Published on 12/17/2018

Best of the Bowtie: Behind the Scenes at PRI 2018

WORDS:

DAN HODGDON

PHOTOS:

MATT BEST

Indianapolis is famous as one of the racing capitals of the world. That distinction holds true even in winter, as the annual PRI Trade Show brings together thousands from the motorsports industry in December to do business, celebrate the previous year and look to the future.

TAGS:
racing, parts, events
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TAGS:
Published on 12/17/2018
racing, parts, events
WORDS:

DAN HODGDON

PHOTOS:

MATT BEST

Best of the Bowtie: Behind the Scenes at PRI 2018

Indianapolis is famous as one of the racing capitals of the world. That distinction holds true even in winter, as the annual PRI Trade Show brings together thousands from the motorsports industry in December to do business, celebrate the previous year and look to the future.

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The event is primarily held in the Indiana Convention Center with another portion in the impressive Lucas Oil Stadium. Thankfully, an elaborate series of bridges and tunnels keep attendees from needing to spend too much time in the Midwest cold.

This year’s PRI took place from December 6-8, and like all years, Chevrolet Performance's presence was felt throughout the show. The brand’s prominent display included both a 50th Anniversary Edition COPO Camaro and a Colorado ZR2 Bison to help draw in passersby.

Once inside, attendees were treated to a wide range of Small-Block, Big-Block and LS/LT/LSX crate engines, transmissions and Connect & Cruise crate powertrain systems. Display boards with wide-ranging Chevrolet Performance parts and accessories flanked each wall, while catalogs and other literature were available to take away from the show. A number of sales representatives and engineers also answered questions and provided information to the massive crowds on hand. 

The newly introduced ZZ6 EFI and LT5 crate engines both attracted a great deal of attention, and we spent some time discussing each with engineers Will Philippin and Rocko Parker.

Obviously, Chevrolet Performance also wanted to ensure that racing served as a focal point. A three-engine stand showed off the CT350, CT400 and CT525 circle track offerings, while the DR525 drag racing crate option received plenty of attention, too.

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On the topic of drag racing, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet Performance Vehicles and Motorsports, Jim Campbell, participated in a live interview with NHRA on FOX’s Tony Pedregon on Thursday. They discussed COPOs and Chevrolet’s recent NHRA Manufacturers Cup title. Three drivers from the legendary Team Chevy-backed John Force Racing team (John Force, Brittany Force and Robert Hight) also spent some time at the NHRA booth during the event.

Elsewhere in the show, booths featured Chevrolets competing in everything from NASCAR to NHRA to off-road racing. Among the many vehicles on hand wearing bowties were David Barton’s COPO Camaro competing in the Factory Stock Showdown, Josh Brock’s championship-winning ARCA/CRA Super Series Super Late Model, Chad Hall’s Best in the Desert Colorado ZR2 Bison and an LS3-powered Chevy Sonic owned and driven by Pat Moro in stage rally competition.

Plenty of dealers and vendors selling Chevrolet Performance authorized parts rounded out the Chevy contingent.

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If the buzz around this year’s event is any indication, 2019 is shaping up to be another banner year for Chevrolet Performance and the fans who love the brand. It might be snowy and cold outside, but we already can’t wait to get back to racing.

Keep watching The BLOCK and @theblockdotcom on Instagram for more from the PRI Trade Show.

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