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Doc's Blog

Welcome to Diana 'The Doc' Thomas' official Blog ... A radio interviewer once referred to Diana as being a 'Celebrity Drag Racing Authority & Visionary'... Diana has indeed filled the shoes (or fire boots) as truly being America's foremost 'Celebrity Drag Racing Authority & Visionary'... Diana is known for being somewhat controversial at times... She writes the truth... Diana tells it like it is about drag racing and other topical issues-- You've seen Diana 'The Doc' Thomas on our DVDs, with Bret Kepner on ESPN, and in all the major media... Don't miss your opportunity to read her daily blog right here at DRAG RACING UNDERGROUND... Diana's blog gives you a daily dose of truth and reality with heart... Diana's unique and refreshing perspective is unlike anything else on the drag racing web... We strongly recommend that you bookmark this page now... Be sure you check in daily to experience & enjoy Diana's unique insight, worldly wisdom and perspective...

LOCAL BOY EDDIE KRAWIEC MAKES PRO STOCK BIKE HISTORY AT 200MPH!!...

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Those of us from my neck of the woods are used to seeing Eddie Krawiec occasionally handling management duties at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park aka E'Town (my favorite drag strip). And of course as most of you probably know, Eddie  Krawiec is the reigning NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Motorcycle champion. While testing Monday at South Georgia Motorsports Park at Valdosta, Eddie became the first Pro Stock Motorcycle rider to put "200 Miles Per Hour" up on the big board. Eddie ran a 6.771 at 200.08 mph, and while the performance is considered to be "unofficial" in terms of NHRA record-keeping, the 6.771 and 200.08 mph is quicker than Hector Arana Sr.'s NHRA elapsed time record of 6.777 and faster than Eddie's own speed record of 199.26 mph from last year's edition of the NHRA Gatornationals... Eddie credits ideal air and atmospheric conditions as a contributing factor to his historic Georgia performance, and believe it or not, he also claims that it was a pass that fell short of feeling perfect, as a matter of fact, Eddie said that the bike even spun the tire a bit and rattled around a little-- Geez, I guess if Eddie can once again find himself and his bike in ideal air, and make a completely gremlin-free pass, who knows what startling numbers will appear on his time slip?!?... Maybe we'll see Eddie Krawiec make more history at this weekend's Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals?! Congratulations are definitely in order for Eddie Krawiec and the entire Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Pro Stock V-rod crew for being the first P/S Bike team to penetrate the 200 MPH barrier!!... We're all mighty proud of y'all!!...

 


Here we go again, my dear friends,  with gas prices already at the highest on record for this time of year, and economic "experts" predicting that "regular" gas prices will rise to possibly $5.00 a gallon this Spring and Summer, I have to ask, will obscene gas prices derail drag racing's 2012 season??... Will obscene gas prices be reason for racers on a budget not to tow to races outside their immediate area? Will a sinister spike in gas prices keep families on a budget from making lengthy car trips to the races, resulting in less spectators in the grandstands? I admit to being a little bit worried. It appears that the economy is making "baby steps" towards a slight recovery, however, ultra inflated gas prices could smack us with a painful setback... According to President Obama, there's no "silver bullet" to combat inflated gas prices. Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich promises that if he's elected, we'll see gas prices fall to $2.50 per gallon!! Although we're told that Gingrich's promise is just a case of blowhard hot-air directed at vulnerable voters-- In other words, it's a lie... Can ANYONE save our nation's common folk from getting abused with every painful visit to the gas pump? I guess the answer is NO. And with all the trouble we see in Iran, and all the garbage going on in the Middle East, there really is no end in sight to provide gas price gauging relief... I guess the only thing for humble drag racers and drag fans to do is cut back on other "luxury" expenses in order to have money saved to fill their gas tanks for lengthy trips to the races. I really wish I had a better solution to the problem, but I don't. I wish our government would have a solution to this problem, but they obviously don't really think it's as much of a problem as millions of cash strapped Americans do.  In closing, I appeal to my readers to please not allow rising gas prices to keep you from enjoying drag racing this coming Spring and Summer. Figure out a way to budget your money so you can afford to make it out to the drags, whether you're a racer or a spectator, don't let high prices at the pump put your 2012 racing season in the dumps. Let's work together to bring economic recovery to drag racing... Please, let's not let the whole sport of drag racing severely suffer because of the insatiable greed of a few gluttonous oil companies...


LET'S TALK OIL DOWNS, DOWNTIME, & CREW MEMBERS GETTIN' DOWN...

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Before I got started on today's extremely serious subject, I just want to say how much I enjoyed the B-52's "With The Wild Crowd" special on PBS-TV last night. The group turned out an incredible performance in Athens, GA, the place where they originated some 34 years ago. I'm happy for Fred , Cindy, Kate & Keith, they certainly deserve this sort of  hyped-up recognition for all the rockin' 'n' soulful music they've given us.... Okay, switching gears to today's main subject-- It seems like every single time I'd check in on the "March Meet" this past weekend, there would be yet another oil down, keeping the clean-up crews plenty busy, and keeping the race cars off the track. I realize that oil downs are a touchy issue, I know that there's some folks in this business who don't like to hear a gal like me try to talk some common sense into the heads of racers and crews about this troubling curse of the drag racing world, but hey, that's too bad-- SOMEBODY has to speak up about this plaguing form of event downtime, and since I have the biggest reputation in the drag racing media for "telling it like it is", that's exactly what I'm gonna do right now... First of all, it's time for many team crew chiefs and crew members to take their responsibilities a lot more seriously than they do now. Even if you're not making "big bucks" for crew duties, and your only pay for the weekend are barbeque burgers and a pat on the back, you've got to realize how important your role in the racing operation truly is. You've got to make sure that before you send your driver down the drag strip, that you've checked every possible variable on the car that could result in fluid leakage-- and while your driver is staging in the beams, at least one crew member should "get down" on the ground, and check underneath the car for leaks-- I know it's not "glamorous" work, but someone should do it to insure you're sending your driver down the track with nothin' drippin' from under the car, this way your driver won't slip on his own oil and possibly crash-- And this sort of preventive procedure can also eliminate the downtime that comes with costly clean-ups... Downtime hurts everybody. You have to do everything in your power as a crew person to make sure that your team's car is solid and sound before it zooms down the track. And for you drivers reading this, if you suspect that your ride is broke or that it's leaking, PLEASE do your best to safely pull off to the side of the track and out of the groove, so that if you are leaking, you won't get fluid on the main groove of the track... I ask that if you know some drivers and crew people who DON'T read this blog, that you make sure that for this particular blog installment that they DO...

 

Even if you're a crew member not making the "big bucks", and your only compensation for the weekend are barbecue burgers and a pat on the back, it's still imperative that you take your responsibilities very seriously, and do everything in your power to ensure you're sending your driver down the strip in a ride that's as safe as it can possibly be-- and leak free...

... And for you drivers, if you suspect your car has broke and could possibly be leaking fluids, pull safely off to the side of the track and get out of the main groove. This will make cleaning up your car's mess a lot easier and less time consuming...


OUR FRIENDS THE B-52's "WITH THE WILD CROWD" AIRING ON PBS-TV...

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As many of you folks who read this blog with regularity are already aware, we (Big Stick) are good friends with popular music group the B-52's. We even have Fred Schneider performing guest co-lead vocals with us on a track we plan to release in 2012-- The song titled "Hot Sauce" features Fred giving an outstanding soulful vocal performance with John Gill and yours truly-- Wait 'til ya hear it, it's a blast!!.... Anyways, this month, Public Broadcasting Stations (PBS-TV) will be airing a special presentation called "B-52's With The Wild Crowd"-- the program includes concert footage from the group's 35th Anniversary concert in Athens, GA, the place where the band first assembled. It's pretty amazing to think they've lasted all these years, and still remain a strong force in the music world. Their legions of fans are in great numbers and stretch all over the globe. The late John Lennon of Beatles fame was actually ready to give-up on music, until he heard "Rock Lobster" on the radio, and that inspired him to get off his butt, get back in the studio and start recording music again... Let's face it, the B-52's have a unique form of talent that not many other groups in the history of rock 'n' soul possess... I'm proud to call them friends, and to know that they're actually big fans of the music I make-- I believe they are the cat's pajamas of popular music... Here's a link that will provide you with a schedule of when the B-52's "With The Wild Crowd" airs on your local PBS-TV station-- http://www.b52sonpbs.com/


Since most of the drag racing media seems to be completely ignoring the fact that parts of the South and Midwest have been going through complete mayhem the last couple of days, I feel compelled to say something-- The severe storms that have generated devastating tornadoes has resulted in so much destruction and death, that it's difficult to comprehend. Not until after the mainstream news shows here in the Northeast get done telling us about how Kim Kardashian took off her makeup, or how Steven Tyler took off his pants, do they even touch upon the brutal story of how the weather is making life for our brothers and sisters in the Midwest and South unbearable. I'm sure that if Newt Gingrich and Al Sharpton decided to play "Twister" together, it would receive a lot more attention from the media people who control the news shows, than the actual "Twisters" that have destroyed entire communities from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes... Yes, I'm disappointed by the lack of concern that I'm seeing for all the poor folks who've been pummeled by "Mother Nature", simply because they live in "rural" America, as opposed to the "cosmopolitan" cities like New York and San Fransisco-- Just goes to show you where the mainstream media's priorities really stand... That said, I want to express my concern, sympathies, and sorrow for all the people who've had their lives turned upside down by this rash of brutal weather. When the news programs finally do get around to spending a brief minute showing the devastation, it weighs heavily on this gal's heart. I know that I have an awful lot of loyal readers from some of the places hit hardest by the tornadoes, those of you who are still fortunate enough to have computer access, I want you to know that there's lots of folks like myself who DO care about you and your families-- I want y'all to know that you are in our thoughts and prayers...

 

 


Today is "FEEDBACK FRIDAY", meaning I deal with emails that my assistant Stephanie and I receive from readers regarding my most recent blogs... Let's get to it.... My blog regarding the insane mainstream media giving the Ohio school shooter so much slack prompted a firestorm of emails from angry readers. Evidently I wasn't the only one who noticed the TV news "talking heads" slyly trying to justify the little creep killing and maiming his classmates because he was "fed up" with them-- Angie from Fontana, Calif wrote, "The killer should be charged as an adult and put away for life". Mark from Petersberg, Va wrote, "If any of my kids ever did something like that I would kill them myself!".  Casey from Boise, Idaho was among the minority of folks taking a more sympathetic stance, and she commented, "Bullying is a serious issue in schools, maybe this incident will finally wake up administrators to do something about it!". Casey was one of only five of my readers who took that position... My blog asking the question of whether on not politics and NHRA drag racing make for good bedfellows, in response to Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum's political campaigning being the biggest news story at the recent NASCAR Daytona 500 generated loads of reader mail. I would say that about 80% of y'all don't want to see politicians invading our space at NHRA events. Those of you who did say that you'd like to see politicians have a presence in drag racing, said that doing so would give you the sense that politicians care about the sport. One of the strongest opinions against the concept came from Ralph of Philly who said, "We're sick enough of seeing political phonies on TV every waking moment, I don't want to see them at the track!".  One of the more eloquent comments coming from someone who believes politicians DO have a place at the strip was Nathanial  from Tenn who wrote, "Government decisions could play a major role in the survival of drag racing, it would be wise to invite political leaders to the races so they know that we're voters and we demand respect."--- Frank from Cape May, NJ wrote that he believes he once saw Governor Chris Christie running in Heavy Eliminator at Atco Raceway??-- I don't know if you're just pulling my leg, Frank?-- I know of no history of NJ's current Governor ever racing at the Jersey drags... Keep those emails comin', whether you agree or disagree with my opinions, I'm genuinely interested in your feedback... I just ask that you please keep your emails short and to the point, no rambling please, and please also include where you're from, I often find the location of where folks are writing me from to be sort of interesting... Thanks...


E'TOWN 1/4 MILE DRAG RACING SUNDAY MARCH 4TH... R.I.P. DAVY JONES...

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Last Sunday the opening day for E'Town's 1/4 mile racing was cancelled due to cold and breezy conditions. Providing that the weather behaves better this coming Sunday, March 4th, the 1/4 mile strip will be open for business. I know that a lot of you racers and fans from my neck of the woods are itching to get back out to the drags, so hopefully "Mother Nature" will be a bit more cooperative this weekend. Heck, there were parts of northern New Jersey that just experience some snowfall, if there's one thing that none of us can be completely sure about and guarantee, it's the weather. Hopefully we'll see warm conditions that will enable Old Bridge Township Raceway Park to open the gates and get some heated horsepower back on the drag strip. It's also worth noting that it's rumored that a healthy handful on "No Time" racers will be coming for battle... Switching gears... I want to mention Davy Jones of the Monkees passing away.  Evidently Davy died of a heart attack at 66 years of age. Before the Monkees, he was a child actor in the U.K.-- The Monkees were huge in the 60's and early 70's, much due to their popular TV show of the same name. I believe their TV show was a true slice of music marketing genius. While there's no denying that they were somewhat of a "smoke and mirrors" sort of group, created by producers and rock promoter Don Kirshner, they sure had great vocal sound, with a unique brand of charm and teen appeal. A few of their hits made a major impact on the rock/pop world. May Davy Jones Rest In Peace... Hey, hey, we’re the Monkees, and people say we monkey around. But we’re too busy singing to put anybody down...

 

Weather permitting, this Sunday March 4th, 1/4 mile drag racing starts up again for the 2012 season at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park... Rumors of "No Time" cars coming for battle are circulating... Y'all know that I love these type of race cars....

Drag Racing Underground is a longtime staunch supporter of "No Time" drag racing...

 



Bullying has become a big deal in our culture. And while I certainly won't deny that it's my belief that bullies are about the lowest forms of life known to mankind (uh, cause they truly are), I must say that the way the media is handling yesterday's school shooting in Ohio has me genuinely concerned. I've seen several TV reports telling of how the school shooter was simply bullied to the point where he was "forced to snap"-- as if the shooter really had no other alternative than to walk into the cafeteria and murder and maim the kids who bullied him. The media is playing up this tragedy to the point where they're falling just short of practically condoning the shooter's violent actions!-- This has me worried, because for the first time, at least to my knowledge, the media appears to be taking sides with a killer... Look, I acknowledge that bullying in schools and cyber bullying has indeed become an unfortunate "epidemic" among mental midgets and the immature of our population, and I believe steps should be taken by our schools and law enforcement to curtail bullying. However, that said, we shouldn't be giving the public the idea that fighting back at bullying with a loaded gun is the only way to combat it!...  And yes, being a woman in the drag racing business, I've had to deal with bullies in the past, I know that some of you are going to email me regarding the few mental midgets at the "Classless F/C board" who used to bully me like mindless morons, and yes, when I first started out as one of the sport's slim minority of female journalists, I'd hear an occasional wise crack now and then-- But even being a victim of bullying myself, I still believe the media is making a huge mistake by cutting the Ohio school shooter the ample amount of slack that we're seeing them do with each and every news broadcast-- We can't give our kids the impression that because they might be bullied at their school, that shooting up their cafeteria is an acceptable recourse once they've become "fed up" with the situation-- Shame on the media for taking the position that the shooter was so "fed up", that this act of violence was "inevitable"-- The media is sending kids the wrong message and they should wise up to the possible future consequences of doing so!... Do they want to see more of this kind of bloodshed in the future?- Are they really that desperate for ratings?!--- Shame, shame on them!!...

 

Being one of drag racing's slim minority of serious female journalists, I know what bullying is, however, the media giving kids the impression that violence is their only recourse to bullying is just wrong... I say "Shame On You" to the mainstream media...

Yours truly enjoying a fine day at my favorite drag strip, Old Bridge Township Raceway Park...

 

 


DO POLITICS AND DRAG RACING MAKE FOR GOOD BEDFELLOWS??...

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Do politics and drag racing make for good bedfellows? Obviously the NASCAR brass welcomes politicians to promote themselves in their motorsport arena. At this past weekend's Daytona 500, it was the politics promoted at the event that received far more mainstream media coverage than the actual racing ever has. Republican presidential frontrunner Mitt Romney made the rounds shaking hands and kissing babies at Daytona International Speedway. And another Republican presidential hopeful, Rick Santorum, had his campaign sponsoring Tony Raines' No#26 Ford with signage reading "Rick 2012" on the quarter-panels and rear bumper of the race car. The way so many folks on the internet believe that drag racing would be more successful if our major sanctioning body (NHRA) would try harder to mimic all the strategies of NASCAR, leads me to think that there's probably a lot of drag racing people who would like to see politicians at the drag strip-- I openly admit that I've always been a bit apprehensive about mixing politics with drag racing, or mixing politics with ANYTHING for that matter, I mean, just speaking from my own personal life, I've seen people get so wrapped up in politics, that it destroyed their lives. For some folks, politics becomes just as harmful of an addiction as booze or crack, it raises their blood pressure and completely ruins their health, much due to the kind of anger and rage that politics can stir-up in individuals with vulnerable souls. Don't get me wrong, I believe that we should all be somewhat politically aware of what the heck is going on in our world, however, if doing so turns you into a hopelessly angry individual, and then subsequently shaves a few years off your lifespan, like I've personally witnessed happen to people I knew, uh, than you're much better off "stepping away" from the political cable news networks and "talk radio"-- An over zealous "politically charged" "lifestyle" has definitely killed people I've known... However, that said, some people CAN be politically aware and active while still remaining healthy in mind, body and spirit, unfortunately others can't, it just outright kills them, that's just the way it is... Anyways, I ask you, my loyal readers, should Mitt Romney come and shake hands at the drags? Should Rick Santorum's campaign buy some sponsorship signage on a race car that doesn't makes turns? Should Barack Obama accept an invitation from NHRA to be an honorary starter for a race?-- Do you want politicians to have a presence in drag racing? Tell me what you think-- And I'll revisit this touchy subject with my "Feedback Friday" blog... Thanks...


YOU WANNA KNOW ABOUT MY SCULPTURE SIDE?!?-- PART TWO...

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After my Friday blog, telling you fine folks about me bringing one of my wax sculptures to the Modern Art Foundry in Astoria, NY, to be cast in bronze, I received lots of emails from readers curious to know more about my "artistic" side-- I admit that while I occasionally share with you my BIG STICK business, the music side of my life, I don't usually write much about the art and sculpture side of my life... Well, yes, I do drawings, paintings, and my current favorite form of art medium, sculpture work-- As far as my sculpture work goes, I've done some bronze bunnies that I'm kinda proud of. I often start my bronze projects with wax... I also occasionally work in wire and paper mache... I don't have any of my bunny pics handy right now, but I do have another photo of the dragon I created from paper mache--- I'll get some photos of my bronze bunnies and other artwork together, so that I can post them here at a later date... Thanks to all of you who expressed an interest-- And also to those of you who told me that you want to buy my art, despite the fact that you haven't really seen much of it!!-- THAT'S definitely fan dedication!!-- I've said it before (just yesterday, as a matter of fact) and I'll say it again-- You're the best friends a gal could ever ask for!!... Thanks...

 

This is another photo of the paper mache dragon I created. He's approximately 10" high. We see him here wreaking havoc among the thick backyard undergrowth... For the few of you who expressed an interest in buying the dragon from me, I must report that unfortunately I gave it as a gift to John Gill's brother, who I believe is going through a nasty divorce, so along with probably losing his home, I would imagine he lost this dragon too... I genuinely feel sorry for John's brother and the dragon...

For your viewing pleasure, another photograph of the dragon I created ... A dragon for my drag racing friends to see...