Performance Racing Industry Show has local participants

Episode 294

December 15, 2019

It’s the 2019 PRI Show

Unable to attend the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Show at the Indiana Convention Center and Lucas Oil Stadium, I had some helpers report their comments and provide photos. The three-day event brings the racing industry together like very few other shows. I can only think of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) that is as big in the USA. (The SEMA Group owns the PRI Show now)

PRI started with Steve Lewis, a USAC Midget car race team owner December 1988 in Louisville, Kentucky with 196 exhibitors. In the 31 years since the cities of Cincinnati, Nashville, Columbus, Orlando, and Indianapolis have played host to the show which carries the logo “The Business of Racing Starts Here”.

THe 2019 edition featured over 1,100 exhibitors. No way could a person see all those folks over the course of three days. Included also were educational events such as Sponsorship Proposals, Powered by SEMA Motorsports Council, Opportunities for Women in Motorsports, and Race Team Building: Volunteer to Win.

WAR Crew Chief at AR Bodies debut

Bob Alexander, the crew chief at Wyatt Alexander Racing (WAR) based in Ellsworth returned to the PRI 2019 show helping with the AR Bodies folks setting up, answering questions about the new Revolution body, and assisting with teardown.

Rear view of the new Revolution from AR Bodies. The body has been accepted by several sanctioning bodies at this time. (Bob Alexander photo)

When asked about his highlights of this year’s show the Maine Motorsports Hall of Fame member said, “Probably my number one highlight would be the announcement of the new AR Bodies Revolution version.”

“The reveal was made on Thursday morning with a large crowd of onlookers witnessing the event. The majority of response to the amazing new body was very positive. Orders were taken for multiple packages to be sold as soon as production ramps up.”

In addition to new technology some famous race cars from the past were on display including Bob Glidden’s Ford Maverick Pro Stock. Had to be the fastest Maverick on the planet. (Bob Alexander photo)

Alexander continued stating, “Number two would have to be the large number of new products that were available. Representatives were on hand to discuss the merits and advantages of many new items. I was able to obtain information very pertinent to my interests with regards to engines, drivelines and suspensions.”

He strongly suggested making the show a must attend event in the future. “It is overwhelming to say the least when one sees how healthy this industry really is”, noted Alexander.

Cold Hard Art (CHA) back on the show circuit again

Only a few short weeks ago the crew at Cold Hard Art based in Brownsburg, Indiana flew off to be part of the SEMA Show in Las Vegas as representatives for Miller Welding. The team consisting of Tom Patsis, his wife Amanda, and daughter Luna were much closer to home as they once again represented Miller Welding at the PRI Show.

Tom Patsis on left with Bob Alexander at 2019 PRI Show. Tom credits Bob getting him started in automotive adventures when Patsis was in high school. One of his first jobs was working for Alexander at KB Automotive in Ellsworth. (Cold Hard Art photo)

Patsis working on the latest edition of “Blue the Transformer” for Miller Welding. Patsis had so many visitors he finally began welding “Blue” at 12:30 pm. The PRI Show also featured the  unveiling of the latest CHA/ Miller welding helmet. (Cold Hard Art photo)

Specially built table and chairs on display at Trick Tools display. Left Tom Patsis, Bruce Van Sant Trick Tools owner, and Jamey Jordan maker of the bomber seats. All other parts of the furniture was built by Patsis. Top fuel block and cranks are authentic. (Cold Hard Art photo)

Go Fas NASCAR Cup Series driver Corey Lajoie on left, whose father Randy Lajoie, is a Connecticut native. Lajoie delivered some sheet metal from his #32 Cup car to Patsis. (Cold Hard Art photo)

Land Speed Racer Jeff Gentry from Tennessee at PRI 2019

Land Speed Racer Jeff Gentry pictured at the Loring Timing Association event with his wife Pam. The streamliner ran under the name “Brown Clown” at Loring and is undergoing transformation as the “Batliner” powered by a diesel engine for Bonneville (HTF Motorsports photo)

I met Jeff Gentry when he and his wife came to Loring as part of the loosely knit Rydin Racing Team. His streamliner was powered by a 383 small block which propelled him to 205.210 mph putting him in the 200 MPH Club at Loring.

Since that meeting I have been following his progress with his newly re-vinyled Batliner which is being prepared to receive a diesel engine as Gentry purses more records this time at Bonneville.

“The show was outstanding”, said Gentry after the event. “The scale of it is incredible. I walked two solid days.”

“The convention center staff is outstanding , very friendly, and helpful. I used the shuttle buses this year from the hotel. They run right by a group of hotels and pick everyone up and drop you off at the door of the convention center and its free! I’d have to say that was a highlight.”

Crazy Horse Racing, South Paris, Maine, brought their American Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Model chassis to the PRI Show as part of the Port City Racecars exhibit. (Crazy Horse Racing photo)

After attending the PRI Show racing aficionado Gregg Adams from North Carolina headed south on 16th street to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum where he found this jewel. The car never raced! It was a Firestone tire testing car built by Kurtis-Kraft with a 331 Chrysler Hemi for power! Never seen it before and I just LOVED it! (Gregg Adams photo)

Meanwhile up the street…

The 64th Annual United States Auto Club (USAC) Night of Champions was held Friday evening at the Indiana Roof Ballroom also in downtown Indianapolis. The event is held while the PRI Show is in town.

The 64th Annual USAC Night of Champions awards dinner at the Indiana Roof Ballroom. (Dave Olson/Speed Graphics photo)

2019 USAC Champions l to r Kody Swanson National Silver Crown, CJ Leary Amsoil National Sprint Car , and Tyler Courtney NOS Energy Drink Midget champion. (Dave Olson/ Speed Graphics photo)

Levi Jones on right makes comments to Diana Clauson to his right, after she awarded the inaugural Bryan Clauson Heart of a Hero Award by Driven25SaveLives in memory of her husband Bryan. Jones also was awarded the Roger McCluskey Award and was named a USAC Executive Vice President. (Dave Olson/Speed Graphics photo)

If you look closely at the photo with Swanson, Leary, and Courtney above you will notice the trophies were made for USAC by Tom Patsis, Cold Hard Art (Cold Hard Art photo)

Once again if you look closely at the Bryan Clauson Award presented by Clauson’s widow Diana to Levi Jones, you will notice that it also was made by Cold Hard Art’s Tom Patsis who is presenting that same trophy to Mrs Clauson earlier in the week at his studio/workshop. (Cold Hard Art photo)

NOTICE! Caribou Snowmobile Club rescheduled their radar run at Caribou Lake to Saturday December 21 weather permitting.

Kart racers wanted

Northern Maine Karting Association (NMKA) will be looking for racers, young and old who wish to race in the 2020 NMKA Summer kart series at Spud Speedway. An informational meeting early in 2020 will be held for anyone interested in racing. (NMKA photo)

Let’s go racing,

Tom Hale

Soli Deo Gloria (Matthew 5:16)

Tom Hale

About Tom Hale

Tom wrote 14 years as freelancer for the Bangor Daily Sports covering motorsports in Maine. Now blogging and concentrating on human interest stories about people and places in racing. He races Champ Karts and owns HTF Motorsports in remote Westmanland, Maine