International Motorsports Industry Show

Indianapolis, IN – Helmets, drivers’ suits, haulers, transmissions, frames, seminars, banquets, Kart races…

These and other racing items too numerous to mention were available to over 20,000 members of the racing industry who attended the third annual International Motorsports Industry Show (IMIS) at the Indianapolis Convention Center on December 8-10.

The show is owned by Chris Paulsen, Jeff Stoops and 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart, and is designed to give motorsports companies an opportunity to “interact with current customers and meet new ones.”

Begun in 2009, the tradeshow for hardcore racers has been described as “one of the fastest growing events in the tradeshow industry.” Three years ago the exhibit area covered 109,000 sq. ft. That figure rose to 283,000 sq. ft. in 2011 and is expected to grow significantly next year.

The five days of activities surrounding the tradeshow included an opening reception for participants held in the Lucas Oil Stadium on Wednesday, sixty IMIS Industry Seminars Thursday – Saturday and the tradeshow that drew rave reviews from both exhibitors and attendees. The inaugural Indy Karting Classic ran on Sunday at the nearby Conseco Fieldhouse and featured teams representing IndyCar and NASCAR beside numerous professional and amateur events. A karting industry tradeshow was also held in the Fieldhouse.

The 2012 IMIS tradeshow will be held on December 6-8.

• At a press conference held during IMIS, it was announced that 2011 Skip Barber Series champion Scott Anderson will compete in the 2012 USF 2000 Cooper Tire Mazda championship competing for Belardi Auto Racing whose owner Brian Belardi resides in Milwaukee. Belardi fielded three cars in the USF 2000 series in 2010, finishing 3rd, 10th and 12th. “The clearly defined path to the top is what attracted me to the IndyCar ladder system,” noted Anderson who resides in Ft. Collins, CO. His next step on the “ladder” would be Indy Cars.

• The 2012 IMIS Achievement Award was presented to IndyCar team owner Sam Schmidt during Wednesday’s reception at Lucas Oil Stadium. The award was given to Schmidt by the 2010 recipient Chip Ganassi.

• As IndyCar struggles to fill the oval track portion of their 2012 schedule, a rumor circulating at IMIS had IC looking into oval circuits at Phoenix, Milwaukee and several other facilities. With Las Vegas out of the picture for 2012, and Texas not yet secured, hopes for an event at the historic Mile may still be alive.

• The ARCA Racing Series recently announced a 20-race schedule, with 10 events to be telecast live on SPEED. The race at Madison, WI will not, however, be part of the TV package.

• We bumped into Chicago-area racing writer Stan Kalwasinski at the IMIS show. Stan noted that his well-attended racing memorabilia show will be held in Peotone, IL on Sunday, March 25th. This centrally-located show is well worth the drive for those seeking a large display of vintage and current collectables for sale.

• ARCA’s winningest driver, 81- year old Joy Fair passed away on Dec. 10th. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Dec. 17th, in Orion, MI.

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