With only just two years of experience under her belt, Penticton’s Chelsie Lesnoski is proving to be a force to be reckoned with in the automotive industry thanks to her big win at the recent Specialty Equipment Marketing Association’s (SEMA) show in Las Vegas.
The 22-year-old won an online voting contest to bring her modified 2013 Scion FR-S to the auto show in November to compete in the SEMA Battle of the Builders Young Guns 27 & Under category.
While attending the show in the first place was a huge victory for Lesnoski, she said she was completely taken aback when she found out her car placed in the top 10 in the category, beating out dozens of other cars and automotive techs.
“I did not expect my car to do that well. Being in a show like that with world-renowned builders and cars and to compete amongst them was just incredible,” said Lesnoski. “I didn’t even think I was going to make it there, let alone win a trophy.”
Lesnoski had some assistance remodeling her car, thanks to her business partners Cole Marten and Reb Lenoski. All three co-own Penticton’s Throttle Thrashers garage and wanted to use the project as a way to demonstrate what their service can accomplish.
She said she made some great connections at the show, which ran from Nov. 5 to 8, and has offers from potential sponsors to return next year. Lesnoski said if she does, the car she is entering will be completely modified by just herself.
“I have the car already and I’ve already been picking at it so it looks like I’ll be heading back in 2020,” said Lesnoski. “I’m not going to say too much yet about this new car but it is an RX-7.”
She admitted that a challenge for her this year was “not knowing the standard” of the modifications other builders had done on their own cars.
“I didn’t know the standard of what cars were there and it really is an art work. I can only sum it up as being an art work because it’s down to the little, little details,” said Lesnoski. “It was nice to compare and contrast the things that I can do better and I know what I need to do better.
“So my goal for next year is I’d like to place in the top three.”
Lesnoski said she is unsure if she will register in the same category, or opt to enter the pro level. She said if she takes the latter route, her car would still qualify in the Young Guns since she’s still within the age restriction.
“It’ll just depend on how strong of a build I put out for November 2020, so I’ll make that decision from there but it’s kind of on the fence right now,” said Lesnoski. “The pro builder category is really competitive so I’m trying to make my mind up around March to see where I’m at with the car.”
She plans to unveil her next car in the coming months leading up to the 2020 SEMA Show. For more information about Throttle Thrashers Garage in Penticton, visit their Facebook page.
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