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...

By John Kilroy on January 22, 2015

One of the great things about the culture of auto racing is that the past is so respected. Throughout the U.S. and the world, there is hallowed ground in racing not because of a big current event, but because of the accumulation of everything that came before. I remember vividly the last race at the Agajanian family’s Ascot Park, the storied half-mile dirt track in Southern California. When the 1990 Turkey Night was over (won by Stan Fox in Steve Lewis’ number 9 midget), fans walked onto the track with jars and scooped the dirt into them reverently. You could imagine the decades of racing thrills these fans experienced there, and all the great racers they saw at their best. There was going to be a hole in their lives after this grand...

Continue reading Those Who Got Us Here »
By Darin Short on January 16, 2015

Exerpt from Promoter's Perspective: Darin Short

The first step in drawing in drivers is symmetry between the rules that attract all of the drivers at all of the area tracks running the same basic rules, so they don’t have to change tires, buy a different muffler, etc. The basic package of their car they can take from track to track, night to night, without having to swap out a whole bunch of components. And then offering a solid competitor purse and year-end awards are great things to shoot for….

Another thing is—and this may sound a little bit crazy—we have a starting procedure that when the cars go down the back straightaway, they must remain side by side, nose to tail, no fanning out, and...

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