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Second Annual Pinewood Drag Races Crown a New Champion

 2009 Pinewood Drags
 2009 Pinewood Drags
 The second-annual Pinewood Drag Races inspired colorful and creative designs.

The second annual SEMA Pinewood Drag Races opened with practice and tuning runs during the afternoon hours of the SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser. With Internet Symposium seminars and the Show 'N Shine car show going on in the adjacent convention center, pinewood racers spent several hours tuning and tweaking in search of elusive tenths of seconds.

As the evening cocktail reception opened, the stage was set for the final showdown. Amid much trash talk among competitors, final rounds began and crowned the top three in each class. They included:

Build it For Me Class

  • Jeep Worthan, AutoMeter
  • Tom Brooks, Agri-Cover
  • Richard Churchill, PIAA Corp.


  • Greg Parker, e3 Spark Plugs
  • Patrick Saunders, Classic Industries
  • Nicolas Hoffend, Freeman

Modified (w/average time)

  • Mitch Williams, Pilot Automotive: 2.83
  • Vickie Hays, Microscale: 2.99
  • Justin Hoffend, Freeman: 3.00

Unlimited (w/average time)

  • Mitch Williams, Pilot Automotive: 2.76
  • Dora Fang, eBay Motors: 2.80
  • Jim Cozzie, Certus Strategic Partners: 2.84

People's Choice

  • Zan Martin, Martin & Company

Coordinated by the SEMA Cares Committee, the Pinewood Drag Races were also made possible by the generosity of eBay Motors, Lokar Performance Products and an army of dedicated volunteers.

2009 Pinewood Drags 2009 Pinewood Drags
Some of the 100-plus cars built by the children at ChildHelp and Victory Junction Gang Camp.  Mike Spagnola Jr. again offered competitors his tuning services for donations to charity.  
2009 Pinewood Drags 2009 Pinewoood Drag Races 
Defending Unlimited Class champ Jim Cozzie shares a few speed secrets with Mike Spagnola Jr.  Victory Junction Gang Camper Josh Bovee assists HRIA Chairman Dennis Overholser kick off the Pinewood Drag finals.
2009 Pinewood Drags 2009 Pinewood Drags
In a late afternoon Unlimited Class qualifying heat, Mitch Williams' Pilot Automotive car (outside right) has the slight edge on Jim Cozzie's needle-nosed racer (second from outside).  Board member and newly-inducted Hall of Fame member Jeep Worthan, here with Dora Fang from eBay Motors (left) and emcee Joe Sebergandio from MotorMedia, sponsored a pinewood car that took first place in the "Build It For Me" class.  
2009 Pinewood Drags 2009 Pinewood Drags
Nicolas Hoffend with his third-place Stock Class car and award.  Justin Hoffend took third-place in the Modified class.  
2009 Pinewood Drags  2009 Pinewood Drags 
Zan Martin's duck car won her the People's Choice award.  Mitch Williams succeeded in his quest to dethrone Jim Cozzie and take first place in the Unlimited Class. We're guessing the Immediate Past Chairman is already back in the North Carolina lab cooking up a comeback.  
2009 Pinewood Drags 2009 Pinewood Drags
A couple of competitors looking forward to next year's running.  Racing luminaries and entertainment celebs offered signature editions of pinewood cars for the cause.