PRI 2017: What To Expect From The PRI Trade Show

People are very familiar with PRI’s older and bigger brother, the SEMA show in Las Vegas, yet fewer are familiar with the industry’s hardcore performance based show. Held over three days, The PRI show has traditionally been from Thursday through Saturday to reach the maximum number of attendees, the show is billed as the “Epicenter of New Racing Technology.” The biggest question we always get is; “How is the PRI Show different than the SEMA Show?”

That’s a great question! The focus is solely on performance and racing. No under car lighting, bedazzled engine parts, or bling-bling  gadgets. It’s all about the speed and muscle! The event organizers are predicting over 1,100 exhibiting companies with over 3,300 booth which will be displaying more new racing products than anywhere else on the planet this year.

The companies attending are from more than 70 countries and all 50 states. The Indianapolis-based show is open to buyer and media members to scour the new products and new technology that will be finding their way to the race tracks next year. While we have nothing against fuzzy dice and chrome hubcaps, Hot Rods were based on performance in the beginning and still play a large roll in our hobby.

We didn’t see one belly tanker at the SEMA trade show earlier this month. The chances of spotting a streamliner or belly tanker at the PRI show is far greater, and we would be disappointed if there were not five or more of each. Attendees to the show are pre-qualified. Admission is complimentary, but all attendees must all prove they own, manage or are employed by a racing business.

Buyers for tens of thousands of racing retail stores, warehouse distribution centers, professional race engine builders, race car production companies, are making 2018 inventory decisions in each exhibit. They represent the all-important distribution pipeline for racing products. In the US alone, there are more than 400,000 racers, the vast majority of whom are at the grassroots level, purchasing products from their local race store or race engine builder.

Every type of racing discipline featured under one roof: drag racing, sprint cars, stock cars, road racing, modifieds, dirt late models, karting, off-road racing, tractor pulling, open wheel, muscle car, performance marine, and more. There are more than 100 manufacturers on “Machinery Row” displaying cutting-edge machining equipment and providing hands-on demonstrations.

The PRI “Race Industry Week” will feature more than 45 conferences, seminars, and social gatherings. at the Indiana convention center. There will be some exclusive events, including a PRI Happy Hour, Grand Opening Breakfast, Student Breakfast/Career Day, International Motorsports Trade Seminar, Advanced Engineering Technology Conference (AETC), Race Track Business Conference, and a Day at the Speedway. This year will also have a featured products showcase, a PRI Simulator Challenge, and a Tribute to AJ Foyt exhibit.

We will be doing our best to bring you all of the coverage that you want to see from the show. The best new products, the highlight builds and car displays, and shots from the floor. Stay tuned and watch for articles that start with: PRI 2017.

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About the author

Bobby Kimbrough

Bobby grew up in the heart of Illinois, becoming an avid dirt track race fan which has developed into a life long passion. Taking a break from the Midwest dirt tracks to fight evil doers in the world, he completed a full 21 year career in the Marine Corps.
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