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17 Hot Rod Builders to Participate in 2011 SEMA Pinewood Builders Race


  So far, 17 hot-rod builders have signed on to participate in the 2011 HRIA Builder's Challenge benefitting the children of Childhelp and Victory Junction Gang Camp.

The 2011 HRIA Builder's Challenge is beginning to take shape with an incredible class of hot-rod builders. These builders will create and race one-of-a-kind pinewood cars at the annual SEMA Cares Pinewood Drag Races, presented by eBay Motors, on July 29, at the Renaissance Hotel in Long Beach, California. All of these pinewood cars will be on display at the HRIA booth during the 2011 SEMA Show from November 1–4 in Las Vegas before being placed on eBay for public auction. All of the proceeds from the auction will go to the Childhelp and Victory Junction Gang Camp children’s charities.

Participants include:

SEMA members in the Southeastern United States are invited to attend the pinewood car build at Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman, North Carolina, on Thursday, June 23, from 7:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m. Volunteers will work with special-needs campers to paint and build one-of-a-kind pinewood racecars for the annual SEMA Pinewood Drag Races. If you would like to attend this event, contact Eric Saltrick with Steele Rubber Products at or 704/483-9343.

SEMA members in the Western United States can help the children of Childhelp sand, paint and assemble the cars for the annual races. Each child will build two cars: one to keep and one reserved for sponsorship by a caring SEMA-member company or individual. The build day will take place at Childhelp Village West in Beaumont, California, Saturday, June 4. Members interested in participating are invited to contact or visit the Pinewood Drag Races and SEMA Cares Facebook pages.

No experience in car building is necessary; only the willingness to help and share your time with a child. In addition to Saltrick, Luanne Brown (SEMA Cares chair), Dave Williams (Pinewood Drag Races subcommittee chair) and several big-hearted Board members and SEMA members have been volunteering their time and resources to show a large measure of love and compassion for these children.

The cars will be raced at the SEMA Cares Pinewood Drag Races before the annual SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser at the Renaissance Hotel in Long Beach on July 29. Proceeds from the races benefit the Childhelp and Victory Junction Gang Camp charities.

Childhelp assists abused and neglected children by providing counseling and programs in a safe and secure living environment. Victory Junction Gang Camps provide the camp experience for children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses who otherwise would not be able to go to camp.

Any contribution you can make, either by helping the kids build and decorate the pinewood cars or by sponsoring a car, would be most welcome and most appreciated. Click here for more information on the SEMA Cares Pinewood Drag Races. For direct access to the registration page, click here.

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A set of cars designed last year by some of the industry's top builders, including Rich Evans, Art Morrison and class winners Street Vizions (car bottom row, second from right). In 2010, Erick Saltrick of Steele Rubber Products presented the Builder's Race trophy to Street Vizions.


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Justin Hoffend readies to drop the gates on a Stock class run. Nicolas Hoffend took second place in the Stock class, making it a sweep for the family who placed in the top three in the Stock, Modified and Unlimited classes.