The SEMA Show Roll-Out
The After-Party

It may only be four days long, but the SEMA Show feels like so many more considering just how large it is.

Even after the first day, you’re sore, tired and ready to take a nap, so by the end of the third day many show attendees are ready to go home. However, the fourth and final day is always worth attending thanks to the amazing parade that leads to the official after-party, otherwise known as SEMA Ignited.

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For this reason, the show shuts at the earlier time of 4:00pm on Friday. All of the running cars that were packed into and around the massive Las Vegas Convention Center for the week, then prepare to roll out in front of thousands of assembled fans.

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The first group to join the parade are usually the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational cars, who were invited to a final round of the Ultimate Street Car Association at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Cars are not only invited during the year but also at the show by SEMA and Optima.

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Many of the vehicles that attend the SEMA Show aren’t street legal, so this is a rare chance to legally hit the road. It’s only to the Gold Lot parking area next door to the convention center, but a spectacle all the same.

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The parade brings out the celebrities, and if they aren’t watching or being a passenger then they’re probably driving their own car out.

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You’ll also see the friends and family of the cars’ owners in the vehicles taking photos and videos from their very unique perspective. It’s a parade that only SEMA could put on.

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Then there’s SEMA Ignited itself. There was a time when the public was given access to the SEMA Show, but when it moved to an industry-only affair, the opportunity to create an event at the end of the week that everyone could attend presented itself. It’s a great way to wrap things up, too. The parade continues around the drift course and over to parking spots so that everyone in attendance can take a look at the cars up close.

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It’s more than just a parade and an arena open to the public, though. SEMA’s Battle of the Builders also finishes out its competition, and this year Troy Trepanier and his 1929 Ford Model A took out the big prize. To cap off a great evening, Formula Drift drivers that came to the show were invited to drift the night away.

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However, that was not the biggest thing to happen during SEMA Ignited – this is. Red Bull Formula One driver Max Verstappen brought out a 2011 – and naturally aspirated V8 – F1 car to slide around on the course, though he mostly did donuts.

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The SEMA Show is considered a trade show, but it’s one that people look forward to and only seems to be getting bigger with each passing year. We know that there will be more attendees, more vendors, and of course more cars next November. While that also means that I’ll be even sorer by the end of SEMA week 2018, I’m already counting down the days. I don’t think I’m alone either.

Words by Justin Banner
Instagram: jb27tt
Facebook: racerbanner
Twitter: RacerBanner

Photos by Louis Yio
louis@speedhunters.com
Instagram: lusciousy

Cutting Room Floor
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15 comments

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1

Wacky Races!

2

"Red Bull Formula One driver Max Verstappen brought out the Mexican Grand Prix-winning F1 car"
That's a 2011 car.

3

That was highlighted but for some reason wasn't changed. I've updated it, thanks for pointing it out.

4

Even if they bring out "this years" car they actually alter them so designs aren't 100% current. I went to an event with Mercedes a few years ago and they had Nicos "this years" car and the wishbones were all entirely different in terms of shape / aero. You think they spend all that money so people can photograph them out in the open? lol. It's F1....they don't let anything out of the bag until race day. To the average person 2011s car is no different than 2017s car.

5

There's a pretty big sound difference between 2011 & 2017 :)

6

To people who really follow the sport yes. To the average person it's just "Formula 1." Case in point that guy who was arguing with me in that thread that "open wheel or w/e you just have to know where to brake. Drifting takes way more skill." I rest my case haha.

7

I hope will make it to SEMA one day!

8

Lmao that yellow mustang

9

I'm just glad it's been a safe event. I can only imagine how much security has been ramped up since the shooting. Glad everyone is safe!

-Alex

10

I think that purple Optima Challenge car got beat at a local autocross in So Cal by a bone stock 335i lol.

11

The Optima events are amazing. I highly encourage anyone who tracks their cars to participate when it comes to their area. It's some of the most fun I've ever had at the track. Glad to see they got some coverage!

12

I wish SEMA would open their show back open to the public. Then people who are interested in a certain company or part can reach out to suppliers to get them. The public should be involved because their opinion matters on what should be sold and such.

13

I disagree, as an industry member (who travels from o/s) to go there to try & find new products & do business, having the public there is a distraction. We miss appointments with people because someone is bench racing or asking the same thing they could have done via ringing the tech line. I think it is too easy for average joe "car person" to get in now. It should literally be "industry only". This year I saw people with their kids in tow, someone had a dog in a stroller FFS.

14

God damn dogs ruining everything.

15

When are you going to do a feature on John Lazorack's badass lsquest?

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