Motorsports has been a profit stream for many specialty-equipment companies for decades, from those that manufacture and sell parts for race cars and trucks to those that take advantage of the advertising opportunities the often large crowds of spectators at these venues present. SEMA Market Research recently published its 2008 Motorsports and Performance Report. Here are just a few highlights from the report:

  • Total manufacturer sales for the Racing niche reached $358 million in 2007, a 4% increase over 2006. The sales of performance parts across all nine specialty-equipment market niches—Light Truck, Off-Road, Street Performance, Racing, Restoration, Restyling, Street Rod & Custom, Compact Performance, and Other—reached $2.43 billion in 2007, up 44% in the last five years and up 72% from 1993.
  • The full-length report provides detailed performance-parts sales growth for each of the nine market niches. Manufacturer sales of performance parts for the light-truck market, for example, have grown a total of 33% since 2001, with a jump of 4.3% between 2006 and 2007.
  • Across the United States, there are 1,010 oval tracks, 776 dirt tracks, 238 paved tracks, 292 dragstrips and 76 road courses. This means that on any given weekend, there are potentially more than 100 racing events taking place across the country.
  • There are approximately 250 sanctioning bodies in the United States. They range from the local track groups that operate by applying the rules of a larger sanctioning body to the official umbrella sanction groups themselves.
  • The National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) has 80,000 members and 300,000 participants.  There are 140 member tracks which host more than 5,000 events each year. As with NASCAR, the NHRA has experienced significant growth in television viewership and event attendance. Scarborough Research, a market research service company, indicates that 32.5 million people, 14.5% of the United States population, have some interest in NHRA Drag Racing.
  • NHRA fans are very likely to be loyal to NHRA sponsors. For example, 88% indicate that they are likely to purchase NHRA sponsor products over non-sponsor products, according to a study by EventCorp Services Inc., a company that specializes in event market research.

Data from some of the larger and most recognizable sanctioning organizations, including fan demographics and buying preferences, are discussed throughout the pages of the full-length 2008 Motorsports and Performance Report.

The list of sanctioning bodies includes: NASCAR, NHRA, USAC, Grand-Am, SCCA, DHRA and the USHRA.

SEMA members can download their copy of the 2008 Motorsports and Performance Report by visiting or by e-mailing