By SEMA Editors
More than 400 members of the automotive specialty-parts industry attended the annual SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center in Pomona, California, Friday, July 26.
The SEMA Pinewood Drag Races featured hundreds of pinewood cars racing against the clock for bragging rights and to support SEMA Cares charities.
Kathryn Reinhardt (left) of MagnaFlow and Kinsley Parsons (right) of Victory Junction lift the gates to start the races.
Volunteers Kathryn Reinhardt and Dave Williams helped to pull off another successful Pinewood event this year.
Pinewood cars from Trim Parts won first-place overall, first Unlimited class; second Unlimited; and three-time overall winner, first Modified class.
More than 400 members of the automotive specialty-parts industry attended the annual SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center in Pomona, California, Friday, July 26, to honor 2013 SEMA Hall of Fame inductees George Barris, Eric Grant, Wade Kawasaki and Joe Schubeck, and raise money for the SEMA Cares charities. They also came to thank departing SEMA Board of Directors members for their service and welcome new members.
The day’s activities kicked-off with the Pinewood Drag Races. The winners, by class, included:
Build It for Me
1st place: Champion Spark Plugs (Victory Junction)
2nd place: Travis White, Rampage Products.
3rd place: Champion Spark Plugs (Childhelp)
4th place: SEMA Businesswomen's Network (SBN)
5th place: Mike Spagnola
6th place: Robert Florine
1st place: Tom Gattuso, SEMA, pass time: 3.125
2nd place: Eric Hoffend, Freeman Co., pass time: 3.131
3rd place: Dave Williams, Rampage Products, pass time: 3.205
1st place: Mitch Williams, Trim Parts, 3.026
2nd place: Ryleigh Williams, Rampage Products, 3.200
3rd place: Regis Finn, MyteeBrite Group/ETTN, 3.358
1st place: Mitch Williams, Trim Parts, winning time: 2.903
2nd place: Mitch Williams, Trim parts, pass time: 2.916
3rd place: Eric Hoffend, Freeman Co., pass time: 3.004
1st place: Mitch Williams, Trim Parts, 2.903
2nd place: Mitch Williams, Trim Parts, 2.916
3rd place: Eric Hoffend, Freeman Co., 3.004
4th place: Russell Stephens, MSD, 3.014
5th place: Magna Flow
1st place: SBN
2nd place: Professional Restylers Organization (PRO)
3rd place: Truck and Off-Road Alliance (TORA)
1st place: Joel Ayres
2nd place: Scooter Brothers
3rd place: Jay Rohrback
4th place: Scooter Brothers
5th place: Robert Florine
6th place: Sarah Burgess
7th place: Stephen Wolcott
8th place: Sue Figueroa
For the fourth consecutive year, Derek White from Street Visions won the Builders Race. This year's car was a John Menzler tribute—a hi-boy-style coupe.
“Trim Parts was pleased to participate in the 2013 SEMA Pinewood Drag Races, and we were fortunate to come away with an overall win, including a first and second place in Unlimited, and a first place in Modified,” said Mitch Williams. “We built a new car this year, which was a complete unknown, but it worked and ran a time of 2.90 compared to our second-place car at 2.91. The second-place car was a previous three-time overall winner of the SEMA Pinewood Drag Races and had never lost. Both of these cars are now recognized as the fastest Pinewood Drag Race cars in North America and possibly the world. We hope other SEMA members will join this event as a way to showcase their engineering and creative capabilities and support very worthy causes at the same time. We believe very strongly that this SEMA event is making a difference in the lives of young people through these great charities and we are honored to be a part of it.”
After the races, a reception at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center in Pomona launched the evening’s Installation Banquet & Gala. Emcee Dave McClelland hosted the ceremonies honoring SEMA Hall of Fame inductees and incoming and outgoing Board members. Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO; Luanne Brown, SEMA Cares Commitee chairman; Paul "Scooter" Brothers, immediate past chairman of the Board; and Nate Shelton, chairman, provided the opening remarks and welcomed everyone to the 2013 event.
Later in the evening, outgoing Board members, Greg Adler, Transamerican Auto Parts; Joe Ayres, Bedslide/Takit Inc.; Jim Chick, Bestop Inc.; Donnie Eatherly, P&E Distributors; Dan Gresham, secretary/treasurer; Myles Kovacs, DUB Publishing Inc.; Tim Martin, K&N Engineering; Rick Rollins, immediate past chairman; Mike Spagnola, formerly with Street Scene Equipment; Van Woodell, Weathers Auto Supply; and Jeep Worthan, Auto Meter, were honored and thanked for their substantial contributions to the industry.
The newly elected members to the SEMA Board of Directors include Chairman-Elect Doug Evans, Source Interlink Media; Jeff Bates, Bob Cook Sales; Kyle Fickler, Weld Racing; and Tim Watts, Superlift Suspension.
The 2013–2014 SEMA Board of Directors.
Dave McClelland once again hosted the event this year in Pomona.
SEMA President & CEO Chris Kersting welcomed the crowd while acknowledging SEMA's 50th anniversary.
Chris Kersting poses with SEMA Hall of Famer George Barris in front of a replica of the Batmobile from the ’60s television series "Batman."
Nate Shelton introduces himself as the new SEMA chairman.
George Barris accepts his SEMA Hall of Fame recognition as creator of the Batmobile from the ’60s television series "Batman," K.I.T.T. from "Knight Rider," The General Lee from "The Dukes of Hazard," the "Munsters" coach, and the "Beverly Hillbillies" pickup.
Hall of Famer Eric Grant was SEMA's first executive director and helped to usher in a period of tremendous growth for the association.
Hall of Famer Joe Schubeck was the innovator of the Lakewood Scattershield Bellhousing that is still used in drag racing to this day.
Wade Kawasaki accepts his SEMA Hall of Fame recognition as executive vice president of Coker Group. He launched his career in 1987 with his wife Rose out of his two-bedroom house in Gardena, California.
Jeff Bates of Bob Cook Sales is welcomed as a new SEMA Board member.
Kyle Fickler of Weld Racing also is welcomed as a newly elected Board member.
Tim Watts of Superlift Suspension joins the SEMA Board of Directors as a newly elected member.