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SEMA SAN Strike Force
After a lifelong interest in the auto hobby, Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania’s Chuck Ritzmann believes the idea of building the NASCAR-style race truck shown here evolved naturally. The rolling chassis of his project truck was found in a barn in Green Bay, Wisconsin. According to Chuck, the previous owner raced it at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Indianapolis Raceway Park. "I wanted to build a vehicle that was as period correct as possible but put an engine in it that would allow me to drive it around a car show venue or in a parade," Chuck said recently. "I also wanted something that could turn a respectable lap on the track and one that kids could sit in for a few moments and imagine themselves as the next Jeff Gordon, Dale Jr., or Kyle Larson."
Chuck Ritzmann grew up in the small Pennsylvania town of Shrewsbury, and was quickly was drawn to cars. He started pumping gas at 12 years old at his father’s gas station and quickly learned how to check oil and other fluids. Customers always seemed amused when this precocious kid would jack up their car and change a flat or replace the wiper blades. Over the years, Chuck bought, built and sold cars, trucks and Jeeps to name a few.
He got involved in politics when the local school district began considering dropping vocational and technical programs. His advocacy efforts were successful in retaining these classes as part of the curriculum. About the same time, he and his father along with a few friends decided to use their passion for cars to raise money to start a scholarship program at a local high school that would fund the educations of those entering technical schools. The group started a car show to raise money and awarded its first scholarship in May 2005. In the ensuing years, the Hereford Zone Car Show has fully evolved, allowing 15 scholarships to be awarded in the past 10 years.
His interest in politics was further piqued when he first heard of the SEMA Action Network (SAN) eight years ago. An opportunity to both get involved in pushing for hobby-friendly laws and encouraging others to do the same became his new passion. He now draws attention to the SAN’s cause at car shows and other events by displaying the SAN shield and "Ignited We Stand" torch logos on the body panels of his prized NASCAR-style race truck (pictured above). "I hope I can keep helping to spread the message," Chuck says. We do too, Chuck. On behalf of the SAN, we applaud your inspirational work to benefit the future of our hobby!
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