The skies were gray, and with the potential threat of snow in the forecast, we couldn't wait to jump on the next bird out of New Jersey en route to sunny Orlando, Florida, for the 20th Annual Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show. Upon landing, the temperature was a very comfortable 80 degrees. When you claim the Northeast as home, this was not a bad place to be in early December.
Unlike the SEMA Show held in Las Vegas, the PRI power fest is solely comprised of exhibitors showing off the newest in racing, speed parts, and technology. More than 1,450 companies exhibited in 2007, covering more than 4,200 booths. Exhibitors came from both far and near, representing 47 different countries. Over one million square feet of the Orange County Convention Center's floor was held hostage for this prestigious event. The event grows annually, as does the racing industry in the USA and other parts of the world.
Every year PRI holds a Grand Opening Breakfast hosted by a famous figure within the industry. This year's host was slated to be none other than Darrell Waltrip (known as DW to some). Due to his new commitments with Fox, Darrell was unable to attend; however, he appeared on the big screen to introduce NASCAR star Carl Edwards, driver of the Rousch-Fenway Office Depot Ford (yes, I used that four-letter word). Edwards, fresh off his '07 NASCAR Busch Series Championship, entertained the 3,000-plus in attendance by explaining his hard-fought rise within the racing ranks.
Next year is shaping up to be another record-breaker. The PRI Trade Show is not open to the public, only to industry professionals, so if you qualify, start making your reservations now. Show dates will be December 11-13, 2008.
See you there!