized it was a specific module under the center console so I then ran the Fiesta as hard as I could and got a time that was two seconds faster that my fastest time,” said Dom.

On day two during the road course session, the Fiesta came in with an overheating issue. Dom popped the hood, noticed smoke from the engine and realized the Fiesta had caught on fire. They stood over the car with fire extinguishers, covering the engine. They dragged the car off the track, washed it off and called it done for the day.

“The car wasn’t fully tuned up and I know that the turbo hadn’t had time to cool off; hence why I was getting ‘middle of the pack’ times.”

Even with all the issues they had, the pair enjoyed the event.

“We had a ball. It gets a little frustrating to fine tune a new set-up, but that’s what it’s all about,” said Dom. “Overall we learned we have to get out there and learn more about our cars. It’s such a new platform but we learned a lot and we’re hoping we will receive an invite back to Vegas for the OPTIMA Invitational this year.”

Since the OPTIMA Search for the Ultimate Street Car event last month, Dave and Dom have been working on another exciting project build; they were chosen as one of nine people to receive a 2018 Ford Mustang project build for the SEMA show this year.

Check out Dom’s Instagram for some previews of their build. The duo is working with OPTIMA Batteries, Holley and Turbo, Precision Turbo, Forgeline Wheels and Nishimoto to fully customize the Mustang.

To keep up to date with the Tucci’s progress on both the 2016 Fiesta and 2018 Mustang follow Tucci Hot Rods on Facebook.