Early Field Starts to Form at the Pinewood Drag Race

 Tony Kanaan pinewood drag race
 Tony Kanaan is one of more than 50 drivers, entertainment and industry icons offering signed pinewood cars to the second annual SEMA Pinewood Drag Race.

More than 30 racers, including representatives of the industry’s leading companies and three consecutive SEMA chairmen, are tuning up their pinewood dragsters and filling out the brackets for the second annual SEMA Pinewood Drag Race, presented by eBay Motors, scheduled for August 1 at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California.

Chairman Jim Cozzie will defend last year’s win in the Unlimited Class, while Immediate Past Chairman Mitch Williams tries to unseat him. Chairman-elect Rick Rollins, meanwhile, will take it all in as a team owner.

Part of SEMA's annual summer Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser, the Pinewood Drag Race features three classes—Stock, Modified and Unlimited—to highlight the innovation and imagination of the specialty-equipment industry. The checkered flag will drop prior to the SEMA Hall of Fame recognition and fundraising activities.

Additionally, more than 50 NASCAR, IRL and NHRA drivers, as well as entertainment and industry icons, are offering autographed cars at the Pinewood Drag Race. High-profile figures, such as Carroll Shelby, Helio Castroneves, Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Larry Dixon, Clint Black and Chuck Norris, have penned their signatures to pinewood cars to appear at the Pinewood Drag Race.

Leno pinewood drag car
Jay Leno and his signed pinewood drag car.  

Cars Need Sponsors!
Proceeds from the Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser, including the Pinewood Drag Race, directly benefit the children of Childhelp and Victory Junction Gang Camp. Recently the kids at both charities participated in a day of building pinewood drag cars.

Gregory Parker, committee chairman for the Pinewood Drag Race, said that the children built about 350 cars during two different project days.

“The build days we had this year were simply fantastic," Parker said. "We had a build day in North Carolina at the Victory Junction Gang Camp on May 2 and another one at Childhelp Village in California on May 16.

“We helped kids from both groups build about 350 cars and each one is unique. The joy on their faces as they build their own racers and race them down the tracks is something to see.

“Now we just need to get the racers sponsored by individuals and companies and raise some money for these kids. I hope that everyone out there hearing this message will participate in some way. The kids really need our help now more than ever."

Sign up here to sponsor a child's car!

 Mike Rowe pinewood drag car
 Wallace/Fieri pinewood drag cars
 Steve Wallace pinewood drag car
  Creator of hit Discovery series "Dirty Jobs," Mike Rowe (top), along with Rusty Wallace and Guy Fieri (middle), and Steve Wallace, lend their pens to the pinewood cause.

The early field of Pinewood Drag Race competitors includes:

Stock Class

  • Tom Brooks, Truckin’ Thunder
  • Greg Underkoffler, Ad One Advertising Specialties/Phase One Marketing & Design
  • Joel Ayres, Truck Accessories Group
  • Joel Rosenthal, SEMA Manufacturers Rep Council (MRC)
  • Eric Saltrick, Steele Rubber Products
  • Patrick Saunders, Classic Industries
  • Dave Williams, Rampage Products
  • Charlie Card, Vehicle Accessories
  • Eric Hoffend, Freeman*
  • Wes Mills, Mills Crafts
  • Chris Kersting, SEMA

Modified Class

  • Laura Bergan,
    SEMA Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO)*
  • Peter MacGillivray, SEMA
  • Laurel Dasher, Superchips
  • Doug Evans, Source Interlink/Hot Rod Magazine
  • Greg Neuwirth, AEM Performance Electronics
  • Steven Kelley, Performance Motorsports
  • Luanne Brown, eTool Developers
  • Jim Considine, Considine Sales and Marketing
  • Ernie Silvers, Egge Machine Company
  • Dale Dobies, Mr. Gasket Performance
  • Kim Ziebell, Bushwacker*
  • Mitch Williams, Pilot Automotive
  • George Lathouris, Keystone Automotive Operations
  • Eric Hoffend, Freeman
  • Michael Miller, Miller Technologies
  • Vickie Hays, Microscale Industries
  • Bob Hammer, Pareto Point Industries
  • Russell Stephens, MSD Ignition

Unlimited Class

  • Jim Spoonhower*
  • Franco Ganino, Alliant Insurance
  • Dennis Hill, Sonic Products
  • Marshall Giorgi/Danny Burgess, Rare Parts
  • Mitch Williams, Pilot Automotive

Sponsors and Team Owners

  • Joel Rosenthal, SEMA Manufacturers Rep Council (MRC)
  • David Block, SEMA
  • Jeep Worthan, Auto Meter
  • Dave Wrobleski, Jim Wrobleski & Co.
  • Anne Gambino, Sacramento Habitat for Humanity
  • David Madison, Truck Accessories Group
  • Melanie White, Hellwig Products
  • Dennis Gage, "My Classic Car"
  • Ron DiVincenzo, Cap World
  • Kelly Kneifl, Truxedo
  • R.A. Churchill, PIAA Corporation USA*
  • Ken Woomer, Competition Specialties*
  • Jan Desma, SEMA Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA)*
  • Mike Spagnola
  • Russell Stephens, MSD Ignition
  • Rick Rollins, Rollins Performance Marketing
  • Chris Kersting, SEMA

*denotes sponsorship of multiple cars