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DRO: How many cars in the field? Four or five?

CC: Yeah, you know you never can tell. It was completely disorganized and they called Top Fuel to the lanes and Top Fuel would get there when they were done with their barbecue. I wouldn't recommend that for anybody; it's a real sort of a Beckett play, waiting for Top Fuel because it's never go show up and then it kind of does but then it was so anti where proper drag racing does and it was just so refreshing in its ineptitude and then it got really good. People really got their acts together and experienced a really nice growth that was reflected by the economy. You know, during the Clinton years, love him or hate him, they were a real boom and I think that some people measure the strength of the US economy in housing starts. I measure it by how many Top Fuelers show up at the March meet. It got to the point where there were 30 Top Fuel cars showing up for an eight-car show or a six-car show and it was just tremendous, but yeah, it was at some point in my life that the drag racing part just became a lot less interesting and the weird stuff that exists in the strange vacuum, is a lot more interesting.

DRO: About the same time that you discovered or became a part of the Internet. Why did a web site manifest itself as your outlet?

CC: Well, there are conflicting stories about this. The first one is I was dating a girl and she said the information superhighway was not coming through my house. I totally understood what she said, and the last thing we needed was more noise and more information, and so when the Internet phenomenon started, when the height was in full effect, I was very much against it. At the time I was writing for drag racing magazines and Super Stock & Drag Illustrated was probably the ones I contributed to the most. Super Stock was owned by Bob Guccione and his General Media Empire and Guccione's daughter was head of electronic media or something like that. She insisted -- I think her name was Dina Guccione -- Super Stock or the automotive group of books owned by
General Media have a web presence. So, the editor of Super Stock, Steve Collison, was just riffing and he said, "By the way we've got to have a web site or there'll be blood in the halls," and I said "Steve, what's a web site?" He said, "I don't know but we have to have one."

That moment to me was rather fascinating because there was really something going on there but nobody knows what it was. There's the Oklahoma Land Rush or the 49er's in San Francisco, whatever metaphor you want to use, but something was happening. There's this movement and since nobody knew what it was, I felt I certainly don't know anything less than anybody else so I'll become the expert. I struck a deal with Steve Collison and Super Stock and said, "Let me be in charge of editorial content for your web site." Steve obviously had his hands full with the print side and, of course, the number crunchers at the Guccione empire. General Media didn't care that there weren't any hours in the day left to run anything else besides the magazine. They wanted it done and they wanted it spearheaded. So, he just deflected it to me, which I questioned not knowing what a web site was.

Then their story by a Super Stock contributor was that I hated the Internet. I was in the Super Stock offices one day and they had a browser and we didn't even know what a browser was. It was like Netscape 2 or something like that and there was also a search engine. I keyed on my name and I found stuff and my ego took over and I said, "Wow."

DRO: Some validation.

CC: So, I really do not remember it happening that way, but somebody else does. But regardless, that was the deal, the original web site was set up for Super Stock & Drag Illustrated. I felt they had a reasonably cool idea because Super Stock three years before had created this on-line virtual museum on-going exhibition. You can talk about Don Garlits and Shirley Muldowney and come back number 47 for either of them and you can create a hypertext link to Shirley and you can show how she is done at every U.S. Nationals she is entered in, and you could do stories that were in the print versions of these magazines. So my goal was very lofty in that I wanted to archive the entire body of work of Super Stock electronically and of course you come to realize there were only a handful of nut cases that were really interested in that stuff. Drag racing is much more niche than any of us are willing to admit and I was in denial about that for years. That was genesis of what I did, editorial content.

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