OUSCI Competitor Todd Earsley's 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
Todd Earsley was excited to participate in the 2012 OPTIMA Faceoff at Arlington, but he knew his gutted Mitsubishi Lancer was simply not SEMA or OUSCI material in it's present state. Still, he went out, had a great time and ended up picking up the overall win in Texas, even though the Spirit of the Event invitations went to two other competitors.
A few months later, Todd's phone was ringing and he found out he had been invited to the 2012 OPTIMA Ultimate Street Car Invitational, presented by Royal Purple and KN. Soon, the interior was put back into the car and several other performance upgrades were made. However, between prepping cars for the Pike's Peak Hill Climb and getting ready to unveil his new company, My Shop Assist, at SEMA, Todd was unable to upgrade his turbo prior to the OUSCI.
His Evo was still producing 400 horsepower and all-wheel drive definitely gave him a leg up on the competition, although Todd admits he was still lacking in potential for the Lingenfelter Performance Design Challenge, suggesting some of his fellow competitors had cars that were closer to works of art, than anything else.
From his experience at the Faceoff, Todd knew the importance of completing the Detroit Speed/JRI Shocks Road Rally and collecting those ten points. Even though he failed to score any points in the Design Challenge, Todd did finish fourth in both the BF Goodrich Hot Lap Challenge and the RideTech Autocross.
The competition was even closer in the Wilwood Speed Stop Challenge, where Bret Voelkel edged out Todd for the win, by just .013 seconds. That victory tied Bret with Todd for third place overall. Todd's Evo was also the highest-finishing import, besting Travis Hill's impressive fifth-place finish in his Nissan GTR.
Overall, we think Todd was very impressed with the OUSCI experience. "It was the most fun I've ever had in a car!" exclaims Todd. "Beautiful cars, a well-organized event and outstanding participants. It was lik a car show out in the paddock, but then we got to see the owners thrashing their cars out on the track."
Todd's favorite car in the competition was the Hollywood Hot Rods 1940 Ford, driven by Nick Licata and he had a great time meeting fellow enthusiasts and checking out some incredible machines. While he knew some of his fellow competitors took the OUSCI very seriously, Todd suggests future OUSCI competitors take the time to meet some of the interesting folks who show up at the event.
Have we seen the last of Todd Earsley? We don't think so. OUSCI rules state cars must be changed significantly, if they'd like to return to future events. Todd knows this and tells us he has some top-secret plans in store for his car. We can't wait to see them!