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Ultra-light Dragging for a Good Cause

Racers and onlookers crowd around the finish line in anticipation at the 2008 SEMA Pinewood Drag Race.

The Light-Truck Accessory Alliance (TORA) has set the spirit of giving by donating a new track to be used at the second annual SEMA Pinewood Drag Race, presented by eBay Motors, held 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. on August 1, 2009, at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California.

The racetrack was purchased with proceeds from the vehicle exhibits displayed in the light-truck area of the 2008 SEMA Show. The racetrack will replace the two tracks used at last year’s event, which were donated to the charities. 

"We are excited that the SEMA TORA council has stepped up to help out this great event by donating a brand-new derby racetrack," said Gregory Parker, 2009 SEMA Pinewood Drag Race committee chair.  "The donation will not only help us out for the event this year but, hopefully, for years to come. All of us involved in the Pinewood committee, SEMA and the kids of Childhelp and Victory Junction Gang whom this event supports, want to thank the TORA for its generosity."

The drag race, held in conjunction with the 2009 SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser, was established last year to raise money for children’s charities Childhelp and Victory Junction Gang Camp. Childhelp is an organization that assists abused and neglected children, and Victory Junction Gang Camp provides life-changing camping experiences to disabled and chronically ill children.

“I was at the first Pinewood Drag Race last year, and it was extremely successful and a lot of fun,” said Tom Brooks, TORA Select Committee member. “I think this year’s race will be even more exciting; there will be a lot more participants, and, most importantly, the two charities will continue to benefit greatly from it.”

About 150 cars were entered in last year’s derby, raising approximately $40,000 for the two charities. Stock cars were built by children at their camps and then sponsored by SEMA-member companies through their donations to the charities. SEMA manufacturers are also allowed to design and build their own entries for the Modified class.

“Regardless of the size of the race car, if you say the word ‘race’ to SEMA members, they are ready to go,” said Brooks.

The day-long event will be followed by the SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser, where the 2009 SEMA Hall of Fame inductees will be announced.

To sponsor a child at the SEMA Pinewood Drag Race, presented by eBay Motors, click here.

For questions about the Pinewood Drag Races and the SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser, contact Lisa Moreno at 909/396-0289, ext. 105 or e-mail