Fifteen years. That’s forever in internet terms. There are countless websites that have come and gone in that span of time, and we’re just talking about simulator racing websites! In fact, there is no such thing as an ‘original’ site of The Pits! The first saved website of The Pits was done in 1996, after our first birthday, and incorperated a new design. To our knowledge, no original version of The Pits exists.

1995. When we started in 1995, Geocities had just started a ‘portal’ (although it wasn’t called that back then) where people could get a free homepage. Yahoo was a small but fairly well-known search engine. Of course, Windows 95 was released by Microsoft.

The movie Braveheart came out that year, as well as Toy Story, Apollo 13, Showgirls and Tommy Boy. Hollywood also got in on the internet action with Hackers and The Net. The radio was playing Soundgarden’s Black Hole Sun, Melissa Etheridge’s Come to My Window, and Sheryl Crow’s All I Wanna Do won Best Pop Vocal Performance.

Quite a few people watched OJ Simpson recieve his ‘not guilty’ verdict. The Russian space station Mir was still flying. President Bill Clinton abolished the 55 mph speed limit. The late Christopher Reeve was paralyzed from falling from his horse. Jacques Chirac became president of France. Timothy McVeigh shook America by blowing up the Federal building in downtown Oklahoma City. A terrorist organization used nerve gas in a Tokyo subway. Denver’s Stapleton Airport closed.

Jeff Gordon got his first in a long string of championships by beating Dale Earnhardt (Sr) by 34 points. Michael Schumacher beat Damon Hill in Formula One, and John Force took his fifth NHRA Funny Car championship…and never lost the points lead!

Fifteen years. That’s a heck of a long time! When we started, NASCAR Racing One had been out for three months! But back then, games weren’t released every year like they are now. NASCAR Racing 2 wasn’t released until 1996…2 years later. However, the Indycar 2 demo was released in 1995, and it was really the reason The Pits began. Neil ‘Jed’ Jedrzejewski wrote a utility to fix damages and other options in the Indycar 2 demo, and decided to build a website to house it and other racing sim utilties. Thus, on November 19th, 1995, The Pits was born. After conversations between Jed and Jan at a pub in England, it was only a few months later in January that the US mirror was born. The rest is pretty much history… There’s a few dates that should be noted in The Pits and sim racing history:

  • Jun 1989 – Release of Indianapolis 500: The Simulation
  • Oct 1991 – Release of Bill Elliott’s NASCAR Challenge (ugh)
  • Jun 1993 – Release of Indycar Racing
  • Aug 1995 – Release of NASCAR Racing
  • Nov 1995 – The Pits begins
  • Jun 1996 – Hawaii (first multiplayer) racing starts, long distance modem only
  • Aug 1996 – Jed left The Pits
  • Aug 1996 – www.theuspits.com became a domain name
  • Aug 1996 – Release of Grand Prix 2
  • Dec 1996 – Release of Indycar 2
  • Feb 1997 – Release of NASCAR Racing 2
  • Jul 1997 – The Pits Touring Car Championship is the first major add-on for a racing sim
  • Aug 1997 – The Pits Touring Car Championship (league) begins
  • Nov 1997 – The first running of the Bullrun 1000 (modeled after the Bathurst 1000)
  • Sep 1998 – Release of Grand Prix Legends
  • Mar 1999 – The Pits hits 1,000,000 visits on the front page counter that has been rolling since day one
  • Feb 2001 – Release of NASCAR Racing 4
  • Jul 2005 – The Pits hits 5,000,000 visits on the front page counter
  • Nov 2005 – The Pits turns 10 years old
  • Feb 2007 – The Pits releases The Pits Stock Car Challenge for rFactor, our first stock car mod in eight years
  • Apr 2007 – The Pits hits 6,000,000 visits on the front page counter

Yes, it’s been awhile. And while it’s been some difficult work at times, it’s also been fun! We hope you’ve enjoyed 10 years at The Pits as much as we have!

Members of The Pits, 1995 – 2007

Neil ‘Jed’ Jedrzejewski – (United Kingdom)
Steve Blackwell – (UK)
Dave Bowers – (UK)
Richard Duncan – (UK)
Jan Kohl – (Charlotte, NC)*
Ujjal Bansel – (Gainsville, FL)
Mike Donnelly – (somewhere)
Jim Getzen – (Florida, USA)
Goy Larsen – (Rade, Norway)*
Sean Staples (Toronto, Canada)
David Noonan – (London, UK)*
Gilles Benoit – (Montreal, Canada)*
Jim Dunphy – (Toronto, Canada)*
Dave Turman – (Norman, OK)
Erik Frechette – (Tampa, FL)*
Ken Shropshire – (Iowa City,Iowa)*
Jim Kerekes – (Minnesota, USA)*
Stan Allen – (Mt Kuring gai, Australia)*
Stuart Brown – (Bristol, UK)*
Vince Cuffaro – (Lakewood, OH)
Nigel Pattinson – (New Zealand)*
Eric Miller – RIP
Stefan Karlsson – (Sweden)*
Scott Husted – (Pennsylvania, USA)*
Tim McArthur – (Los Angeles, CA)*
Scott Moore – (somewhere, USA)*
Danny Gelston – (Tasmania, Australia)
Chris Roy – (Montreal, Canada)*
Tony Krist – (Oregon City, OR)*
Scott Stockton – (Tulsa, Oklahoma)*
Thorsten Reuter – (Germany)*
Dave Boyle – (USA)*
Fred Anderson – (Minnesota, USA)*
Chris Squier – (New York, USA)*
Robert Clenshaw – (Norwich, UK)*
Don Price – (somewhere, USA)*
Darrell Eernisse – (Alaska, USA)*
Tony Kelley – (somewhere, USA*
Michael Schmidt – (Charlotte, NC)*
Sean Thompson – (somewhere, USA)*
Ryan Day – (somewhere, USA)
Dan Olbuck – (somewhere, USA)*
Brendan Betts – (Australia)
Jeremy Sharp – (Brisbane, Austrailia)*
Steve Dienes – (Vancouver, BC)*
Sean Thompson – (Somewhere, USA)
Brian Ring – (Somewhere, USA)*
Tats2u – (Daytona Beach, FL)*
C-one – (France)*
Pitchshifter – (Somewhere, USA)*
Tim Strother – RIP
Laurent “Lo” Evenisse – (France)*
Kevin White – (Ohio, USA)*
Jerry Eldridge – (High Point, NC)*
TheSparkster – (Somewhere, USA)
Jarkko Kauppi – (Finland)* Joe Barlow Jr. – (Pennsylvania, USA)*
Scott Rierson – (Charlotte, NC)*
Joel Edick – (Somewhere, USA)*

*current member

Special thanks to everyone who has put some hard work it at The Pits over the years, and to everyone who has visited, enjoyed, and returned to The Pits time after time. We salute you!