Kyle Tucker was crowned winner of the fifth-annual SEMA Battle of the Builders competition for his 1969 Chevy Camaro during SEMA Ignited, the official SEMA Show after-party designed to celebrate the builders and showcase products from the trade-only Show.
Tucker’s ’69 Camaro (sponsored by exhibitor ARP) beat out the amazing builds of Top 4 finalists Eddie Pettus (1932 Willys aircraft refueling truck, BASF), Rod Nielsen (1972 Mazda R100, Tire Stickers), and Young Gun Kyle Kuhnhausen (1972 Nissan 240Z, Young Guns Regional Winner from Goodguys).
All four builders will be featured along with many other SEMA Show builders in a new episode of the TV special SEMA: Battle of the Builders. Hosted by Adrienne “AJ” Janic and racer Tanner Foust, fifth-annual SEMA: Battle of the Builders TV special will air on the Velocity Channel at 10 p.m. on Jan. 7, 2019.
The 2018 SEMA Battle of the Builders competition included submissions from seasoned builders as well as new customizers representing an elite group of individuals who demonstrated extreme talent, creativity and craftsmanship in modifying cars, trucks, and SUVs. The program was expanded this year to recognize winners in each of the four different categories, with Tucker also winning the Hot Rod title, Pettus earning the Truck/Off-Road honor, Nielsen scoring in Sport Compact and Kuhnhausen in Young Guns (for builders 27 years and younger).
Industry experts RJ DeVera (Meguiar’s), David Freiburger (Motor Trend Group), and Fred Williams (Motor Trend Group) narrowed down the field of nearly 300 entries, an increase in participation from last year, to the Top 10 in each category before selecting the Top 12 builds overall. The 12 finalists then took over judging duties and voted to name Tucker the overall winner.