Burnout competition at Hagerstown church was smokin'

July 21, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN - It's hard to say what's so appealing about it.

Greg Chider, of Williamsport, said he's not sure why, but he loves watching those tires spin. He enjoys watching the smoke overtake the car. And of course he loves the noise.

Chider and his stepson, Taylor Leonard, 15, were in the front row Sunday for a burnout competition that was part of a car, truck and motorcycle show at Tri-State Fellowship in Hagerstown. Taylor said it was his first time at a burnout competition, which features stationary vehicles spinning their wheels, causing the tires to heat up and smoke.

"Maybe next year it will be you doing it," Lucille Fitzwater, Chider's mother-in-law, told her grandson.

It was the second annual show hosted by the church.

"I just like seeing the smoke," Greg Chider said. "It's a lot of smoke."

Jeff Smith, who helped organize Sunday's event, won last year's burnout competition. He competed again this year.


There were 121 cars, trucks and motorcycles on display at the church throughout the day, and about 800 people attended the event, said Dave Swacina, who also helped organize the event.

Randy Buchman, a pastor at Tri-State Fellowship, said the event is held to "have a presence in the community." Buchman said many of the church's members, like Smith, have an interest in cars, motorcycles and trucks. Some profit is made from the event, which goes to youth programs at the church, Buchman said.

"Us church guys have fun, too," Smith said.

When Smith won the burnout competition last year, his tires actually caught on fire. Smith said that does not typically happen and did not when he competed again Sunday.

Not everyone was drawn to the burnout competition.

Tim Cool, 22, of Smithsburg, and Kaity Owens, 15, of Chambersburg, Pa., spent their time at the car show.

Kaity went to Tri-State Fellowship's 11 a.m. service before looking at the cars.

"I really like sports cars and muscle cars," she said. "They're fast and fun to look at."

Smith and Swacina said they'll hold the event again next year.

On the Web

Watch Jeff Smith win last year's burnout competition on YouTube at

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