IMIS Show – Indianapolis – Bigger And Better

Big Bend, WI (December 13, 2011) – Had the opportunity to make another trip to Indianapolis before the end of the year (my sixth) to attend the International Motorsports Industry Show (IMIS). Using the appropriate slogan “Indy is Racing” the show was held December 8-10th at the Indiana Convention Center is downtown Indianapolis. Started by C&R Racing’s Chris Paulsen, NASCAR Champion Tony Stewart and industry insider Jeff Stoops, the show once again proves that Indianapolis is a leader in the motorsports industry. The show offers individuals and companies from all facets of the racing business the chance to interact, share ideas and products, build relationships and attend seminars to improve motorsports business around the world.

The event kicked off Wednesday evening with the IMIS Industry Reception held at Lucas Oil Stadium. One of the highlights was well-deserving, Sam Schmidt, owner of Sam Schmidt Racing, being presented with the IMIS Achievement Award. Thursday and Friday the show featured the popular free IMIS Industry Seminars and the two-day Safety and Technical Conference presented by racing supporter, Safety-Kleen. The conferences featured an impressive industry panel of experts which discussed all the latest in safety technology, it was a learning and informative experience. Also Friday evening the USAC “Night of Champions” Banquet was held, certainly a busy schedule for the IMIS attendee.

A who’s who of motorsports attended. I saw NASCAR drivers Jeff Burton, Austin Dillon, among many other top notch drivers. Many road racing, open wheel, stock car, drivers, team members were present. It was fun to catch up and speak with several, such as Indiana-native Andy Hillenburg who’s excited about having NASCAR returning to the historic Rockingham Speedway which he now owns. Had a nice conversation with Rollie Helmling, former president of the United States Auto Club (USAC) and currently motorsports development director for Indiana. Long time A.J. Foyt mechanic, Lew Parks was on hand showing the beautiful offset three-quarter midget that he built at Danny Drinan’s shop to be driven by Billy Pauch at the Atlantic City indoor race in February. Drinan was speaking the gospel of his Dri-Bar system which is a in-cockpit adjustable variable rate roll bar system for sprint cars and midgets. Author Dave Argabright was smiling and greeting fans of his books at the Sprint Car and Midget magazine booth for which he also writes.

Enjoyed walking through the show Saturday with Andy Hurtubise and his son, Justin. It was fun looking at several booths which catered to the vintage racer, something the three of us hope to do this coming summer.

Chatted with several vendors such as Bell Helmets, Nancy at Hinchman Racewear, Gary Schroeder at Schroeder Racing Products and several others who were very helpful with our questions. Also enjoyed the revealing IZOD IndyCar Series, National Sprint Car Hall of Fame and USAC and ARCA booths. The GoPro display with their incredible video display and products also had a high profile this year. Pretty IMIS spokes model Julie Cialini was signing calendars for many open mouthed gearheads.

Special thanks to Joe Crowley, Ron Green and Tim Sullivan who manned the media room during the show.

The third annual tradeshow saw expanded floor space and increased exhibitor count. The event saw over 20,000 attendees. The future looks good as next year’s event is scheduled for December 6-8, 2012. Additionally the show has reserved dates for the 2013-2015 events.

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