: Per below, the NHRA announced a new website. Unfortunately it has a number of problems. I have to agree with what a 32 year NHRA veteran member wrote - NHRA's new site is a molasses slow and poorly thought out mess. They launched the new web yet it is not finished. It has many urls and pages that do not work. This mess can not make sponsors happy. Except for nhra.com none of their previous urls work. Sponsors new 2009 web sites will have to be upgraded. If you try to Google for nhra.com pre 2/5/09 info none of the links work. I tried to logon to nhra.com with my paid membership access information, it did not work. Someone needs their butt kicked over this!
One upset NHRA member bacon spammed
the new site.... funny. Oh well, we cant expect too much from NHRA. It was purchased in the 2007-2008 off-season and is now owned by investment banking marketing weenies. They know nothing about the sport and only care about how much money they can suck out of it. With the severe economic downturn seriously affecting NHRA, along with other major motor sports, the new owners arent looking too smart. Maybe we will get lucky and they will have to sell NHRA to somebody that cares about the sport *wishful thinking*.
P.S. I had our IT manager, here at the Firm, analyze NHRAs new website as to why its so slow, what could be done to remedy its technical problems, and how to address/correct the significant number of archive links that no longer work. She got me, and my right hand helper and webmaster, educated on the problems and how to address all the issues. - fla
How ex-site-ing: The new NHRA.com is here
NHRA Dragster Insider by Phil Burgess
February 5, 2009
Welcome to the new NHRA.com! If you've been around this neck of the woods since we kicked off this whole dot-com craze back in 1995, you've lived through quite a few "new" new NHRA.coms, but this one represents one of the biggest if not the biggest wholesale changes to the site in its 15-year history. Developed in conjunction with our new pals at AmericanEagle.com, it's quite a masterpiece and way more than just a shiny new coat of paint. With the fancy new rotating top stories, home-page video and photo galleries, and the slick race interface, it's pretty darned cool.
I won't lie to you; it's been a massive undertaking, and one that's still under way. When you consider that NHRA.com has been around since Larry Dixon was a rookie driver and that all we've done in the interceding years is add to it, both in terms of content and functionality, you can understand what a deep and wide site is. Anyone who has ever tried to move after living somewhere for 15 years can appreciate the amount of stuff you accumulate throughout the years, and we're no different. We had to sort through all of the stuff, figure out what worked with the new décor, what didn't ,and what could be repurposed, then pack up all of the boxes of stuff and ship it to the new address, where it was unpacked, prettied up, and, in some cases, moved to a different room. Some of it still hasn't been unpacked, and some of it is still waiting to be moved to our new home.
Having been point man for the initial NHRA.com launch, it has been my baby and my master for a long time, so it has been simultaneously thrilling and chilling to watch the newest incarnation being assembled. Web design is no longer the black art that it once was and is widely understood and practiced by many. Even the earliest teenagers get exposed to snippets of HTML code while they're endlessly rebuilding their MySpace pages (mostly to include horrible backgrounds upon which their prattlings cannot even be read), and free design templates are widely available online. All of this is fine if you're building a gallery of vacation photos or creating a small Web site, but when you're trying to tame a monster like NHRA.com, it's a whole 'nother Oprah.
During the years, as we have added features to NHRA.com, we have sought to interweave the many pieces, much in the way that a driver's most recent news items or team reports are headlined on their driver-profile pages and how the individual team reports are linked back to the driver profiles. We also worked to compartmentalize the events by adding event-specific navigation on all of the related pages so that you could seamlessly click between the results and photo galleries. We worked hard to maintain those types of user-friendly perks, so the challenge was to find out how to do them with our new system. For the last six years, we've been using the same content-management system to post stories to the site. It started out as a pretty low-dollar program big-time newspapers use content-management systems that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars that did the basics, but it has been modified internally during the years by our staff. We've made it do tricks the likes of which its original programmers never conceived, and there's pretty much nothing that we couldnt do with it.
The new NHRA.com brings with it a new content-management system and a whole new way of doing things. It's super powerful, and it's going to be fun (and a bit daunting) to uncover its subtleties and mysteries and to find new ways to do familiar things and familiar ways to do new things. For sure, things will look and act differently. You certainly have seen that on the home page already and noticed that some things (Photo of the Week, Quarter-Mile Cuisine, Special Sections, etc.) are in different places, all of which can be easily found under the Features navigation. Heck, just look at this page. It's narrower than its predecessor and has a different background color and different headline treatment. We'll also be able to embed slide shows in the stories and blogs if we choose and do all kinds of other fancy tricks, so be looking for that.
One of the coolest things about the new site coming soon! is the long-awaited live-timing component. Here's a stealthily disguised preview that allows you to get the idea, but suffice it to say that you'll be able to watch the incremental numbers pop up in real time while a simulated pair of cars races underneath the info. We hope to have it fully functional before long. In addition to the usual video highlights from the national events, we'll be co-hosting Full Throttle TV, which will be mirrored on Full Throttle's site. The Full Throttle TV crew will produce interesting features that will play both at the events and online. We're really looking forward to it.
With any project this big, there's sure to be room for improvement, and yes, even a few hiccups, despite our continual testing, known as beta testing in the computer world. Sometimes developing and beta testing complex components is a little like tuning a fuel car: You mess with the blower and get it working well, and suddenly the fuel system is out of whack. You fix the fuel system, and the clutch starts acting all possessed. I've been on beta-testing teams for a number of video games where one well-thought-out request to the developers crashed the entire game.
I had a trio of solid NHRA citizens do a little beta testing for me late last week and early this week, each bringing his own special set of skills to the scrutiny. "Bloggin' Bob" Wilber looked at it from a team-manager aspect, making sure that the drivers looked good and that all of the fan-oriented stuff jibed. "Talented Todd" Myers, publicist for Kalitta Motorsports and an accomplished graphic artist (he designed the graphics for the most recent NHRA.com Web site as well as past Web sites, such as the 50th anniversary U.S. Nationals and 40th anniversary NHRA Finals), looked at it from a graphical and functional standpoint, and former NHRA.com webmaster Brent "FlashMaster" Friar looked at things from a coding point of view. Thanks to them for their input.
On Tuesday night, a small team current webmaster Jade Davidson, ND Associate Editor Candida Benson, Director of Information Technology Jared Robison, and yours truly -- pulled a Full Throttle- and pizza-fueled all-nighter double-checking links, databases, and images and updating stories with the freshest news and blogs in anticipation of today's launch.
The plan is to just keep on truckin' from this point. I'd like to officially welcome 'Dida to the NHRA.com Web team. She'has administered NHRA's Jr. Drag Racing League Web site the last few years and obviously has a head for this stuff. She'll be a welcome addition to the small crew that keeps the bits and bytes flowing and take a little pressure off of me so that I can concentrate on making more memories for y'all here. Candida, me, ND Senior Editor Kevin McKenna, and ND Associate Editor Brad Littlefield will be the traveling NHRA.com crew this year to cover the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series events, and everyone from the DRAGSTER staff will be offering their story ideas and talents to the site. So, here we are. Take some time to poke around and share your thoughts and constructive comments. We're all about making stuff better.
posted on 03/14/2009 4:57:14 PM PDT
(See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
01.29.08: Wally Day and Fundraising Dinner at NHRA Museum
In honor of National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) Founder Wally Parks, the Automobile Club of Southern California and Shelby Automobiles Inc. will host the annual Wally Parks Fundraising Dinner on Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009 at the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum, 6 p.m.- the first night of the Kragen O'Reilly NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, CA."The Wally Dinner is one of the Museum's major fund raising efforts," explained Museum Executive Director Tony Thacker. "We are very excited to present an evening with a new vehicle reveal, a live auction, and a panel discussion - all to benefit the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum."
Forty years since they fielded a Top Fuel dragster, Carroll Shelby and Don "The Snake" Prudhomme will unveil a limited-edition Shelby Mustang built by Shelby Automobiles in Las Vegas for the event opening. The event will also present "Bench Racing with Legends", a panel discussion with moderator Mike Dunn and panelists John Force, Don Prudhomme, Ed McCulloch, and Jerry Ruth.(1) Also, a live racing memorabilia auction featuring historic motorsports artifacts will conclude the evening's festivities. Wally Day on Feb. 5th is a free museum day and opened to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum is located at 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Gate 1 of the Los Angeles County Fairplex in Pomona, CA.
(1) From the articles and videos I read/watched of the Legends panel discussion, it was great with some very funny moments. - fla
New Shelby Mustang revealed as race-only 'R Model - New limited edition car details and specs
Museum and Vintage Photos of Don Prudhomme with Carroll Shelby and
with Wally Parks along with a major hottie.
posted on 03/14/2009 4:57:48 PM PDT
(See my comprehensive FR Profile "Straight Talk" Page)
"...NHRA purchased by banking...weenies..."
Who, pray tell, was that??
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