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June 26, 1999 -- Things are coming together. Got to run right now. The Superchargers Showdown is going on at MIR tonight (come on down, if you are in the area!) Just wanted to take a minute to say CHECK OUT OUR NEW Draglist LINKS page. I think you will love it! Don't forget to read about Australia right below! See ya! bp/drl

June 23, 1999 -- Hi folks! Australia was FANTASTIC!!! Despite a week of trying desperately to put my computer back together and catch up on the day job, I'm gathering notes on my trip down under to the Aussie Winternationals. I am going to do a HUGE multi-part story on it, but I thought I'd share a few first impressions with you... Thanks to Larry Clayton for getting me started on writing this!

To begin, however, let me say that while I was gone I had my computer in for an upgrade to a 450 MHz Pentium with 16MB on a screaming graphics board and 10 more GB on the hard drive. Great, right? Wrong, nitro breath!

Instead of inserting the new 10GB hard drive and copying all the stuff from my previous 4GB hard drive to it, I found the 4GB drive IN THE BOX (kind of like a used auto part, to let you know they actually changed it...)

I'm like, what am I going to do with a BLANK hard drive? I have months and months of work on the other one! I got them to reinsert it at the store, but I am left with having to copy everything over again. No big deal, except my email is totally screwed. When they installed the new Windows 98 on the machine, it created an entirely new instance of Outlook Express on the new drive. Now I can't seem to be able to get my old messages and folders (containing TONS of valuable emails, many I haven't responded to) to be recognized by the new instance. I have tried copying it over the new folders, I've tried deinstalling Outlook Express and reinstalling it over the old folders -- the works! No joy yet. I think I will actually have to get on the phone to Microsoft on that one. Any hints, gurus?

ANYWAY, the reason I'm telling you all this is because I haven't looked at my email in detail until last night. I also haven't been able to send out THANK YOU emails to all my Australian friends because I can't find their addresses! I finally said SCREW IT and downloaded everything on my server into the new Outlook Express instance, because my server was jammed and couldn't accept any new messages! I will have to figure out later how to integrate the old messages with the new, if it's at all possible. (I had wanted to get the old messages back first, so that the new ones would flow into them...)

Oh well. Anyway, Australia was an absolute blast! The people were super nice everywhere I went. I met dozens of online and snail mail friends and I met about 80 percent of the Pro Racers in Australia (which isn't too hard, considering their numbers). By the time I left, I had the draglist.com decal on the side of about 40 pro cars -- I only missed a few. While I'm at it, let me talk about this a minute...

My Aussie friends are the first wave of our new TEAM Draglist concept, where pro, semipro, and exhibition racers can get a free, one page website off the draglist.com site in exchange for running our decals. Small potatoes for a "sponsorship" now, but we will do more in the future as advertising revenues support it. After creating the websites, I will submit each to over 450 search engines. You and your car WILL be found on the net! TEAM Draglist membership is open to ALL racers currently racing in the standard Draglist.com classes. Send me an email immediately and let's get started!

In the email, include a scanned photo of your car, a scanned photo of you and/or your family or team if you have one, some details on your car, and any desired links to your own website or to your sponsors. Also, tell me the address where to send the decals! Of course, you can send the photos to my mailing address, too, but this is important: I expect to do hundreds of these individual web pages. Most of you know my schedule now -- TIGHT. In order for this to work, I need to cut down as much as possible on typing! Put all the info you can into your email. I certainly will welcome stuff that arrives by snail mail, but guess whose pages will be done first? I have about 40 of the top professional racers in Australia to do, then I'm ready for YOU! Let's get rolling! Now back to the story...

I met dozens of new Aussie friends, who welcomed me to their country and into the Aussie Drag scene with open arms. There is NO WAY I will try to list them tonight. I certainly will miss several important people. I am going to tell you about some of the great people down there, but that's coming when I can gather all my notes and don't have to go off the top of my head after midnight on a work night! One thing that impressed me was that the racers all knew each other (in part, I guess, due to their fewer numbers). At Victor Bray's pit, which was one of the top hangout spots, everyone from comp dragster drivers to top fuel guys to pro gas guys to top bike guys came to hang out and bench race. The fuel cars got the biggest crowds as far as the fans went, but the racers all kind of treated each other the same.

It seems I met a few hundred people who had heard of us and or the website (or the old Draglist.com booklet). It was great. People that I didn't expect to know who I was, did. At one point, I pulled TF multi-time champ Jim Read, Top Alcohol 7-time champ Gary Phillips (also former driver of the Captain Crazy FC up here), and of course 4-time Top Doorslammer champ Victor Bray together and got a photo with them. I think I had about 18 years of Australian champions in that one shot with me! I got to do some color announcing during the pro rounds, and Rob Oberg and the Willowbank TV crew (yes, Willowbank has its OWN TV studio!) shot a one-minute TV spot on draglist.com, including shots of the front page and a 30-second interview with me. This and the entire Winternationals will show nationally in Australia throughout the month of July. (Will I order a video copy? OH YEAH!!!) Have I died and gone to heaven? Well, it's not over YET!

Victor Bray was cool as hell. The guy pays my way down there, puts me up in a hotel, gets me a rental car (I didn't crash once, despite driving on the wrong side of the road a few times for Victor's entertainment!), and introduces me to nearly everyone in Australia. THEN, he takes about the last third of his acceptance speech for winning the 1998/1999 Aussie Top Doorslammer crown to THANK ME for coming down to watch him race! Unbelievable! THEN, when we get back to his pits (at which we and a constantly changing 20 or so people drank and bench raced until the sun came up at 6 AM), he tells me, "Marie and I have talked about it, and we want you to take the trophy back to the states." The freaking ANDRA Australian National Championship trophy he just won!!! I told him, NO WAY, that's TOO much. He said, "Naw, I have four of them. I want this one to go with you." Of course, it's still HIS and I have to give it up whenever he says, but DAMN! It's sitting on my fireplace mantel right now. It's a hefty 17 inch tall Christmas tree. Can you imagine the attention I got at every x-ray machine on the way back? "Uh, sir, we have to see that thing in your bag..." It must have looked like a huge pipe bomb. Needless to say, I still in awe of the amazing level of hospitality, generosity, and friendship bestowed upon me by everyone I met, but especially by Victor and Marie Bray.

After our night of partying, Victor and Marie dropped me at the hotel for a few hours (we had given the rental car to his daughter Billi-Jo and her friend Amy the night before to remove any reason not to drink like mad). I grabbed a few hours of sleep (an hour at a time, as they were renovating the damn hotel -- just what WAS the purpose of constantly banging on the pipe?) Anyway, Billi-Jo and Amy picked me up at noon and we were off to the strip. Two kids had won a Castrol-sponsored contest were they got strapped in with Victor in the "display" '57 Chevy (detuned with only about 60 percent blower drive) and got to do some burnouts and a doughnut or two. I got photos and stuff to do a story on it.

Then Victor says, "You going?" "Hell, YES!" I got in and he gave it all it had on the return road of the strip. The Castrol '57 kicked butt, even though it was the "detuned" version. Victor figured it still pushed nearly 2000 horsepower. It was an absolute blast! Several patented Victor Bray burnouts filled the interior with acrid tire smoke. I was chewing gum and grinning like a baboon the whole time! All I kept thinking about was D.A. Santucci, who swallowed some gum and had to be revived while winning Top Gas at the 1969 Indy Nationals. (No doubt D.A. is tired of hearing THAT story by now). I somehow made it through all the hard launches without "eating the Wrigleys," however, and I got to check another lifetime goal off my list.

Shortly after, I hit the road for Brisbane, where I spent the evening with yet another new friend, Aussie photojournalist Lex Swayn, his wife Jenny, and their wonderful family. After a relaxing evening of dinner and conversation (and clowning around with 5 year old Brett), I grabbed 40 winks and started the long journey home the next morning.

I have LOTS more to tell, and this has been just a tiny piece of it. Look for a lot more from my outstanding trip DAN UNDA soon! Let me say it to Victor, Marie, Dennis Syrmis, and John Winterburn one more time. Thank you. THANK you. THANK YOU!!!

Bill Pratt
www.draglist.com

June 8, 1999 -- Hi everyone! Just a few more hours before I board a plane to go DOWN UNDER for the ANDRA Konica Winternationals!  I am scrambling to get a few things done. I have the new links page almost ready, but I ran out of time last night. You CAN click to it from our Draglist Links page and suggest a new link! Try it, and I will finish it on the 16th.  There are new stories at Danny's Corner, too. We ALSO have ten new winners in our 'T-Shirts for Info' Deal! Congrats and thanks to Leo Sullivan, Bob Goetz, Mike Fuqua, Joe Arena, Bill Walls, Dave Huber, Wayne King, Frank Jonkman, Joey Moore (Mr. 3.98 ET in a PRO MOD!), and Doug Dornbos. These guys will receive a 1320 Gear Hot Rod T-Shirt of their choice! We ALSO have seven great new cartoons by the master of Hot Rod funnies -- Pete Millar! AND, the new WWW.DRAGLIST.COM decals are DONE! They look great! Racers in any Draglist class -- here is our "sponsorship" deal: if you run our decals, we will provide you with a single-page website featuring photos of your car and you and providing details on your racing team and sponsors. We will promote the site to over 450 search engines! You and your sponsor WILL have an internet presence! Racers with existing websites -- here's an way to get more traffic to your CURRENT site -- we will link to IT! Interested? Send me an EMAIL! I get back on June 16th. We'll talk then! G'day, mates! bp/drl

willowbank.gif (28369 bytes)
1999 Konica Winternationals at Willowbank Raceway, here I come!

May 25, 1999 -- Yes, it's after midnight again. Yesterday morning I got to bed at 5:15am and woke up at 6:15am to go to work, only to sit in three hours of the worst rush hour traffic Washington, DC, has seen in a few years! My clutch leg is still a little wobbly... I was all ready for an early beddy-bye, when Pete Millar sent me an email hinting something to the effect of, "Hey, you weak SOB, didn't you ask me for and receive a Pete Millar comic strip to put on your site way back in DECEMBER 1998?" Well, Pete didn't put it that way, but he should have. Indeed, way back in December I asked him if I could use some of his great cartoons in a special section of Draglist.com. He graciously agreed and sent me the cartoon you can find at our new Cartoons page. Well, there is nothing like getting a little hint from a guy who is perhaps the greatest drag racing cartoonist ever to get you off your BUTT! So I did, and in ten minutes, our new Pete Millar tribute page was born! Pete has offered to allow me to rotate cartoons on the page. I will put up a new one as often as I can, but it will DEFINITELY be more often than five months each time!!! bp/drl

May 24, 1999 -- I love computers! It's 4:08 AM and I'm due to get up for work in two hours. I just finished writing three paragraphs on how Danny White has finally reentered the data we lost when his computer melted down, only to have MY computer lock up on me and lose it all! This sucker's going in for an upgrade while I'm away in June... Suffice to say that we are up to date on all the lists from a national event perspective. We still have a month of emails that we need to enter, but those are getting knocked out as quickly as we can.

We have added dozens of new events to our Match Race Event Calendar and we have a cool new story at Danny's Corner. There are lots of other new little touches to the site (that I just wrote you about but now are lost to cyberspace). I regret that I can't continue telling you about them right now. Got to grab two hours of sleep while this thing uploads to the site. You can find them by browsing around, though. You'll be able to see the pages with updated dates. One page that doesn't feature an update yet is our LINKS page. I just have not been able to pull together the four to six hours it takes to do them. I HAVE found a neat new solution that will bring many neat new features to our links. I just told you about it , but...

I have to do as much as I can before June 8th because I am HEADING DOWN UNDER!  John Winterburn of Travelaire Tours sent me a terrific package containing plane tickets, rental car and hotel reservations, and more! What a great job he did. If you or anyone you know are going to Australia, John is the man to see! Of course, my dear friends Victor Bray and Dennis Syrmis are sponsoring my trip down. Victor is popping for the travel tab and Dennis has me all set up at the track. I can't wait to meet all the terrific Ozzie friends I have spoken with online for so long!

That's enough! It's 4:35 AM! Time for some shuteye! bp/drl

May 14, 1999 -- Checking in quickly here. Danny has re-entered ALL the national event data from Pomona to Dallas (and Darlington, too!) We will upload it to the web this weekend if all goes well. We are still catching up on two and a half months of email updates that were lost when his computer crashed. Hang in there with us, folks!

I am looking for people who want to make serious part time money that can turn into huge full time money. Read all about it at www.draglist.com/bilden.htm.

Advertisers -- check out our new advertising rates page at www.draglist.com/adrates.htm.

Check out the brand new nostalgia drag videos available from RP Videos at www.draglist.com/raceplac.htm. [Note: RP Videos were discontinued on 1/10/01 by request of the manufacturer. bp]

We'll chat soon! bp/drl

May 5, 1999 -- Life is a blur. Never have so few done so much with so (apparently) little to show for it! Despite the total lack of updates to our site in three weeks, we have been turning and burning here at Draglist.com . For one thing, we got Danny's computer rebuilt and have almost all the info restored from Pomona onward. I can't WAIT to load it for you. It should be just a few more days. I FINALLY have the banner advertising software installed and ready. Advertisers -- check out our new advertising rates page at www.draglist.com/adrates.htm then give me a call!

We also have updated all the other computers in the Draglist.com office. We are still looking for administrative help, but are hopeful (the problem is finding someone who can work around my 10pm to 3am home office schedule). We gave away our first ten free T-Shirts as ten hard core readers came through with some good info! Read all about it on our Free Stuff page. Rob at Rydin Decal faxed me the proofs of our new www.draglist.com decals today. They look AWESOME! I will be passing these out to pro, semipro, and quick sportsman racers with a unique "sponsorship" proposal. I will have 2,000 of them ready to go in a week or so and I will lay out the details then.

In the middle of all this, and of course while working 12 hour days on Y2K testing at Freddie Mac, I have undertaken TWO new businesses! I have formed Bilden Communications to become an independent rep of a billion dollar communications company. I can offer unlimited internet to 90 percent of the country (U.S.) for super rates. I have great deals on paging services and long distance phone service, too. Local phone service and gas and electric are soon to follow. If you have to pay long distance charges to access the internet or have a plan that limits the number of hours you can spend online, email me to begin saving money right away! I also need energetic reps to offer these services all over the United States, Canada, and Europe. Check out www.draglist.com/bilden.htm if you are interested in a great opportunity!

My other new venture is a new drag racing website -- www.edrags.com. I will keep the content of this site a surprise for now, but I think you will love it. Anyway, it's 4:30am, so I am outta here! Look for us to be back up to full steam in just a few weeks. Later! bp/drl    

April 12, 1999 -- Hello, everyone. We have "hit the track!" At least that's what our new design scheme looks like. Just a thing or two... Besides the new looks, we have updated our Heads Up Event Calendar with lots of new dates. There is a TON of great drag action out there. Now GO SEE IT!!! Gotta run as usual. Later! bp/drl

April 10, 1999 -- Howdy. We continue to rebuild Danny's computer. We should have our updates working soon. Oh yeah, we got a ZIP DRIVE for Danny so that we can back up our data better. Today's updates consist of new Draglist Links and straightening out all our Link Exchange banners. I will try to do some more work on the site during the day on Sunday. I just signed on to announce at the Super Chevy Show in Columbus in September. I am looking forward to it! Roger Gustin has been a gracious fan of The Drag Racing List since its modest booklet days, and it will be neat to work with him. At this point, Victor Bray, Australia, and the Konica Winternationals are only two months away! I am really looking forward to making lots of new friends and helping to solidify the ties between our two drag racing communities. I suspect that drag racing fans are the same the world over! Well, enough chatter for now. I'm gonna publish this thing! G'day mates! bp/drl

April 1, 1999 -- Hi, everyone. We finally got the Draglist Links updated. But that's the good news. The bad news (and this is no April Fool's joke) is that we have suffered quite a setback. Everything in our databases since Pomona has been wiped out. Danny's computer torched itself. It did not have a separate fan on the chip and the chip got smoked! So we built him a new PC, but I had to do everything remotely, by phone -- I hate not having that control. (Must be like having custom parts made for a drag car). Anyway, they could salvage our hard disk and the modem -- we built him a 350mhz Pentium around it. Well, of course, somehow the guy wiped out all 1999 databases, leaving us with the end of 1998 backup (on Danny's machine). I have stuff through Pomona, plus whatever other entries I personally have added. I am sending those files to Danny, so he can start to rebuild. The car is rebuilt, now we just need to start applying the tune up! P.S. - Where are Draglist.com updates? I expected to start counting emails in order to give away some T-Shirts by now! Check out the FREE STUFF page for more info! bp/drl

 

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