The Luther Automotive Group

Family Ford ‘Pine Car Challenge’ tests speed, car styles in second race night celebration

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Employees and their children at Luther Family Ford spent hours crafting attractive (and fast!) car designs for the second annual Pine Car Challenge, an in-house racing event on the store’s own 42-foot aluminum, four-lane track with electronic timing.

Master Technician Joey Trottier was a ringleader and defending champion. “Last year I was in first place, this year I dropped down to third. I have some learning to do,” he said. Dinner, gifts for the children and large trophies graced the showfloor as carmakers vied for top finishes in different categories.

Trottier helped initiate the events. A former Cub Scout pinewood racer himself, he has a daughter who raced with her Girl Scout troop. Another employee has a boy in scouts and they got talking, then spoke with General Manager Joel Bechtold who bought a track to use for races in the shop. The store loans it to community groups, as well.

Races are split into adult and child classes. Multiple brackets include a “BB Gun, Gunslinger and Top Gun” categories to encourage more people to compete, Trottier explained.

One might assume that technicians would carry a distinct advantage, but a number of sales staffers were highly competitive as well. Contestants worked on aerodynamics, friction reduction and, most importantly, weight placement, said Trottier. Racers numbered about 30.

The exercise builds camaraderie at the store, where technicians spend their days in the shop and are rarely seen on the sales floor, said Trottier. “It’s a friendly atmosphere, a little bit competitive, but all in fun,” he said.

[Photos courtesy of Dana Harris]

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