No stranger to hot rods and muscle cars, 2007 Goodguys Woman of the Year and co-founder of Detroit Speed and Engineering (DSE), Stacy Tucker plans to drive her 1969 Chevrolet Camaro to the 17th annual Goodguys Southeastern Nationals Oct. 29-31 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Tucker and thousands of her custom-car enthusiast brethren will participate in the three-day outdoor event, featuring hot-rods, roadsters and other specialty vehicles.

Tucker grew up in a hot-rod-loving family and spent a good portion of her childhood going to car shows and helping her dad work on cars.  With a bachelor’s degree in mechanical science and a Master of Science in engineering, she worked as an engineer for General Motors, where she met her husband Kyle. The couple started work on restoring and enhancing the performance of a 1969 Camaro.

While traveling around the country, the Camaro gained a surprising amount of media attention at other car shows. The Tuckers wanted to further modify the popular car, and make the hot-rod run more like a late-model car.

“No one made parts that fit that objective, so we said ‘Well, we’ll just make our own parts,’” Tucker said.  “We just started building this car as a hobby for ourselves and when we couldn’t find a part that fit our needs, we decided to design it and make it ourselves.”

As a result of their work, DSE was opened out of the Tucker’s garage in 2001 in suburban Detroit. The company is now located in Mooresville, N.C., and continues to make cutting-edge muscle car suspensions and provides products and services to renovate vintage cars into high-performance, modern cars.

Not only does DSE manufacture parts for car rebuilders around the United States, but the company also serves worldwide buyers in Norway, Australia, Denmark and Japan. Their cars have generated interest from NASCAR stars including Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is now the proud owner of a 1967 and a 1972 Camaro and Kyle Busch, who also bought a 1969 Camaro built by DSE.

Starting in 2000, Tucker and her team started participating in Goodguys shows.

“We bought a small booth and got great results from it and we’ve basically grown with Goodguys to be a major sponsor,” she said.

As a part of their shows, Goodguys holds a special Autocross competition around the country, which involves a timed driving course that emphasizes car handling and driver skill. Thirteen Autocross events will be run this year by Goodguys, including their event at Charlotte Motor Speedway. DSE not only loves to compete, but also uses the competition for marketing their new products. 

“I give rides every time I run,” Tucker said. “I usually have a passenger and it’s great. You can stand there and tell a customer how great your parts are all day long in the booth, but until they experience it, it’s a whole different story. All they have to do is say, ‘Hey! Can I have a ride?’”

Last year, Tucker, her husband and one other team member from DSE won every Autocross competition at Goodguys events. They’ve only lost one of the 11 Autocross events already run in 2010.

“We have three of us that drive in the Autocross and besides competing against other people, it’s always a fun internal rivalry,” Tucker explained.

DSE will hold a “TGIF” party from 5 to 9 p.m. following the Goodguys show at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday, Oct. 29. Tucker calls it a second car show as DSE opens their garage and allows car enthusiasts to take a look around. The repair shop is also open Friday night for cars needing service. Music and free barbecue will be provided.

Tickets for the Oct. 29-31 Goodguys Southeastern Nationals will be available at the gate or can be purchased online at www.good-guys.com. Adult tickets are $18 per day with children ages 7-12 admitted for $6 while kids 6 and under are free. Parking for the event is $5.

Event hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. For information, contact the Charlotte Motor Speedway events department at (704) 455-3205 or visit www.good-guys.com or www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.