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By Dan Schechner on February 25, 2015

* Power Conference: Each year PRI makes a real effort to attend SEMA’s MPMC Media Trade Conference, a late-January event that brings together motorsports journalists from across the US for three days of individual, face-to-face meetings with dozens of the industry's leading manufacturers. After attending my first conference in 2013, I compared it to speed dating (or what I imagine speed dating must look like), where media types bounce from room to room at the Embassy Suites hotel for 30-minute sessions with representatives from the parts makers of their choosing. This year my dance card was filled with...

Continue reading Views & Notes: March 2015 Edition »
By Meredith Kaplan Burns on February 19, 2015

Quickest pass in NHRA history.
Top qualifying position.
Event win.
And all without a sponsor.

That about sums up the accomplishments of the Alan Johnson Racing (AJR) team earlier this month at the 55th annual Circle K NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California.

But the full story dates back to the conclusion of the 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season in November, when AJR was feeling pretty confident after completing another strong year with drivers Shawn Langdon, who finished fourth in Top Fuel, and Khalid alBalooshi, who finished eighth. Driving for the team, Langdon had won the Top Fuel...

Continue reading A Racer’s Perseverance »
By Bill Sessa on February 6, 2015

The Schmidt family—Al, his wife Joelle and their son Greg—relies largely on their reputation, rather than a substantial advertising budget, to promote Paradigm Automotive & Performance of Brainerd, Minnesota. Friends telling friends creates repeat business, they believe.

They do, however, use social media to stay in touch with those customers and to promote sales. “We run specials on Facebook that we can target to specific people,” said Greg Schmidt, who manages the store’s social media campaigns.

By buying sponsored ads based on keywords, “we can advertise to men, women, certain age groups,” he said, explaining features that can be highly selective, such as targeting specific niches of road racers or drag racers,...

By Dan Schechner on January 30, 2015

* Transmitting Excellence: During a week-long jaunt to the UK for last month’s annual Autosport International Show, PRI’s Francisque Savinien and I paid a visit to one of the world’s foremost motorsports transmission and drivetrain technology developers, Xtrac. Established in 1984 and headquartered in Thatcham, England, the company just recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. Through the years, Xtrac has produced more than 1000 different gearbox designs for scores of championship-winning vehicles. And today, some 40 percent of its racing business is in sports cars for names like Audi, Toyota, McLaren and others. But...

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