A Packed Week for MPMC at the PRI Show

SEMA Member News—March/April 2014

A Packed Week for MPMC at the PRI Show

The Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) made the most of the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Show in Indianapolis during December, gathering together some of the motorsports industry’s leading manufacturers. The day before the show officially opened, attendees had the opportunity to meet face to face with MPMC-member manufacturers for an education day packed with workshops on installations, new products, marketing, selling techniques and tips for running a successful high-performance business.

MPMC honored the late Earl Gaerte with induction into its Hall of Fame. Gaerte’s son, Joe (center), and daughter, Brenda, accepted the award.
MPMC honored the late Earl Gaerte with induction into its Hall of Fame. Gaerte’s son, Joe (center), and daughter, Brenda, accepted the award.

Three one-hour seminars ran concurrently throughout the day. The free events also gave attendees a unique opportunity to network and build relationships with industry leaders and peers.

“MPMC had quite a full week at PRI this year, with three events in as many days,” said Chair Vic Wood. “We staged our first manufacturer education day on Wednesday, with 14 manufacturers presenting seminars. While attendance was spotty over the course of the day, everyone involved believes in the concept, and we’re looking forward to next year’s event.”

Special thanks to all of the companies that presented at MPMC’s education day:

  • COMP Cams
  • Flaming River Industries
  • Flowmaster
  • Hedman Performance Group
  • Jiffy-tite Company
  • Joe Gibbs Driven/Driven Racing Oil
  • Lunati
  • Mahle
  • MSD Ignition
  • Painless Performance
  • Quarter Master
  • Ron Francis Wiring
  • Trend Performance/Diamond Racing
  • Turbosmart USA

Dennis Overholser (left) and Adrian Murray of Painless Performance Products attended the Hall of Fame Breakfast, where Overholser was honored.
Dennis Overholser (left) and Adrian Murray of Painless Performance Products attended the Hall of Fame Breakfast, where Overholser was honored.

On Thursday, the council kept its momentum as members gathered again in the Indiana Convention Center for a drag-racing roundtable discussion. Rather than focusing on rules, regulations or classes, the panelists spoke about the non-racing factors that influence the health of a sanctioning body: insurance, environmental issues, return on investment, the “graying” of the sport, social media and more. Moderated by Alan Reinhart, the panel included Scott Gardner of IHRA Motorsports, Peter Biondo of Spring Fling, Steve Wolcott of NMRA and Mel Roth of PSCA.

“We brought representatives from four of the more popular drag-racing organizations together in one room to talk to PRI attendees about the various issues that make it challenging for them to ‘keep the gates open,’” Wood said. “It was a unique gathering of well-known industry professionals, which has become a trademark of this annual presentation.”

Bob Ritzman (left) of McLeod Racing accepted his Hall of Fame award from MPMC Chair Vic Wood.
Bob Ritzman (left) of McLeod Racing accepted his Hall of Fame award from MPMC Chair Vic Wood.

 

   

On Friday of the PRI Show, council members networked and celebrated the industry before heading off to the show floor for another day of business. MPMC leadership paused to honor a few individuals whose life and work have made a significant impact on the motorsports industry, as they inducted Bob Ritzman, Dennis Overholser and the late Earl Gaerte into the MPMC Hall of Fame. Ritzman and Overholser were highly involved in council leadership during their careers. While Gaerte’s business precluded his actual membership in MPMC, most agree that without his influence the council might never have been formed.

Each year, MPMC takes nominations from the general membership for its Hall of Fame, which was founded in 2010. The honor recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to the motorsports manufacturing segment of the aftermarket and/or the MPMC. There are many people who deserve recognition in the Hall of Fame, but first they must be nominated. The nomination process has moved online and will open again this summer. A special task force comprised of sitting MPMC Hall of Fame members as well as the MPMC chair and chair-elect and sometimes MPMC members at large evaluates each of the nominations using the same procedures as used for induction into the SEMA Hall of Fame.

To celebrate a successful Show and offer additional networking opportunities, SEMA hosted a reception at Indiana’s oldest bar, the Slippery Noodle Inn, on Friday evening. Council and network members joined SEMA staff and exhibitors for hors d’ oeuvres and drinks after an eventful week.

For Wood, a successful 2013 PRI Show only makes the future more exciting.

“I am especially proud to have served the council over the past four years and to have been part of building the relationship between MPMC and PRI,” he said. “We’ve really found a home at the PRI Show.”

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