With the 26th annual PRI Trade Show taking place at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, December 12–14, 2013, it’s no surprise that those in the short track open-wheel industry will feel right at home.
With more than 1200 racing companies exhibiting on the show floor and a host of events targeting the midget and sprint car world, this year’s return to Indy is shaping up as a must-attend event.
“We always look forward to closing one season and starting the next at the PRI show. It’s the one time of the year when we can interact with sponsors and manufacturers in an environment conducive to catching up on everything in the business,” said Donny Schatz, five-time World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series champion. “Things get so busy at the track and the calendar never slows down, so to be able to go to PRI and have in-depth conversations about new products, innovations and potential marketing programs is essential. We’re thrilled to be part of it.”
The move back to Indianapolis has proven to be popular as well.
“I’ve been to the shows all across the map, going back to 1996 when I was just getting started in the business,” said Schatz, driver of the TSR No. 15 STP Gas Booster/Armor All/Chevrolet Performance J&J. “From Cincinnati to Indy to Orlando, Indy is the best place for this show and we’re happy it’s come full circle. The facilities are outstanding, and with the hotels, restaurants and everything being within walking distance, it really allows you to get a lot of business done in what always turns out to be a quick couple of days.”
In addition to the flurry of activity on the show floor, a number of exciting conferences, seminars and events will occur during Race Industry Week.
Engine-related conferences throughout the week include the Advanced Engineering Technology Conference, as well as PRI’s “Ask The Experts Engine Builders Panel,” which will feature among its participants Ron Shaver, whose engines powered Schatz to 23 World of Outlaw wins this season.
On the morning of December 14, two-time sprint car champion Jason Meyers shares his formula for success in “The Business of Winning,” which will cover everything from public relations to sponsorships to professionalism both on and off the track.
In addition, the 58th annual USAC Night of Champions will take place on Thursday, December 12, when the sanctioning body will celebrate its 2013 champions.
Of course, in the end the racing industry always comes out in force to do business on the PRI Show floor.
“This is an annual trip for us. I’ve been coming to PRI since the show was in Columbus,” said Frank Honsowetz, of Ed Pink Racing Engines. “It gives us a chance to see all of our vendors and suppliers, as well as find out about all the new products. Annually, we might buy close to half a million dollars of product from the vendors at PRI.”
Just as exhibitors and attendees are happy to be back in Indianapolis, so are the show’s producers.
"We are thrilled to be back in Indianapolis,” said PRI Trade Show Producer John Kilroy. “We've got an extraordinary array of exhibitors, including a number of new additions for this year’s show. With so much of the short track world within a six-hour drive of Indianapolis, I’m not sure any one particular form of the motorsports industry will benefit more from the show’s return to Indianapolis than the midget and sprint car industry.”
This year’s PRI Trade Show is expected to play host to exhibits from over 1200 racing companies occupying some 3400 booths, and attract more than 40,000 racing professionals from across the US and 72 countries.
The PRI Show returns to Indianapolis for the first time since 2004, after the show’s owner, the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), acquired the International Motorsports Industry Show (IMIS) in late 2012, consolidating it with the PRI Trade Show under the PRI brand for 2013 and beyond.