A Pit Stop with WikiProject NASCAR
WikiProject NASCAR was established on December 10, 2004 as an effort to improve Wikipedia's coverage of NASCAR auto racing and related topics. The project is home to over 150 participants, although only about 25 are active. Of the project's over 1,500 articles, 12 have achieved Good Article status. The project maintains a portal, to-do list, and recently started a monthly newsletter. WikiProject NASCAR is a child project of WikiProject Motorsport and sibling of a variety of automotive projects, including WikiProject Formula One. This week, we took a spin with Royalbroil, Nascar1996, NerdyScienceDude, and Doctorindy.
Royalbroil, an admin, describes himself as "a long-term fan of motorsports" who is "interested in the history of auto racing." Royalbroil enjoys working on biographical articles in particular and has experience promoting Good Articles. Nascar1996 is "a fan of NASCAR for three years." When the project fell on hard times, Nascar1996's efforts to revive the project inspired other editors to join, eliciting praise from Airplaneman during our interview. NerdyScienceDude, "a big NASCAR fan," joined the project to "help out [by] adding NASCAR races to this growing encyclopedia" and has promoted several good articles in a short amount of time. Doctorindy has "nearly 30-years of interest in all forms of auto racing, including NASCAR" with a preference toward the '70s, '80s, and early '90s.
Have you contributed to one of the project's 11 good articles? Are there any articles you are currently working toward achieving GA or FA status? Share your experiences with us.
- Nascar1996: I have created and expanded four of the good articles. I'm currently working to get 2010 Toyota/Save Mart 350 to FA status, while I'm also expanding 2010 Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the Glen so it could be a good article.
- NerdyScienceDude: I helped Nascar1996 with the articles he mentioned above. I am working to get articles like 2010 Crown Royal Presents the Heath Calhoun 400, 2010 Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500, and 2010 Coke Zero 400 to GA status. The latter two articles also appeared on the DYK section of the Main Page.
- Royalbroil: I like working on biographies and I asked 4u1e for coaching to get the Mario Andretti article to Good status. After it passed, I started working alone and improved Alan Kulwicki to Good status. Article creation got easier with the added experience, and I worked Tim Richmond and David Pearson up to Good standards. I think that Kulwicki's article is near Featured level and plan to keep working on it.
Four of the project's good articles and another four former good articles are about races that occurred this year. How does your project produce quality articles about recent events in such a short time?
- Royalbroil: Early in 2010, Nascar1996 asked me for some coaching on the expectations for a Good Article. He and NerdyScienceDude have worked hard on recent race articles and they have been impressive new members to the WikiProject.
Has your project developed particularly close relationships with any other projects?
- Royalbroil: Decisions made at our parent WikiProject Motorsport affect how our articles are organized. Some new NASCAR drivers have come from other racing genres and series such as Formula One, the Indy Racing League, and sports cars. So we share articles with several other WikiProjects (Formula One, American Open Wheel Racing, and Sports Car Racing).
- Doctorindy: After contributing to Wikiproject NASCAR for several months, I branched off and took the initiative to start the WikiProject American Open Wheel Racing (IndyCars & Indy 500) in Oct. 2006.
What are WikiProject NASCAR's most pressing needs? How can a new contributor help today?
- Royalbroil: The most pressing needs are keeping the career statistics up to date. Another major need is to watch the articles for vandalism and unsourced content, especially on articles for drivers who are more frequent vandalism targets such at Dale Earnhardt and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.. Another area that a new contributor could help is to try to find free-use pictures of drivers from free image resources. Flickr has proven to be a great resource.
- Nascar1996: Our project has many pressing needs, but assessing all the articles in the unassessed articles category is probably one of the biggest.
- Doctorindy: Among many general needs, the race pages could use help in creating race summaries. In many cases, the race pages only summarize recent runnings, suffering from "recent-ism."
Doctorindy concluded the interview by pointing to the collaborative community built around motorsports: "I've noticed a fair and refreshing amount of cooperation between the editors spanning the several genres of auto racing (NASCAR, IndyCar/Champ Cart, F1, sports cars, etc.)" Despite the differences of opinion between fans of each type of racing, Doctorindy noted that the project has seen "no sparring between NASCAR and open wheel fans (particularly IRL/CART), as would be expected in internet message boards..."
Next week, we'll venture into the wilderness in search of unknown creatures. Until then, feel free to explore the archives.
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