25th Annual Performance Racing Industry Show, Orlando FL, December 2012

Welcome to our Dragtime News On Location coverage from the 25th Annual PRI Trade Show, held November 29th - December 1st, 2012 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. What a time. There was a lot of excitement on the show floor about the upcoming racing season, and we got to see some great new products. I attended an innovative business seminar called Winning The eRace on Wednesday, and we also attended the Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain featuring John Force opening breakfast on Thursday.

It's apparent from everyone we work with at Performance Racing Industry that they truly care about the industry. For example, in addition to the exhibits on the show floor, there are a number of seminars provided by PRI that are full of useful information to performance businesses.

This 25th Annual PRI Show was a big success. According to PRI, "Approximately 38,000 racing business people from all 50 states and 72 countries attended this year’s show to get current with the latest in racing technology courtesy of the 1,000 motorsports companies introducing new lines in racing products, machining equipment, motorsport engineering solutions and more. 'A lot of racing people throughout the world look at the PRI Trade Show as a place that they can take a measurement of the racing industry right now,' said John Kilroy, PRI Trade Show producer. “Anyone that participated in this show, as an exhibitor or a buyer, has to be impressed with the amount of business that went on here. That says something very good about the state of the racing industry today.'

Buyers and sellers from around the drag racing world were on hand for the three busiest business days in racing. “The PRI show is just amazing for drag racing customers, said Joe Kriviskas of Precision Turbo Engine: “We see people from all over the world here – we’ve seen people from Europe, from Asia, it’s just a great show. Drag racing is a world-wide sport – Australia, US, South America, Europe, anywhere you go today, you see drag racing. “

Exhibitors from throughout the drag racing industry echoed that thought as buyers filled the aisles. The performance of the show is a strong indicator of just how strong the drag racing industry is and how well it’s held up through recent tough economic times.

“We’re real happy with this year’s show,” said long-time PRI exhibitor Carl Schultz, owner of Five-Star Race Car Bodies, which displayed own of their Pro-Stock bodies. “We’ve had a lot of success and a lot of people coming around looking at our bodies. There are a lot of drag racers at the show. We look for other opportunities outside of our core market of body parts and we’ve had some of those contacts, too. Overall, we’ve been very pleased with the show.”

Drag racing buyers appeared to be just as pleased, with the group containing a number of the sports’ top drivers on hand. In addition to Force, fellow Funny Car driver Tim Wilkinson was making his yearly visit to the show. A number of others also were on hand.

So let's get to it - our Dragtime News On Location coverage of the 25th Annual Performance Racing Industry Show.

Getting There Is Half The Fun

We chose to drive our way to Florida so we could make some stops along the way. What would our coverage be without some of the sights we saw ...

By the looks of it I'd say we're not in the country of New Jersey any more.
I can tell by the pets. These are the craziest looking dogs I've ever seen.
Happy Hour 12-7 (followed by Hungover & Depressed Hour 7-12) They also just added Tommy Dorsey to the jukebox.
It's nice that the local authorities tip you off to the speed trap ahead! I hope it's been on ice.
Genetically-engineered snacks like the citrus pecan are big here. Knock Knock. Who's There? Orange...
How in demand are drive thru peanuts? The Closed sign is a hint. Remember the big sign for the speed trap? This guy didn't read it.
Don Garlits' Museum Of Drag Racing

One of our stops was in Ocala, FL at the shrine of drag racing, Don Garlits' Museum of Drag Racing. When you're in central Florida, it's a must.

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Photos and videos: The Dragtime News & Stephanie Youngman