SEMA News—July 2011

Join the Racing Fun and Support a Great Cause at SEMA’s Pinewood Drag Races

The SEMA Cares Pinewood Drag Races, held in conjunction with the annual SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser
To compete in the SEMA Pinewood Drag Races, register now at
The SEMA Cares Pinewood Drag Races, held in conjunction with the annual SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser and presented by eBay Motors, will return July 29, 2011, at 12:00 p.m. at the Renaissance Hotel in Long Beach, California. The finals will take place during the cocktail reception shortly before the banquet begins.

This year, it takes only $95 to race either a car or a truck in three classes: Stock, Modified and Unlimited. SEMA council members may either sponsor child-built cars and trucks in the Build it for Me (BIFM) Stock Class or 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 seconds on a 50-ft. track. For hardcore speed enthusiasts, the Unlimited Class has only one rule: one item from the stock kit must be used. Cars in this class run sub-3 seconds, and the current record holder is past SEMA Chairman and one-time YEN member Mitch Williams.

Proceeds from this fundraiser will benefit two worthwhile children’s charities—Childhelp and Victory Junction Gang Camp. The SEMA Cares Committee hopes you will support this event and thanks you in advance for your contribution. Conspicuous among the event’s supporters is eBay Motors, which has been presenting sponsor for the last three years running.

“The Pinewood Drag Races are a great opportunity for eBay Motors to give back to the community,” said Famous Rhodes senior director of eBay Motors. “We want America’s youth to have the chance to partake in the tradition of building and racing pinewood derby cars.” To register for the upcoming SEMA Cares Pinewood Drag Races, visit here.

Great Hotel Deals for SEMA Show Available

 Book through the official housing block and you won’t have to pay resort fees
Booking hotel accommodations through the SEMA Show Housing Bureau will help ensure the best rates possible for exhibitors and attendees.
SEMA has secured incredible hotel rates for those heading to Las Vegas for the 2011 SEMA Show.

Book through the official housing block and you won’t have to pay resort fees, which more properties are adopting—some as much as $20 per night (with the exception of the Signature at MGM Grand, which has always had a resort fee for additional services not provided to other MGM Grand guests).

Travel Planners is the only official SEMA Show Housing Bureau.

While other hotel resellers may contact you offering housing for your trip, they are not endorsed by or affiliated with the SEMA Show, and entering into financial agreements with such companies can have costly consequences.

For more information or questions regarding housing for the 2011 SEMA Show, contact Travel Planners at 800/221-3531 or 212/532-1660.


Free Business Insight andTips Ready When You Are


 The SEMA Education Institute (SEI) eLearning Center
More than 200 business- and industry-related courses are available to you and your employees free through the restructured SEMA Education Institute.


The SEMA Education Institute (SEI) eLearning Center has been restructured and expanded to make access to valuable business- and industry-related education and insight easier than ever.

The offerings included in the vast library of more than 200 courses are conducted by some of the top presenters in the country, and topics range from business management, emerging technology, customer service and sales to online marketing, industry trends and forecasts, SEMA Show exhibitor tips and much more. Simply put, SEI has the information you need when you need it.

All of the courses can be downloaded at no charge to all industry professionals for a limited time. To get started, visit here. For more information on SEI, contact Jamie Eriksen at 909/978-6737.


Make a Year’s Worth of Industry Contacts in One Hour


Enjoy a hot breakfast and interact with dozens of industry professionals through the SEMA Show’s Speed Networking Breakfast—Powered by SBN.
The SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) invites you to one of the most talked-about events at the annual SEMA Show—the Speed Networking Breakfast—Powered by SBN. The SEMA Show annually gathers thousands of professionals from all facets of the industry—manufacturers, media reps, sales personnel, company executives, public relations pros and more. The program is designed to help breakfast attendees meet an assortment of high-quality people in the least amount of time and also enjoy a hot breakfast.


The breakfast is set for Thursday, November 3, from 7:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m. Sign up now! The event has sold out for two consecutive years. To register, visit here.

Fast Facts

The Goodguys Rod & Custom Association presented its West Coast Custom of the Year award to Joe Proski’s ’50 Merc, which was overhauled by Squeeg Jerger of Squeeg’s Kustoms in Chandler, Arizona. Jerger’s work included relocating the bumpers, adding a drip rail, reworking the doors and grille, completely reworking the interior and more. In addition, Jeffrey Chandler’s ’33 Ford roadster was crowned this year’s Street Rod d’Elegance. Designed by Chris Ito, the all-steel roadster was completely hand-formed and fabricated by Steve’s Auto Restorations in Portland, Oregon. The cutting-edge, burgundy and black, two-tone street rod was upholstered by Sid Chavers. Goodguys Rod & Custom Association, Pleasanton, CA; 925/838-9876.

Paul Fiore was named director of government affairs for the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA). Fiore had worked for the Tire Industry Association since 2003, most recently as director of government and business relations. Fiore had more than 27 years of experience in the automotive service and repair industry before becoming a state trade association lobbyist in 2003. Fiore will report to Aaron Lowe, AAIA’s vice president of government affairs.

Barry Lobeck

To celebrate the memory of Midwest Hot Rodding icon Barry Lobeck, who passed away January 6, 2011, Ginny Lobeck and the staff at Lobeck’s V8 Hot Rod Parts in Cleveland will present a new award in his memory at the Goodguys 14th PPG Nationals, July 8–10 in Columbus, Ohio. Starting this year, the award will be presented annually at the Goodguys PPG Nationals, marking a new tradition in Barry Lobeck’s native Ohio. The award will be perpetual, allowing each recipient to hold it for a year. The winners’ names will be engraved on the award before it is passed on to future recipients.

Yokohama Tire Corp. earned the 2011 Presidents’ Business Achievement Award from the Fullerton Chamber of Commerce, which annually recognizes businesses for their innovation, entrepreneurship and outstanding business citizenship. Yokohama was awarded the top honor in the large-business category. Yokohama Tire Corp. was recognized for its numerous civic activities. Yokohama Tire Corp., Fullerton, CA; 714/870-3800.

Bossco International announced that the popular Midwest convenience store chain, Casey’s General Stores, has picked up its Luma Lite product. “We are very excited about this business arrangement,” said Clifford Wright, CEO and founder of Bossco International. “Casey’s has more than 1,500 stores, and that means our Luma Lites will be available to a very wide audience.” Wright, a prominent biochemical engineer, has been recognized for his extensive list of medical inventions. His most recent inventions have targeted the automotive and sporting goods industries. Bossco International, San Diego, CA; 858/391-9208.



Lingenfelter Performance Engineering customers will enjoy a free day at the dragstrip to run their vehicles during the annual Lingenfelter Track Day on Sunday, July 17, at Muncie Dragway in Albany, Indiana. Last year, 40 vehicle owners registered to participate, and many enthusiasts attended to watch a variety of Lingenfelter cars and trucks take to the strip. Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, Decatur, IL; 260/724-2552.

Edelbrock LLC announced a new direct sales team for its Midwestern sales, service and marketing for Edelbrock and Russell products. The team includes incumbent National Sales Manager Jason Snyder and two new sales representatives, Greg Parker and Shane Turner. Snyder has more than 19 years of automotive industry experience, including more than seven years with Edelbrock, while both Parker and Turner bring more than 32 years of combined Edelbrock product and outside-sales experience within the territory. Edelbrock, Torrance, CA; 310/781-2222.

EnerSys announced a partnership with Bigfoot 4x4 Inc. making Odyssey batteries the exclusive battery of Team Bigfoot. EnerSys will provide the batteries for the team’s seven touring Bigfoot monster trucks as well as the team’s fleet of transporters and support vehicles. In addition, all vehicles will display new, larger Odyssey battery logos throughout the 2011 season. Odyssey, Reading, PA; 610/208-1991.

Timothy M. White was hired as director of engineering for the NHRA’s recently established technical department in Indianapolis. White previously was the lead engineer for Cummins Emissions Solutions Inc. and, prior to that, served as an electronic engineerfor Penske Racing and its IndyCar program. He will work directly with race teams, manufacturers, SFI and other members of the NHRA technical department to develop new technology initiatives and manage the Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock Accident Data Recorder programs. NHRA, Glendora, CA; 626/914-4761.

Ricky Best 

Ricky Best joined Holley Performance Products as a technical sales representative. He will handle sales and support for all of Holley’s brands and will specialize in Holley EFI, Holley carburetors and Earl’s Plumbing. The company announced that Best would attend many race and enthusiast events to support all of Holley’s brands. Holley Performance Products, Bowling Green, KY; 270/782-2900.

ASA Tire Systems has joined with Acquirint, a provider of transaction-processing software solutions, in a strategic partnership for the provision of secure and compliant payment-processing systems for tire dealers. ASA offers an integrated solution for payment processing that includes credit and debit cards, fleet cards, ACH processing and check guarantee, with the ability to process the proprietary Bridgestone/Firestone Card as well as other proprietary cards utilized in the tire industry. ASA Tire Systems, Merrimack, NH; 603/889-8700.

For the second year in a row, a team from CWR Electronics exceeded its fundraising goals at the Berkeley Township Relay for Life, raising a total of $26,940.28 toward the fight against cancer. The relay took place May 14–15 at Veterans Park in Bayville, New Jersey. Members of Team CWR stayed awake through the night, walking the track to honor those fighting cancer 24 hours a day. Team CWR Captain Brian Swanke was the top fundraiser of the event, bringing in an individual total of $11,595. During the day of the relay, Team CWR added to its total by selling hot food off the grill, home-baked treats and warm chili and soup for when the temperature dropped at night.

Amsoil Inc. announced its continued support of dirt-track racing in the Midwest as the new sponsor ofSuperior Speedway at the Head of the Lakes Fairgrounds. The sponsorship agreement offers naming rights to the facility, and Superior Speedway is now Amsoil Speedway for a minimum of three years. Amsoil Inc., Superior, WI; 715/392-7101.

Joel Ayres

Industry veteran Joel Ayres has accepted the position of vice president of sales and marketing for Tākit Inc., manufacturer of the Bedslide and other light-truck cargo-management solutions. “Ayres has held the positions of national marketing director and division sales manager at Truck Accessories Group LLC, national sales manager at Gem Top Inc. and general manager of Rigid Form Inc., all in the truck accessory aftermarket,” said Dan Marshall, president of Tākit. “Joel will be an important addition to the great team we presently have at Tākit.” Ayres serves on the SEMA Board of Directors and is also a member of the Truck and Off-Road Alliance (TORA) Hall of Fame. Bedslide/Tākit, Medford, OR; 888/807-0099.

King Engine Bearings has introduced its newly redesigned website at The site has been updated to include additional information about the company’s product line and is more user-friendly, according to the company. Factory-authorized warehouse locations and manufacturers representatives’ territories are mapped and allow visitors to look up bearing part numbers by searching an e-catalog.

Fesler Productions and Summit Racing Equipment have signed an agreement to make Summit Racing the exclusive large-scale distributor for the Fesler Billet line of products. The companies reported that the partnership provides Fesler with a larger base of customers and gives Summit the ability to offer more than 200 products to its retail and wholesale customers. Fesler Productions, Scottsdale, AZ; 480/748-2000. Summit Racing Equipment, Akron, OH; 330/630-0270.

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