Chip Ganassi, Dave Despain Set 30th Anniversary PRI Show In Motion | Performance Racing Industry
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Chip Ganassi, Dave Despain Set 30th Anniversary PRI Show In Motion
December 7, 2017
The Q&A-style program played to a crowd of more than 3,000 industry professionals who were treated to a catered breakfast that marked the traditional start of the world’s premier trade show for motorsports professionals.
Chip Ganassi, Dave Despain Set 30th Anniversary PRI Show In Motion

Legendary team owner Chip Ganassi regaled a captive Grand Opening Breakfast audience Thursday morning to help kick off the first day of the 30th Anniversary Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show in Indianapolis.

The Q&A-style program hosted by MAVTV’s Dave Despain played to a crowd of more than 3,000 industry professionals who were treated to a catered breakfast that marked the traditional start of the world’s premier trade show for motorsports professionals.

Ganassi, who has won 17 championships and scored more than 160 victories, including four Indianapolis 500s, a Daytona 500, a Brickyard 400, a 24 Hours of Le Mans, seven Rolex 24 At Daytonas and the 12 Hours of Sebring, shared stories about his early days in racing, his thoughts on the state of motorsports, and current endeavors, including his relationships with team drivers.

"I remember being in his shoes as a young driver -- and what's important and wanting to go fast -- and as a team owner the last thing I want to do is slow a guy down," said Ganassi when asked about his decision to allow NASCAR driver Kyle Larson to compete at the Knoxville Nationals, an event not in his contract. "It wouldn't be fair to a young man and his career. Certainly there is a lot of money and risks on the line, but is that a good reason to take a young guy and hold him back? I don’t think that's fair."

His response drew a thundering applause from the capacity crowd on hand.

"The breakfast was fantastic. Chip is a great speaker and he has great stories," said Charlie Clark of MK Racing in Battle Ground, Indiana. "Dave [Despain], being the interviewer that he is, makes the interviews about racing and all kinds of racing."

Attendees also used the opportunity to network and meet industry professionals before the start of the PRI Show.

"It's always fun seeing old friends and meeting new people. We met a couple of guys at our table from Sweden," said Bob Deister of Buhler Auto in Buhler, Kansas. "I've been doing this for 50 years, so it's interesting to hear how others got into it."