Upping The Ante: One positive trend we’ve observed of late is a number of big events raising their purses to all-time-high levels. Of note, last month’s famed World 100 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, saw a record $283,910 on the line for an expanded racing menu covering three full nights (September 5–7) of competition.
A few weeks later, the 38th Annual Red Clay Classic at ABC Raceway in Ashland, Wisconsin, offered total prize monies in excess of $80,000 for its two-night season finale, drawing some 200 WISSOTA-sanctioned Late Models, modifieds, super stocks and Midwest modifieds from the Upper Midwest and south-central Canada. Credit these and other like-minded track operators and promoters for creating a powerful attraction for fans and drivers.
Generation Next: National championships typically bring out the best and brightest. It’s no different for young automotive talent, which will be on full display at the 2013 PRI Trade Show in Indy. A partnership with the venerated Hot Rodders Of Tomorrow Engine Challenge will result in more than two-dozen of the country’s top high school teams competing for titles and scholarships December 10–14, in a makeshift pit area in the South Hall Lobby of the Indiana Convention Center.
PRI has hosted regional competitions in the past, but from 2009 on, the final round had always been held at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Not so this year, when the competition will take its place among the world’s largest gathering of motorsports professionals. In addition to the established engine challenge event, which resembles the tear-down between rounds at a drag race, the 2013 edition will feature three new contests: carburetor rebuild competition; ring and pinion challenge; and cylinder head challenge.
This expanded format will help accommodate the program’s largest-ever list of finalists—29 teams representing California, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Indeed, more than $2.5 million in scholarship money will be on the line when these talented youngsters take the stage at PRI 2013!
Farewell: A true champion of the industry has left us far too soon. Tracy Winters, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at JW Performance Transmission in Rockledge, Florida, passed away unexpectedly on August 29. She was 46. A memorial by the Drag Racing Association of Women, of which Tracy was a board member, added that she “helped [JW Performance Transmission] grow from a small operation to a global leader in the performance industry.... Tracy was a known advocate for women and children, and will be forever remembered for her tireless work ethic, the many community programs she participated in, and the many lives she touched.” Those of us at PRI who were fortunate enough to have known her couldn’t agree more.
Donations can be made in Tracy’s honor to the Drag Racing Association of Women.