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What's New at The Drag Racing List

March 29, 1999 -- Wow! We've been gone a while! The workload at the day job is not settling down yet. Except for another totally entertaining day at Bruce Larson's place, I have worked every day for two weeks, including Sundays. I owe so many people so many things, that I may never catch up!

I will do new links tomorrow night. There is no way I'll get to them tonight (or should I say, this morning). I also have two great new video tapes to sell. I may get those onto the Race Place page tonight, but these great tapes deserve fuller explanations than they will get tonight. I have FINALLY found some good looking and fully featured banner advertising packages, so advertisers, I will be in touch shortly. I am down to the best two or three and I am posing hard questions to the programmers of those systems.

I also have the story from Bruce Larson's to do, including an exclusive interview with Bruce. And while I was there, I hooked up with old pal Jack Redd, former editor of Eastern Drag News. We are going to work hard on getting Jack up here on Draglist.com to thrill us with stories of yesteryear, Eastern style! I am proud to say Draglist.com is "Jack Approved," and we will proudly show that banner soon!

We also have some decals being made, which is very exciting. Rydin Decals is doing them for us and if all goes as planned, you may see some on a professional race car that the fans just FLIPPED OVER at Phoenix!

We also have been talking to our dear friends in Australia, Victor Bray and John Syrmis. It looks like I will get the privilege of representing America this June at the 1999 Konica Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway! This has been a life long dream for me and I am totally walking on air over it! I will provide MUCH more info as the date arrives! P.S. - Congratulations to Victor Bray on his third straight Australian Top Doorslammer title! No one else has ever won this title except Victor! Go, mate!

Now, let me say a thing or two about what we HAVE done to the site. We added three new buttons on the front page: one to contain our "Welcome" text, one to more clearly show people where the New info is (just saying "Daily Update" is not really clear enough). The THIRD new button is going to be really fun! I got this brainstorm about four months ago, but it took me this long to figure out what I wanted to do! I've been wanting to have a contest at Draglist.com where I could give away some cool stuff each month. I thought about trivia. I thought about having people try to dig obscure facts out of the lists. But then it hit me -- why can't I give away cool stuff but get come cool stuff myself? Namely, HARD CORE DRAG RACING INFO! I need all the help I can get with this site. There are so many thousands of racing teams that ran for so many dozens of years, that I wonder if I will ever get close to listing them all. That's where YOU come in, and you can win some cool T-Shirts for your efforts! Please click on BUTTON NUMBER THREE -- FREE STUFF for all the details! I also put the free Match Race Madness computer game on that page (we've sent 450 of them since Thanksgiving!) What, you don't have yours yet? Click on the THIRD BUTTON!!!

Oh yeah! One more thing: we have a new SEARCH PAGE! The Pinpoint Search engine we were using was good. It gave us a lot of service, and it was free, which was nice. But it was not terribly detail-oriented. If you entered "The Mob" (hoping to find info on the great fuel altered/fueler team), you would get EVERY page that had "The" in it in addition to every page that had "Mob" in it! And by the way, it was not sorted by relevance. NOW, we have stepped up to the famous Excite technology for our on-site search engine. Searches are easier than ever, and incredibly detailed. There are two options for searches: "words describing a concept" or "keywords you wish to find information about." Both options worked great and sorted the results by relevance. I prefer the Keyword option. Try them both and let me know what you think! (NOTE - 3/08/2000 -- we have returned to the tried and true Pinpoint service for the time being. bp)

Got to run. It's already 1:47am and I have lots more to do... See ya! bp/drl

March 15, 1999 -- Hi everyone. We got the Draglist Links updated and we rearranged the site a little bit today. I reduced the size of the lettering on top of each page (to help those with 14 inch monitors see better). I did an analysis of which pages got the most hits, and I rearranged the buttons so that the most popular pages were on top. I also concluded our brief experiment with the AdCast system for the time being. What did you think of the banner at the bottom of the site? Did it bum you out or could you deal with it? I ask because it may return. But the AdCast folks have a little more work to do before we bring it back. While it was on track to make us a few hundred dollars a month, it seemed to interfere with the smooth operation of the pages. I won't compromise the quality of this site (to the extent I can control it).

The problem, for you tech-ies, is that AdCast needed to be resident within the <head> boundaries of the HTML page. Our web editor, Microsoft FrontPage98, took exception to anything being in "its" <head> section of the HTML and kicked the AdCast code down into the remainder of the page when we published it. That caused AdCast not to work and it slowed the pages way down. In fact, if you were unlucky enough to log in a few times today, you saw a 1998 version of the site with a totally different design. I don't know how that happened -- the interesting thing is that it only happened with Microsoft Internet Explorer. Netscape saw the new changes, but locked up. Neither situation was one we could tolerate. For now, we are clean and mean and have only our rock-solid friends from wheel2wheel.com as advertisers. As soon as I can nail down a good banner rotation package, I will offer some ad space on all the pages. Until then, this funny car remains independent!

In other news, there are two incredibly exciting developments on the horizon for our humble little site and for me personally. I've hinted about one of them in the past. The other is a total surprise. I will be relaying details on these events very soon. Until then, SEE YA! bp/drl

March 11, 1999 -- Danny sent the rest of the story from the NSCA race at Red River and we have the entire thing published at Danny's Corner. We also totally reformatted and updated our Draglist Links page. We think it's a lot easier to use now. Try it and let us know what you think! Also, you probably couldn't help but notice the banner ad at the bottom of the page as you go through Draglist.com site. We have signed up with AdCast. Notice the red music icon to the right of the banner. You can click that and hear MIDI music as you browse Draglist.com. I didn't turn it on automatically because some people don't prefer it. The advertising will help us grow the site and keep going. Draglist.com readers downloaded almost FOUR GIGABYTES of data from the site last month. Our data transfer "overage" rates are starting to go through the roof. The advertising will cover these for us. One thing I am adamant about, however, is that the advertising does not interfere with your ability to scroll through the site as quickly as you did previously. Please email me immediately if you have any problems with the banner at the bottom of the page. Having our costs covered is not important if we are not serving our customers properly. The new Quick Quotes section is getting a lot of attention and I have dozens more great bench racing stories to upload. I'm out of time today, but hang in there for more this weekend! Talk to you soon! bp/drl

March 9, 1999 -- Danny White spent the weekend at beautiful Red River Raceway in Gilliam, Louisiana, where the National Street Car Association held a super Pro Mod/Street Legal Doorslammer slugfest. Read all about it at Danny's Corner! More Quick Quotes and Updated Links tomorrow! bp/drl

March 7 & 8, 1999 -- We have two great new features at Draglist.com! First, Crane Cams engineer Jim Hill joins us for fascinating studies of the history of drag racing technology at The Hill Files. Next, we have published the BEST quotes, notes, memories, and tall tales from the sport's most interesting personalities at Quick Quotes. I predict both these pages will become MUST READ areas! There are dozens of great new stories in both sections. Check them out!

Hello to all my friends from all the Southern Maryland Cub Scout packs. I was privileged to announce at their regional finals Saturday morning. It was a lot of fun! Thanks for having me and I hope you kids had a good time. See ya next year! bp/drl

March 3, 4, & 6, 1999 -- Lots of new events on the Event Calendar! bp/drl

March 1 & 2, 1999 -- Links to the WORLD!

Hi. We added dozens of new links Sunday and killed a few more expired ones. A sad goodbye to Performance Cars of the Internet, whose webmaster took down the site because he could no longer keep up with the work. That was one heck of a site, with photos of cars from all over the world. Well, WE are not going anywhere. You can depend on that.

Thanks and a tip 'o the hat to Wheel2Wheel.com, a great drag racing classifieds site. We have established a gentleman's agreement with them to cross-promote our sites. Check them out for some great deals (or if YOU have anything to sell). Wheel2Wheel.com has Classifieds for Race Cars, Trailers and Haulers. They feature FREE parts ads. Wheel2Wheel.com is offering $5 off for anyone who says they saw them up here on Draglist.com! They say Lou Gasparelli is VERY pleased with the parts he has been able to move since putting an ad up there.

I also want to congratulate Tony and Don Schumacher and the Exide Batteries team for their historic 330 mph run at Phoenix yesterday. The world is not READY for Gainesville! Let's not forget the outstanding run by online TAFC pal Lyle Greenberg! His 5.84 is a fantastic career best. On a sad note, they put some rods out the side while doing it and will have to park it for a while. Sponsors?

Be sure to send us your events to bilden@draglist.com for our new Event Calendar! More later! bp/drl

February 28, 1999 -- Race Event Calendar and More!

Hi everyone. We have created our new heads up drag race event calendar! Check it out! We have events from Beaver Springs, Mission, MIR, Moroso, and Norwalk so far. We want to list ALL heads-up drag races from around the world! Send us your info in an email to Racing Events. Please try to keep your format as close to our page as possible to help us get your info up sooner.

Today I went through all the pages, removing unnecessary graphics and making the text smaller. I did this to make the site load more quickly.

I am almost ready to start advertising on Draglist.com! I hope you won't find it too intrusive. I have been getting calls from racing businesses for over a year now, and I finally am ready to offer this service to them. (I won't complain about having our computer and internet expenses offset)... Our first major advertiser should show up within a week as a banner at the bottom of the page. ADVERTISERS! I just ran a WebTrends analysis on www.draglist.com last night. For the past six months, we have averaged 606 visitors a day through the front door. Once inside Draglist.com, our visitors made an average of 2,300 page hits a day! In addition, our visitors spent an average of 15 minutes browsing through our site. If you feel these numbers would support your program, send me an email and let's talk!

Bret Kepner has begun his day-to-day oversight of Draglist.com by spending HOURS combing through all the lists the other night. He found HUNDREDS of items that needed to be updated. And for those of you who know Bret, he informed Danny and myself of the needed changes in a most colorful manner! I've said it before, but Bret's impact to the site will be dramatic! We are working out the details of how to transfer the updates from St. Louis to Washington. Once we do...LOOK OUT!

Gotta run. I will try to do more tomorrow. Talk soon! bp/drl

February 22, 1999 -- We are Updated for '99!

Hi everyone. Danny had the 1999 info ready a week ago, but my schedule didn't allow me to get 'em in here until now. We have all the updates from Pomona and early season testing in the Drag Racing Lists! We also have lots of updates of our old info. We (finally) broke Pro Stock Truck into its own category (guess they are here to stay!) There are new alpha and all-time quickest ET lists for the truckers at the LISTS page. I also totally updated the Draglist Links. Man, breaking those things into 58 categories just about increased the time it takes to do them by 58 times! I need to find a better way, but for now, we spent several hours Sunday weeding out dead links and adding dozens of new ones.

As you can see, we still haven't broken the lists down into separate years. I am still going to do it, but I don't want to hold up any info while I do. For that reason, we have all our lists updated in the old format. The problem is, many of them have surpassed a megabyte in size (that's mighty big for an ASCII file!) I hate to have people downloading a whole meg of data just to see one racer name. I am committed to making the lists smaller -- I've had a few unsuccessful tries, but I have some new ideas for how to automate it.

I've been up about 22 hours, so I am gonna cut this short. I have to grab some sleep before work. I will be talking to ya! We have lots of neat new things coming soon! bp/drl

February 7, 1999 -- The 1999 Season is Underway!

Well, I am as bummed as anyone about the rainout in the finals at Pomona, but isn't it great to be racing again? Congrats to the Jeg's Automotive team for putting both cars into the final round at the Winters. The two Top Fuel finalists are looking great with 4.54s each, and COME ON GARY DENSHAM! Good luck in the final as you continue to giant-slay all the high dollar teams. I like Tony Pedregon, but Gary Densham is DUE!!! Check out the first Danny's Corner article of 1999. Danny writes about some unique racing machines -- six second, 200 mph small block doorslammers! In addition, we have updated all the Draglist Links. I am still working on breaking all the lists into separate years, but we will not hold up Pomona coverage for that. We will have all the updated racers and times from the Winternationals next weekend, regardless of whether or not we get our format updated. See you then! bp/drl

February 6, 1999 -- Checking in...

Hi everyone. Just checking in quickly. I've been coming home from work after midnight every night, so you can well imagine our site reformatting plans are still going very slowly. Danny will provide complete 1999 updates right after Pomona, so whether or not I am ready to implement the "separate years" design, we will have updated info from 1999. As for tonight, I added a few new books to The Drag Racing Bookstore. Talk to you soon! bp/drl

January 24, 1999 -- More Links Updated and Future Plans...

Howdy! Still working on the separate lists. I did just update the links page again. I tried to group the separate categories into approximately the same place and I numbered them all for quick reference. Let me know how it works for you. Danny has all the 1999 cars entered and we will get those up here soon. I also received a package from LONG time Draglist reader and contributor Curt Swartz. He sent hundreds of funny car photos from 1974 to 1996, taken by himself and his uncle Mike Beach. There are many, many obscure machines that view people have ever heard of, let alone seen! I will, as time permits, scan these in and create separate pages for them. You are gonna LOVE them! I'm still pretty much trapped at work (average get-home time last week was 11:30pm), but that should lighten up some in the next few weeks. I will try my best to get all the changes entered before then, however. Oh, by the way, with recent entries, we have gone over 30,000 entries on the Drag Racing Lists and they continue to grow! Thanks to all the racers who have provided info lately. We are filing in a lot of holes! Congrats to Scotty Cannon for going 4.97 at 306 in testing this weekend. I knew it wouldn't take him long to get rolling! See ya! bp/drl

January 21, 1999 -- Mission Accomplished!

We got links AND they LOOK halfway decent, as does the rest of the site. We were "bare nekkid" for a day with a weird white background. I think it resulted from our attempting to load a graphics-heavy FrontPage scheme this morning with only a little PC RAM remaining. Whatever the reason, it looked FUNKY but we had our new links out there! NOW we have LINKS AND LOOKS! Great combo! But I am calling it an early night at one a.m. for a change! Tomorrow night, I will dive back into separating all Draglist.com lists into separate years. Also, Danny tells me he has all the 1998 racers copied to 1999 (at least the ones we know are comin'!) We also have a lot more updates and additions to get on here. Hang in there with us! bp/drl

January 20, 1999 -- We GOT LINKS, sort of...

Well, I got tough and stayed up until 4:00am to get this Links page done, since I was so close yesterday. BUT I can't get the links pages (57 in all!) to accept the pretty formatting of the other pages. I am DONE messing with it for tonight, but I didn't want to cheat you out of the links themselves. SO, you have the new links pages, but they look pretty plain so far. Check them out and let me know what you think! GOOD NIGHT! bp/drl

January 19, 1999 -- Still plugging away...

Hi everyone. It's 2:59 am on Tuesday morning and I finally have given up. I wanted to get the new links page up here tonight, but with three and a half hours to wakeup, it's not gonna happen. I also continue to plug away at separating all the lists by specific years. That's taken a little longer than I expected, too. A big part of the problem is long hours at my day job. As I have mentioned, I manage the Year 2000 testing environment for Freddie Mac, one of the country's largest mortgage institutions. As you may well imagine, my workdays are getting longer and longer as we hurtle towards the January 1, 2000, deadline. Last week, my average time getting home was 10:00 p.m. I can work within that schedule, but I just can't get as much done up here as I want.

On a positive note, the brand spanking new Draglist LINKS are almost DONE! I now have 56 separate categories for the links, and 50 of those are racing or automotive related! I knew we had a lot of links, but I didn't realize how many until I started trying to manipulate those suckers into separate categories! WOW! We've got some links! I hope you will like being able to go right to the specific racing category you want. The old alphabetical listings were ok, but we have undergone a sea change! The neatest part of the deal is that I was able to pull the very best drag racing websites into their own section. These "cream of the crop" sites will be featured right on top, where their webmasters will get the recognition they deserve for their hard work and dedication. Well, now it's 3:10. GOT TO GO! I hope to finish the links this week and the separate list by next weekend. See ya. bp/drl

January 3, 1999 -- Where did my vacation go?

Happy New Year, everyone! Well, the new year has started out with a total bang, but I don't have anything presentable to show for it yet. I have been working every day just to get READY to do the long-promised "separate year lists." We are going to break all classes down into separate lists so that folks no longer have to download ONE MEGABYTE of Top Fuel info, for instance, just to see one car! I've been home for ten days, but I'm STILL not done! I had to do several tasks just to get ready. For one thing, I had to become Year 2000 ready on the program Danny and I use to maintain Draglist.com. I have all the classes set to four digit years now. This will show up in the next update.

Another HUGE change I had to make involved filling in separate entries for racers for each year in which they ran. In the past (like NOW), we simply had one entry and said "raced from 72-81" in the NOTES section of the entry. Since we will have separate lists for each year, I had to fill these all in. This took at least an hour for each of our 22 classes, and many took longer. I also went in last night and filled in all the years that were missing where it was obvious (for instance, a guy went 6.27 at 217 in 1972 and again in 1974 with the same entry name, engine, etc., but we didn't have him listed in 1973). It was amazing just how many of these types of guys we had.

I had to write totally new programs to find this stuff. Last night I wrote the initial programming and did a dry run to get all the lists output to separate years. It was amazing how many files were created! Now I need to know where to go from here! I will continue to work on it this week. I also am TOTALLY rewriting the Links section to include detailed categories for all the links (no more having to search through alphabetical listings!) My target for that update is mid week. I got about half of that done today in hopes to show SOMETHING for my efforts this week. No such luck though...

In other news, we got completely updated European lists from Andy Marrs, including EVERY pro run down Santa Pod in the past few years! And GET READY FOR THIS: Bret Kepner has rejoined us IN FORCE! Bret's TV and announcing duties the past few years have taken him away from the continual, hands-on Draglist updates we enjoyed when we published on paper instead of in cyberspace. Bret has painstakingly researched and has forwarded me listings of EVERY PERSONAL BEST RUN IN THE IHRA SINCE 1977. You read that right! Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, Pro Mod, Top Dragster, Top Sportsman, Super Eliminator, YOU NAME IT! I have not begun to break them down yet (actually, I haven't even looked at them yet). Bret will be rejoining Draglist.com as an active, day-to-day information provider. He has lots of ideas for improving the lists and Danny and I really look forward to his input.

We are thrilled with the response Draglist.com has received from both current and veteran racers and fans in the past year. We continue to hear from all the great names from drag racing history and the praise is incredibly gratifying. Now we are ready to take Draglist.com to the next level. More complete lists, more unique views of the information, more stories and memories from drag racing's great stars and insiders, a cartoon section from one of drag racing's best loved artists, and much, much more. Drop us a line and tell us what YOU want to see. We want to be the first site you hit when you log on everyday! Tell us what we can do to make that happen. Drop me a line anytime. Have a great 1999 and SEE YOU ONLINE! bp/drl

P.S. - We have emailed 177 Match Race Madness games since Thanksgiving! If you want one, email me and include "Free Game" in the subject. bp/drl

 

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