Let the shows begin, and the cost of going for a championship

The SEMA Show was held in Las Vegas Oct. 3-Nov. 2. Manufacturers from all over the world were there to show their "newest and trickest stuff." I have not been there but I know a lot of people who never miss it. They tell me of the outstanding project vehicles by an array of skilled fabricators. From the coverage I see of the event the real racing equipment takes a back seat to billet aluminum, chrome and the huge manufacturer's displays with custom and rare cars.

Next up is the PRI Show in Orlando, FL, Nov. 29-Dec 1. That is a huge show that racers like to get credentials to attend. It is a fun place to take the family with the entire Orlando/Disney atmosphere and great restaurants. It is about 80% pure auto racing companies. They mix is some go-karts, remote control cars and some crazy electronic controls companies for EFI and such.

Following the PRI Show the very next weekend is the newest boy on the block of performance shows, the Tony Stewart created IMIS Motorsport Show at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, December 6-8. This is the show for the hard-core racer who wants to find the latest and the greatest components. Fabrication suppliers and all sorts of wheel, brake, rear-end, chassis builders are there. They hold more technical seminars than one person could attend. Safety equipment for every type of motorsports and you will see more custom carburetors than you could imagine.

The PRI Show is a pretty tough ticket to get. You have to get credentials through a legitimate performance business. If you know a machine shop guy, a speed shop owner, car dealer, etc you can figure it out but it takes some effort. The IMIS Show is a lot more liberal in who can attend but if you are going to either event or even considering it just Google the show websites and get an Attendee Form filled out and sent in.

In my opinion the money spent to attend one of these huge shows actually saves me money in the end because of the information that is available. Got a question on your MSD? You can talk to Joe Pando, the MSD technical guru in person and get a straight answer, guaranteed. Same for just about every performance company in the country.

Now on to some other subjects:

If you follow drag racing and the different forums and websites you have noticed the sportsman world champions are starting to be named as the opportunity for their competition to earn points is just about over. The part of a sportsman world championship that has impressed me the most over the past six or eight years is the price of this championship or the price of chasing it for the guys that don't win it. Don't get me wrong, I have the utmost admiration of the people who make the commitment and have the funds to make a run at a national championship in the sportsman categories.

Take a brief look at what I think it costs them to make a sincere effort to be a sportsman world champion (actual costs may vary depending on parts breakage, etc). I suppose you need to pick a class first. Let's pick one of them that I have raced before as I have a "little bit" of an idea what a competitive car, etc. can cost to build, race and maintain. I have won a National event and a couple LODRS events but I knew my financial situation would never permit myself to make a serious run at a national title.