Photo: Christopher DeHarde/Motorsports Tribune

2018 Performance Racing Industry – Thursday Notes

By Christopher DeHarde, Staff Writer

The 31st annual Performance Racing Industry trade show kicked off in Indianapolis on Thursday with the usual fanfare one would expected for the last motorsports event of the 2018 calendar year. Here’s some notes about happenings at the show on Thursday.

The opening breakfast featured Al Unser Sr. and Al Unser Jr. talking about their careers with the recently retired Dave Despain in front of a capacity crowd at the Sagamore Ballroom.

The first press conference of the show took place with NGK Spark Plugs/NTK Sensors announcing a sponsorship with NHRA Top Sportsman drag racer Don O’Neal. O’Neal revealed a new Chevrolet Camaro he will pilot. It will have NTK engine sensors and NGK spark plugs in the 427 LS engine with a Magnuson supercharger.

The Camaro has a two-sided paint scheme with the red of NGK on the left and the green of NTK on the right.

Bell Helmets hosted different drivers during the day at their booth including 2018 USF2000 and F3 Americas champion Kyle Kirkwood. Kirkwood recently tested a Pro Mazda car for Abel Motorsports at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. Also present at the Bell Helmets area but not on the microphone were IndyCar drivers Alexander Rossi and Conor Daly, IndyCar spotter Chris Wheeler and World of Outlaws sprint car driver Carson Macedo.

George Michael Steinbrenner IV was spotted at the show, his IndyCar team having announced a switch to Honda power for the 2019 IndyCar season. Colton Herta and Patricio O’Ward were also present at the morning breakfast.

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A 2012 graduate of LSU, Christopher DeHarde primarily focuses on the NTT IndyCar Series and the WeatherTech Sports Car Championship. DeHarde has actively covered motorsports since 2014.