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What's New at The Drag Racing List

February 23 - 29, 2000 -- Drag Racing Story of the Day! & Link updates. Let us know how you like the stories of the day. We are having a great time doing them! bp

February 22, 2000 -- Hi everyone! Danny White's hard work has produced brand new lists for 2000! Please check out the Drag Lists page to see what's new! 

I am proud to introduce our newest list of cars, which covers one of our oldest classes -- Gas Dragsters! These legendary racers had been orphaned into the Top Fuel and Alcohol Dragster lists for years (mainly because we young 'uns didn't experience them until Pro Comp in 1974). Now that we have been properly schooled, we have provided them their own place in the sun at Draglist.com As our newest list, we probably have many more holes and inaccuracies in the information, so Gas Dragster racers, have a look and set us straight! 

We also have made huge updates to our Heads Up Racing Calendar. Check it out for all the action this year! Special Thanks to Roger Warnock, who went around and gathered up several track schedules and emailed them to us. 

We are also debuting a new feature at Draglist.com -- our Draglist Drag Racing Story of the Day Are we crazy? The answer is a definite yes! But we are going to try this anyway. We are going to try to give you a brand new drag racing story every single day of the year! No, we haven't added any staff -- we are going to tack this on to our current duties. But for the most part, this great new feature will be pretty much "cut and paste." We have the privilege of corresponding daily with the greatest racers and fans in the world! This correspondence brings to light great drag racing memories, lovingly retold by dozens of drag racers and fans who put finger to keyboard and let the memories flow. I am just amazed at some of the great stuff that comes my way. Now I am going to share it with you. Our first story is a nice piece on Don Garlits by John Wilson. If you have any stuff you would like to see as a Draglist Drag Racing Story of the Day, send it to bilden@draglist.com

We still have dozens of columns to get in here by our intrepid columnists. That is the next big push we have to do. This includes great stuff by Bill O'Neal, Bret Kepner, Danny White, Doug Dornbos, James Morgan, Jim Hill, and Pete Millar. We are getting caught up slowly but surely!

An internal note: we finally got the Draglist Home Office completely wired into a LAN. Thanks to my best friend Sean Speer, who again came through in a crunch. This frees us up to share the internet and get more things done at the same time.

Got to grab some Zs! Catch you next time! Bill Pratt 

February 17, 2000 -- Hi everyone! Just a quick note to say we are still working on formatting the new info that Danny provided last weekend. We are trying to do it in the wee hours each weeknight, but time keeps running out! Worse comes to worse, we will publish the updates this long holiday weekend. We also have TONS of stories to upload! Thanks for your patience! Bill

February 15, 2000 -- Ray English's funeral services were nice last Friday. Here are the comments I read at the service, both mine and the notes sent from around the world. Thanks to all the fine folks to sent a note. Ray's wife Marie and her family really appreciated it.

Ray-Ray English just about did it all in life and in drag racing.

Ray-Ray was a good husband, father, grandfather, and a true drag racing fan. He never lost his love of the sport, although these days found him playing Johnny Lightning cars with his grandson Derek rather than traveling around on the drag racing tour.

In addition to Ray-Ray's roles as drag racing photographer, drag strip manager, film producer, and memorabilia dealer, he was a good friend to hundreds, as evidenced by the faces in this room today.

A straight shooter all the way, Ray didn't have a problem telling anyone exactly what he thought. He always meant what he said and said what he meant. But more often than not, people got to see Ray enjoying his greatest gift -- friendly conversation. Ray Ray could talk to anyone about anything, but especially about the wild days of drag racing's golden years.

It's hard to imagine an East Coast racer from the 60s, 70s, or even 80s who doesn't know "Ray-Ray." As a long time Super Stock and Drag Racing Illustrated photographer, he accompanied the magazine's writers on many zany adventures. Ray shot drag racing action at events from coast to coast for all three major sanctioning bodies. I count myself lucky to have heard the stories -- many in this room were lucky enough to actually be there.

Ray also managed Maryland International Raceway for Tod Mack, and in that capacity, coined one of drag racing's most enduring terms: "Mountain Motor" Pro Stock racing. Ray told of a late night session with Tod and Larry, searching for a name for their inaugural big motor Pro Stock race. He mentioned those big match race motors Southern racers were building down in the Carolina mountains. The "Mountain Motor Nationals" was born! This year marks the 22nd consecutive year for the race. "Mountain Motor" Pro Stock cars went on to become the mainstay of IHRA Pro Stock racing.

More recently, Ray was instrumental in organizing the annual USA-1 DragFest at Bruce Larson's house in Pennsylvania. Ray rallied and led the "southern contingent" of the DragFest -- a large group of racers and fans from D.C., Virginia, and Maryland who traveled north to the first two events. Ray had already begun to call people for this year's event on April 15.

We will attend that event at Larson's, just as we will go about our daily lives. But neither one will be quite as much fun without our friend Ray-Ray. - Bill Pratt

No one could make you smile, or drive you bonkers like Ray. He was an absolutely unique individual. We have gone past the era of the ‘Do It' guys in Drag Racing. Today we see analyzers rather than doers, lost boys who hire consultants to "communicate with the racers." Ray was a doer. He could talk with anyone. Raise a cup of something nice; drink one last one with Brother Ray-Ray. I am shocked and very sad. I can't believe I will never see him again, never again get my dose of "Rayality." - Norman Hechtkoff

I'm real sorry to hear about Ray-Ray. My deepest sympathies. - "Doc" Laura

It's always a shock to hear this kind of news. I had only known Ray for about 10 years and always had fun when he was around. - Ken Mann

Goodbye to a friend and a great ambassador for Drag Racing past and present. GODSPEED Ray-Ray! - Matt Stambaugh, Rick "Surf" Stambaugh

I spent many days with Ray, and he was a fine person. He'll be missed. - Greg Zyla

I am aware of Ray English and his great contributions to the Sport, even though I never had a chance to meet him. Please pass on my thoughts to his family at this time of great loss. May he Rest in Peace. - Steve Bettes - Australia

I AM SORRY THAT WE CAN NOT MAKE IT TO THE SERVICES, PLEASE GIVE OUR CONDOLENCES TO THE FAMILY. IT IS WITH GREAT SORROW THAT WE SEE ANOTHER ONE OF OUR GROUP PASS ON. OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS ARE WITH THEM. - BOOMER

I am really saddened by Ray's death. I'm going to have a hard time dealing with this. Ray was someone I could talk to about a lot of things, not just racing. - Tommy Purdy

Sorry to learn about Ray-Ray. - Dave Wallace

Let me add this note of condolence on the passing of Ray-Ray. I never really 'knew' him but I know that our paths crossed at times. So sorry for the loss of your friend. You have my sympathies... - Bruce Wheeler

I'll never forget the good times I had with Ray-Ray and Woody Hatten. My sympathies to his family and friends. - Jay Radabaugh

The toughest part of growing older is watching your dear friends pass on. I'll surely miss double Ray and his straight-shootin' focus on the sport he knew so well. I can't tell you how many times he'd call to stir me up about some ridiculous thing NHRA was doing (or not doing) to the racers. Of course, he certainly lived for the rumors and the excitement they invariably caused.

It is hard not to think of Woody Hatten when you think about Ray. Now there'll be two empty spaces in my heart from the D.C. contingent. - Neil Britt

Site updates! Danny has been bustin' hump to get all the updates into the lists. I downloaded HUNDREDS of them over the weekend. I have them merged into the master lists. I just need to output the reports and put them on the site. Look for that tomorrow night! Bill

February 11, 2000 -- We had a nice turnout for Ray's visitations tonight. Tons of flowers, lots of tears and hugs, and a veritable who's who of mid-Atlantic region drag racers of all eras showing up to pay their respects. 

Ray's funeral will take place tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. at the Huntt Funeral Home, 3035 Old Washington Road, Waldorf, Maryland (phone 301-843-6193). Following the burial, a reception will take place at the Brandywine Fire House, 14201 Brandywine Road, Brandywine, Maryland (phone 301-372-8507).

The family asks that each guest bring one or two covered dishes to the reception in lieu of sending flowers or money.

Please join us to remember Ray-Ray's life and to bid him a fond farewell. bp

February 10, 2000 -- We have been getting terrific responses from all over the globe about Ray-Ray English. I visited with Marie for a few hours tonight. She was very grateful for all the kind words. I will read a eulogy on Friday. As part of that, I will read all the nice comments we have received about Ray. 

The family and friends of Ray-Ray English will host a reception immediately following his funeral and burial services on Friday, February 11.

The reception will take place at the Brandywine Fire House, located at 14201 Brandywine Road, Brandywine, Maryland (phone 301-372-8507).

The family asks that each guest bring one or two covered dishes to the reception in lieu of sending flowers or money.

Please join us to remember Ray-Ray's life and to bid him a fond farewell.

(Visitations and the funeral will be held at the Huntt Funeral Home, 3035 Old Washington Road, Waldorf, MD 20601 (phone 301-843-6193). Visitations will take place on Thursday, February 10, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The funeral will take place on Friday, February 11, at 11:00 a.m.)

Please call if we can be of any assistance.

Bill and Denise Pratt
704-714-3279 days
301-885-2249 nights

February 9, 2000 -- Here is the official obituary for my friend Ray English. If you are near the D.C. area on Thursday or Friday, I hope you can come to help send off our friend. bp

WALDORF, MD - It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Raymond "Ray-Ray" English. Ray died of a sudden heart attack on February 6th. He was 55. Ray was a long time drag racing photographer, drag strip manager, drag racing film producer, memorabilia dealer, and good friend to hundreds. As track manager of Maryland International Raceway, Ray coined the term "Mountain Motor" Pro Stock cars. The term became a common expression all over the world, and the race he named -- the Mountain Motor Nationals -- enters its 22nd season at MIR. Ray leaves behind his wife Marie, his son Robert and daughter-in-law Debra, his grandchildren Derek and Taylor, his mother Margaret English, his sister Selma Doctrow, his nephews David and Erik Doctrow and Jerry Dale Grinder, and his great niece Sabrina Doctrow. Viewings and the funeral will be held at the Huntt Funeral Home, 3035 Old Washington Road, Waldorf, MD 20601 (phone 301-843-6193). The viewings will take place on Thursday, February 10, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. The funeral will take place on Friday, February 11, at 11:00 a.m. 

Please call if I can be of any assistance.

Bill Pratt
704-714-3279 days
301-885-2249 nights

February 6, 2000 -- So long, Ray-Ray. Drag racing photographer, drag strip manager, nostalgia drag racing film producer, drag racing memorabilia dealer, and my good friend, Raymond "Ray Ray" English passed away this morning at a hospital near his home in Maryland. Further details, including funeral arrangements, will be forthcoming as they become available.

Ray English was a good man and a true drag fan. A straight shooter all the way, Ray didn't have a problem telling anyone exactly what he thought. He was a lot of fun to talk to and a real character. Ray and I became close over the past several years, working together on his series of "Drag Racing Yesteryear" nostalgia drag racing videos. We were just about to begin selling his vast collection of drag racing memorabilia on eBay.

Ray, along with Dave Heisey, Joel Naprstek, and others, was instrumental in organizing the annual USA-1 DragFest at Bruce Larson's Stoney Creek Barn. Ray rallied and led the "southern contingent" of the DragFest -- a large group of racers and fans from D.C., Virginia, and Maryland who traveled north to the first two events. Ray had already begun soliciting participation for this year's event, scheduled for April 15.

It's hard to imagine an East Coast racer from the 60s or 70s who doesn't know "Ray-Ray." He was a long time Super Stock and Drag Racing Illustrated photographer and accompanied the magazine's writers on many zany adventures. Ray shot drag racing action at events from coast to coast in all three major sanctioning bodies.

Ray also managed Maryland International Raceway for Tod Mack, and in that capacity, coined one of drag racing's most enduring terms: "Mountain Motor" Pro Stock racing. During a late night session searching for a name for their inaugural big motor Pro Stock race, Ray talked about those big match race motors being built down in the mountains of the Carolinas. The "Mountain Motor Nationals" was born and in 2000, the race enters it's 22nd consecutive year at MIR. Of course, Mountain Motor Pro Stock cars became the mainstay of the IHRA version of Pro Stock racing.

I will send a more official press release tomorrow after talking further with Ray's family.

RIP, buddy. Bill 

A few words about Raymond from Norman Hechtkoff:

No one could make you smile, or drive you bonkers as well as Ray. He could put you through some serious changes while he decided if he trusted you. He was an absolutely unique individual. He had great stories; pity is, many are surely gone with him. We have gone past the era of the Do It guys in Drag Racing. Today we see know nothings in charge, analyzers rather than doers, lost boys who hire consultants to "communicate with the racers." Ray was a doer. He could talk with anyone. Raise a cup of something nice, drink one last one with Brother Ray-Ray.

Bill, I am shocked and very sad. I can't believe I will never see him again, never again get my dose of "Rayality." Norman

February 5, 2000 -- Hi folks! Just a quick Friday night update. Nothing much new on the site, except we've added the 2000 IHRA events on the Heads Up Drag Racing Calendar. I have a big weekend ahead of me! Danny, too! He is working hard to finish the 2,500 emails I sent him two weeks ago! The list updates should be ready by next weekend. I went on a "free utility shopping spree" on the internet today. I found a TON of great stuff! I have been wanting to find a way to publish all the neat press releases I get here at Draglist.com. I think I have that solution now, in addition to some other fun stuff. Look out for coolness coming soon! In a further attempt to catch up after my Y2K-laden 1999, I answered 134 guestbook entries we received from mid 1999 to present. I may be slow, but EVERYBODY gets a personal reply! OK, enough silliness. I'm gonna go crash. Talk to you after the weekend... Bill

February 1, 2000 -- Holy cow, where that THAT month go? Hi, everyone! We have been turnin' and burnin' here at Draglist.com! Lots of good stuff is going on and we are starting to feel REAL good about things! My good friend Sean Speer came over Saturday night and helped me get the computer back in shape. We pulled out the ailing D: drive and I will ship it off for a hopeful recovery this week.  We had to reload Windows 98 to get the computer to stop locking up. It has been SHEER BLISS to be able to work for two day straight without the computer locking up on me every 30 minutes! 

Yes, I did say TWO days straight since Saturday. The reason? We got ICED IN today after our nice snowfall of last week! A nice crystal clear inch of ice covered everything today and prevented any serious attempts at leaving the neighborhood. That gave me another day of GETTING BUSY on the site. 

Here is what we have going on: I have sent Danny White about 2,500 EMAIL updates(!) that he is busily getting put into the lists down there in Texas! He says he is about half finished with them. When he gets them in, I will get them up on the web. What an amazing change it will make to the lists. Danny says: I have P/M left to update to 2000. I still have 75 percent of the second updates, the funny car stuff you sent, and the newest 2000 stuff. I don't know about a update this weekend, but the next will be a likely goal! Danny

We have updated the Heads Up Racing Calendar, adding some neat features! We added links to the Chasin Racin Race Track Locator and to MapQuest! Now, racers can find the event they want to attend on our schedule, then they can find the track address on the Race Track Locator, THEN they can plot their trip on MapQuest! As one of the most navigationally-challenged folks you will ever meet (yes, it is WELL documented), MapQuest has been a Godsend for me. I hope you like it, too. Oh yes, we added the NHRA TV schedule to the Heads UP Calendar as well. If you have any event you want to add to either schedule, drop me a line at bilden@draglist.com

We added two new features by Doug Dornbos. Well, ONE new feature and an old one that Bill never got around to loading last year! Doug provided photos of his experiences at the IHRA Northern Nationals last year, but I have just posted them. Check them out! Doug also has some neat ideas for how to run an unlimited Top Eliminator category in drag racing. He promises more details, but he has provided some fascinating early thoughts. Check both features out at Dornbos Reviews...

We added dozens of new Draglist (and lost a few as well). It might seem like we stay stagnant in our number of links. Actually, with over 5,000 links on our site, we lose quite a few through attrition. At least 20 to 30 sites fall off the Draglist Links every week! We hurriedly replace them with new links we find, but it's tough to keep ahead of the curve sometimes! We also have updated our drllinks.htm page to make it a "HOW TO USE THE DRAGLIST LINKS" page. 

A BIG achievement was putting our Match Race Madness game back online! We have been sending it to folks via email for about 14 months because the number of downloads were not appreciated by our former hosting service. I spent about five hours sending emails off and on Sunday (while watching one of the best Super Bowls in recent memory). That's about enough of that! I also created detailed HOW TO DOWNLOAD and HOW TO PLAY pages for my venerable little game. They include lots of tips and tricks. If you haven't tried MRM, give it a shot! It's in no way a Tantrum or Burnout, but it's a great deal for free! Go to the Free Stuff page to check it out. 

By the way, we moved the Free Shirts winners to their own page. Denise will begin sending the shirts tomorrow! We couldn't do it in all the ice and snow...

Thanks to everyone who participated in our inaugural Draglist poll! I got some FASCINATING numbers out of that! Did you look at it? An unbelievable 66 percent of our readers are actual racers! That includes 41 percent sportsman racers! Now I feel like a REAL heel that I can't chase down numbers in those classes. I want to say this again -- I will run the information on ANYONE who sends it to me. While Danny and I are spread a little too thin to capture all the tens of thousands of sportsman and bracket racers out there, we CERTAINLY will find a place for you at Draglist.com if you fill out our ENTRY FORM

Now it's February and that brings a NEW SURVEY! We want to know what racers think about buying speed parts and general auto parts online. Do you think you would do it? Yes? No? Why do you feel the way you do about it? PLEASE fill out the survey on our HOME PAGE and let us know what you think! If there is a demand for it, maybe one day soon The Drag Racing List will have hundreds of thousands of things to list... 

We also made several dozen changes to the navigation of the website, making sure the page titles were right and that the internal HTML was right. It's time consuming, but unfortunately, the changes are not as obvious. 

COMING UP NEXT: Lots of stories by Jim Hill and many others as the Hill Files and Quick Quotes sections are up for MASSIVE updates! I have tons of stories for both sections in my inbox. I just need to get them up here! We also have some new entries for our Desperately Seeking area. I will upload them in my next burst. And last, but CERTAINLY not least, Denise has created 57 new Team Draglist pages! We are undergoing final updates on them and we will load them to the web very soon! 

OK, that's the extent of my usefulness for tonight. I'm going to spell check this and fire it off to the server! See you soon!!! Bill

 

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