PRI Trade Show
PRI Thursday: Tidbits on Indy's trade show floor
By Todd TurnerDirtonDirt.com managing editor
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 11) — The Indiana Convention Center doors opened Thursday for the first of three days at the 27th annual Performance Racing Industry Trade Show, where 40,000 attendees are expected to check out 1,100 companies, including many with a Dirt Late Model focus. Thursday’s blog-style updates (complete PRI coverage):
5 p.m. | End of Day One
We'll be back tomorrow with updates from the trade show floor.
3:49 p.m. | The long game
Austin Hargrove has plenty of experience as a crew chief, working with a variety of talented racers including Davey Johnson (currently) and Bart Hartman, who drove a Hargrove-wrenched car to a World 100 victory.
The 30-year-old Kentucky native's experience touting wares at a trade show? Not much, but he’s getting a taste of it at PRI while helping out in the Bernheisel Race Cars booth where Johnson’s Lazer Chassis is on display (with half the chassis exposed to give showgoers an up-close-and-personal look at the chassis with the sparkling purple frame).
With Jim Bernheisel’s son Brandon unable to come to the show because of an upcoming back surgery, Hargrove offered to help and spent Thursday showing onlookers the finer points of the car.
Johnson’s team switched to the Lazer in September (the 50-year-old veteran had a stint driving Bernheisel’s personal car years ago), and Hargrove, impressed by the car’s craftsmanship, is working the trade show to “help sell cars and let people know what Lazer and Bernheisel have to offer.”
While his PR and people skills are mostly untested, “I told 'em I’d come and do the best I can … and try to get some of these cars out there.”
Hargrove knows that someday — sooner or later — he’ll likely be off the road as a crew chief and could use the people skills for another racing business that might be in his future, running a shop to host teams or work as a chassis dealer.
“It’s new to me,” Hargrove said, but “I’m going to have to do it one way or another.”
3:35 p.m. | Odds and ends
Tanner English of Benton, Ky., has elected to switch to Rocket Chassis for 2015 after fielding a Pierce Race Car in recent seasons. … Among Late Models on display at PRI are the cars of Lucas Oil Series champion Don O’Neal, World 100 winner Scott Bloomquist, AMRA champion Tyler Carpenter, UMP DIRTcar weekly champion Bobby Pierce and Pennsylvania driver Davey Johnson. … Bloomquist’s car, displayed for Five Star Bodies, has a version of a window net that’s supported by hard, clear plastic, similar to the device officials forced him to remove during his World 100 victory. … Every year at PRI, there’s a woman in the media room with a little doggie. They’re back again this year.
3:28 p.m. | Young Tennessean steps up
Jordon Horton of Sneedville, Tenn., captured 2014’s sportsman (a division similar to Crate Late Models) championship at Tazewell (Tenn.) Speedway by racking up a track-high eight victories, but he’s looking to branch out to compete at more east Tennessee tracks next season.
“I want to go to the track an have the target be on my back,” said the 23-year-old Horton, the only driver in Tazewell history to win titles in three divisions (street stocks, modified and sportsman).
Looking to pattern his schedule after fellow Tennessean Jason Welshan — a winner of 34 Limited and Crate Late Model races in 2014 at eight tracks — Horton is driving the “local” version of the Warrior Race Cars house car. Jack Bachanan of Tazewell, who become Horton’s car owner at mid-season, owns the car but it receives factory support from Warrior and Goddard Performance. Horton’s car gets primary sponsorship from Bachanan’s Southern Pride Land & Cattle.
Horton toured the PRI show with Warrior’s Michael Nuchols.
3:12 p.m. | High hopes for young Georgian
While he has already competed in Dirt Late Models for five seasons, slim and fresh-faced Wil Herrington of Cochran, Ga., is among the youngest standouts in the divisions in the Peach State.
The 18-year-old Herrington got to rub shoulders — if not fenders — with fellow Georgia driver Shane Clanton recently at Cochran Motor Speedway’s Gobbler 100, a rare opportunity to face a national standout. While Clanton took the $10,000 victory, Herrington contended from the second spot and took a shot at the lead in lapped traffic.
“It was either wreck us both or fall back” when Herrington made his move, and he elected to fall back, ending up fourth in the season-ending event on Thanksgiving weekend. His consolation? He did outran Clanton during the previous night’s dash.
Herrington’s plans for 2015 are to follow the Southern Thunder Tour after purchasing a Warrior Race Car. In 2014, his lone victory came in the Georgia State Championship at Cochran; he had seven top-five finishes in 18 starts at five tracks.
3:02 p.m. | Chassis builder Wright aging well
Two months after celebrating winning the 2014 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series championship with driver Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., veteran chassis builder Barry Wright is still riding an emotional high.
“It was real satisfying,” said the 63-year-old Wright, who took his Cowpens, S.C.-based chassis firm’s house car program to NASCAR star Clint Bowyer’s Dirt Late Model team in 2013 and hit Lucas Oil paydirt with O’Neal just one year later. “It’s tough now … it’s tougher than it used to be because you don’t have as many (stars) going for it, but the one’s that are going for it, there’s 10 of them that can win anywhere.”
Wright noted that he might have enjoyed his ’14 success alongside O’Neal, 50, even more than his last national titles, back in 1994 and ’95 when he earned Hav-A-Tampa Series crowns with Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn.
“I would think (this year) was better because I was older now,” Wright said. “I enjoyed it more because you usually don’t get the opportunity … they get farther and farther between, so it was something for an old man. It was a lot of fun … I mean, a lot of fun. I really enjoyed it.”
Asked to compare the grind of traveling to racetracks across the country today to what he remembered of the highway life earlier in his racing career, Wright sounded precisely like the old-school racer that he is.
“I come up in a time spell when it was tougher,” Wright said. “Kids today can’t hang with old men. I’ll tell ‘ya, it’s a lot easier today than it was in the ‘70s and ‘80s when we had to make everything ourselves. So this, what we’re doing now, is a lot easier than it was at that particular time.
“Plus, I’ve been very fortunate with the people who support us …. you know, we’ve got the best that you can get in our sport — us and about 20 more maybe — and that makes it easier too. Being able to be prepared and have the right people to work with … and the kids I got working for me at Bowyer, they give me a little break. They don’t make me do everything, so that helps me out tremendously.”
Indeed, Wright doesn’t dispute that he’s slowing down.
“I try harder now than when I was 30ish, but it’s just harder to keep up,” Wright said with a smile. “I don’t remember as good as I used to either. I used to be able to go in and tell you what gear I ran six years ago. Now, I gotta pull out my notes. That’s just part of the aging process I guess.”
2:59 p.m. | Gotschall’s busier schedule
After running a limited schedule in 2014, Brantlee Gotschall of Nevada, Mo., is making plans for a busier 2015 season. Based on the schedules that have been released so far, Gotschall is looking to enter about 35 events next year, 20 more than he did in 2014.
“Everything’s kind of slowed down and we’ve kind of been working on this for a few years to get everything in place to race more,” Gotschall said Thursday at the PRI show. “My job and everything is allowing me to be more full-time. I run a body shop and now I’ve got my body shop next to my race shop so I can be back and forth all day long. That’s been pretty handy.”
The 35-year-old Gotschall started racing Late Models and 2007 and captured the Lucas Oil Midwest LateModel Racing Association Rookie of the Year title in 2008. While he has Late Model victories, including on paying $2,000, he's still looking for his first sanctioned Late Model event victory.
“It feels like it’s been a long time coming,” Gotschall said. “This year we finally ran second a couple of times and we just awful close. We led one at Salina, Okla., for a long time and just couldn’t finish up. I think we’re close. We got this Bob Pierce Race Car last year and it’s been a really great move for us.”
2:54 p.m. | Eckert in a MasterSbilt?
We’re looking to get more details, but Tader Masters of MasterSbilt Race Cars and MBH (MasterSbilt by Huey) said he's working on a deal to put former World of Outlaws champion Rick Eckert of York, Pa., in a MasterSbilt to compete on the WoO circuit in 2015. Eckert primarily drove the Rocket Chassis house car in 2014 in subbing for Josh Richards, who was on medical leave. Eckert declined to comment to DirtonDirt about the negotiations with Masters.
1:05 p.m. | Erwin’s next step
In recent seasons, Russell Erwin of Beaverdam, Va., has been a standout in the Limited Late Model division, posting 24 wins in 2014 as a follow up his 20-victory 2013 season. With the 2015 season approaching, Erwin hopes to continue his career ascent, with plans to enter more Super Late Model events next year.
“I think in 2015 we’re going to definitely try to step up and run some more Super stuff for sure,” Erwin said after chatting with MasterSbilt’s Tader Masters at the Keyser Manufacturing booth. “How much, I don’t know. It just depends on what we do as far as sponsors and stuff like that. It’s going to be a new year for sure. We’re looking to get another new MBH (MasterSbilt by Huey) car and go from there.”
Erwin currently plans to compete on the Ultimate Late Model Super Series, which travels to racetracks in Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. The driver, who captured his first career Ultimate victory at County Line Raceway in Elm City, N.C., on May 16, will still run a partial Limited Late Model schedule.
“I’ve been around racing my whole life and our focus has always been to make it to that top stage and run with some of the best guys in Supers,” Erwin said. “We’re continuing to grow; we’re continuing to move up every year. I just feel like a regional deal is probably the best thing for us.
“We went down to Charlotte and had just a lot of mechanical problems and didn’t run good. A lot of people said, ‘Hang your head high, you’re running against the best guys down here.’ But it’s hard to walk away and not make a show either night. It’s definitely an eye-opener that we need to take our time and move up slowly.”
1:02 p.m. | Year Two at Boyd’s
Boyd’s Speedway co-owner Dale McDowell learned a lot about managing a racetrack in 2014 with fellow owner David Duplissey and his staff at the Ringgold, Ga., oval. And he’s ready to learn more in tackling the second season in 2015.
While McDowell says “you always want to do better,” he added that “for our first year we had a good year — we learned a lot. And we look forward to learning more next year.”
It would be hard for McDowell’s experience at Boyd’s to top his 2014 season on the racetrack as he captured the $100,000-to-win Dream at Eldora Speedway while posting a runner-up finish in the Ohio track’s prestigious World 100.
But while he learned a lot about his race car on the track, McDowell also realized they needed to make some changes at Boyd’s, including primarily clearing space for more parking to “ease our way into doing some bigger shows.”
Boyd’s packed in more than 2,000 fans — over capacity — for one event, but McDowell said some “people left because they couldn’t park.”
Along with more parking, the track plans to add more seating capacity along with other facility upgrades, such as the permanent restrooms added in the pits late in the season.
McDowell’s entourage in touring PRI included brother and long-time crew chief Shane McDowell and his wife, Sara.
12:54 p.m. | Trade show tips
At a trade show that might be the only time of the year people see one another, those of us who struggle putting faces with names endure three days of racking our brains.
“I’m the worst with names,” said World of Outlaws Late Model Series director Tim Christman after spotting a familiar — but nameless — face while manning the World Racing Group booth.
But Christman let us in on a little secret. He faced me, put both hands on my chest and started adjusting my PRI Trade Show nametag, tugging on each side to straighten it up and act as if he was putting it into proper position.
“Oh, yeah, let me straighten this up … Todd,” he said, revealing his favorite method of physically putting a name(tag) with a face.
It’s a good tip for a show where, as you’re walking aisles among 320,000 square feet of exhibit space, you see plenty of people peeking at your nametag — and do a lot of peeking yourself in case you’re walking past someone you didn’t realize you needed to talk to.
Other tips: Beware the showgoers toting wheeled carts. They rarely stop at the aisle intersections and lone pedestrians will get the worst of a collision.
Also, follow the rules of the road as much as possible — slow walkers to the right, passing on the left, and don’t walk down the center of the aisle but yield to those coming the other direction.
And finally, if you’re wanting to see a lot of folks but tired of walking, pick a good manufacturer — Hoosier Racing Tire and Keyser Manufacturing come to mind — and plant yourself there. That way, you can let the people come to you.
12:45 p.m. | Asplin’s primary goal
Justin Asplin has one objective for the 2015 season.
“We’re gonna run for the championship of MARS (DIRTcar Series),” the 34-year-old driver from Birch Tree, Mo., said while at the Racing Electronics booth to have custom ear molds taken. “That’s our main goal. We’ve had two thirds and a second (in the MARS points standings), so we’re going in the right direction each year in the points.”
Asplin is coming off his best campaign on the MARS tour, finishing in the runner-up spot in the points battle behind Tony Jackson Jr. of Lebanon, Mo., after consecutive third-place finishes the previous two years. He will bid to improve one spot in the standings driving a Club 29 car for the second year in a row.
A second goal for Asplin in 2015 will be his continued quest to become a regular victory lane visitor. He has only two feature wins over the past five years — an MLRA score in 2013 at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., and a ’14 UMP DIRTcar checkered flag at Monett (Mo.) Speedway — but he expects to have plenty of opportunities to break through during the coming season.
“I think we’ve got a lot of racing in front of us,” said Asplin. “We’ve got a lot of regional stuff (to run). MARS (director Randy Mooneyham) does a good job (scheduling races). I don’t think it’s overlapped any of the MLRA stuff, so if I was looking right, we have (a special-event schedule) somewhere in the 50-night range in a 400-mile radius of my house … and that’s not counting any Comp Cams races or any crown jewels.”
Asplin doesn’t plan to start the 2015 season by competing in January’s Wild West Shootout at USA Raceway in Tucson, Ariz., for the second consecutive year. He said he’s entered a partnership to purchase a business affiliated with his current enterprise — he builds hardwood shipping pallets — and his group takes over on Jan. 1, keeping him too busy to go racing until the MARS schedule begins in March.
11:10 a.m. | Better than hitchhiking
Chris Simpson of Oxford, Iowa, knows all about the 24-hour journey from his Midwestern home to USA Raceway in Tucson, Ariz., for its January miniseries. It’s a long way — especially the time his team ran into a snowstorm just 20 minutes from home that nearly derailed them.
“You get to that point and you think, 'Is it even worth it?' ” Simpson said while visiting the DirtonDirt.com booth at Thursday’s PRI show.
Maybe not, but a trip to Tucson is definitely worth it to do some winter racing, and Simpson found a better way to get there — by airplane. Instead of driving his hauler to Arizona, Simpson is teaming up with fellow Iowa native and racer Matt Furman, who will haul Simpson’s car to the desert oval.
Furman will be making his first racing visit to Tucson and he’ll make room in his hauler for some of Simpson’s equipment and tools, but Simpson said he won’t have to worry too much about carrying tons of spare parts. Jason Papich of Nipomo, Calif., who will be competing at Tucson, drives the same chassis — Club 29 Race Cars — as Simpson, and he assured the Iowa driver he could borrow spares from him if necessary.
11:03 a.m. | Mitchell’s next challenge
Fresh off his P&W Sales Southern United Professional Racing championship, Jon Mitchell of Texarkana, Texas, is making plans to tackle the full UMP DIRTcar Summernationals in 2015.
The long-distance traveling it will take for Mitchell to compete on a Midwestern series that includes 14 races in Illinois will come with help from new sponsor Ken Murphy of Murphy & Son Timber of New Boston, Texas.
The 34-year-old Mitchell is coming off one of his best career seasons with six victories en route to the SUPR title. He plans to open his 2015 campaign at Tucson, Ariz.’s Wild West Shootout before looking toward the Summernationals, which runs from June 10-July 11, opening at Brownstown (Ind.) Speedway.
If Mitchell indeed can run the Summernationals, he’ll be the first Texas-based driver to run a significant amount of series events since Doug Wiggs in the early 1990s.
11 a.m. | Redetzke is Arizona-bound
Jake Redetzke of Eau Claire, Wis., is on the lengthy list of drivers making the trip to Tucson, Ariz., next month for USA Raceway’s eighth annual Wild West Shootout. Making his first appearance at the 3/8-mile oval, the 2011 Blaine Brothers Challenge Series champion is looking forward to the challenge of Tucson.
“I think this is a good time to go down there,” Redetzke said Thursday morning as he worked the Champ Pans booth with his father Jerry and brother Jesse. “I’ve always wanted to do it the last five years and just everything didn’t line up. So it’s like, let’s go do it. So we put the motor in and hopefully we’re going to have a good show here at PRI and finish up some things and head out to Tucson.”
Redetzke will join national standouts Jimmy Owens and Billy Moyer out West, along with home-state competitor Jimmy Mars. The six-race miniseries begins Jan. 10 and wraps up Jan. 18 with a $10,000-to-win finale.
“I stopped over to Jimmy’s (Mars) shop actually last week and he said he’s going to have me come over and we’ll take care of some stuff and hopefully go out there and have some fun,” Redetzke said. “Lance Matthees, another guy I race against weekly, he goes out there and tells me, ‘Who cares how much work you have to do? Just come on out. Work will still be there when you come back.’ So we figured, heck, we’ll just go out there and give it a whirl.”
But until January arrives, there’s still work to be done. For Redetzke, working in the motorsports industry has proven beneficial to his racing career.
“I kind of like being a driver and also being associated with a business,” he said. “It kind of helps you stay in the loop of things. You kind of hear about more things, I guess, than maybe a guy that’s not around a business. I think it goes hand-in-hand and definitely helps my racing out.”
10:53 a.m. | Ultimate schedule additions
Ultimate Super Late Model Series director Kelley Carlton has been busy adding shows to the tour schedule in Georgia. The biggest is a $10,000-to-win event at Golden Isles Speedway near Brunswick, Ga., on the Fourth of July weekend.
Ultimate also added a Friday night event to an existing Saturday night event at Cochran (Ga.) Motor Speedway (Oct. 16-17) and plans a doubleheader weekend at Needmore Speedway in Norman Park, Ga., and Albany (Ga.) Motor Speedway, although the dates aren’t determined yet.
In other series news, Carlton said the tour is dropping its softest tire compound choice, going to a three-compound rule instead of the previous four-compound rule. The Hoosier 1300 or American Racer 44 will no longer be allowed. The softest tire in the new rule will be a Hoosier 1350 or American Racer 48.
10:45 a.m. | Lamm ready for return
Carlton Lamm, co-owner of the Dunn-Benson Racing team that is returning to the Dirt Late Model wars in 2015 with veteran driver Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., after an eight-year absence, is ready for second act in the sport.
This time around, however, the 73-year-old Dirt Late Model Hall of Fame honoree is looking forward to leaving the heavy lifting of race-team operation to his son Kemp, a 43-year-old who has assumed an even larger role in the Dunn-Benson effort than he played during Pearson’s first stint behind the wheel from 1999-2006.
“We did it all of our life,” Carlton said of his family’s long-time participation in racing. “With my son raised up in it like he was, I just felt like if I didn’t give him an opportunity to do the same thing that I did that we cut him short. So this is the reason we’re back.”
The elder Lamm is confident that the Dunn, N.C.-based team he is fielding with his son will be a force again with Pearson, who steered Dunn-Benson cars to three national touring championships in a row from 2004-2006 and also captured the ’06 World 100.
“Hopefully after a period of time we can get back to where we can be competitive,” said Lamm, proudly wearing a red Dunn-Benson shirt while sitting on a bench just before the opening of the show. “We know a lot of things have changed in the eight years we’ve been out, but we don’t feel like Earl’s forgot how to drive so that kind of gives us some encouragement that maybe we can get back a little bit sooner than if we were just starting out with someone new.”
Lamm also added that he was planning a leisurely visit to the expansive PRI show. He joked that he would “try to take it easy” by stopping only at booths with chairs so he could rest and stay off his feet.
9:47 a.m. | Big news in Mississippi
One of Mississippi’s long-running teams and long-running drivers are joining forces in 2015. More details should come during the PRI show, but Bub McCool’s team announced he’ll field cars for car owner Randy Thompson next season.
The team plans to pilot Club 29 Race Cars, the Darrell Lanigan-produced version of Stuckey Enterprise’s Black Diamond Chassis, in running a schedule of events throughout the Southeast, including with the Southern All Star Series and the Ray Cook-promoted tours (Spring and Southern Nationals). They’ll complete occasionally on the Mississippi State Championship Challenge Series, but don’t plan to run the full schedule.
Thompson has owned cars for some of Mississippi’s best Dirt Late Model racers over many years, most recently Neil Baggett (2013) and David Breazeale (2014), the reigning MSCCS champion.
The 37-year-old McCool has primarily operated a self-owned team during a career that includes Hav-A-Tampa Dirt Racing Series Rookie of the Year honors, 14 MSCCS victories and other national and regional special event victories.
Thompson had accompanied McCool to late-season events when McCool piloted a Chad Stapleton-owned Club 29 car; McCool had driven a Victory Circle Chassis in recent seasons.
9:38 a.m. | Summernationals ditch Ohio
Who took the biggest hit in a UMP DIRTcar Summernationals that’s a week shorter this season? Ohio, which has anchored the final week of the tour in recent seasons.
Four consecutive Ohio races wrapping up last year’s tour at Brushcreek Motorsports Complex, Atomic Speedway, Attica Raceway Park and Oakshade Raceway, averaged 36.5 cars, more than five cars over the entire series average.
But in 2015, only Oakshade remains on the Illinois-centric tour with 14 of 27 scheduled races in the Prairie State. Check out full details on the Summernationals elsewhere on DirtonDirt.com.
8:50 a.m. | Humphrey scaling back a bit
Long-time Nebraska car owner Al Humphrey of Giltner expects his familiar No. 6 might not be on the track quite as much this season with driver Travis Dickes of Madison, Neb., staying closer to home to tend to his service tech job for his family’s Weiland Well Company.
The 34-year-old Dickes will race occasionally, Humphrey said before the doors officially opened at PRI, but duties call for the well and plumbing business. “It’s right next to being a doctor — people gotta have their water,” Humphrey said.
The 60-year-old Humphrey (he turns 61 in two weeks) will field the car himself — like at I-80 Speedway and on Nebraska’s Super Late Model Racing Series — when Dickes isn’t driving, but said he’s “not in the mood to pursue any other drivers right now.”
In his part-time starts in 2014, Humphrey realizes he’s a lot closer to the end of his career than the beginning.
“At my age the skills go away fast,” he said, adding that the desire to win is still there. “I could still beat most of (the competition in the area) … but I want to beat 'em all.”
With three Victory Circle Race Cars at his disposal, if Humphrey does end up connecting with another driver, he’d like it to be someone who brings equipment or sponsorship with them.
“Whoever is going to drive is going to have to have skin in the game,” he said.
8:41 a.m. | Busy July for WoO
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series released today at PRI includes the busiest July for the tour since the 2008 season. Eleven nights of racing are scheduled for July (and a 12th for Aug. 1 and the conclusion of Cedar Lake Speedway’s USA Nationals) with the recent addition of Quincy (Ill.) Raceway on July 23, a nice lead-in to Fairbury (Ill.) American Legion Speedway’s Prairie Dirt Classic weekend. The tour had 13 nights of racing in July in 2008.
Other notes about the schedule include the tour’s first race at Kentucky Lake Motor Speedway in 10 years, a return to Canada after a one-year absence and the first-ever series stop at Friendship Motor Speedway in Elkin, N.C. With a race at Fayetteville (N.C.) Motor Speedway following Friendship, its the first year the tour will have multiple events in North Carolina outside its mainstay Dirt Track at Charlotte in Concord. Check out full details of the WoO schedule.
7:15 a.m. | Coming up Thursday
Along with the random tidbits off the trade show floor, a couple of key schedule releases are expected to be among the news of the day. Two World Racing Group tours — the World of Outlaws Late Model Series and UMP DIRTcar Summernationals — are expected to release schedules, with the Summernationals slate expected to be trimmed a week after running six weeks each of the last two seasons.
Printed schedules for both tours will be available as handouts for showgoers.
And Thursday DirtonDirt.com’s video crew will likely track down Jimmy Owens of Newport, Tenn., for an interview. The three-time Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series champion last week agreed to join Oklahoma-based Rowland Racing, but he’s not been available for further comment because of the Saturday death of his mother.
Owens and other Lucas Oil drivers will gather at the Lucas Oil Estate in Carmel, Ind., on Thursday evening for the postseason banquet, where Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind., will be crowned champion.
7:10 a.m. | A little PRI history
The Performance Racing Industry Trade Show has come a long way from the first time auto racing interests gathered in Louisville, Ky., in 1988. At that event 26 years ago, 169 companies had displays.
Since then, the PRI show moved to Cincinnati, Ohio to Nashville, Tenn., to Columbus, Ohio, and then to Indianapolis. The show headed south to Orlando, Fla., for several years before returning to Indianapolis last year after absorbing the International Motorsports Industry Show, a smaller show with a short-track focus that filled the Midwest’s void of a racing show for several seasons.
This year’s show is expected to included 1,100 exhibiting companies filling the space of 3,200 booths with buyers from all 50 states and more than 70 countries. The show covers 320,000 square feet.
John Kilroy, vice president and general manager of PRI, touts the show as the “annual epicenter of new racing technology,” and that’s typically true for Dirt Late Model-central companies showing off the latest and greatest.
7:05 a.m. | Show schedule
The trade show opens this morning at 9:30 a.m. while the doors close at 5 p.m. Friday’s hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday’s hours are 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Editor's note: Contributions from Kevin Kovac, Alli Collis, Michael Rigsby, Ben Shelton, Derek Kessinger and Webb Dillard.