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Movers and Shakers: JE Pistons Unveils First-Ever Masters of Motors Competition at 2018 SEMA Show

Compiled by SEMA Editors

Joe Schubeck
Joe Schubeck won the Engine-uity award for his Quad-cam 904ci Hemi.

JE Pistons Unveils First-Ever Masters of Motors Competition at 2018 SEMA Show

JE Pistons, with the help of judges David Freiburger, Brian Lohnes, Steve Brulé and Mike Kojimay, recognized engine builders’ hard work, creativity and commitment in the first-ever Masters of Motors competition, held at the 2018 SEMA Show.

2018 Masters of Motors SEMA Show winners included:

  • Engine-uity: Joe Schubeck, Quad-cam 904ci Hemi
  • Sport Compact: Stephan Papadakis, 1,000hp Toyota 2AR Drift Engine
  • European: Mike Weiss, Turbocharged Mercedes AMG V8 Drag Radial Engine
  • Domestic: Matt and Shane Corish, V12 LS Engine
  • Race Engine: Megan Meyer, NA, A Fuel (Nitro) Hemi
  • Nostalgia: Andy Leach, Ardun-Headed Flat Head
  • Power Adder: Tom Nelson, Twin-turbocharged LS Engine

The first Masters of Motors winner, Schubeck, received the billet “Engine-uity” trophy, as well as $4,500 in product certificates from supporting manufacturers JE Pistons, Dart, K1 Technologies and Trend Performance. All class winners received a $1,000 JE Pistons product certificate to be used on any set of JE pistons, rings or JE Pro Seal gaskets. Masters of Motors will return for the 2018 PRI Trade Show, with judging beginning Thursday, December 6. The top 25 will be announced at the JE Pistons booth #825 at 4:00 p.m. local time. The class and overall winners will be announced at the JE Pistons booth, Friday, December 7, at 11:00 a.m. Engines must be in attendance to participate.

Wade Kawasaki
Wade Kawasaki
Phil Carpenter
Phil Carpenter

Coker Tire Leadership Team and Irving Place Capital Join Together to Acquire Coker Group

The Coker Group has announced its acquisition by Coker President and CEO Wade Kawasaki and the current Coker Group leadership team in partnership with Irving Place Capital. The Coker Group consists of the Coker Tire, Wheel Vintiques, Universal Vintage Tire, Phoenix Race Tires, Specialty Wheel and Roadster Wire Wheel brands. The sale comes after five years of continuous growth for the Coker Group under Kawasaki, who will remain at the helm of the company. The Coker Group will continue to operate under the same leadership team and staff that helped drive that growth while expanding both its range of products and its portfolio of companies. Automotive aftermarket icon Corky Coker will retain ownership of Honest Charley Speed Shop and Chestnut Properties, which he will continue to manage with his children. Coker’s father, Harold Coker, founded Coker Tire in 1958 as a local tire store, which grew over the years until Corky took the reins and began aggressively expanding the product line to support the booming restoration market. The company grew its offerings to include the hot rod, musclecar, motorcycle, motorsports and import markets. Irving Place Capital Co-Managing Partner Phil Carpenter worked with aftermarket veteran Dan Gresham and Kawasaki on this transaction.

Race Winning Brands
Race Winning Brands has acquired Falicon Crankshaft Components Inc. 

Race Winning Brands Acquires Falicon

Race Winning Brands Inc. has announced the acquisition of Falicon Crankshaft Components Inc. Falicon represents the fourth add-on acquisition for Race Winning Brands (RWB), which is headquartered in Mentor, Ohio, and markets its products globally through a portfolio of brands, including JE Pistons, Wiseco Performance Products, K1 Technologies, Diamond Pistons, Trend Performance, Dart Machinery, Rekluse Motor Sports and ProX Racing Parts. Falicon’s former owner Glenn Salpaka will continue to play a leading role within the organization as technical and operations consultant. In addition to retaining the current management team, industry veterans Devin Rickey and Jack Sparks will join Falicon in leadership roles. Rickey, a proven race component engineer and operations leader with most notable experience at McLaren Performance Technologies and Arrow Racing Engines, joins Falicon as general manager and chief engineer. Sparks, ex-president of Carrillo and 40-year veteran of connecting rod design and manufacturing, joins Falicon as technical director. The company will continue operating from its headquarters and manufacturing facility in Clearwater, Florida.

Leslie Allen
Left to Right: Tampa Bay Public Relations Society of America Chapter President Mary Margaret Hull, APR, and Leslie Allen, PR director and event manager, Martin & Company Advertising. 

Leslie Allen Honored by Public Relations Society of America

Leslie Allen, Martin & Company’s PR director and event manager, was honored with the Tampa Bay chapter of the Public Relations Society of America PRestige Awards, receiving the President’s Award for her work as co-chair of the event. The annual PRestige Awards, presented by Business Wire, was held at the University Club of Tampa and was attended by close to 100 PR professionals throughout central Florida. Chapter President Mary Margaret Hull, APR, presented the award to Allen for her outstanding work in coordinating the event with the help of the PRestige Awards Committee.

Nitrous Express Acquires Snow Performance

Nitrous Express has acquired Snow Performance. Matt Snow and Jake Snow will join the NX team on a consultant basis to aid in future product development and to capitalize on future business opportunities. Mike Wood and the rest of the NX team will handle the sales and marketing for both brands.

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