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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 HERO FRANK MANZO WINNINGEST DRIVER IN U.S. NATIONALS HISTORY...

Posted by: lovely

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Sometimes I get heat from readers who think I spend too much time writing "local hero worship" stories about drivers who come from my neck of the woods. My writings over the years about local favorites, especially doorslammer dominator Pat Musi and alcohol Funny Car phenom Frank Manzo have occasionally stirred up readers who believe I give these two particular competitors way too much cyber ink-- I most respectfully disagree with that assessment, if a racer does something outstanding, whether they live in my neighborhood or not, it's my "job" to report on it... In this case, there's no way that I can possibly ignore or overlook the fact that at NHRA's recent edition of their "Big Go" aka "Indy" event, it was local guy done real good, Frank Manzo, who became the "Winningest Driver in U.S. Nationals History". Wow!! That's quite an accomplishment for Frank Manzo. Indy marked Frank's one hundred and nineteenth final at a National Event, and his 33rd final in a row! When Frank Manzo defeated Fred Tigges in the final round of this year's U.S. Nationals, it was his tenth time winning the prestigious event, making Frank the "Winningest Driver in U.S. Nationals History", another milestone to add to his already incredible overall title of being the "Winningest Driver in NHRA Event Competition". Let's face the "Hard Doc Facts", my friends, I seriously doubt that anyone else in drag racing's future will even come close to Frank Manzo's record winning ways-- I strongly doubt that anyone will ever come to take Frank Manzo's "Winningest Driver" crown, throne, and plush velvet cape away from him... So there, yeah, I'm a "Frank Fan" and for valid reason-- Frank Manzo has the skills, chops and consistent talent that makes him "Number One" in visits to NHRA's National Event winner's circle. Congrats to Frank and his entire trusty crew on making "more" drag racing history at the U.S. Nationals...

Ya know, the more you think about it, the more you realize that NHRA's Indy "BIG GO" is indeed the perfect celebration and salute for American laborers on this Labor Day 2011. Just take a look at any of the professional or sportsman pit areas at this year's NHRA Indianapolis event... I guarantee you'll see men and women laboring tirelessly over the cars and machinery being campaigned at the event-- Men and women using brute muscle, strength, and even some good ol' fashioned "elbow grease" (that's what our ancestors used to call it)-- Pit crews pulling motors in and out of cars, taking them apart, putting them back together again, all on a strict and unforgiving clock that they're at constant odds with, yeah, THAT's American Labor, my dear friends, THAT'S AMERICAN LABOR-- THAT'S the spirit that we're supposed to be celebrating with today's holiday. We as a nation were built on the blood, sweat, tears, and "hard labor" of our people, and while I'll be the first to admit that in these times, the so-called "labor movement" appears to be on a steep and steady decline, with much of our labor intensive jobs being imported and "outsourced" to places other than America, I believe the labor force of this nation still has plenty to be proud of. So, next time you're strolling through the pits at an NHRA event, look at the dirt under the racing crews' fingernails, look at the burn scars on their arms and legs from getting too close to a set of freshly fired headers, look at the sweat dripping from their brow-- And then stand at attention and show them respect with an enthusiastic salute, because they are an example of America's new laborers, they are our generation's example of what recognizing and celebrating Labor Day is all about...

President Barack Obama will be visiting Paterson, NJ today. Current "media darling" and "political plus-size sex symbol", New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, is supposed to give Obama a tour of Paterson, NJ, a town ravaged by flood waters, as a result of Tropical Storm/Hurricane Irene. I've never been to Paterson, NJ, nor do I ever have the desire to go there. When the planes were crashing into the Twin Towers on 9/11/2001, it was the town of Paterson NJ, where many of its residents were jumping for joy and dancing in the streets, celebrating the fact that terrorists successfully attacked America. I always found that to be pretty darn disturbing and despicable (they've got about as much class as the inbred internet Nostalgia Funny Car bullies, but I digress)... Anyways, please allow me to get to the issues I want to address with today's blog... I know that President Obama would probably have no interest in speaking to me, however, if by some "Act of God" he would agree to sit down with yours truly and listen to what I have to say, here's what I'd tell him-- First of all, Obama already told us that we need to fix all the dings of America's infrastructure. I say get to it! Repair or rebuild all our weak dams and levees, so we can survive natural disasters with more dignity, and not be flooded out like a third world nation every time "Mother Nature" strikes... Second thing I would tell the President is to initiate some sort of "Generator Tax Rebate". It's become obvious that basement "sump pumps" aren't enough, Americans also need to equip their homes with generators, because when "Mother Nature" knocks our power out, Americans need generators to keep their sump pumps running. I strongly recommend that Obama provide folks with a tax rebate for all generator purchases, to enable families that are out-of-work and strapped-for-cash, the chance to buy a generator and possibly save their homes from flooding... And last but certainly not least, I would ask Obama to enact a federal law that protects all drag strips and racing facilities built prior to the year of 1980 from being shut down or harassed by over-zealous neighbors and municipalities. Drag Strips and racing facilities are a staple of many local and regional economies, track owners deserve peace of mind and protection from worrying about losing their businesses-- It's hard enough running a race track without having to worry about that sort of garbage, it's time for our government to give automobile racing a break...

September is here, and for some folks in the northeast, they believe that signals the end of any possibility of motorsport fun until next Spring. At Old Bridge Township Raceway Park that's definitely not the case. Saturday, September 17th is the 35th Annual Truck Buyers Guide U.S. DIESEL TRUCKIN' NATIONALS presented by Elizabeth Truck Center. That's right, even though Summertime is waving us gearheads goodbye, September is calling our names and whispering in our ears to gather up the family and come on down to E-Town to experience the best truck fest known to mankind. So many beautiful and powerful big rigs will be on display and blazing down the Raceway Park quartermile. I urge you to take your kids to see this event, because not only is it entertaining, it's also educational, with so many different examples of pristine trucks on the property, it will activate your kids' interest and imagination-- It will spark any potential interest they might have in mechanical engineering, custom painting, or a whole slew of occupations that could put them on a solid career path-- Under all the glitz and flashing lights of these awesome trucks, there's oodles of science and engineering know-how. And just like every year, this event will also feature the best MONSTER TRUCKS in the world-- Including GRAVE DIGGER, WAR WIZARD, SPIDERMAN, MONSTER SCHOOL BUS, BLACK STALLION, VIPER, MAXIMUM DESTRUCTION, and GRAVE DIGGER LEGEND. There will also be Jet Funny Cars and Dragsters like the QUEEN OF DIAMONDS, BEAST OF THE EAST, CANNONBALL, CHATTANOOGA EXPRESS, FIRST STRIKE, and TOP SECRET. And last, but certainly not least, BOB MOTZ and his JET POWERED PETERBILT will be rocking the foundation and creating ferocious fire to add warmth to the September sky. Be sure that you plan NOW to bring the whole family to Raceway Park on Saturday, September 17th-- Write the date down NOW and add some real kick to your family's September schedule!!...

FEEDBACK FRIDAY... SPECIAL DRAG STRIP OWNERS & PROMOTERS EDITION...

Posted by: lovely

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Today is our "FEEDBACK FRIDAYS" blog, meaning I respond to emails we receive here at Drag Racing Underground. As I've already told you, we do get a number of emails from folks wanting us to bring back our regular "forum" to our web site, like the one we used to have in the past. Many of those requests come from track owners and promoters complaining that without the "forum", they no longer have the opportunity to post and advertise their racing events here on our Drag Racing Underground site. I am aware that with the old forum, track owners and promoters did make a habit of posting their races here at DRU-- I'm glad that we were able to provide you track owners and promoters a free form of advertising to help get racers in the staging lanes and spectators in the stands... However, as much as we'd like to still provide you track owners and promoters with the forum so you could get the word out about your races, we really don't have the time to monitor a public "forum" or "message board" anymore, and we're definitely not going to go with the non-employee "volunteer" forum monitor format that some of the other boards have done-- That just turns into "ego driven drama" that doesn't work... Look, I admit that I give Old Bridge Township Raceway Park a lot of promotional push here on my blog, because they're my local and favorite track, and when I do manage to get away from the recording studio, and my hectic duties & schedule with BIG STICK, it is indeed E-Town, where I go for my own personal, and professional journalist drag racing fix... I regret not being able to help you other track owners and promoters at this point, but I ask that you please try to understand the circumstances. I do take your emails requesting that I mention your races and events with respect, because I know how difficult your job can be, however, I suggest you look for other outlets on the drag racing internet to promote your races, there are other web sites, ya know, Drag Racing Underground isn't the only place on the web (although from some of the emails I get, ya'd think this is the ONLY place, but I assure you there are other outlets for you to promote your races, you might have to "pay" for them, but that's how it is). I realize this has become somewhat of a touchy issue for some of you track owners and promoters, but please try to understand where I'm coming from on this matter-- Please try to see the situation from my position-- Thanks...

I have to give a tip of the hat to my friends at NHRA for announcing that they're gonna expand their INDY audiocast to include Thursday's (today's) Sportsman qualifying. Usually they don't start the audiocast until Friday, but since this is The "Big Go", NHRA members will be treated to this special bonus of streaming Indy audio joy. All the rumors circulating that Chaz Bono will be at Indy observing Pro Stock star Larry Morgan, to study his body language and mannerisms, for Chaz's possible leading role in a made-for-TV movie documenting the life and racing career of Larry Morgan are completely false... President Barack Obama will be visiting New Jersey on Sunday. He's going to check out Hurricane Irene's aftermath. Obama will survey the damage, offer words of encouragement to residents, and hopefully have a big check in his hand to help with the clean-up of the mess currently plaguing multiple New Jersey municipalities. I have friends in the town of Manville, also known as "The Lost Valley" when heavy rain occurs, who are still flooded and without power. Although I'm not flooded in, Obama is still welcome to stop by and see me, I'll cook him up some "instant" pancakes and tell him what I think he should do to help hurricane victims and all the out-of-work folks across America... In closing, I'd like to say once again how much we all enjoyed NPR's (National Public Radio's) "ENGINE OVERDRIVE" edition of their HEARING VOICES show. It's groovy that some BIG STICK music, and some hardcore drag racing related stuff are featured on the gearhead oriented episode. And the WILDGIRL content is a thrill. I also want to give recognition to producer Barrett Golding for the Long Beach Grand Prix and "Flamin' Betty" of Bonneville segments that he created-- I love 'em. You can now listen to the show in its entirety with a free MP3 download available on their web site. Here's the url address, copy and paste to your browser... http://hearingvoices.com/news/2011/08/hv121-engine-overdrive/

Reports that I'm getting from friends and relatives scattered up and down the coast confirm that while "Hurricane Irene" didn't necessarily pack the punch that forecasters predicted, she still managed to make lots of people miserable. There are so many folks who still don't have power. Flooding is causing major problems. I admit that my homes and properties lucked out and didn't suffer any major damage, however, I do understand that it really is just a matter of "luck", because when hurricanes pass through, it's such a random spin of the wheel, and throw of the dice, whether or not it will be naughty or nice-- You really don't know where it is, or isn't, going to strike. My thoughts & prayers for all my many readers who are still dealing with the ugly aftermath of Hurricane Irene. Hang in there... Switching gears... You can now listen to NPR's "ENGINE OVERDRIVE" edition of their HEARING VOICES show with a free MP3 download. Featuring "classic" BIG STICK (like our "DRAG RACING" hit), and also a sneak preview of our new "DRAGUMENTARY" track (Featuring the voices of some familiar Doorslammer & Nostalgia Funny Car Stars!). Our dear friend WILDGIRL is also featured on the show. Hear Steve Evans from Long Beach. "Flamin' Betty" from Bonneville and much more! Following is a link address to the "ENGINE OVERDRIVE" web page, there you can read about all the different gearhead stuff featured on the show (including BIG STICK & yours truly), complete with links to various related places (including the BIG STICK web site), and of course you'll have direct access to play the free MP3 of the entire 52min show. Here's the url address, copy and paste to your browser... http://hearingvoices.com/news/2011/08/hv121-engine-overdrive/

The folks at NPR's (National Public Radio's) "HEARING VOICES" show made the special "ENGINE OVERDRIVE" edition of their radio show available for FREE download in MP3 format! You can listen for free on your computer. I put the link address to their web site at the end of today's blog. That will take you to a page on their web site that tells you about everything featured on the show, and gives you a direct link to play an MP3 of the entire 52:00 show. You'll hear BIG STICK's classic "DRAG RACING" track, our "YOU BETTER NOT BE SPENDING NO MONEY ON NO RACECAR" from the PRO DRAG LP, and a special sneak preview of our brand new "DRAGUMENTARY" track, a song to be featured on our upcoming release, with genuine drag racer sound bites from E-Town Raceway Park, real at-the-strip car audio, and Tom Timko (Aretha Franklin, Shakira) playin' horn with a groove that will entice your earlobes. You'll also hear our dear friend WILDGIRL of WFMU fame. WILDGIRL talks about an article in the IHRA 'zine about Cleo Chandler written by Bret Kepner, at the end of the Cleo Chandler segment, that's me, yours truly, saying the solemn "Amen". Steve Evans from Long Beach (it sounds like Steve?), "Flamin' Betty" from Bonneville, NASCAR culture craziness, Harley high-jinx, etc... Host Barrett Golding and his staff put together a great collection of gearhead soundbites. We were flattered to have Barrett tell us that the BIG STICK and WILDGIRL features are "the glue that held the whole show together". We appreciate him sayin' that. When you go to the ENGINE OVERDRIVE web page, you'll get to read and learn more about BIG STICK and DRAG RACING UNDERGROUND, complete with links to the BIG STICK web site and several other neat places. And of course you'll have direct access to play the free MP3 of the show!! Here's the url address, copy and paste to your browser... http://hearingvoices.com/news/2011/08/hv121-engine-overdrive/

Much like Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, "Hurricane IRENE" stumbled her way through the Jersey Shore, knocking over chairs and making a drunken-like mess of coastline property. Cape May, NJ, got hammered pretty hard. Just about every town along the coast got a beating. Fortunately, "IRENE" did not produce the kind of winds that some weather forecasters earlier predicted, so despite the fact that flooding and some damage was done, it could have been much worse. I'm genuinely thankful to have survived Irene's wrath. I know there were some fatalities and injures as a result of the hurricane, even though they were at a minimum, our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones. Like the late, great Peter Steele of Type O Negative used to say, "Count your fingers and the continents", we're lucky to still have both relatively intact.... Switching gears-- I'm glad to report that the special "ENGINE OVERDRIVE" edition of NPR's (National Public Radio's) "HEARING VOICES" show was a smashing success. The episode producer, Barrett Golding, did a fine job of assembling motorsport related audio clips and creating a stunning sound sensation. Of course you heard some "classic" BIG STICK, as well as a sneak preview of our "DRAGUMENTARY" track from our upcoming release-- "DRAGUMENTARY" is quite the robust drag racing track, that features a lil help from our horn playin' friend Tom Timko (Aretha Franklin, Shakira). Our good buddy WILDGIRL also was featured on the show, with some clips of her from our HOT FROM THE STRIP cd. The world loves WILDGIRL. You can find our HOT FROM THE STRIP cd here on the site. Thanks to all of my many readers who listened to the show. I believe the show will be available for listening on the HEARING VOICES web site soon, here's a link to a page on their site that will help you with that, and where you can also read more about BIG STICK's role in drag racing culture and on the "ENGINE OVERDRIVE" episode, copy and paste to your browser... http://hearingvoices.com/news/2011/08/hv121-engine-overdrive/

Just days ago we felt the proverbial "earth move under our feet" when we felt the effects of the earthquake that originated in Virginia. Now we've got this "irate" Irene Hurricane System passing through with the fury of a zillion diggers banging the blower, and a trillion doorslammers bursting the bellhousing. Yep, it's "Mother Nature's" End of Summer Spectacular. More than enough wind, rain, and tide swells to keep us on the edge of our seats. Lots of people already losing power in places like Cape May, NJ. Basements across the east coast are flooding like fish tanks. There's a slew of "mandatory evacuation" notices issued by municipalities who believe it's too darn dangerous for folks to remain in their homes. For all my loyal readers who are in harm's way, meaning, those who are in the way of "Hurricane Irate Irene", just like yours truly, I hope that you and your family come out of this relatively unscathed. Best wishes that your property remains intact, and no bodily harm comes to you or your loved ones... It's Sunday, that means you'll be able to hear BIG STICK on a special "ENGINE OVERDRIVE" edition of the "HEARING VOICES" show on Sirius Satellite Radio channel 122 from 3-4pm ET, 2-3pm CT, and 7-8pm ET, 6-7pm CT. If you don't have Sirius Satellite Radio, here's a url of a web page from the "HEARING VOICES" web site that list all the regular radio station that carry the show, and when they air it. Copy and paste to your browser... http://hearingvoices.com/news/series/stations/