Mitch Williams Accepts Pinewood Showdown With Jim Cozzie

At last year's SEMA Pinewood Drag Race, former SEMA Chairman Mitch Williams (center) won first place in the Modified class.
This year, he will compete against SEMA Chairman Jim Cozzie for the Unlimited trophy.

Mitch Williams has heard Jim Cozzie’s challenge: As reported in last week’s SEMA eNews, Cozzie called Williams out for this year’s SEMA Pinewood Drag Race, presented by eBay Motors. Williams warns Cozzie that he will not be an easy competitor and is coming fully equipped for this showdown from one SEMA chairman to another.

At last year’s inaugural race, Cozzie was the winner in the Unlimited class, while Williams took first place in the Modified class. This year, both competitors are eyeing the Unlimited trophy.

“With all due respect to Chairman Cozzie, he managed to avoid running against the fastest Pinewood drag race car ever built—the Pilot Automotive Rocket Car, which, by the way, was declared legal in the Unlimited class but too dangerous to run indoors,” said Williams. “At best, his ‘championship’ should be accompanied by an asterisk.”

For Cozzie’s part, he expressed skepticism over Williams’ “questionable engineering and possibly the fracturing of rules.” Having retired last year’s winning derby car, Cozzie is in the testing stages of his new “top secret” design, code named NC09-2.

“As far as this year, Chairman Cozzie is talking about what he will do when he gets around to finishing his new car," Williams said. "Our new car is already undergoing testing and was comfortably under Chairman Cozzie's best time from last year on its first pass down the track. Therefore, I hope Jim is working hard to bring a better car than last year, because I think he is going to need it.”

Don’t miss what is sure to be a dramatic race.

“Jim is a great friend and a formidable competitor,” said Williams. “I know he has some tricks up his sleeve, but so do we. I can't say that beating Jim Cozzie head-to-head in the Pinewood Drag Race would be the crowning achievement of my career. No, wait—I can say that.”

With proceeds benefiting childrens’ charities Childhelp and Victory Junction Gang Camp, the result of the race is a win for everyone. Childhelp assists abused and neglected children, while Victory Junction Gang Camp provides life-changing camping experiences to disabled and chronically ill children.

Approximately $40,000 was raised at last year's race. Stock cars were built by children at their camps and then sponsored by SEMA-member companies through their donations to the charities.

The event, held in conjunction with the 2009 SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser, is scheduled for Saturday, August 1, 2009, at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California.

Sponsor a child at the SEMA Pinewood Drag Race, presented by eBay Motors.

Members can also help children build cars at the Childhelp Village in Beaumont, California, on Saturday, May 16, 2009. To volunteer, contact Gregory Parker at 615/746-8765 or e-mail

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