SEM Products featured in JR Motorsports Online Article
SEM Products: Part of the Fabric of Racing at JRM
By: Ron Lemasters, posted May 18, 2018 on JR Motorsports website.
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (May 18, 2018) – SEM Products might not leap out at you in the pantheon of NASCAR sponsors who splash their corporate colors all over the cars and stars of the sport, but rest assured, the company is a huge part of it nonetheless.
From 1948, when SEM (after founders George Sneckner and William Elliott) first opened its doors in Belmont, Calif., the company has delivered high-quality materials from the residential paint it started with to the high-tech refinishing, adhesive and OEM products it produces today.
JRM driver Justin Allgaier, who has been a strong supporter of SEM Products for more than a decade, recently journeyed from the team campus here to SEM Products’ plant in Rock Hill, S.C., to visit its employees, get a first-hand look at the production process and test out some of their products.
“I’ve been lucky enough to be associated with SEM Products for a number of years, and obviously, they are great people and a great organization,” Allgaier said. “To be able to go to their offices and manufacturing facility and see people I have been lucky enough to have met before and see the process as they have refined it.”
Allgaier, who maintains his own race cars in various series, was impressed by the attention to detail and refinement that the company uses to produce the best items for both the automotive/OEM and motorsports markets.
“Year after year, they stay ahead of their competition by refining and putting the best product out that they can,” Allgaier said. “Almost all of their production is done in Rock Hill, and it’s pretty big, and pretty cool to go watch. You see a lot of processes that are pretty crazy, but cool in how they work.”
Allgaier is a detail-oriented person, and that rubs off in everything he does. He also appreciates professionals, and SEM Products certainly qualifies in that regard.
SEM’s role with JR Motorsports is wide and varied. From cracks in the shop floor to fender panels and clean-up and repair, SEM Products are used in abundance to keep JRM’s championship fleet of racing cars in the pink of condition.
That’s old hat for the 31-year-old Illinois driver, as his relationship with SEM began in the early part of his career.
“My first time working with SEM was back in 2003, 2004, when I was racing open-wheel cars, dirt late models, ARCA...all kinds of stuff,” he said. “They’ve been supporters of mine for years. Any time you have a relationship that’s long-lasting, it’s for a good reason.
“You have people that you get along with really well and you believe in the product they are putting out,” he said. “We’ve been lucky enough to have some products on the race car and in the car that keep them together and looking good for a number of years now. That is something that I take a lot of pride in. I’m somebody who really values relationships and people and that’s what’s made that relationship that much better for me.”
Allgaier said that innovation is always to be admired, and it is that spirit of SEM’s innovating, constantly refining and making its products better that appeals to him.
“They’ve led the innovation of certain areas of building production vehicles or OEM-style vehicles that has kind of revolutionized the racing industry,” he said. “Their main focus obviously is the automotive industry and how they can improve production and sustainability in that market.”
From the racing side of it, Allgaier said SEM’s products have made it easier from the standpoint of having products that work well from the start and have myriad uses.
“From a racing standpoint, a lot of their bonding agents are extremely helpful,” he said. “They do a lot of instant, short-duration bonding and glues. We use a lot of Trim Black, and that has become a staple in everybody’s tool box at the track. A lot of vehicles have a trim-black color to them, whether it’s the plastic or just done that way by the manufacturer. They build a product that seamlessly blends and merges the colors together on the black side of it, and for us, it’s a great tool we can apply and reapply so that we don’t necessarily have to have a clear-coated paint job like we would on some of the other parts.
“We use the panel adhesives and epoxies on virtually every area of the car as well. What we use to set up our garage areas every week...we use a lot of their products. A lot of the products they make are for other industries, but they benefit the racing community as well.”
That long-standing relationship with SEM Products is important to Allgaier and to JRM, from the paint booth to the cars themselves and the shop floors they’re constructed on.