Updated 8.13.21
The Right Stuff

SEMA's support for young, up-and-coming vehicle builders continues, as the Young Guns category of the 2021 SEMA Battle of the Builders competition kicks off with the Eastern U.S. regional qualifier on August 14, 2021. Below is an FAQ that was put together to answer some of the most asked questions about the competition.

Q: With the announcement from SEMA that the 2021 SEMA Show will take place as planned in November, why do the Young Guns regional competitions remain virtual?
A: SEMA went virtual with our Young Guns program in March 2020 when regional events that hosted the qualifiers were starting to be postponed or cancelled. The Young Guns virtual regional corrals were successful in that the builders were no longer required to travel to a local event that may be hundreds of miles from where they live. This also gave the builders a few more months to work on their vehicles. The events are now divided regionally—Eastern, Midwest and Pacific—so that no matter where you live, you can enter the competition.

The dates for the 2021 SEMA Young Guns Regional Qualifiers are as follows: Eastern States Virtual Corral on August 14, Midwest States Virtual Corral on August 21, and Western States Virtual Corral on August 28.

The Young Guns program continues to serve as a feeder to the SEMA Battle of the Builders competition and offers young builders the opportunity to compete to earn a spot in the SEMA Battle of the Builders competition. The SEMA Battle of the Builders competition will still take place on site in Las Vegas, and applications are still being accepted.

Q: How does the SEMA Battle of the Builders and Young Guns program connect with the mission of the SEMA?
A: If you are 27 years or younger at the time of the annual SEMA Show and contribute at least 51% of the work on your project vehicle, you are eligible to register for the Young Guns program. To participate, a young builder would register and be assigned to one of the regional virtual corrals. If selected to present their vehicle at the Young Guns regional virtual corral, the young builder will be contacted and given the opportunity to present their vehicle in front of industry judges and be evaluated on the quality of their build, work done to their build, total involvement as the builder, ingenuity and aftermarket parts used on the build. This entire process takes place through a video conferencing platform where the builder and judges are present. The winner of each event will be invited to compete in the prestigious SEMA Battle of the Builders competition.

Q: How would you best describe the program and opportunity for a young builder?
A: The SEMA Battle of the Builders competition was created to create excitement about the builders, aftermarket industry parts and vehicles. Coverage of the SEMA Battle of the Builders is shared throughout social media, on a nationally televised one-hour program and through media coverage. For a young builder, the hardest step to enter the industry is the first step.

Q: What advice do you have for a young builder to get started?
A: Our recommendation is to visit the Young Guns website (www.semayoungguns.com) and to enter your vehicle into the competition.

Q: How would you best describe the program and opportunity for a young builder?
A: The SEMA Battle of the Builders competition was created to create excitement about the builders, aftermarket industry parts and vehicles. Coverage of the SEMA Battle of the Builders is shared throughout social media, on a nationally televised one-hour program and through media coverage. For a young builder, the hardest step to enter the industry is the first step.

Q: What does it mean to a builder when they qualify at one of the virtual regional corrals?
A: Qualifying at a virtual regional corral for a young builder means you have been recognized by your peers and industry experts who have acknowledged the hard work, hours, craftsmanship, ideas and mechanical workings that you've put into your build. Simply put, being identified as the Young Guns winner at a virtual corral means that your work speaks for itself. It is one of the highest compliments and honors that can be bestowed upon a builder. You are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the top builders in the industry—and in the world! These top builders have become media sensations, TV personalities and have launched big businesses—all because they started out as a young builder who was doing something with a vehicle that they really, really enjoy. Many of these builders who start at SEMA end up making a career out of it.

Q: Any last-minute advice for young builders out there?
A: Keep pursuing your passion and your dreams. Your first project is going to be one that you will remember forever, but it won't be the last. Work with people around you and get advice from mentors and those in the industry. Pursue the industry as a career, hobby, profession or just a pastime. The more you put into it, the more the industry will give back to you. Take the first step today by visiting www.semayoungguns.com and registering for a regional event.