Tis the off season in drag racing, and that means that PRI (Performance Racing Industry) show is this week. It is by far the most important industry show for drag racing, and motosports in general.
Every year around this time Indianapolis fills with motorsports professionals, companies, racers, and fans. The Indiana Convention center fills to the brim with parts, pieces, and people. This has always been a must attend event for most within our industry, and as our boss Ellen says “it’s the best race of the year”. You get to see all your racing friends, and no one is breaking anything, apart from your wallet.
There are parties, meetings, conferences, product announcements, awards ceremonies, and so much more. The doors will open this Thursday morning and you will literally have to spend all of your three days walking if you are going to see everything there is to see. There are some things that you need to know before you head to Indy for the event though. Assuming you already have your credentials, let’s highlight some must do and some well needed information.
Now if you are lucky enough to have a hotel that is connected to the convention center, you never have to go outside, which based on this weekend’s weather is most likely a good idea unless you are from the Midwest. It is not going to be warm out. That is certainly something that you will have to take into consideration when you are finding a place to park. You may want to investigate staying at a hotel with a shuttle service to the Convention Center. If you are not a hotel with shuttle service, you need to seriously consider looking into getting an Uber or Lyft and avoid taking your own car downtown. This way you will get dropped off right at an entrance and not have to find a parking spot or walk in the cold.
If you are going to bring your own car downtown, the first thing we can suggest is to get there early in the morning. It will be much easier to find a decent parking spot. With that said, make sure that you are locking your car and not leaving anything in your car. There are plenty of parking areas in the area, and if the weather is decent, the walk isn’t terrible. Remember though, if you are staying until the end of the day, it will most likely be dark or close to dark when you are walking to your car. Just another reason that taking an Uber or Lyft might be a better option. There is a coat check at the Convention Center, and I suggest using it. The building seems to get really warm with that many people in there. I have made the mistake of wearing warm clothes to go to the show, only to be sweating like a turkey on Thanksgiving within an hour of being there. So make sure that you are not only good for the weather outside, but also the temperature inside.
What should you do while in Indy though? If you haven’t made a reservation at some of the big-name restaurants downtown by now, you are pretty much ass out unless you are going to eat dinner at 9 pm. There are some great places to eat in the area. I have found that the food at the Convention Center is a tad below average at best. Since the mall is connected to the Convention Center, you can head over there to eat, and it’s cheaper, better food than what you will get at the Convention Center. As far as the nightlife goes, Thursday night you must be at Blu Lounge. Our friends over at Drag Illustrated are once again hosting their afterhours party, which is presented to Dodge. It’s a who’s who in the drag racing world. Get there early though, as it will get mighty busy and might crowded.
Friday night first and foremost is the NMCA & NMRA awards banquet. Both series are two of the longest running series in the country and produce great events. Friday night is also an opportunity for sit down meetings, dinner, bars, etc. So my suggestion is always try and make the most of your Friday night, as most people aren’t going to still be around come Saturday night. That brings up Saturday as well. Saturday is the last day of the event, and you can bet at 4pm they are shoving people out the doors, rolling up the carpets, and getting everything moved out. Plan on getting everything you need done on Saturday by no later than 3pm as people are wanting to get packed up immediately.
Basic Show Information:
Thursday 12/6/18 Hours 9-5
Friday 12/7/18 Hours 9-5
Saturday 12/8/18 Hours 9-4
Lucas Oil Stadium, which is next door, has the same hours except for opening time. They open the doors at 8am each day.
100 S Capitol Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46225