Performance & Hotrod Business February '14

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"It seems like every sanctioning body and track under the sun is adding some class for Legal Pro Mod or Outlaw Pro Mod. With NHRA's recent announcement to continue the Pro Mod series and the addition of coverage on the Velocity Channel, Pro Mod is certainly a fan favorite. Who knows, maybe we will see it as the big show in the future." LaFleur and Schroeder both found reasons to be optimistic about drag racing's immediate future during conversations at the recent SEMA and AAPEX shows. "The excitement has started to come back to the performance industry," LaFleur believes. "That is a positive step for our market and we hope that this excitement continues through the off-season and we see this progress to all markets in our industry." Schroeder agrees. "At the 2013 SEMA Show and especially at the recent 2013 PRI Show, attendance was up, there was a lot of excitement for having a great 2014. Other factors that could make this a great year are where the stock market is at and the price of gasoline. Let's have great, positive attitudes and go forward." Patent Pending Maintaining Excitement All may not be rosy, however. Recent discussions have centered on a lack of rivalries and "drama" at the highest levels of professional drag racing. Could that ultimately trickle down and affect the local racers that speed shops and engine builders serve? "The economy has definitely affected the professional categories," agrees Jiffytite's LaFleur. "As far as that affecting the local racers, I really don't think this will have any effect. There is such a huge difference between the two that the local racers will be just fine." Aeromotive's Powell offers a philosophical look at the issue. "There are always economic factors that affect all hobby sports—the state of the economy, the cost of fuel, job market and car availability. But what might have the single biggest impact in recent years is really attendance and fan interest. Racing February 2014 PHBFEB.indd 25 n Performance & Hotrod Business n 25 1/3/14 12:05 PM

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