Views & Notes: Post-PRI 2016 Edition | Performance Racing Industry
Views & Notes: Post-PRI 2016 Edition
By Dan Schechner on December 15, 2016

* Newsmakers: Recalling some of the more noteworthy goings-on from Race Industry Week and the 2016 Performance Racing Industry Trade Show: Madison Heights, Michigan-based Motovicity Distribution announced the appointment of Brian Lounsberry as President and CEO. An 11-year company veteran, Lounsberry, who has been integral in the company’s growth over the past decade, most recently served as Motovicity’s VP of Sales & Marketing….

SEMA’s government affairs team updated attendees on the status of the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act. The bill was introduced in Congress in 2016 to clarify that it is legal under federal law to modify the emissions system of a street vehicle for exclusive racing purposes. While optimistic about working with the incoming administration and the new Congress, the SEMA team nonetheless urged racing professionals—especially business owners—to continue reaching out to lawmakers when the bill is reintroduced for consideration in 2017….

Providing a shot in the arm to its Pro Mazda Championship Series Presented by Cooper Tires, IndyCar unveiled the Tatuus PM-18 prototype. The PM-18 is slated for use during the 2018 season, effectively replacing the USF-17 chassis, which was introduced in 2004, and representing the completion of an entire overhaul of all three levels of the Mazda Road to Indy program….

The World of Outlaws announced a new drug-testing program—in partnership with The National Center for Drug Free Sport—as part of a revised substance abuse policy for its sprint car and late model series. Beginning in 2017, WoO will require drivers to participate in random testing for substances of abuse that could impair driving ability. Testing will be conducted without prior notification at various events throughout the season, and drivers found to be in violation will be subject to suspension….

Aeromotive and Waterman Racing Components announced a partnership that will allow both companies to incorporate their design experience and R&D. “The two companies will not be merged, but continue to be run autonomously,” explained Aeromotive President Steve Matusek. After 49 years of running Waterman Racing Components, president Sid Waterman will now serve as an advisor and consultant for Aeromotive in the joint venture….

And Kenny Nowling announced just before noon on the Show’s closing day that the reconstituted American Drag Racing League (ADRL) would be honoring payouts from its 2013 season that very afternoon. At times defiant, Nowling assured those in attendance that W9's would be mailed out and verified upon return for those drivers who were still owed money. As of press time, the eight-race 2017 ADRL Tour begins March 10-11 with the ADRL Sunshine Drags at a track TBD in Florida, and concludes November 3-4 with ADRL Dragstock XII at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Illinois.

* Motor-Rollers: PRI Showgoers watched throughout the week as students from across the country competed in the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow (HROT) Engine Challenge for the quickest time to disassemble and reassemble a small block Chevy engine. As they twisted, turned and bolted, Team Comp Cams, led by instructor Chris Overfelt, bested the competition with the fastest average time of 17 minutes and 43.3 seconds. Also of note was Team Fragola, which placed third and received the fastest perfect engine run time.

Speaking of HROT, the group also recently announced the addition of the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Junior Dragster Series. Backed by Trevor Wiggins from Comp Cams and three-time NHRA Top Fuel Champion Antron Brown, the Protect the Harvest Midwest Jr. Super Series is scheduled to hold nine events in 2017….

Meantime, Scott Harr of Dominick Racecar Fabrication only had to worry about transporting his new motor, as the fabricator from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, took home the grand prize—an 850-horsepower, high-performance Chevy LSX 454 race engine built by Nick Ferri of Patterson Elite Performance—in this year’s Sunnen Engine Charity Sweepstakes. As always, every penny raised through the raffle is donated to Victory Junction, a wonderful charity founded by NASCAR’s Petty family that allows children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses to attend camp year-round.

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Dan Schechner is the Editor of Performance Racing Industry Magazine.
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