Major Media Announcements Come Quick and Steady At The PRI Trade Show | Performance Racing Industry
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Major Media Announcements Come Quick and Steady At The PRI Trade Show
December 13, 2019
OMP Racing has acquired control of the majority shares in Bell Racing Helmets Group; and longtime racers Chris and Charli Wheatcraft announced the purchase of Indy Cylinder Head.
Major Media Announcements Come Quick and Steady At The PRI Trade Show

Friday was another day of breaking motorsports news at the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show in Indianapolis, with topics ranging from mergers and new products to the heritage of yesteryear and leaders of tomorrow. Here are some highlights:

* OMP Racing, a leading motorsports safety equipment company with over 2,000 products, has acquired control of the majority shares in Bell Racing Helmets Group to create a motorsports safety equipment industry giant. The new group will keep the worldwide presence of both brands with their respective facilities: OMP’s R&D and manufacturing headquarters of Ronco Scrivia, Genoa (Italy) and OMP America’s HQ in Miami, along with Bell Racing’s assets. The latter include the R&D and manufacturing HQ in Sakhir, Bahrain, together with a center in Ghislenghien, Belgium, and the Bell Racing US facilities in Champaign, Illinois; Speedway, Indiana; and Mooresville, North Carolina. Paulo Delprato will head the group as president and CEO.

* Longtime racers Chris and Charli Wheatcraft announced the purchase of locally owned and operated Indy Cylinder Head. Founded more than 40 years ago by brothers Russ and Fred Flagle, the company has supplied high-quality engine parts and complete engines for the aftermarket. As longtime Mopar drag racers, the Wheatcrafts said they “have every intention of continuing Indy Cylider Heads’ decades of service as a motorsports industry performance leader.” The husband-and-wife partnership also owns Extreme Mopar apparel sales and the Caged Insanity clothing line, in addition to Wheatcraft Concrete Services based in Jamestown, Ohio.

* The Midwest Nostalgia Pro Stock Association (MNPSA) announced it will take part in the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) “50 Years of Pro Stock Racing” commemorations. “We are proud to have been invited to participate in the NHRA [celebration], beginning at the Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California, February 6-9,” said Mike Ruth with the MNPSA. “We will be bringing eight cars that represent the golden years of Pro Stock racing. The eight iconic vehicles will boast a 50-50 mix of original classics and tribute cars.

* Preston Lewis, a 19-year-old leukemia survivor, announced the formation of the Off-Road Motorsports Youth Foundation (OMYF) to provide young people, ages 16-20, bridge opportunities to connect with motorsports. The foundation’s first project will be a youth team build of a Class 7100 Unlimited Trophy Truck. As founder and executive director, Lewis hopes to involve OMYF participants in every aspect of motorsports, from race management and repair processes to design and development of new parts. “The whole goal is to be able to give kids the golden ticket, as I call it,” said Lewis. The OMYF launch has been made possible through Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana and the community partner EXTEND GROUP. Lewis is working on industry support and sponsorships as well.

Press conferences and major industry announcements have come fast and back-to-back since the PRI Trade Show’s opening on Thursday, and additional announcements by Powermaster Performance, Edelbrock, Drag Illustrated and PDRA further contributed to Friday's news flurry. The show continues through Saturday at the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium.