Welcome To PRI 2018! | Performance Racing Industry
Welcome To PRI 2018!
By Dan Schechner on November 6, 2018

They say life begins at 30. Granted, I’m not entirely sure who “they” are—if it’s the same people who claim you can’t have Pop-Tarts for dinner then just take this column with a grain of salt.

That said, we at Performance Racing Industry tend to follow conventional wisdom, and that’s why we’re fired up to begin our fourth decade of producing the world’s premier expo for motorsports professionals. If past is prologue, which is to say the last 30 years are a good indicator of what’s to come, then the next three decades, beginning in 2018, should be one helluva ride!

Set for launch December 6–8 at our home away from home—the Indiana Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis—this year’s PRI Trade Show promises to deliver a plethora of race-winning parts, equipment, strategies and solutions in a convenient location. Typically we’d say “all under one roof,” but as we announced in these pages a few months ago, the Show has secured 40,000-plus square feet of exhibit space inside Lucas Oil Stadium for an expansive display of race trailers, haulers, motor coaches and toter homes. This new, high-traffic area is also where you’ll find our popular Featured Products Showcase. It’s just one of the many reasons we’re confident PRI 2018 will exceed all expectations. Let’s set the table, shall we?

Kicking off the three biggest business days in racing are a pair of Indy 500 winners who also happen to share a surname: Al Unser Sr. and Al Jr. will take the stage at PRI’s Grand Opening Breakfast presented by MAVTV with the incomparable Dave Despain as host for this time-honored tradition that signals the start of PRI. For those in attendance—some 3000 strong—the Breakfast is an unforgettable experience that both entertains and inspires ahead of the main event…where nearly 1200 exhibiting companies will showcase thousands of new products for drag racing, stock cars, sprints, midgets, dirt late models, sports cars, off-road, karting, performance marine and more.

For buyers, that means booths packed with the latest hardcore racing goods and gear, and experts on hand to exchange information, answer questions, offer advice, and even run demonstrations to help facilitate business. As Bob Davis of longtime exhibitor Sunnen told us recently, “When we come to PRI we bring just about one of each of the machines we sell for this market, so it saves our customers from having to try to come to our headquarters in St. Louis to see the things in person. They can come to the show, they can compare our machines to other machines in the market, and then make their purchase decision based on what they see.”

PRI’s world-famous Machinery Row is also where you’ll find “Rottler Alley,” home to the prolific Kent, Washington-based manufacturer whose expansive display will feature over a dozen CNC machining units in addition to tools, software, financial services and more. Speaking to his company’s presence at PRI, Anthony Usher told us, “[Our machines] are all set up just as they would be in someone’s shop—they’re on the floor level, they’re 100% operational, and we can show people how they work…. In many cases, we actually let the customer take the controls and run the machine.”

In fact, those hands-on, up-close and in-person encounters are a hallmark of PRI. And they extend far beyond the Show floor into the many conferences, seminars and networking opportunities over the days leading up to and including the Show.

For attendees—both domestic and international—that means countless occasions to exchange ideas and learn from experts and leaders in engine technology (AETC and the accompanying Engine Builder Happy Hour), safety (ICMS’s Annual Congress and Stand 21 Safety Foundation sessions), international business (International Motorsports Trade Seminar, and PRI’s Global Media Awards and International Reception), race track operations (Race Track Business Conference and PRI’s Race Track Promoters Roundtable), and much more.

Industry pros prep for the annual PRI Show months in advance, and for good reason. As the worldwide epicenter of new racing technology, it’s the must-attend trade event where innovations are discovered, knowledge is acquired, connections are made, and strategies are developed to enhance your performance ahead of the 2019 racing season. Get set for an extraordinary experience in Indianapolis!

About the Author
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Dan Schechner is the Editor of Performance Racing Industry Magazine.
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