2013 Performance Racing Industry Show

Indianapolis, IN – To say that the move to Indianapolis was a success would be a major understatement, but when the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show decided to leave Florida and move to Hoosierland, they couldn’t have hoped for anything better than their opening this past weekend.

With 45,000 racing industry customers from the U.S. and 72 countries in attendance and 1200 racing and high performance equipment suppliers ready for sales in 3,300 booths, the cavernous Indiana Convention Center was open for business.

“This was the busiest PRI Trade Show ever,” said John Kilroy, PRI show producer. “The show has been amazing; much better than we anticipated,” noted a dealer.

Along with brisk sales and business-to-customer contact, the three-day show featured a standing-room only opening breakfast highlighted by a Q&A session with seven-time NASCAR champion Richard Petty, 45 seminars and conferences aimed at numerous racing industry issues and a number of press conferences that featured news from Target Chip Ganassi, ARCA, MAVTV and several others.

• Twenty-time World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser announced that the 2014 campaign will be his final tour on the sprint car circuit. The soon-to-be 60-year old Kinser, who drives for Tony Stewart, won the inaugural WOO championship in 1978 and has competed with them for 35 seasons.

• In other sprint car news, 21-year-old Kyle Larson, soon to be a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup driver for Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, announced that he and partner Justin Marks have formed a WOO team sponsored by Go Pro for veteran Australian pilot Shane Stewart. Larson said that he might drive for the team at times when his Sprint Cup schedule would allow it. Chip may have something to say about that.

• Target Chip Ganassi Racing and Chevrolet jointly announced that Ryan Briscoe will join current Indy Car champion Scott Dixon and 2013 Indy 500 winner Tony Kanaan for the team’s 2014 Indy Car season. Briscoe’s signing was precipitated by the retirement of three-time Indianapolis 500 winner Dario Franchitti. Briscoe will drive the team’s No.8 NTT Data entry while Kanaan replaces Franchitti in the No.10 Target machine. Also on hand for the announcement was Earnhardt-Ganassi NASCAR teammate Kyle Larson.

• ARCA revealed that ten of its Racing Series Presented by Menards events will be shown live on FOX Sports in 2014 beginning with their season-opening event in Daytona. Eight of the telecasts will be on FOX Sports 1, while two (Toledo Speedway and Lucas Oil Raceway) will air on FOX Sports 2. Eight of the ten televised races will be in conjunction with NASCAR events at the same venue.

• MAVTV announced that Dave Despain, late of the now defunct SPEED network, will join their network beginning with the Chili Bowl midget races from Tulsa,OK in January. Now, if only Dave’s “Wind Tunnel” show will follow.

• The Schmidt Peterson Motorsports Indy Car group presented Russian driver Mikhail Aleshin as teammate to Simon Pagenaud for the 2014
season. Aleshin drove an Indy Car for the first time last week at Sebring International Raceway and noted that it is larger than other open wheel cars he has driven in Europe. He was Formula Renault 3.5 champion in 2010 and has tested F1 cars for Red Bull and Lotus Renault.

• Other drivers seen walking the miles of aisles at PRI included: John Force, Clint Boyer, Ken Schrader, Matt Crafton, Tony Pedregon, Larry Dixon and Antron Brown

• PRI officials announced that the 2014 show will be held on December 11-13 in Indianapolis.

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Paul Gohde heard the sound of race cars early in his life.

Growing up in suburban Milwaukee, just north of Wisconsin State Fair Park in the 1950’s, Paul had no idea what “that noise” was all about that he heard several times a year. Finally, through prodding by friends of his parents, he was taken to several Thursday night modified stock car races on the old quarter-mile dirt track that was in the infield of the one-mile oval -and he was hooked.

The first Milwaukee Mile event that he attended was the 1959 Rex Mays Classic won by Johnny Thomson in the pink Racing Associates lay-down Offy built by the legendary Lujie Lesovsky. After the 100-miler Gohde got the winner’s autograph in the pits, something he couldn’t do when he saw Hank Aaron hit a home run at County Stadium, and, again, he was hooked.

Paul began attending the Indianapolis 500 in 1961, and saw A. J. Foyt’s first Indy win. He began covering races in 1965 for Racing Wheels newspaper in Vancouver, WA as a reporter/photographer and his first credentialed race was Jim Clark’s historic Indy win.Paul has also done reporting, columns and photography for Midwest Racing News since the mid-sixties, with the 1967 Hoosier 100 being his first big race to report for them.

He is a retired middle-grade teacher, an avid collector of vintage racing memorabilia, and a tour guide at Miller Park. Paul loves to explore abandoned race tracks both here and in Europe, with the Brooklands track in Weybridge England being his favorite. Married to Paula, they have three adult children and two cats.

Paul loves the diversity of all types of racing, “a factor that got me hooked in the first place.”