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The 2018 PRI Show.

The 2018 PRI Show.
For my second year in a row, I attended the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show. A good way to describe the PRI show is a smaller version of SEMA, with a focus on the automotive racing and performance industry. Located in Indianapolis, Indiana it is an annual event for industry insiders and journalists. It is not open to the public. Given the size of the show, I was able to see a lot of new things this year. It takes up two large convention halls in downtown Indianapolis and stretches under a road and right up to the edge of the Lucas Oil Stadium, where the Indianapolis Colts play. Indianapolis is a natural location for the PRI Show. Indianapolis and its surrounding areas are home to many performance companies. This is due in no small part for many of them due to the proximity of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It’s not too far from Detroit either.

A Porsche 911 GT3 Race Car.
This year I went to a section I hadn’t been to last year. I was able to see the RV and trailer section, right on the side of Lucas Oil Stadium. On the way there the hallway that leads under the road to the stadium was lined on one side with a wide variety of race cars. One that caught my attention, in particular, was a Chevy drag car turned land speed record car. After this hallway was a room full of what was called featured products. The RV and trailer section was huge. It went right up to the endzone of the football field in the stadium. I got the chance to talk to many different vendors. By scanning the QR code on my badge, they could sign me up for an email list.

One of the many race cars on display.
The brands represented varied greatly in size. One of the largest no doubt being Ford. Their performance parts division was represented with several Mustangs and a twin turbo pickup that was styled after a race car. The Hoosier Tire company had brought its dirtbike and ATV tires. They even make tires for smaller dirt bikes. I was surprised to see they had entered that market. It’s a good looking tire, with white lettering that is popular with cars right now. Despite the size of the event, with the app, it was fairly easy to find where companies were located. There were companies from several different countries. There was also a sizable section of the show dedicated to CNC machines; several were running and giving live demonstrations. One of Parnelli Jones’ Indy cars was on display. I’m really looking forward to returning next year to see what new things are added.

An offroad racer.
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The 2017 PRI Show.


The 2017 PRI Show.
                I attended my first ever Performance Racing Industry or PRI Show on the 9th of December. This year the show celebrated its 30th anniversary. The PRI Show is an annual trade show for the automotive racing industry. It attracts companies from all over the world which was evident by the translators available. I was immediately blown away by the size of it. It occupied two large halls, as well as several smaller rooms in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. Coming into Indianapolis I was met with fairly light snow and somewhat light traffic (as light as traffic in a state capital could be). The Convention was right next to Lucas Oil Stadium. I parked and made my way across the street to the convention center. Once inside, I was immediately greeted by a large MOPAR booth. It turns out the Big Three were well represented at the show. Dodge had also brought out a funny car which was suspended from the ceiling by one of the main entrances. Booths lined the hall that separated the outside from one of the main halls. Ford Performance had several cars including Joey Logano’s Factory Five Daytona Coupe. Chevy Performance had brought several cars as well including a Hot Wheels themed Camaro.
          

NASCAR driver Joey Logano's Factory Five Daytona Coupe at the PRI Show.
Joey Logano’s Factory Five Daytona Coupe

                One of the first rooms I went into was a special showcase of products, in it; among other things were a Dodge Challenger and a Radical race car. Next, it was on to one of the main halls. Some of the larger booths had cars on display, which for some would be worth the trip alone. There were also plenty of celebrity autograph seasons as well. One of the cars that really stood out to me was Mark Donahue’s 1967 Lola Can-Am car. Interestingly the car is still raced several times a year. Can-Am cars really appeal to me as their general lack of design rules lead to a lot of creativity and variety in the series.

Mark Donohue's Lola Can-Am race car at the 2017 PRI Show in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Mark Donohue’s Lola
                Before I went to the PRI Show I downloaded their phone app. It features a floor plan and the ability to search for products by category. It was a good way to look through the myriad of vendors and associations present at the show. There were also plenty of places at the convention center to eat, which worked great for me. Two slices of pizza later I was ready to continue exploring. Even if you stayed on your feet for almost the entire day it would be hard to see everything. I arrived shortly after it opened and left at closing and there was still some stuff I didn’t have time to get to. The racing sim challenge looked like a lot of fun, where attendees could compete with each other for a prize. However, I didn’t have the chance to try it or the other racing sims available to try at the PRI Show.

                Fittingly for Indianapolis, several of A.J. Foyt’s Indy Cars were on display courtesy of the Indianapolis 500 Museum. It was amazing to see how much the cars had evolved during the course of his racing career. There was a wide range of manufactures, from the Big Three to small family businesses. Many different racing disciplines were represented as well, including drag racing, oval, dirt track, and road racing. It was a lot to see in one day; however, I managed to see most of it. I had a great time and I look forward to returning to it. I can only imagine how much bigger it will become. If anyone else went please feel free to let me know about it in the comments.

Several of A.J. Foyt's Indy Cars on display at the PRI Show.
Several of A.J. Foyt’s Indy cars.