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DATE News (chronologically)
11/22/11
Racing News
Big Or Small, PRI Trade Show Has Something For Everyone  In recent years, it hasn’t been unusual to see every team in NASCAR’s Chase attend the PRI Trade Show looking for the latest and most creative technology available that might just give them the slightest edge to put them over the top.  And as those teams bring budgets that can range up to – and sometimes even more than $100 million a year, it would be easy to get the notion that the PRI Trade Show is best suited to make the rich get richer…yet, surprisingly, the teams and buyers that benefit the most are often from the other end of the racing spectrum.

In fact, in assembling the latest technology available in one common show, the PRI Trade Show, which will run from Dec. 1-3 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, tends to level the playing field.

“We’re a one-car team with a sufficient budget to be competitive, but we don’t have the resources to do a lot of in-house development like the big multi-car teams,” said Cruz Pedregon, owner of Cruz Pedregon Racing and driver of the Snap-On Tools Toyota in NHRA Funny Car competition.  “We need to stay lean and maximize our dollars – and a show like PRI can provide us the opportunity to check out the latest technology available and do it one central location.”

Those sentiments are echoed throughout the industry, from drag racing to stock cars, where, for example, close to 30 ARCA teams were credentialed to attend the 2010 show, to the USAC short-tracking world and more.

“I’ve been coming to the PRI Show since 2005 when I turned 18 and we’re always looking at product,” said Kody Swanson, one of USAC’s top drivers, who also represents his TK Motorsports team as a buyer.  “And even though, we’re a small, family-owned team, PRI has really helped us develop relationships with companies that are known for their outstanding product and we’re able to be on the front edge of the latest technology being introduced.” 
Likewise, the PRI Trade Show also allows for personal interaction between customers and suppliers that wouldn’t be possible otherwise for smaller operations.

“We were able to meet with vendors we’ve used for the past three or four years and had never actually met in person,” said Andrew Moreau, of Boe Fabrication LLC, of Canada of last year’s show.  “We learned something at every place we stopped. It really helped the idea we have for our business model be where it needs to be.”

“For many smaller race industry businesses, they can afford only one trip to stock their shelves for an entire year,” said Steve Lewis, show producer. “They need to be able to find not only the latest technology, but a variety of affordable technology that meets their business plans and that’s what they find at the PRI Trade Show.”

This year’s 24th Annual PRI Trade Show is expected to feature the latest product lines of 1,100 manufacturers of racing and high-performance automotive components, as well as precision machining equipment. It will be attended by approximately 40,000 racing business people from all over the United States, and from 65 countries. For more information, go to www.performanceracing.com/tradeshow.

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