Father’s lessons and a love for racing translate into business success

Today I sat down with Tony Rizzi, owner of Full Pull Diesel Performance located in Edmond.
Tony shared some history of how his father’s teachings of hard work and self sufficiency helped to mold the man he is today, and how those traits made it possible for him to build a successful and reputable Diesel Repair business.

Pictured above is Toni Rizzi and “The Outcast,” which at one point was the fastest diesel truck in the nation. Rizzi is the owner of Full Pull Diesel in Edmond. Photos / Mark Codner

Full Pull Diesel has been rooted in Edmond going on four years now; however, their history and experience dates back much further than that. Tony comes from a large Italian family nestled in Louiseville, Colorado. His family has owned meat markets and restaurants his entire life, and he and his siblings grew up working right along side his father. From building the restaurants, cutting the meats, and making the food, anything that needed to get done, they did together.
Tony said, “Growing up we learned you either do it yourself or you don’t do it at all.”
From the time Tony was a young boy, he had a knack for fixing things, and he always needed to understand how things worked and was constantly taking things apart and reassembling them. When they were not working his father did some circle track racing, and it is believed that was the spark that lit the flame.
Tony loved everything about racing from a young age, and it is said, if it had an engine, he could drive it, and drive it WELL! His passion for racing, coupled with his ability to understand how things work and to fix what does not, paved the road for a lifetime in automotive work. In his teens, he took his work ethic derived from years working for his father and landed a position at a machine shop.
The machine shop is where he got to dissect the engines, to learn the vitals of what makes them work, and see the failures as well. This knowledge gained set the foundation for Tony to go on to build well known businesses in the automotive industry, where he has always been referred to as “the guy who knows his stuff!”
Tony and his wife, Kenna, started their business together in Colorado and began to shift their focus from all things automotive to diesel trucks specifically. Tony had always loved motorsports, and it’s no surprise that, he would compete with those trucks that he was now focused in on.
Tony began competing in Truck pulling, and he went on to win nearly every pull in his class. Tony was “hooked,” no pun intended, and was looking to compete on a larger scale, so they took a chance and chased the dream. They packed up and relocated their family and business to Georgia.
Truck and Tractor Pulling is a highly popular motorsport on that side of the country, and there is an abundance of events and the caliber of competition is incredible. While in Georgia, their business thrived, and they went on to build, sponsor, compete and win with several pulling trucks. It was not long before the wheels were turning, and Tony was looking to take his passion for motorsports to the next level. He decided on a new project. He was going to build a race truck, but not just a race truck, a diesel race truck.
Within a few months, Tony built a 1937 Chevy pickup with a Duramax engine in it. What started as just a fun little project would soon change their lives yet again. They expected it to be fast but were pleasantly surprised when the truck outran its certifications.
Tony spent the next few months adjusting and improving it, when he was invited to come race it with some folks here in Oklahoma. It only took a couple races with that little truck before Tony realized he wanted more, so again they packed up and chased the dream, moving to Oklahoma where racing is in abundance and the competition is fierce.
Tony has had the opportunity to race with some of the Street Outlaws here in OKC.
Tony said, “I feel honored to run with these guys. While I haven’t been as good as we would like to be, I think the new truck has a good shot of being extremely competitive.”
When Tony talks about competition, of course the goal is to be faster than the other guy, but for him, he is also competing against himself, he is always striving for his personal best.
The truck has been affectionately named “The Outcast,” and for a good while was the fastest diesel truck in the nation, running 169 mph at a time of 4.31 in the 1/8 mile. However, this little truck seems to go faster than some of the components like, and if they want to be competitive with the big boys, something must be done.
A new and improved Outcast is currently in production and should be ready for testing within a few weeks. Both trucks are 1937 pickups with Duramax engines, however, the original Outcast weighed in at 3450 pounds, and utilizing 2400 horsepower, while the new Outcast will come in lighter and stronger boasting 2800 pounds and an impressive 3500 horsepower. Expect exciting things from the new Outcast this year.
Tony may play hard, but he definitely works harder. While I enjoyed hearing about his passion and success with motorsports, it was refreshing to learn that he applied that same dedication to everything in his life, especially his business. Full Pull Diesel Perform-ance is a full-service diesel repair shop.
They do it all there, from maintenance to diagnostics, engine and transmission builds, custom fabrication, suspension work, fuel systems, turbo upgrades, lift kits, air bags, and the list goes on. His team prides themselves on doing quality work at an honest price. They vow to return each vehicle better then they found it, and they always stand behind their work.
While the shop can do anything and everything when it comes to diesels, Tony specializes in building Allison transmissions in house and building power combinations for your specific needs. If you are looking for an honest repair facility and wanting to get the most out of your truck, Full Pull Diesel has you covered.
While their shop was full, so was the parking lot, and I could not help but notice there were just as many vehicles from out of state as there were from Oklahoma. When asked about it, they noted people ship trucks to be built from all over. Tony’s reputation seems to follow him all over the country, and judging by the number of trucks there, I would say his work speaks for itself.

A diesel-powered vehicle sits disassembled at Full Pull Diesel in Edmond.

 

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