The biggest auto show you’ve never heard of

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By Rex Roy
Editor-in-chief
Michigan office

The automatic channel

For runners, December is the only month of the year.

The series crowned their champions. The drivers have parked their racing trucks. Mechanics planned how to add to their toolboxes. Aside from riders making “silly season” moves or teams making sponsorship deals for the next season, December is quiet for riders.

With the exception of the three days of the annual PRI Show.

And this is where you say, “PR-what? Never heard of it.”

Prepare to go to school …

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The Performance Racing Industry show is the last major racing event of the year.

When: December 9-11

Where: Indiana Convention Center (ICC)

Given the nature of the races, even in the face of the Covid, the show is on. The show organizers are committed to all local mandates and, at the time of this article’s publication, Indianapolis was open to conventions. The city has safely hosted dozens of major events since Covid landed on our shores in 2020, including the Final Four, the Indy 500 and many major conventions.

So why should you make the trip to Indy in what is usually the gloomiest time of the year? How about seeing Roger Penske talking about racing with Doug Boles (President of Indianapolis Motor Speedway) and seasoned broadcaster Ralph Sheheen? You can also see Matt D’Andria – of Car Cast podcast fame – creating an episode live on stage. .

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Other biggest names in racing will be on hand, including NASCAR champion Tony Stewart, Erica Enders of drag racing, IndyCar’s Conor Daily and reality stars Farmtruck and AZN.

Popular PRI Show features include the outrageous star vehicles (how about a 1969 NASCAR Mercury Cyclone Spoiler II or a 1973 Jeep Postal Delivery drag car with a 623 cid Chevrolet Big Block), a showcase new features and PRI Education Program seminars that cover timely business challenges unique to runners, such as winning sponsorships.

New for 2021 is PRI’s Content Creation Zone, where successful social media influencers will showcase helpful social media ‘how-tos’ and best practices to help runners and businesses improve their creative skills. of content. Indy’s own Rogers camera will also have a huge display of the latest cameras and tech along with several specials.


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Just as PRI has welcomed the visionaries who saw the opportunities in the diesel performance market, PRI has a special new display area called the EV Performance Zone. Over a dozen exhibitors will showcase the wide range of electric-powered performance vehicles including the 200+ mph Huff Motorsports electric dragster (the fastest in the world), the all-new 1,170 horsepower rally cross SUV FC1-X, and an electric drift car sponsored by electrical component maker AEM.

At the time of this story’s publication, approximately 1,000 exhibitors have been confirmed. Expect a wide range of OEMs, manufacturers, distributors, retailers and more including Ford Performance, Holley, Callies, Forgeline Wheels and Wilwood Racing. There will be dozens of trailers, RVs and dump trucks in the special exhibit that fills the Lucas Oil Stadium (next to the ICC). Every facet of the running business is covered, from developing race tracks and promoting events, to more gear and services you never knew existed.

Unlike traditional auto shows or events for amateurs (such as Autorama or Good Guys), the PRI Show is an event reserved for professionals. You can’t just get off the street.

However… there is always one however. Apply if you are an amateur runner (support races count), or if you sell (or may sell) any goods or services retail or commercially to racetracks, racing teams, manufacturers automotive components, or if you provide (or could provide) any services that racers, race teams, machine shops, car manufacturers or track owners might need (such as legal, marketing or accounting services). , food, printed materials, etc.). Taking this approach will help you be welcomed into the Performance and Racing Industry community. Register here.


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Because the PRI Show was canceled in 2020 (like almost everything else), the 2021 rally seems especially important to those in the industry. As is clearly evident at other trade shows your author has attended recently, people are ready to meet in person. Crowds could exceed 50,000 at PRI 2021.

Importantly and appropriately, the Indiana Convention Center made significant Covid-related upgrades to its facilities, one of the most significant of which was to its HVAC system. It now features hospital grade filtration and operates 24 hours a day during events.

“After almost two years of separation, our industry is looking forward to being under one roof at PRI 2021,” said Karin Davidson, PRI Show Director. “The special programs and new features will be great for the runners and the businesses that make up our industry. »Drive for the day or the weekend, check it out!

If you’ve been to PRI before, the show is still free, but you must become a PRI member to attend. Free and paid membership levels are available.

Due to the EPA’s assault on the performance vehicle market (find information on RPM law supported by PRI and SEMA here and watch this video

PRI’s new membership program is designed to support the legislative advocacy of the business group. This is a key component needed to protect the performance and racing industry from government excesses. Paid PRI members also receive special benefits at the show, including access to the PRI member lounge and discounts on PRI gifts.

PRI membership creates a unified voice for the racing industry. Now more than ever, given the challenges the motorsport community is currently facing, it is important that we come together to defend the interests of the industry, ”said PRI President Dr Jamie Meyer. “And of course, I look forward to connecting in person with all of the companies and individuals who will be performing.”

Hope to see you there. The automatic channel will report from the PRI lounge, so stay tuned.


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