Three days of enthusiastic buyers packing the aisles and shopping the latest motorsports technology from more than 3,200 booths came to a close Dec. 13, as the 27th Annual Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show registered record numbers at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis.
After returning to Indianapolis a year ago, the PRI show has settled into its home in the Hoosier State.
“It’s been a great Show,” PRI Trade Show producer John Kilroy said. “The PRI Show is often a reflection of the state of the racing industry. From what we saw this week, the state of the industry has some real strength and momentum to it, and we’re happy to see that.”
Full booths and attendees eager to buy gave exhibitors similar optimism for the coming year.
“The show has been tremendous,” said Scott Highland from longtime exhibitor CV Products. “This is the best show we’ve seen in years, we’re very happy here. I see a lot of optimism, the racing industry is improving and we’re thinking there’s going to be a lot more people involved in the sport in 2015. People are placing orders and committing right now; there’s definitely going to be some race engines built in 2015.”
Those thoughts were echoed by exhibitors throughout the PRI show.
“Thursday and Friday we had an excellent crowd, and everything’s still going on Saturday, so it looks like it’s going to be a very promising show for us,” relayed Rob Remesi of Jesel. “A lot of engine builders have been by and a lot of new customers, as well as returning customers that we get a chance to see face-to-face. We’ve got very serious buyers here. 2014 was a strong year, and if everything goes like the indications that we’ve seen here at the show, 2015 is going to be an excellent year for us.”
In fact, attendance remained strong right until the end of the show’s final day.
“This Saturday more than others has been very busy,” said Ed Lendacki of Penske Racing Shocks. “This is similar to what we saw on Friday. All the buyers here are serious, that’s why they’re at PRI.”
Those crowds were built upon an unprecedented slate of exhibitors displaying aisles of the racing industry’s latest and most innovative products.
“The show’s gone very well – a lot of foot traffic and a lot of interest in the cars,” said Jason Martin of EMI, whose Eagle chassis was driven to the 2014 POWRi Midget title by Zach Daum. “Indiana is a hot spot for sprint cars and midgets, and that’s our business, so we’re happy to be here. It’s always very exciting to see the new customers here at PRI.
“This is where everybody brings the hottest commodity,” he added. “We thrive on bringing our newest stuff to PRI. We’re very innovative, so we love to have everyone looking at what we’ve brought out.”
Ron Coleman of Comp Cams aptly summed up the three-day event: “The PRI Show is the premier show for performance in racing. If you do engine machining or engine building or you’re at the leading edge of technology, you’re here and you’re showing off.”
In addition to three days of crowded exhibit aisles, the PRI Show’s Race Industry Week hosted more than 30 conferences, seminars and special events, including the 2014 National Championships of the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge and the Advanced Engineering Technology Conference.
Preparation is already underway for the 2015 PRI Trade Show at the Indiana Convention Center, December 10-12.
“We’re going to look for ways to tune it up and possibly add some other layers of excitement to the show to make it better, not necessarily bigger – that’s not our goal, just to make it the best possible racing trade show for the industry,” Kilroy said.