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SEMA Trade Show - Initial Timing

Feb 1, 2002
0201_impp_01_z_+import_tuner+logo Photo 1/1   |   SEMA Trade Show - Initial Timing

The annual Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association Trade Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. More than 15 miles of aisles crammed with everything and anything from bumper stickers to full-blown funny cars straight from the NHRA. Our yearly outing to the gigantic industry gathering in the "City of Sin" is always one of the highlights of the year as companies continue to choose the SEMA show as a stage to debut the very latest in new products and purpose-built vehicles. This year was no exception, with hot new stuff in every direction you turned. The biggest difference this time around, or at least more obvious than in recent years, was the huge impact the import performance industry has made on the automotive world in general. Of course, there was the usual abundance of new trick performance products from the aftermarket aimed at the compact market, along with plenty of the top import race cars. But this year's show saw the presence of several automobile manufacturers represented by purpose-built compact drag cars ready to make their marks in the upcoming import drag racing season. Most notable was the General Motors booth, where there were three crazy no-holds-barred racers including a quick-class Sunfire and what appeared to be two Outlaw Cavaliers apparently completed and ready for battle. The Honda booth showed off a factory-backed tube-chassis Acura RSX, and Toyota presented both the tube-chassis Celica of Chris Rado and the chassis Tundra of Craig Paisley in complete form and ready for big things at the track. Pontiac unveiled the "new" Vibe, a re-badged version of the cool Toyota Matrix and a huge attempt at creating appeal within the "import" arena.

All of this signifies a solid statement that automotive manufacturers throughout the world have acknowledged that the sport of import drag racing is a full-blown motorsport and the future of the quarter-mile. So, with the pace of the game stepping up so much year after year and considering the huge corporate sponsorship now involved, many racers are bringing a bigger clout to the party in the form of high-dollar, full-blown race cars. And, with the going heating up, others are wondering whether they can even continue. Comments such as "How can I compete with that?" and "I need a sponsor or else I can't afford to do this anymore" have floated through the air frequently of late. Here at 2NR, the commonly asked question is "How can I get sponsors?" In fact, many of the leading import racers will agree that this is the same question they hear more than any other. Well people, it is as simple as this. For years import enthusiasts have striven and ignored the doubters in a quest for big time sponsorship and for the sport to be recognized as just that, a sport. Now that it seems we have finally reached that goal. Rather than seeing it as a reason to give up dreams of reaching the same lofty heights in your own race car, consider this even more reason to keep going. If these other racers can land such lucrative sponsorship deals, then so can any talented racer who puts enough into it. Take just about any leading name in import drag racing today and, just like their hot rod counterparts some 50 years ago, you'll find they all got started in street cars built for stoplight confrontations. The same racers will also tell you that landing sponsors goes by the "if you build it they will come" theory. You have to build it and prove yourself first. There is definitely enough to go around, and now is the time to keep working hard at it as the doors of opportunity are opening every time we turn around.

The industry has in actuality reached a point that things have surely changed. Take this past 2001 season for example. Honda no longer claimed the only front-drive force to be reckoned with. Mike Crawford's Dodge Neon blew the doors off many leading Hondas, and he's not the only one. My main point here is that the pie has gotten bigger and there's a piece to be had by all. Don't doubt your future participation; now is the time to pursue your dreams, finish whatever you started building, and don't stop until you reach the top.Edward EngJason MulroneyGary Castillo

EDITORIAL
Editor Jason Mulroney
Technical Editor Gary Castillo
Feature Editor Arnold Eugenio
Entertainment Editor Joel Marasigan
Group Managing Editor Kari Windes
Editorial Assistant Sharon Malm
Contributing Editors L.C. Janus
  Kris Bareng
  Karl Funke
Editorial Director  
International Performance Group Greg Brown
THE INTERNATIONAL PERFORMANCE
GROUP ON THE WEB
www.sportcompactcarweb.com www.europeancarweb.com
www.turbomagazine.com www.vwtrendsweb.com
www.importtuner.com
ART DIRECTION & DESIGN
Corp. Creative Director Paul Graff
Art Dept. Managers Ron Huber
  Dean MacFadden
Art Dept. Assoc. Managers Shelley Conner Baugh
  Jong Cadelina
Art Director Erik Christensen
Associate Art Directors Markas Platt Joel Marasigan Kevin Dunn
MANUFACTURING
Executive Director
of Manufacturing Greg Parnell
Production Director Pauline Schwarz
Production Manager Terry Thiel
Production Coordinator Jim Costa
  714/939-2606
Director, Digital Prepress Deborah Arden
Assistant Prepress Manager Sherrie Costa
Prepress Supervisors John Cabral
  Sam Landry
INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Associate Director,
Technology Mike Wing
Associate Director,  
Prepress Troy Naragon
Associate Director,  
Customer Service Rick DeAvila
CIRCULATION
Marketing Director Janice Martin
Circulation Manager Becky Ryan
Manager, Planning  
& Analysis Al Abadi

Subscriber Servicestoll-free US 800/876-9414int'l ph. number 850/683-9815e-mail address importtuner@neodata.com

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