Monday, January 16, 2017

Sprint Cars at the 2016 PRI show
part one 


The 2016 Performance Racing Industry (PRI) trade show held in Indianapolis featured all forms of racing, but the author was particularly interested in the midget and sprint cars on display.  
This J & J winged sprint car chassis was on display at the Champion Brands booth. Just days before the PRI show the company announced the Champion 2017 "Elite Racer” Program in conjunction with Lane Automotive; it will be a marketing program designed to link Champion racing and performance lubricants directly to regional and national racers for most sanctioned racing events in North America including the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), All Star Circuit of Champions (ASCoC), American Sprint Car Series (ASCS), World of Outlaws (WoO), and the United States Auto Club (USAC).
Here is a winged sprint car at the Superflow booth set up on the SuperFlow SF-832 two wheel drive chassis dynamometer. In 2016, Superflow sponsored Ryan Giles, who finished second in the 2016 the Knoxville Championship Cup Series for 360-cubic inch winged sprint cars.

The Shepherd Insurance booth featured Tyler ‘Sunshine” Courtney’s Topp Industries sponsored #23c non-winged sprint car which will compete in the USAC (United States Auto Club) national sprint car series in 2017. Shepherd Insurance’s father and son team of race team owners Tom and Jeff Johnson specialize in motorsports insurance tailored for the racer.

The Butlerbuilt Professional Seat Systems booth featured the company’s front axle kingpin-to-kingpin tether system designed to contain the front axle of a sprint car in a crash and can withstand a 100-G impact. The system shown at PRI was installed on a DMI axle, but it can be used on all sizes of axles and is lightweight and easy to install with titanium hardware available for the super-weight conscious racer.
The Eagle Motorsports Inc. (SMI) booth featured the actual EMI sprint car chassis that Robert Ballou was driving when he crashed at Calistoga Speedway in September and broke his neck. The point of the display was to urge drivers to check the clearance inside the cage considering that belts and the human body can stretch up to 2 inches in a high-G crash. Ballou still wearing his neck brace was on hand and explained that during the flip his car did not hit anything besides the track surface and more telling that at the time of his crash he had some taller cage chassis on order.

Davey Hamilton Junior won both the 2016 King of the Wing Orchex Western Sprintcar Series and the 2016 Royal Purple King of the Wing National Sprintcar Series. The booth for MPD Racing Wheels which has manufactured the highest quality Sprint Car and Midget products for over 30 years had Hamilton’s Terry Klatt-owned #1 winged pavement sprint car on display

In the coming weeks, we will continue our coverage of midgets and sprint cars shown at the 2016 PRI show.

All photos by the author

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