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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...

The old adage "If It Ain't Broke Don't Fix It" are words of wisdom, words that unfortunately do not pertain to what's happened and what's continuing to happen to a sacred eating and drinking establishment located only a stone's throw away from E'Town Raceway Park. Back in the 1970's it was "required" by drag racing's most colorful of personalities, like Funny Car star "Jungle Jim" & many others, to make a "pit stop" after all the major Raceway Park events to Cantore's Bar & Grill, situated at 1194 Englishtown Road, in Old Bridge, New Jersey (an address considered to be "sacred ground" by those who really know their northeast drag racing history). The modest sized brick building had a cozy bar and intimate atmosphere-- The parking lot would be frequently packed like sardines with race car trailers. The pizza was the best and the beer & beverages served up cold and bold. The jukebox was always stocked with good music, not just the typical bubblegum stuff, but also the more edgy rock 'n' roll of the day... Then in the 80's, the place was bought by a new owner and became Vitale's. Fortunately the new owner kept everything the same, adhering to the wise "If It Ain't Broke Don't Fix It" adage. The original crisp and delicious pizza remained, the jukebox stayed edgy & everything was right with the world. Racers still felt at home... Then a few years back it was sold again to new owners and renamed "The Race Zone", and while the quality of the food & drink remained pretty good, the original classic red brick exterior was painted a pale shade of beige, I mean, what's wrong with red bricks?!? The lights were turned-up just a little too bright for what's considered proper "old school" bar lighting, and the amount of drag racing clientele dwindled. It seemed as if the original drag racing "romance" that was associated with the bar disappeared... And now the place is closed down, rumored to have been sold once again-- It appears that the entire interior has been completely gutted-out and loaded into dumpsters, which doesn't make any sense to me, the original bar was a classic beautiful, real-wood "old school" fixture, the whole interior was perfect!!--- Why trash it?!?-- It also appears that the next stage of metamorphosis for the bar possibly borders on some sort of "franchise appearing", commercial "sports bar" motif-- Yuck!-- Why can't we have the old "Cantore's" or "Vitale's" back?!?-- The place was a GOLDMINE with lots of happy customers spending lots of money!-- You don't "fix" that!-- You keep it the way it is!... It looks like for the possible future of this place, instead of seeing a "Jungle Jim" sitting at the bar, we might be seeing "George of the Jungle" costumed "Chuck E. Cheese-ish" characters  juggling jello-shots and and promoting 1/2 off discount coupons for skeeball-- Hope I'm wrong...


Here's a pic I recently snapped of the bar and eating establishment formerly known to drag racers as Cantore's, Vitale's, and finally The Race Zone... It appears to have been gutted, with its charming classic wood-crafted bar and complete interior trashed in dumpsters... The old adage "If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It" doesn't seem to apply here, as we see this place going through possibly a complete mindless metamorphosis... Hope I'm wrong...

Photo by yours truly. Courtesy of the Drag Racing Underground video & image archives (now the largest in the world)


PAUL PAGE "RAGE-A-HOLICS" WILL MISS HIM THE MOST... YOU'LL SEE...

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It's been confirmed by ESPN that NHRA broadcast announcer Paul Page will pursue other opportunities in 2013. That's right, Paul Page, the announcer who many drag racing keyboard curmudgeons never stop complaining about is calling it quits at the end of the season. The TV personality who is often referred to as the "Gorilla Monsoon" of the drag racing announcer's booth will be just a memory. I for one, believe in my heart, that once next season kicks in, all those Paul Page "Rage-A-Holics", whether they have the courage & honesty to admit it or not, are actually going to miss him once it really sinks in that he's gone... And I'll tell you why... You see, in sports broadcasting, you NEED a "Paul Page" in the booth to make it work. You need the elderly guy with the somewhat monotone (yet authoritative) voice. You need the guy who occasionally "upsets" the hardcore followers of the sport because they think they could do a better job-- Yeah, in professional football, they had that feller named Howard Cosell, an announcer much like Paul Page, some football fans couldn't control their complaining about him, but guess what, now that he's gone, everybody misses Howard Cosell and his monotone voice to death... If you go on the cyber music site Spotify (it's FREE), and locate Big Stick's "Hot From The Strip" or "Hedonist Chariot" LPs, you'll find a track called "Broadcast Booth". It's a track where John Gill did a somewhat endearing parody to drag racing announcers like Paul Page, the broadcast personalities that some folks love to hate. Using pitch control (sort of like South Park), John does the voices of three different announcers, calling the action of Oklahoma Bracket Racers, Jet Dragster star Aggie Hendricks and a fictional duel between "Jungle" Jim and Bruce "USA-1" Larson (complete with accompanying race car audio)-- It's a real hoot-- Believe it or not, in England, John Peel actually used to play the track (that has no music on it whatsoever) on his ultra-popular prime-time BBC rock radio show. It's sort of drag racing's narrative answer to "War of the Worlds"... Anyways, mark my words, those who've complained the most about Paul Page are most likely going to miss him the most come next season--  You'll see...

 

Paul Page "Rage-A-Holics" are going to miss him when he's gone... I encourage folks to listen to John Gill's endearing parody dedicated to the Paul Pages of the drag racing world-- Go to Spotify and locate Big Stick's "Hot From The Strip" LP and play the track titled "Broadcast Booth"-- Ya know, it's FREE on Spotify...

Big Stick finally signed a deal making the music now easily available on Spotify, Itunes and the various other popular cyber music venues--- And there's quite a lot of drag racing related tracks from Big Stick for your listening pleasure...


"BIG TIRE OUTLAWS" & MORE AT E'TOWN TODAY SUN AUG 19TH!!...

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Just like in yesterday's blog, I'm going to promote the action that's happening at E'Town today, because if by chance some of you locals didn't read yesterday's blog, and you're now reading this early enough today to still make it to E'Town in time to catch the racing, well, I figure that's as good a reason as any to once again hype today's E'Town racing activities... Fans of dastardly doorslammers who live within a reasonable driving distance of Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, are strongly recommended to attend today's (Sunday, August 19th) E'Town event. There's a special Test & Tune for racers of unmuffled cars, meaning there will be "NO TIME" Grudge Races!!... Also on the bill is the Index Race Series... And last but certainly not least, the BIG TIRE OUTLAWS will be storming the strip with their brazing brand of Heads-Up side by side doorcar action!!... As we see our Summer season sneakingly creeping away, it'd be wise for you and your family to come get a taste of dastardly dooslammer racing before the kids have to go back to school and "Old Man Winter" starts rearing his chilly head again... You all know that I'm a big fan of this sort of racing, and y'all are also aware that Englishtown is the definitive oasis for phat 'n' phast doorslammer drag racing!!-- E'Town has a history of doorcar racing that stands long and strong. The E'Town strip is considered a proverbial "Heaven on Earth" for hardcore doorslammer racers and enthusiasts... Not to mention the fact that I'm sure there will be some drivers showing up today to get their rides "dialed-in" for the all important SHAKEDOWN NATIONALS (coming Oct 12-14)... No matter how you slice it, there's no denying that today Sunday, August 19th, Raceway Park is the place to be for your hot damn doorslammin' fix... Oh, and on an entirely different note, I've just been advised that BIG STICK music has been loaded up on Spotify, Itunes and the various other cyber music outlets, so you can aim your 'puter's mouse in that direction and check it out...

 

The BIG TIRE OUTLAWS and lots of dastardly doorslammer action is being served up today Sunday, August 19th at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park!! Bold, beautiful and brazing doorcars take to the E'Town strip in brutal Battle Royale!!...

Video still from Drag Racing Underground's HOT DAMN DOORSLAMMIN' dvd. Courtesy of the Drag Racing Underground video & image archives (now the largest in the world)


BIG TIRE OUTLAWS & MORE @ E'TOWN TOMORROW SUN AUG 19TH!!...

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For those of you fans of dastardly doorslammers who live within a reasonable driving distance of Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, I strongly recommend tomorrow's (Sunday, August 19th) event. There's a special Test & Tune for racers of unmuffled cars, meaning there will be "NO TIME" Grudge Races!!... Also on the bill is the Index Race Series... And last but certainly not least, the BIG TIRE OUTLAWS will be storming the strip with their brazing brand of Heads-Up side by side doorcar action!!... As we see our beloved Summer season sneakingly creeping away from us, it'd be mighty wise of you to load up the family car, and get a tantalizing taste of dastardly dooslammer racing before the kids have to go back to school and "Old Man Winter" starts rearing his chilly head again... You all know that I'm a big fan of this sort of racing, and y'all are also aware that Englishtown is the definitive oasis for phat 'n' phast doorslammer drag racing!!-- E'Town has a history of doorcar racing that stands long and strong. The E'Town strip is considered a proverbial "Heaven on Earth" for hardcore doorslammer racers and enthusiasts... Not to mention the fact that I'm sure there will be some drivers showing up tomorrow trying to get their rides "dialed-in" for the all important SHAKEDOWN NATIONALS (coming Oct 12-14)... No matter how you slice it, there's no denying that tomorrow Sunday, August 19th, Raaaceway Park is the place to be for your hot damn doorslammin' fix... Gates open 8am-- On track actions starts at 10am.... On an entirely different note, I've just been advised that Big Stick music has been loaded up on Spotify, Itunes and the various other cyber music outlets, so you can aim your 'puter's mouse in that direction and check it out...

 

The BIG TIRE OUTLAWS and lots of dastardly doorslammer action is being served up tomorrow Sunday, August 19th at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park!! Bold, beautiful and brazing doorcars take to the E'Town strip in brutal Battle Royale!!...

Photo by yours truly. From the Drag Racing Underground video & image archives (now the largest in the world).


Today is "FEEDBACK FRIDAY", meaning I deal with emails that my assistant Stephanie and I receive from readers regarding my most recent blogs... We received LOTS of emails in response to my blog asking if readers believe "Honey Boo Boo" could help drag racing by giving the sport an enthusiastic thumbs-up on her popular TV show. I was very surprised to see that most folks from the south think she COULD help the sport by giving us her wink of approval, while most folks writing in from the north don't seem that fond of "Honey Boo". Cheyenne from Bessemer, Alabama wrote, "My whole family watches Honey Boo Boo's show and would love to see her at our drag strip!"--  On the other hand, Edmond from upstate NY chimed in saying, "I don't care if crazy NASCAR yahoos love Honey Boo Boo, she and her freaky family can stay away from drag racing!"-- Yikes!!... My blog about the recent rash of innocent soldiers like U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Greg Buckley getting murdered by Afghan police officers (the people U.S. troops are helping) caused quite a few gents from my Semper-Fi fan club to write in, including Walter from Park Hill, Oklahoma, who wrote, "Having done three tours of duty as a Marine in the middle east, I can honestly say that we should pull out of Afghanistan as soon as possible "... My posting regarding a 2nd suspect apprehended in the murder of local drag racer Michael Conway resulted in Patty from Spring Lake, NJ writing, "It's about time!"... My blog remembering recently departed "Yankee Peddler" Funny Car pilot Tim Kushi caused Aaron from Pittsfield, Massachusetts to comment, "Tim Kushi was a nice guy and a racer's racer"... My blogs promoting the upcoming MOPARS @ E'TOWN event (Aug 25 & 26) resulted in Andy from Keyport, NJ to say, "I am so there!"... Keep those emails comin' (by using the "Contact Us" link atop the page), 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. If you want to remain anonymous you can do that too (just write that you want to remain anonymous in the body of your email, and I won't disclose your identity in the event I choose to make a reference to your particular opinion)... Thanks...

 

The Mopars are coming!!... The Mopars are coming!!... And many of my readers couldn't be happier!!... Andy from Keyport, NJ wrote-in saying, "I am so there!"... It's the 26th Annual MOPARS @ E'TOWN event Sat & Sun Aug 25th & 26th...

Photo by yours truly. Courtesy of the Drag Racing Underground image & video archives (now the largest in the world).


HERE COMES "HONEY BOO BOO" TO THE DRAG STRIP?!?...

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Not long ago I blogged about Evan Knoll, the former drag racing oil man who fell from grace with Uncle Sam, and is now facing the possibility of serious jail time. In same blog I mentioned the uncanny resemblance in physical appearance that Knoll shares with TLC Network TV superstar "Honey Boo Boo"-- The two look so much alike that it appears to me as if they were separated at birth. I was surprised by how many readers responded to my comparing of Evan Knoll and Honey Boo Boo in a defensive manner. Some of my readers (especially from southern regions of the nation) were downright offended by the suggestion that the law-breaking oil man shares any likeness with the "cute", "innocent" & "cuddly" Honey Boo Boo... I guess I should have known better than to make any comparison whatsoever between a convicted criminal and America's newest sweetheart Alana, aka "Honey Boo Boo", the bubbly six-year-old pageant beauty queen sensation. Honey Boo Boo and her family of rural Georgia like four-wheeling through the mud, picking up road kill for family cookouts, and they LOVE the late Dale Earnhardt (his photo is proudly displayed on the family's mantle)-- They also have a model of the "General Lee" Charger from the "Dukes of Hazzard" displayed alongside Dale's pic on their family mantle... I wonder if the sport of drag racing should put out the welcome mat for Honey Boo Boo and her family? Maybe an episode on their popular "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" TV show, with the family spending a day at the drags would be just the sort of thing to entice more American families to come out to the drag strip? Maybe Dodge should consider manufacturing a special edition "Honey Boo Boo Hemi Charger"? Yeah, a "Honey Boo Boo Hemi"!!-- What do you think? Do you think if Honey Boo Boo and her family would warm up to drag racing like they have to NASCAR, we'd see a Honey Boo Boo "bump" in popularity of our straight-line form of motorsport?--- Do you think drag racing could benefit a whole bunch from America's newest sweetheart, Honey Boo Boo, giving us an approving wink and thumbs-up??...

 

Beauty pageant superstar Honey Boo Boo and her Mom pose for the camera...

Should Dodge produce a special edition "Honey Boo Boo Hemi" ?? Should drag racing put out the welcome mat for Honey Boo Boo and her family in an attempt to boost race attendance??... Click on the "Contact Us" link and let me know what you think...


"YANKEE PEDDLER" TIMOTHY KUSHI PASSES AWAY...

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Occasionally when individuals pass away who I feel made a substantial contribution to the sport of drag racing, I make a point of posting an obituary announcement in their memory on this page... Timothy Kushi definitely qualifies as being that sort of individual. At the age of 69, Timothy Kushi passed away Sunday, August 12th. Kushi made his mark in drag racing at the wheel of the "Yankee Peddler" and "Yankee Sizzler" Funny Cars. Later in life he stayed active in drag racing as a highly respected tuner. Besides his drag racing ambitions, he was an owner and operator of Moldmaster Engineering and several other businesses over the years. Timothy Kushi was loved by family and friends and known as being a very generous and giving soul. Kushi leaves his wife, the former Ellen Buckley, who he married on April 16, 1966. He is also survived by his four children, Terence Kushi and his wife Donna, Kelly Buckley and her husband Brian, Kaleen Kushi and Kristen Bazonski and her husband Matthew, two brothers, Thomas Kushi Jr. and his wife Lorraine and Kevin Kushi and his wife Jean, ten grandchildren, two great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Timothy Kushi will not be forgotten by the drag racing community...


CRYING DAD OVER SON'S SENSELESS MURDER MAKES ME WANT ANSWERS NOW...

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Every now and then I read a news story in the paper or see one on TV that simply trumps all the drag racing stuff going through my head-- And I feel the need to express my take on it with my blog readers... Last night that happened while watching the evening news. I saw a local Long Island NY man, Greg Buckley Sr., the extremely emotional father of recently slain U.S. Marine soldier Lance Cpl. Greg Buckley Jr., uncontrollably balling his eyes out on TV as he grieved with intense pain over his son's murder at the hands of a (cough) "Afghan police Officer" in Afghanistan-- The "Afghan police officer" shot and killed Buckley and two other U.S. Marines after sharing a meal with them before dawn Friday. It was one of a recent, ahem,  "rash of attacks" in which Afghan "security forces" in uniform turn their guns on the coalition troops. "He went over there, he did what they asked him to do," said the Marine's grief-stricken father, before flying to Delaware to retrieve his son's body-- "And the people he was training and helping over there, they turned on him." Buckley Sr. said his son had grown increasingly homesick in the past few weeks. In his most recent letter home, the younger Buckley wrote, "Almost two months here, and I can honestly say I hate it." His father said in tears, "He told me weeks ago, 'Dad, they're shady. I don't want to be here. I feel like something's not right.'" The younger Buckley even told his dad that he was suspicious and fearful of the "Afghan police officer" who later went on to murder him and two other soldiers, and that he just wanted out of there as soon as possible, he was outright scared and didn't trust the situation at all... That said, I must tell you, and I know this is going to bother some folks, but I've got to say it-- Most of the men and women I know who've recently returned home from serving in Afghanistan share the late Lance Cpl. Greg Buckley Jr's sentiments-- Most of  'em feel exactly just like Greg Buckley Jr. did before he was senselessly murdered at the hands of a (cough) "Afghan police officer"--- With all the political wind bagging going on, I'd really like to see someone have the guts to call President Barack Obama and presidential wannabee Mitt Romney on the carpet, and ask them point blank just what their plans are (or would be) in the handling of this whole bloody Afghanistan situation-- I don't know about you, but I've noticed that they (Obama and Romney) both seem to be intentionally avoiding the issue-- I for one, want some answers, and I want them NOW...


THE MOPARS ARE COMING!! AUGUST 25TH & 26TH AT E'TOWN!!...

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Hey folks, I'm sort of repeating yesterday's blog, because there's some people who only read the blog during the Monday-Friday "work week" (because they only read the blog on their computer at "work")-- And I want to make sure that EVERYBODY gets the word NOW about a very important upcoming drag racing event-- So here we go again--  If you're into the classic and/or modern breed of muscled-up Mopar machinery, be advised that the 26th Annual MOPARS @ E'TOWN is definitely a "Must Attend" event for YOU!!-- The two day Mopar extravaganza sponsored by the Mopar Collectors Guide and LX FORUMS.com is coming up on Saturday & Sunday August 25th & 26th-- Just 'round the corner on the calendar... Just about every variation of Mopar muscle will be at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in scenic Englishtown, NJ. Classic and modern Mopar drag racing is on the bill. There's also a giant car show featuring Mopar customs and unrestored, original "Mopar Survivors". Saturday Aug 25 is the People's Choice Car Show (with giant trophies to each People's Choice class winners) and Sunday Aug 26 is a Fully Judged Car Show (with class winners receiving special jackets). There's also going to be great Nostalgia Race Cars from the '60's & '70's-- Stock and Super Stocks will be in the house!!... And there's acres of hard to find parts in the vendor midway-- Also a mammoth sized "Cars For Sale" area will be on the grounds...  Also keep in mind that Friday Night Aug 24th, there's a special MOPARS VS. THE WORLD SHOWDOWN open to all makes & models of street muffled cars with a $500.00 to win purse (32 car minimum for full payout-- $50 race entry fee). For more detailed information please visit  http://www.etownraceway.com/

 

If Mopar machinery is your thing, the upcoming MOPARS @ E'TOWN extravaganza is a "MUST ATTEND" event for YOU!!

Phat 'n' Powerful Mopars are on the Menu at Old Bridge Township RAAACEWAY PARK on Aug 25th & 26th!!


"MOPARS @ E'TOWN" AUGUST 25TH & 26TH!!...

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If you're into the classic and/or modern breed of muscled-up Mopar machinery, be advised that the 26th Annual MOPARS @ E'TOWN is definitely a "Must Attend" event for YOU!!-- The two day Mopar extravaganza sponsored by the Mopar Collectors Guide and LX FORUMS.com is coming up on Saturday & Sunday August 25th & 26th-- Just 'round the corner on the calendar... Just about every variation of Mopar muscle will be at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in scenic Englishtown, NJ. Classic and modern Mopar drag racing is on the bill. There's also a giant car show featuring Mopar customs and unrestored, original "Mopar Survivors". Saturday Aug 25 is the People's Choice Car Show (with giant trophies to each People's Choice class winners) and Sunday Aug 26 is a Fully Judged Car Show (with class winners receiving special jackets). There's also going to be great Nostalgia Race Cars from the '60's & '70's-- Stock and Super Stocks will be in the house!!... And there's acres of hard to find parts in the vendor midway-- Also a mammoth sized "Cars For Sale" area will be on the grounds...  Also keep in mind that Friday Night Aug 24th, there's a special MOPARS VS. THE WORLD SHOWDOWN open to all makes & models of street muffled cars with a $500.00 to win purse (32 car minimum for full payout-- $50 race entry fee). For more detailed information please visit  http://www.etownraceway.com/

 

If Mopar muscled-up machinery is your thing, the upcoming MOPARS @ E'TOWN extravaganza is a "MUST ATTEND" event for YOU!! I happily discuss the details in my ultra-popular alter-ego driven "strip smarts" sanctioned drag racing blog...

Photo by yours truly. From the Drag Racing Underground video & image archives (now the largest in the world).