Championship Drag Racing website updates
The official blog of the staff

Thursday, September 20, 2007

National DRAGSTER library updated: The National DRAGSTER Library has been restocked with tons of features that have been published this year. If you're a late subscriber or just looking for that special article you misplaced, you can find the best feature articles and interviews from the last three years in the ND Library.

The features section is broken down conveniently to suit tastes, from nostalgia articles to tech, driver and crew chief features, and even ND's unique Teach Me articles, fun first-person adventures with your favorite top drivers, so there's lots of good reading.

You must be an NHRA member and logged in to the Web site to visit the ND Library.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Audiocast issues: We've heard from a couple of folks that they're getting a "blank page" when they try to listen to the audiocast, especially on Sunday, and we're trying to find out what is ailing these few that's not affecting the many.

As any computer user knows, it doesn't take long for every computer to be different once you start toggling features on and off, adding extras to your browser (toolbars, pop-up blockers, etc.), and experimenting with browsers other than Internet Explorer.

We've recently had to change some security settings for the audiocast to ensure that the Friday and Saturday broadcasts remain exclusive to NHRA members, and the entire revamp caused some issues. Just to be clear, although other Web sites are running an old version of the audiocast player in a window on their sites (against the rules, by the way), they no longer function.

Firefox users also were experiencing a problem with the new player, which is built around Windows Media Player, but we found a fix. Download this file to enable Windows Media Player to play in Firefox (you may also have to click the Play button in the player to launch the stream).

As always, if you're going to contact us with support issues, please include in your e-mail as many details as you can, including which operating system you're using (Windows XP, Mac, etc.) and which browser you are using, along with the version number (generally accessible by clicking on the Help menu and selecting "About [browser name]"). These clues are very helpful in trying to solve seemingly random problems.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Force blog ... this and that: Some of you may have noticed that the logo for the Force blog has disappeared from the home page for now. Chad Light, who helped the Force team prepare the blog, asked for a hiatus because the show is between seasons, and frankly, there's not a lot going on to keep the blog timely. Even though it hadn't been updated in more than a month, it was still visited daily by thousands of visitors, which is quite a testament to Force's popularity. You can still find it online, linked from our Special sections archive, and we'll return it to home-page prominence if and when the Force family decides they have compelling or interesting content.

In the meantime, we've moved to the home page a quick-link button for Harry Strunk's new column, From the Road, as he travels (and wins with) the Beckman Funny Car team.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

No April Fools special: Regulars to over the years have come to anticipate and enjoy our annual April Fools pranks. We were all set up for another doozy this year, then we lost Eric, and somehow it just didn't seem right to roll in frivolity while we still mourned his passing. We'll be back next year with more fun and games; if the mood strikes you, you can review all of our past April Fools sections here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

New-look multimedia page, other stuff: We've just updated the long-overdue Multimedia page, expanding it to the ever-growing, site-wide move to wider pages. The new wider format and enchanced navigation should allow visitors to get around the section more easily. Visitors also can use the page to listen to archived audiocasts from this season's previous national events. Check it out here.

We've also been hard at work on updating another older site,, to a livelier, more functional look. We'll let you know when it's done. We're also in the early stages of a remake for the O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis site.

Saturday, February 11, 2007

2007 Photo Gallery opens: The start of a new season also means the refilling of our 2007 photo galleries, which we’ve been restocking throughout the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals. All the new Top Fuelers, Funny Cars, and Pro Stockers that have toured Auto Club Raceway at Pomona throughout the weekend are featured. [Photo galleries]

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

New for 2007: Welcome back, race fans. Here's a quick look at some stuff we've been working on and a few updates.

By now you may have noticed the new look for the news story pages -- full-width articles with the navigation at the top as opposed to the sidebar navigation that dominated the site since its inception in 1995. Not only do these pages look cleaner, but they allow us to run larger photos in the body of the story. A real win-win.

We've also just opened up the 2007 edition of Photo of the Week after renewing our agreements with the fine folks at Auto Imagery, who also will continue to supply the national event photo galleries this year.

Just as a heads-up, the 2007 audiocasts of the national events will have a new provider this season as longtime partner Yahoo! Broadcast has recently informed us that the company is shifting its focus away from the delivery of purely audio content to focus on streaming video (before you get all excited, NHRA's contract with ESPN precludes live streaming video). We're currently researching new partners and hope to have a new app in place by the end of the month for testing purposes. Stay tuned.

All of our 2006 bloggers are back, and we may add a few new faces, one in Funny Car and one in Pro Stock. Look for an announcement soon.

On the print front, National DRAGSTER's first 2007 issue ships tomorrow (Wednesday) and is filled with news from last year's top 10 finishers, plus new-images and a lot more.

The first installment of the NHRA Nitro News e-mail newsletter will mail this Friday.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Going into development mode: We're finally coming down from the high that was the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals and getting back into development mode. I hope you all enjoyed our special Championship Notebooks; the guys all contributed to the reports to help keep fans abreast of the minute-to-minute developments in the three dramatic points battles.

As could probably be expected, traffic was at an all-time high, spiking Sunday at an all-time record 507,209 home page visits alone. (I guess we confused some people with the previous report; we heard-tell that some other website owners were bragging that they get more traffic than, thinking the numbers we offered up were total page views for the entire web site instead of the home page alone. With each of those visits translating into 6-10 page views, it's more like 3-4 million page views a day.) Monday was at 446K plus. Awesome numbers.

Anyway, we're going to spend the winter brainstorming new features, but we'd be interested to hear what kind of things might interest our loyal readers. The blogs are coming back and we may have a few new additions that should excite you. Drop us a line about what type of features – stats, personality, photo, video, etc., would make your visit more enjoyable. Send them here, and we'll be sure to consider all suggestions.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Driver Profiles section redesigned: Check out the new interface for the Driver Profiles section. Browsing for your favorite driver has never been easier!

We've also supplemented each driver's profile with his or her current points breakdown from event to event.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Business is good: There's no doubt that it's been a banner year for NHRA, what with all of the extra publicity of Melanie Troxel's successes, the debut of Driving Force on A&E, and the ultra-tight POWERade points battles, and all of that has translated into huge numbers for

We won't spill all of the beans (yet), but here's a little clue as to the huge role that NHRA and plays in the lives of people around the world.

In addition to sitewide tracking, we began tracking home-page only visits specifically this April, analyzing entry points from the web, search-engine results, etc., but, still, it was the raw numbers that got us.

In April, the home page of alone received 3.1 million page views. There are many, many website that would love to have 3.1 million page views for their entire site, let alone their home page. That number continued to rise through the summer and topped 4 million in September, driven, of course, by the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals.

We thought that spike might be attributable to Indy, but were stunned to watch it continue to soar.

We thought our long-running single-day home page record of 198,000-plus, recorded on Sunday of the ACDelco Gatornationals, would never be broken, but now that's just an average day. It first fell in mid-August and was topped 22 out of 31 days in October with a high of more than 360,000 views Oct.16. Total views for the month -- again, this is ONLY the home page -- zoomed up nearly 3 million in October to more than 7.3 million.

Thanks for your support of and NHRA!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Champing, chomping ...: Okay, enough with the emails already. We've received quite a few "helpful" pointers that the headline "Popular Coughlin champing at the bit to return to the Pro Stock battles" has a misspelling in it. In fact, it does not (so there!). Champing is the correct word.

Reference: The Encyclopedia of Farm Animal Behavior

CHAMPING: Repetitious, strong opening and closing action of the mouth which produces sounds when the teeth hit together.

Reference: The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition.


VERB: Inflected forms: champed, champ·ing, champs

TRANSITIVE VERB: To bite or chew upon noisily. See synonyms at bite.

INTRANSITIVE VERB: To work the jaws and teeth vigorously.

IDIOM: champ at the bit; To show impatience at being held back or delayed.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Force blog is back: Due to popular demand and thanks to the hard work of JFR marketing ace Chad Light, the popular Driving Force blog is back and running again. Check out Chad's quick message of return and his plans for the blog's future here.


Sonoma video up: The video clips from the Fram Autolite NHRA Nationals are posted, nine files in all, including all Pro low qualifying runs, all Pro final rounds, and Cruz Pedregon's intense Funny Car fire from qualifying. To view them, go here.

Friday, July 28, 2006

New member login layout: If you're an NHRA member who has logge dinto the website today, you probably noticed an immediate diference in the "logged in" page that was returned.

We spruced up the Members section a bit with some fancy-schmancy icons replacing the old text and they are now displayed either under your Custom News choices (if you have selected to display Custom News) or the Top Story if you do not.

The benefits of this are two: 1: It allows us to keep the Current Race section higher on the page for your convenience, and 2: when we roll out our new 1024 design in a few weeks it will allow us to keep a lot of the prime content higher on the page.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Dr. is in: Dr. Jim Will's columns on sports psychology have been a big hit and are being closely read by racers from Top Fuel on down – no less a person than Top Fuel points leader Doug Kalitta tracked down Will in Denver to offer his thanks – so we're making it easier than ever for readers to find and follow the good doctor.

We've added a button link to an archive of all of Dr. Will's columns where you can read (or re-read) everything he's offered up so far. The button is on the right side of the home page, under the blogs buttons, or you can go there directly by clicking here.

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