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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...

Yesterday's blog concerning my trip to see see bluesman extraordinaire, Chuck Lambert, and his band perform on the Jersey shore, crashed the Drag Racing Underground site, which utterly amazed us, because we just recently upgraded to another few hundred gigs of server bandwidth. Holy Cow!!-- So therefore, yesterday we wound up upgrading to another few hundred gigs of bandwidth to handle the skyrocketing traffic to this place!!-- Yikes!!... We're now in the top 20% of ALL the drag racing and motorsport sites on the internet (including those of the sanctioning organizations) in daily cyber viewers!! You folks have made us HUGE, I mean, REALLY HUGE over the last few months, and I absolutely love you for it!!... Switching gears... I find it interesting that Matt Hagan and the DieHard Funny Car camp's accomplishment of being the first Funny Car team to break the four-second barrier won the 2011 "Moment of the Year" award among NHRA's fans. Of course I have to give credit to talented tuner, Tommy DeLago, for dialing-in the flopper to such a fabulous and HISTORIC 3.995 performance. With all the kicking and screaming we see on the worldwide web from some fans still vehemently protesting the nitro cars reduced racing space of 1000 feet, as opposed to the more traditional 1320 feet, it appears that many folks are now adjusting to the "new standard" of race length, and even embracing the new "numbers", as well as the newly created "performance barriers" that have come with the change. We all know that NHRA was pretty much forced into reducing the 1320ft down to 1000ft for the nitro cars, due to safety concerns, and we also know that one of NHRA's very first mantras of their sanctioning body was "Dedicated to Safety", so, that's what they had to do in the name of safety (they really had no choice but to reduce the length of nitro racing). I guess it now makes sense for those who are still stamping their feet, and having purple-faced hissy fits over the change, to settle down a bit, and embrace the reduced length for the sake of driver safety-- After all, we do want our heroes who strap into these incredibly unforgiving and potentially volatile race cars to be safer as they embark on their jaunting journeys down the drag strip...

 

 


CHUCK LAMBERT + PAUL GAITA + ED TRYGAR = BLUES TO BLOW YOU AWAY!!...

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Last night when our friend, Lou Trygar, came by the house to take John Gill and I out to see a "blues" band, the weather was kicking-up into nothing short of an APOCALYPTIC FRENZY!! Brutally high winds, torrential rain, and fierce fog were wreaking havoc on New Jersey!! Most folks would have played it safe, and just stayed home, sheltered from the extremely dangerous elements. However, we were headstrong determined to go see Lou's brother, Ed Trygar, playing drums in a band that he's in with bassist Paul Gaita, and legendary NJ blues guitarist Chuck Lambert. We all hopped into Lou's car and risked our lives by taking the NJ State Parkway to Giamano's Restaurant & Bar in Bradley Beach. The Parkway was a truly treacherous drive, looking more like a high seas storm scene out of MOBY-DICK, than a stretch of wide, flat pavement!! The wind, rain, and fog wreaked havoc on the road. After an hour of driving extremely carefully, Lou successfully delivered us to our intended "blues destination". After surviving our frightful journey, we were treated to a special V.I.P. comfortable couch seat, we settled in with our beverages, and were now able to kick back and enjoy the band... The trio lead by guitarist extraordinaire Chuck Lambert, played a whole slew of classic blues standards. Chuck is a gent who was made to sing and play the blues. Chuck's towering presence, along with his ability to vocalize, and pick guitar straight from the heart commands your undivided attention. With the exception of a Giamano's waiter who possessed a strong resemblance to "FRANKENSTEIN" (in a cute sort of way), and kept walking by us, my attention was firmly fixated on the band. Bass guitarist Paul Gaita had a five string and kept a mesmerizing rhythm. Ed Trygar personified blues versatility on the drum kit. Ed and Paul were in perfect syncopation with each other, just like a bassist and drummer are supposed to be, allowing Chuck to flawlessly feel the groove and deliver his brand of heartfelt blues. When the show was over, I had the opportunity to meet with Chuck and the band, they're certainly a group of classy gentlemen... I highly recommend you go see Chuck Lambert and these talented fellows if they ever perform in your neck of the woods... Thankfully the weather completely cleared up by time we stepped out of Giamano's, and we even took a ride to take a brief stroll on the beach. I could hardly believe how clear the night sky was, you could see all the stars and constellations, Orion, the Big Dipper, heck, I thought I might have even seen a UFO, but that's for another day's blog, ha ha...


Last night brought an ONSLAUGHT of cyber traffic to my blog. Probably due to my written heartfelt remembrance of talk radio personality Lynn Samuels, combined with the overwhelming traffic of folks visiting here to see a small John Gill's pic with a "sauced-up" Santa Claus-- The "boozed up" Santa shot has become quite the viral sensation... Over 42,000 visits caused the Drag Racing Underground site to chuck a rod and crash, fortunately our team of internet specialists seem to have done repairs and have us back up and running on all eight cylinders. Good Golly, Miss Molly!!-- I'm really glad that this place has become the undisputed most frequented "alternative" drag racing media site on the entire internet. I appreciate all you folks who now check in here daily for a dose of drag racing truth, justice, and the America way.... Switching gears... I realize that lots of you received money as a gift for Christmas, and now that you have that money, you're gettin' real busy, ordering our Drag Racing Underground DVDs online! We're experiencing almost as much of a buying rush as before Christmas!! So, I still have my two girlfriends from the neighborhood, Janet and Lorraine, helping us out with pulling and packing orders, so you'll get your DVDs in a timely fashion. And yes, they're still wearing their cute little "Santa's elves" hats, although the green elf-like leotards that they were merrily prancing around in at our recent DRU Christmas party, are reportedly now in the girls' respective laundry rooms awaiting a washing, ha ha-- But I assure you, these gals will make certain that y'all get your DVDs delivered promptly... For those of you in the Jersey area, my friend, Ed Trygar, will be playing drums tonight with the Chuck Lambert Band at Giamano's restaurant & bar in Bradley Beach. Those of you who aren't aware of who Chuck Lambert is, well, all I can say is that he's a genuine powerhouse of a blues guitarist-- He's the "real deal" in blues music for sure. Our longtime friend Louie, who is Ed's younger brother, flew in from the west coast for Christmas, and will be taking John and I there tonight. Hopefully I'll see a few of you there as well, I'm sure some of my Raceway Park friends will be in attendance.  The show starts at 7pm until 9:30pm. Giamano's is located at 301 Main Street, in Bradley Beach, NJ-- Yes, it's on the Jersey shore, however, I strongly doubt there will be a Snooki in sight...


TALK RADIO PERSONALITY LYNN SAMUELS DEAD AT 69...

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I hope that y'all had a nice Christmas day. Mine consisted of spending it with some family members that I haven't seen in awhile, so, that was a lot of fun for me... I'm saddened to report that longtime NY radio personality, Lynn Samuels, passed away on Christmas Eve at the age of 69. Samuels got her start at WBAI FM, then, in the late 1980's landed a gig at mega-giant WABC 77AM. She was a real pistol on WABC, a radio personality who actually had a "personailty"!! Despite Lynn being what most folks would consider to be a "left-winger", if she didn't like what a particular politician was doing, whether they were a left-wing Democrat or a right-wing Republican, she'd rip them to shreds equally, which was so darn REFRESHING for a talk show radio host, because God knows, there's nothing worse in political radio than a Republican mouthpiece who refuses to call their own on the carpet when they screw up, or a Democrat talk show host who is too scared to criticize someone from their persuasion when they screw up. Unfortunately, the current climate in politically oriented broadcasting is extremely sterile, and BORING-- Too many current talk show hosts stick like glue to one side of the political fence, making for "unlistenable" and "unbearable" talk radio in my opinion. Lynn Samuels was part of a WABC 77AM broadcasting era that was far more exciting, eclectic, UNPREDICTABLE and ENTERTAINING than it is today!!... Several years ago I attended a fund raiser for a children's charity at the Reo Diner in Woodbridge, NJ-- I met Lynn Samuels there, and she was a genuine hoot to hang out with (See the candid photograph that I snapped below). Another former WABC radio great, Jay Diamond, was there too, John Gill became friends with Jay over the years. WABC's corporate brass made a HUGE mistake when firing both Lynn and Jay. It's also worth noting that comedian Pat Cooper performed at the Reo Diner fund raiser-- Pat Cooper is an unbelievably funny man!!... In 2003 Lynn was hired by SIRIUS satellite radio, where she was working up to her death. I have a celebrity musician friend who used to have a weekly show on SIRIUS too, he told me that unless you're Howard Stern or Martha Stewart, SIRIUS pays their on-air talent little more than you'd get for flippin' burgers at McDonald's-- So, you know that Lynn must have been truly dedicated to having a voice in radio. So long to Lynn Samuels. If today's political blowhard radio talk show hosts even possessed a fraction of her degree of honesty,  moxy, and courage to cross party lines when morally and ethically necessary, talk radio would actually be fun again...

 

 

 

 

 


MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM A "SAUCED UP" SANTA CLAUS FROM CHRISTMAS PAST!!...

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I want to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a MERRY CHRISTMAS.... For today's blog, I'm lightening things up a bit, and sharing a ridiculous photo that was taken many moons ago... Long before there was a BIG STICK band, or a DRAG RACING UNDERGROUND video production company, back in time, when John Gill was only knee-high to a grasshopper, and barely as tall as even the smallest of his Marshall guitar cabinets, John's parents dragged him to the Mall to have his picture taken with "Santa Claus"... In this particular case, "Santa" was so "loaded", he could barely sit up. As a matter of fact, according to John, "Santa" smelled like he was boozing it up since the previous year's Christmas!!-- If you should ever see a "Santa Claus" looking this "bombed", please grab his car keys and call him a cab!!


CHRISTMAS PARTY NOTES & IN POLAND TONITE THE CRITTERS SPEAK!!...

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Yesterday was our Christmas party here at DRAG RACING UNDERGROUND. Practically all our staff were celebrating with festive cheer. Our company veterans, including John, Mike, Jim, Rusty, Christine, Stephanie, and Gary were all in attendance. I also invited Eric, our incredible audio engineer, who is working with us on our BIG STICK music thing to come party with us. And of course my two adorable girlfriends from the neighborhood, Janet & Lorraine, who've been working part time as our official "Christmas Elves", to help us fill all our Christmas orders were primped and present at the party as well, drinking the potent punch that our resident "ultra geek" Gary concocted, and they were both merrily prancing about in their makeshift Christmas elf hats and green leotards, ha ha, I bought my girls the leotards to wear at the party-- They looked so darn cute dressed as the "Christmas Elves" that I truly believe they are, I mean, there's NO WAY we would have been able to fill all our Christmas orders in a timely fashion without Janet and Lorraine coming to our rescue! I'd like to thank our friends from FORD for picking up the catering tab for the party. And I definitely want to thank all you loyal readers of my blog for giving me the best Christmas present of all, making me the number one most read female blogger on the drag racing internet! I want you to know that I felt like you all were here too, partying it up with us in spirit. You know that I love you all!!... In closing, here's a bit of interesting trivia that was bought to my attention by my  friend, Jeff Magnum, the talented guitar player of  "Dead Boys" fame...  "In Poland, the Christmas Eve Mass is called the Pasterka, which means the "Shepherds Watch", and there is a popular belief that while the congregation is praying, peace descends on the snow covered town and that during the holy night, the humble companions of men and women (the domestic animals) assume voices, but only the innocent of heart may hear them! So if yer dog, cat, or guinea pig starts talkin' tonight, YOU BETTER LISTEN!!"... 

 

 


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... Lots of you wrote me, including drag racing veteran Dale Pulde, with words of appreciation for my blog honoring the life of recently departed drag racing photographer Bob Plumer-- It appears that Bob was well liked by racers and fans alike... In regards to my blog recognizing all the folks in the drag racing biz who don't really get an "off season" vacation, and have many job responsibilities that keep them busy all year long, I received email from a few of the pro teams, thanking me for bringing this often overlooked fact to the attention of my readers-- Erin, who is a sponsor hunter for a Midwestern team said he'll "try" to take my advice and make time for his family this Christmas (I sure hope so)...  My blog about the importance of racers keeping their reaction time skills sharp during the off season, by hunkering down at least an hour a week with a "practice tree" generated responses of a mixed variety-- Positive emails from the folks who manufacture and sell practice trees (What a surprise, HA!), and one very negative email from Doris of Buff City, TN, who says her hubby needs to put his practice tree down and pay more attention to her! YIKES!... Yesterday's blog covering recent New Jersey related horror stories in the news was a hit with many of my local readers--  The phony death of Jon Bon Jovi prompted some of his fans to write in-- I didn't realize so many of you are fans of the Sayreville, NJ native-- In regards to the plane crash on Route 287, Warren from Lyndhurst, NJ agreed with me that even on days when a plane isn't crashing into the winding highway, "it's a disaster of a commute!"-- Lastly, the New Jersey horror story of David Ivins, the  homeless man severely beaten by creeps from Belmar, NJ, the town that masquerades itself as being a quaint seashore community, however, harbors a lawless youth population who constantly, and violently prey on homeless folks, the elderly, and women, prompted  Claudine from Scotch Plains, NJ to write about how her family was terrorized by some young Belmar thugs during an evening stroll along the shoreline, she claims that she's "through with that town", and she believes that the authorities "looked the other way" regarding the incident. I did receive one email asking that I give Belmar another chance, however, after checking the source, uh, I suspect it comes from one of the municipality's blowhard bureaucrats-- I'll be writing him back with a detailed account of what happened to John Gill's dad in that degenerate dump of a town... 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...


Over the last several days there's been some troubling news stories generated from the State of New Jersey. I'm aware that my blog is a nationally, even internationally read blog, however, I feel compelled to dedicate today's writing to the recent and genuinely disturbing going-ons from around my neck of the woods... First we have the Jon Bon Jovi phony death story. While I don't claim to be Jon's biggest fan, I sure would hate to see him die such an early death. Evidently somebody posted a blog featuring a fake story of Jon croaking from cardiac arrest, same story was picked up by folks on Twitter, the false tale quickly got legs, and made it to some of the mainstream press. Jon Bon Jovi is alive and well. The Sayreville, NJ native is simply the victim of a cyber hoax.... As if driving on New Jersey's Route 287 isn't already enough of a dancing with death experience, yesterday a private plane descended from the sky and crashed into the infamous highway. Five people who were on the plane, along with the family dog died in the mishap. The accident resulted in horrific traffic delays, as there usually are on a daily basis on Rt. 287 anyways, only this particular traffic mess made the national news due to the freak plane crash. My condolences to family and friends of the crash victims... Lastly, in New Jersey related horror news, a 51 year old homeless man named David Ivins was severely beaten in the woods of Wall Township by two creeps, one age 21, the other age 17. The thugs actually posted the beating on YouTube, and I watched it being played last night on Fox Network's local affiliate Channel 5's 10 o'clock news. The two miscreants who preyed on this poor man are from Belmar, New Jersey. Belmar is a town that masquerades itself as being a quaint seashore community, however, much of its youth population are absolute garbage. Several years ago, John Gill's late father was walking from a Belmar eating establishment to his car, when a few Belmar youths collectively knocked him down and caused permanent bodily harm.-- And the local Belmar law enforcement phonies were miserably inept in handling the matter. So, hey, I must warn all my readers who might be planning a family vacation on the Jersey shore to stay as far away as humanly possible from Belmar-- its outward appearance is very misleading, it looks nice on the surface, but in my opinion, it's truly New Jersey's worst piece of garbage town... Well, there you have it, my friends--  It's certainly been a busy last few days in NJ-- And we sure can't blame any of THESE particular horrific New Jersey news stories on little ol' Snooki...

 

 

 

 


It's December, it's almost Christmas, for many people involved with this drag racing stuff, it means you're now entitled to take a little break, a small vacation, some of that much looked forward to off season rest and relaxation. However, as this sport has evolved over the years, and the level of competition has increased to a ridiculous degree, there are some people working in this business who really don't get an off season break. The truth is, for some, the end of one racing season, means the hectic dash in preparing for the next one. We see this especially in the pro categories, with crew chiefs and different assigned crew and administrative people scrambling to order new cars, new motors, new parts, new tow rigs, new uniforms, new race car and tow rig wraps, hiring and firing personnel, making travel arrangements for next season, courting new sponsors, trying desperately to keep current sponsors convinced they're getting their moneys worth, etc, etc... Yeah, there's a lot to do during the "off season" for some folks in the drag racing biz, lots of responsibilities that require just as much attention to detail, as their responsibilities demand of them during the actual race season.  It's for these individuals who are working behind the scenes, busting their buttocks, hustling hard in preparation for the 2012 season, that I dedicate today's blog to. I know you're out there, and I know despite your horrendous workloads, many of you still make a few minutes of time every day to read this blog-- And I sure appreciate that-- And I also appreciate all the grunt work you're doing while the rest of us have leisure time to spend with loved ones and friends. I know that there's those of you who don't have much time this holiday season to hug you family, spend time with friends, and do a lot of the things that us other folks take for granted--- I get that-- So, for you, I ask that you still FORCE YOURSELF  (even if you work for JOHN FORCE), to take a brief breather from you duties and engage in some down home holiday cheer. I know you're out there, I'm thinking of all of you extremely dedicated, hard working folks, and I want you all to have a Merry Christmas-- Please try to make just a little time in your horrendously hectic schedule for that to happen...


'TIS THE SEASON FOR DRAG RACERS TO BOND WITH THE CHRISTMAS TREE...

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The Christmas holiday is upon us. It's now drag racing's "off season" in most places across the globe. And now is the time for all serious drag racers to bond with the Christmas Tree. I don't mean the Christmas Tree with the pine needles and tinsel, I'm referring to the Christmas Tree that's used universally to stage and start drag races... That's right, now's the time for all racers who still can't quite cut a good light to hunker down with a "practice tree", and develop the knack for improving their all-important reaction times. It's also a good idea for racers who are capable of producing good "R.Ts" (reaction times), to spend some time with their practice tree as well, to keep their skills sharp and avoid getting rusty during the off season. In the sport of drag racing, it's no secret that most races are either won or lost depending on a driver's reaction time, that's just the facts, so therefore, spending time with one's practice tree is usually time well spent. Whether you have one of those popular compact, pocket sized practice tree gadgets, or the more costly "full size" practice tree versions, try dedicating at least an hour per week to honing your R.T. skills... Yeah, I know, I know, you much rather just kick back on the couch and watch your Drag Racing Underground dvds over and over again-- Hey, that's only natural for any real drag racer of drag fan, but please, take a little time out of your Drag Racing Underground dvd watching schedule to polish your tree leaving skills... Take my advice and you'll be thanking me when the snow clears, and the off season is over, and it's time for you to get back to the strip-- And you're a bullet on the Christmas Tree, with reaction times you can be proud of, instead of being a "snoozer" who can't get past first round... Happy Hanukkah to all my Jewish readers!...