Installation & Gala, Pinewood Drag Race Season Is Here!

By SEMA Editors

The SEMA Cares Pinewood Drag Races will take place in conjunction with the Installation & Gala, Friday, July 26, at the Anaheim Marriott in Anaheim, California.

The 2019 Pinewood Drag Racing season is now here. Each year, hundreds of SEMA-member companies step up to generously sponsor pinewood cars, with 100% of the proceeds going to qualified SEMA Cares charities. To learn more and register, visit

Once again held in conjunction with the SEMA Installation & Gala, the SEMA Cares Pinewood Drag Races will take place Friday, July 26, at the Anaheim Marriott in Anaheim, California. The finals are held during the cocktail reception, shortly before the banquet begins.

SEMA members can race either a car or truck in three classes: Build It For Me (BIFM), Stock and Unlimited. Members can either sponsor child-built cars and trucks in the BIFM or Stock class, or they can build and enter their own SEMA-supplied stock car or truck. Stock-class racing usually garners the most entries with a typical speed of 3.2 sec. on a 50-ft. track. For hardcore speed enthusiasts, the Unlimited class has only one rule—that one item from the stock kit be used. Cars in this class run sub-3 sec., and many of the past top builders include some of the most recognized names in the industry.

SEMA Cares Pinewood Drag Races special features include the annual HRIA Builders Challenge and the Council Cup. Watch as some of the biggest names in hot rodding build state-of-the-art custom pinewoods that will be raced and then auctioned off, with all of the proceeds going to SEMA Cares. Council members are invited to come out and challenge their peers for the opportunity to win the coveted Council Cup. The more cars or trucks fielded by each council member, the greater their chances of winning.

Now in its third year, the Industry Cup Challenge features five divisions where sponsoring companies race child-built pinewood cars. Each division crowns a winning company, which then goes on to represent that division in an all-out industry race to No. 1. The industry challengers each have a limited number of entrants in the following divisions: warehouse distributors, manufacturers, media groups, rep agencies and service providers. The champion can display the trophy for a year with its company name engraved among the winners. It must then be returned, in a Stanley Cup-style tradition, as it will be up for grabs again at the next Pinewood Drag Races, where the company will have a chance to defend its title. The donation cost is $1,000 per sponsoring company. The standard pinewood build rules apply to all competing vehicles. Vehicles are randomly assigned and the race is officiated by SEMA Cares volunteers.

Proceeds from the races will benefit SEMA Cares charities, including The Austin Hatcher Foundation, Childhelp and Victory Junction. Childhelp assists abused and neglected children by providing counseling and programs in a safe and secure living environment. Victory Junction provides a camp experience for children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses who otherwise would not be able to go. The Austin Hatcher Foundation’s mission is to erase the effects of pediatric cancer and optimize each child’s quality of life through essential specialized intervention beginning at the time of diagnosis and continuing throughout survivorship.

Sponsoring a SEMA Cares Pinewood Drag Races car or truck is easy and rewarding. Help a child in need today!

Register for the Installation & Gala at

2018 Pinewood Drag Race Winners:

  • Build-It-For-Me Class – Hella
  • Council Cup – ARMO
  • People’s Choice – Edelbrock

2018 Industry Cup Winners:

  • Industry Cup Challenge Winner – Hot Rod
  • Media Class – Hot Rod
  • Service Provider’s Class – LGE*CTS
  • Rep Agency Class – R&R Marketing
  • Warehouse Distributor Class – RSD
  • Manufacturer’s class – A.R.E.