Industry Leaders Convene At PRI Trade Show Roundtable Some of the biggest names in motorsports came together Wednesday to discuss the current state and future trends of the sport before a packed crowd at the PRI Trade Show Industry Roundtable in advance of the opening day of the show on Thursday at the Orange County Convention in Orlando, Florida.
Indy Racing League CEO Randy Bernard, ALMS CEO Scott Atherton, IHRA Top Fuel champ Bruce Litton, Hugh Scully, MD, Chairman of the International Council of Motorsport Sciences, Jerry Gappens, Executive V.P. & GM of New Hampshire Motor Speedway, engine builder Ron Shaver (Shaver Enterprises), Gerald Newton, V. P. of Arizona Sport Shirts, Scooter Brothers, Director of R&D and part-owner of Competition Cams, and Ken Schrader, NASCAR & ARCA driver and co-owner of I-55 Raceway, all participated in the Roundtable.
“It’s an honor to be a part of the Roundtable when you look at the caliber of this year’s panel,” said Atherton. “It was really interesting to get the perspective of the other industry representatives on the panel, but even more important was to hear the questions from the attendees. Every time I’ve ever attended something like this I come away smarter.”
Topics at the Roundtable included the future of the sport, the changing demographics of American motorsport and social networking in motorsports. The event was moderated by veteran NASCAR crew chief and television commentator Jeff Hammond and well-received by attendees.
“I always find the Roundtable very interesting,” said Marla Hoyos, owner of Driven to Win Drag Racing School. “They always have a great panel. It educates me every time I come. I’m in the drag racing business, so the Roundtable gives me an idea of how the whole industry is trending, not just drag racing, but also in the other forms of racing.”
Her words were echoed by other attendees.
“I’ve attended the PRI show dating back almost to its inception, but this is my first time attending the Roundtable and I really liked it,” relayed Peter Hansel, Managing Director of Comar Performance Automotive Engineering. “I thought the format was really good with the cross-section of industry people. It was particularly interesting to hear about the generational issues in the fan base and the impact of social media on the automotive industry and, subsequently, motorsports.”
The Roundtable continued the strong attendance in the events leading up to the PRI Trade Show opening on Thursday.
“We had one of the most impressive panels we’ve ever had,” said Steve Lewis, PRI Trade Show producer. “It was impressive to see the panel interact with the audience. We had a great turn-out today, just as we had the past two days with the AETC, ICMS and the Advanced Racing Suspensions Seminar - all the rooms were full. We’re right on schedule.”
Nearly 40,000 racing business people from all 50 states, and 65 countries, are expected to be in attendance this year’s PRI Show to get current with the latest in racing technology courtesy of the 1,000 motorsports companies introducing their new lines in racing products, machining equipment, motorsport engineering solutions and more. The event is widely viewed as the three biggest business days in auto racing.
For more information, go to www.performanceracing.com/tradeshow.