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A little "Did You Know" fact about the mater... (1 Viewer)

Thrill

Nitro Member
My recent post about the NHRA video game lead me to make a post just looking back. Many of you maters may not know the history of where a few of us came from...

Ironically enough, myself, Jerrod Felix and popular paint scheme artist Roderick Burke all started off "Offline" racing from the original Tantrum PC NHRA game. Online racing wasn't available yet, so we formed a drag racing 'league' where you would race an event, and basically save the game after your best run, then email the file in. Results were tabulated by fellow maters Shane and Eric Boyungs.

It just so happens that Jerrod and me hooked up to form a 'team.' We would share tuneup files to help each other out. One of the toughest competitors on the 'tour' was none other than Burke. Eventually, he came into the fold.

The online/offline scene took different turns from there, but the connection launched more than that for the three of us. We initially formed RacerPage.com to design and build websites. Jerrod was a web designer for Edison in LA, Roderick had the graphic skills, and I was out there going racing, as a parts washer for Jay Meyer in 1999. We each decided to do our own deals after that, but we've all had a level of success.

Nitromater.com originally started as a non-commissioned fan site by Jerrod of Scotty Cannon. Believe it or not, there was a period where Jerrod didn't like Oakley. Sometime or another in that span, he had an 'epiphany' and went from an Oakley hater to an Oakley fanatic. (Side note, it's not hard to do. I used to swear I'd never spend that much money on shades, then you borrow a friends Oakleys....and you're hooked for life). That's when he made nitromater.com. This whole deal started as a fan site of Scotty Cannon if you ever wonder why the hell one of drag racing's most popular message boards is called 'nitromater.' That's 'mater' like in Cannon's Killer Red Mater as in "tomater". Not pronounced "Nitro MATTER".

How did this evolve? For this you need a little history on drag racing message boards. Shortly after Al Gore invented the internet, a little deal called CompuServe popped up. Not to much longer after this RIS - Racing Information Services was founded by the late Ed Dykes (RIP). This was exclusive to CompuServe and they were the first to give live round by round results from NHRA events. They also had a message board, which was probably the first drag racing message board. RIS is now Summit Fast News.

Well as internet access expanded past the juggernaughts of CompuServe and AOL, the speedvision.com drag racing message board kind of took over as 'the' place for drag racing talk. For whatever reason, Speedvision.com abrubptly dropped all of their message boards. This was right about the time nitromater was formed. Kind of like that History channel show, Man, Moment, Machine, Jerrod saw the void and started his own message board. Little did he know it would blossom into what it is today.

Some of the diehards found the site through word of mouth. It had some traffic, but not a huge amount. I can speak from experience of my sites, word of mouth is huge. Over time, you can build a site from that. However, Jerrod had a strategic alliance with the now-defunct Nitromaniac.com. Nitromater was the 'message board' if you went to that site. Nitromaniac was on a few nitro cars at the time and really helped get people to the site. Nitromaniac's line of business was selling souvenirs. They eventually folded up, but many people had already saved the nitromater board in their favorites. From there, it has developed into what it is today.

Rewinding a bit, the above mentioned sim drag league can be of credit to getting me started in the business. I was in the Army at the time, stationed in Ft. Hood. I bracket raced my Camaro on the weekends, but got my racing fix at night in the barracks making run after run, trying to perfect my tuneup and submit the best 'run' I could for the offline competition. I never thought I would be a writer, because I hated writing in school. But I started writing "Tricky Tipsters" for the offline competitors before each race. Rob Kozak, who was racing with us and writing for CompetitionPlus, recommended me to Bobby to write a story about our league. Initially Bobby wanted me to do a 300-500 word peice about it. Then he looked at my tipsters and upped the assignment to 1000-1500 words. That got me into drag racing journalism, the PR business and eventually lead to the sites I run now, InsideTopAlcohol.com, InsideCompRacing.com and InsideFastBrackets.com. Enough about me..

Roderick Burke, he was just too good to stay off the radar for too long. Him and I worked together on some more web projects over the years, but his talent and unique look he can give a race car, logo, etc., quickly made a name for himself. His designs have now graced the sides of everything from Top Fuel, FC to Jr. Dragsters and nearly everything in between.

All this from a little-known 'offline' league of drag racing gamers.

What's scary is I was nervous as hell the first time I sat in a Funny Car running until they lowered the body on me, and then I said to myself, hell this is just like the game....
 

badger

Nitro Member
Thanks for the history lesson Will. I certainly appreciate those pioneers who have enabled a great many of us to enjoy the sport, learn a few things along the way, and make a friend or two. :)

I appreciate your efforts and to those who had a hand in creating the "mater". :D

Tom.
 

Bullet

Nitro Member
Hey Will, I actually found the Mater by one of the banner ads being run on (I think it was NitroSim.com). I think it was some time around 2000.

I think that I ran in one or two offline races and then raced in the online with Team Low ET.

I have been here ever since and have referred many people here.
 

Kelly

Nitro Member
I found Nitromater through the Snake Racing site....it would be the old, old, old Mater I believe. ;) At that time, DPR had it's own forum section. Ron, Larry and TJ all posted pretty regularly. I didn't even venture out of that forum until the new, old, old Mater upgrade came about. :D
 

skapykat

Nitro Member
That's 'mater' like in Cannon's Killer Red Mater as in "tomater". Not pronounced "Nitro MATTER".

I've been wondering that since I found this site a few years ago. In retrospect, asking would have been easier.

My first foray into online racing was through shra.net for the original burnout games (which were great). The lack of internet in the town I grew up in limited it though.
 

Gutter Brain

Nitro Member
I found Nitromater through the Snake Racing site....it would be the old, old, old Mater I believe. ;) At that time, DPR had it's own forum section. Ron, Larry and TJ all posted pretty regularly. I didn't even venture out of that forum until the new, old, old Mater upgrade came about. :D
That is just about the same for me. I did venture out a little. Then, way too much...
Thanks again to all the Mater pioneers! Without you, I would have gotten more work done during the, had fewer Oreo's, a lot less laughs over the years, and wouldn't have a few good friends.
 

paoldtimer

Nitro Member
Oakley fanatic. (Side note, it's not hard to do. I used to swear I'd never spend that much money on shades, then you borrow a friends Oakleys....and you're hooked for life)...

HAHA so true....DH bought me a pair last year at MG and I absolutely love them...


I found the OLD Mater by accident when I was looking for something about Angelle and wow!! there sure were haters...;) oops wait, I think there still are :D:D
 

Shaggy

Nitro Member
Wow when I opened this, never did I expect to see my name in it...lol...On another side note, the online drag racing does still happen, just at Dragsim.com

BTW...that game has also led me to the point I am video taping for the area tracks.
 

shane

Nitro Member
Hey Will, Long time no see buddy..... I can credit the offline racing league we started for me actually owning a cpu.. Before that they held no interest for me.. The cool part about this story is way back when I decided to start the league.. I talked to my brother Eric about it and we went from there.. I had 0 web experiance.. Jerrod taught me the basics of web design and helped build that site we used so many moons ago... Now I design webistes for a living... Thanx Jerrod I owe you one bud.....
 

Rajunz

Nitro Member
Thanks Will, like Kelly, I also found it through the Snake Racing web site way back when.

What's even wilder is back in '99-2000 I also used to race the Tantrum game and e-mail my time slips in. I did manage to qualify once or twice, but those guys were always tough.;)

Here are a few looks back at the Mater through the Wayback Machine:

Internet Archive Wayback Machine
 

Jim

Nitro Member
Shortly after Al Gore invented the internet, a little deal called CompuServe popped up. Not to much longer after this RIS - Racing Information Services was founded by the late Ed Dykes (RIP). This was exclusive to CompuServe and they were the first to give live round by round results from NHRA events. They also had a message board, which was probably the first drag racing message board. RIS is now Summit Fast News.
...

I never met Ed Dykes (or Larry Sullivan for that matter) but, they were certain two of the pioneers.

Thanks for the memories.
 

Alan

Nitro Member
If I remember correctly, I found the 'Mater when doing a search for Scotty Cannon online. Thanks to Jerrod and all the others that started this fun, crazy place!!
 

DrRocket

Nitro Member
I found this place purely by accident in Dec of 2003. Looked interesting, I registered, and have been logging on ever since.

I still have a copy of that Tantrum NHRA PC game. Never did quite get the hang of it. I may just re-install it and try again.:)
 

dubldart340

Nitro Member
I think I found the mater back in '02-03. Don't remember when. I read almost everyday, but don't post much. Don't know what I would do without it.
 

Kris

Nitro Member
Wow! I have always wondered about how this place came to be so thank you, Will, for the back story. Context is one of my favorite things ever. :D

Kelly took me by the hand in '05 and led me from the dead as a doornail DSR board (which I think no longer exists) and brought me here. I have lurked, learned, posted a time or two and solicited story ideas ever since. Mostly I like to just let you guys do the dirty work when I get to write about the Seattle race. Heh.

I read the forum daily even if I'm not posting much. It's been a fantastic networking site for me.
 

go

Nitro Member
Heya Will,
My only claim to fame with the Nitrosims was having the FC MPH record from the online games when it finally faded. I never could outrun WB Hawaiibird (Partridge) and a few others, I tried like Hell but it never happened, lol.

That online racing is just like the real deal, "speed cost money, how fast you wanna go?" When gamers start running radiators on there PC to cool them down from overclocking they were stretching beyond what I could afford, lol.

But, it was a lot of fun and many late hours at night.
 

nick name

Nitro Member
Since I'm convinced that this site is now the de facto "message board of drag racing", I think it's necessary to clarify some of the points Will made.

Being online didn't always involve the Internet. Before we had web browsers and HTML, there were things called bulletin boards. They had forums just like we have today but everything was text only.

Mike Hollander was the founder of RIS over at CompuServe. At that time, the Racing forum was by far the most active anywhere online. Some of the staffers went so far as to post reports from races they attended. The report showed up on Monday usually, but if we were really lucky the reporter would post each evening if they could find some sort of connection.

And it was always a labor of love - though Hollander received money from CIS for the traffic his forum generated, none of it went to the reporters other than a shirt or two.

Larry Sullivan was the guy who helped me come up to speed, and come to think of it was the first person to gently tell me that typing in all caps wasn't nearly as cool as I thought it was.

I was already racing in PS at the time, and remember volunteering to help Jerry Reynolds at Memphis sometime in the late 1980s. Jerry was another one of the pioneers. It was at that race I met the new guy, a local who was interested in helping cover races. The new guy was Ed Dykes, and no one who ever met Fast Eddie will ever forget him.

Though at one time I was a staffer on CompuServe, I finally gave it up after being frustrated one too many times by Mike Hollander. We had lengthy arguments about this new thing on the horizon - something called the internet. He didn't seem to think it would amount to much and that people would always pay a monthly fee to places like CompuServe.

While RIS was "keeping the faith", others like Jerrod DID have the foresight. NitroMater filled the void and no one had to pay a monthly fee.

I think RIS may even still exist, but when Ed and Larry Sullivan decided to break away to do this newfangled internet thing, the company they set up was FastNews Network.

It was pretty much a perfect organization, those two. Larry was the computer geek and blazed many trails in software design in drag racing. I wish more people recognized what he's done for all of us.

Ed was a salesman by trade, and he and I would have hours-long conversations as he was trying to stay awake driving home from his latest sales call. I can verify he was about as far from a tech-head as you can get, but with his personality and brains he got the job done.

When we first started covering races, the Media Relations manager of NHRA called us "just fans with laptops" to our collective faces. But Larry and Ed hung in there and slowly gained the respect they so richly deserved by being professional, complete, and interesting.

So, here's my congratulations to all the visionairies who took the knocks, wise cracks, and financial hit back in those dark days when most people didn't understand what the net was, and proudly bragged they didn't even know how to push the power button on a computer.

If it wasn't for them, where would all of us drag racing junkies be?
 

ricko999™

Nitro Member
Will, great piece of history that made me misty eyed. There are many lurkers here that were part of that history and had hours of fun and made friends from around the world. The common thread was our love of the sport of drag racing. "Man those were the days"
Just a few I can remember: Jeff Brady, Kevin Smith, George Reilly, Bill Servino, teams LETR, TT, WB, AR, MAM and the king of sim racing WBHawaiiBird Bernie Partridge Jr.

Thanks to NitroMater for this space.

Keep'm Lit!
RO
 
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