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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...

2ND SUSPECT INVOLVED WITH MICHAEL CONWAY'S MURDER IN CUSTODY...

Posted by: lovely

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I've been meaning to post this news for a couple weeks, but unfortunately haven't got around to it, and for that I sincerely apologize... I guess this is what qualifies as good news about a bad thing... Evidently according to messages (some anonymous) sent to the Drag Racing Underground email box, a second suspect in the robbery and murder of Freehold, New Jersey's Michael Conway has been arrested and taken into custody... Those of you who frequent Old Bridge Township Raceway Park are probably familiar with the late Michael Conway, he was a great racer with his 1986 Corvette, as well as a dear friend to lots of people-- He truly was a stand-up kind of gentleman... We're glad to hear that justice is closer to being properly served...


Today is "FEEDBACK FRIDAY", meaning I deal with emails that my assistant Stephanie and I receive from readers regarding my most recent blogs... We've received lots of emails in response to my blog about drag racing's "Haters", the cantankerous curmudgeons who sit behind their keyboards typing nothin' but hate towards the sport because it ain't exactly the same way it was back in the 60's and 70's. Denise from Vancouver, WA wrote, "They're just a bunch of old cranky women trapped in the bodies of old cranky men!"-- Willie from NJ chimed in saying, "The haters are geezers too lazy to get up from their computers and come to the track. It's easier for them to stay home and complain.".... My blogs congratulating F/C pilot Courtney Force, Pro Stock driver Erica Enders, and Super Street stalwart Megan Ellingson on creating history by making the recent Northwest Natls the 1st NHRA event where 3 women went to the winner's circle caused you folks to write in. Jamey from Bklyn NY wrote, "Women can drive just as good as the guys."-- On the other side of the coin, Ralph from San Diego, CA said, "Call me a bigot if you want, I'm still not comfortable with seeing women driving race cars."-- Oh well, can't please everyone...  My posting of the "Gooseface Gunzo" Halloween story resulted in Carey from Earlville, Iowa writing, "Your Halloween story in August gave me and my boyfriend goosebumps!"... In regards to my blog about "Animal" Jim Feurer  being named the "Honorary Legend" for the Rt. 66 Classic Nostalgia drag event, Raymond from Greenbrier, Tenn wrote, "It's my opinion that Animal Jim deserves more than anybody to be top dog at the Rt. 66 Classic!".... "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...

 

Unfortunately if this sweet little girl is feeling aspirations and ambitions to grow up and one day become a female drag racing superstar like Courtney Force or Erica Enders, bigots like Ralph from San Diego CA believe this cute little babe better squash those aspiring thoughts and just stick to cooking and laundry... Of course I couldn't disagree more with cantankerous curmudgeons like Ralph who are knuckle-dragging their way through life like we're all still living in the stone age...

Who could possibly be so cold hearted and cruel to look this sweet, innocent lovely little darling square in the eyes and tell her to give up her dreams of someday becoming a drag racer? The majority of my intelligent readers believe that would be wrong.

 


REST IN PEACE RACER MICHAEL ROMEO...

Posted by: lovely

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On behalf of us here at Drag Racing Underground, I'd like to express our most sincere of condolences for the family and friends of Michael Romeo. Those who knew Michael Romeo are well aware of what an incredibly great guy and racer he was. He passed away on Wednesday August 8th from injuries sustained from a street accident. Michael Romeo was from Pennsylvania and frequently competed at Old Bridge Raceway Park and other drag strips in the area. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to Michael Romeo's family...

Photo of Michael Romeo courtesy of goDragRacing Mark.


DRAG RACING "HATERS"-- WHAT'S UP WITH THAT!?!...

Posted by: lovely

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The more you peruse different drag racing web sites, the more you see of a new generation (which is REALLY for the most part made up of OLD generations) of people who "pretend" to have such a "love" and (cough) "passion" for drag racing, however, their words express and reveal the complete opposite of love, they're just outright "HATERS" of the sport--- Truth be told, it's become so OBVIOUS by what these folks are typing on the drag sites, that they simply HATE, I mean, REALLY HATE drag racing!!... Yeah, yeah, I know, I know, they'll tell you until they're blue in the face about how drag racing "ain't the same" as it was "back in the day", and how you can't find races with "64 Funny Cars" anymore, yada, yada, yada-- Well, look, the NFL doesn't have Johnny Unitas tossing the football anymore, and milk ain't a dollar a gallon anymore either-- Get Over It!!... Yeah, times have changed, everything has changed... But for those of us who actually DO still go to the drags with some regularity, and just don't sit behind our computer keyboards and COMPLAIN about today's state of drag racing, for us folks, we still find an awful lot of good in the sport-- Or let's just say that the good in today's drag racing far outweighs the bad and the trivial drivel that the "Haters" can't seem to ever shut up about... I dig the styles and nuances of drag racing's days gone by, that's all really "boss" in my book-- But that said, when I go to the drags today, I find different elements that make me a happy camper & mighty glad (and appreciative) that I'm part of the current scene(s)-- For all those negative cantankerous curmudgeons out there who own drag racing web sites, write for drag racing web sites, monitor drag racing web sites, post on drag racing web sites, etc, who really do nothing more than just be "hatin'" all the time, I strongly suggest that you lift your cranky frames up from behind your cruddy keyboards and reach deep into your crusty pockets, and pull out a few bucks to actually GO TO THE TRACK, and try to see what's happening from a more objective, and less blowharded biased perspective-- Do THAT, and I can assure you that if you still have enough brain cells left between your ears from all the illicit drugs you did back in the 1960's & 1970's, and if you really do "LOVE" drag racing, and you're not just being a limp liar about it, you'll find that drag racing is still a GOOD TIME, and the general attitude and mindset of the sport isn't really THAT different from the days when Johnny Unitas used to toss the ball and milk was a dollar a gallon...

 

What's up with all the drag racing "HATERS" on the internet?... I understand that a majority of them are cantankerous curmudgeon geezers, but hey, drag legend Bruce Larson is a senior citizen, and he sure seems to be having a good time at the drags (pictured here in the cockpit of the "Midnight Express" digger)... I openly and honestly discuss drag racing's negative blowhards and suggest a surefire cure for what's ailing 'em...

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


MEGAN ELLINGSON IS ALSO PART OF DRAG RACING HISTORY...

Posted by: lovely

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After yesterday's blog was already published online, my blog gushing with unbridled enthusiasm over this past weekend's historic NHRA Northwest Nationals, the first race in NHRA history where two female drivers claimed professional category wins at the same event, with Courtney Force driving her Nitro Funny Car to the winner's circle, and Erica Enders claiming another victory in Pro Stock, it was brought to my attention that yet another woman, yes, a third member of the female gender managed to also earn a shiny "Wally" trophy at the Northwest Nationals!!-- This particular gal, Megan Ellingson, was victoious in the brutally competitive NHRA "Sportsman" category known as Super Street . Those who really know their drag racing are well aware of just how darn tough it is to pull off a win in Super Street at an NHRA national event. You've got to survive more rounds of racing than the drivers in the "professional" categories do-- It takes some incredibly tactful driving skills to nab a win among the Super Street contingent-- I want to take this opportunity to add Megan Ellingson to the list of talented gals, now a total of three of 'em, who successfully made it to the top of their class at this past weekend's NHRA Northwest Nationals... In closing, I'd like to repeat my final statement from yesterday's blog, because it definitely applies to today's blog as well... I must say that the sport of drag racing is really fortunate to be one of the few sports in this whole wide world where a woman can put her foot down (on the accelerator pedal) and make a lasting impression...

 


YESTERDAY'S NHRA RACE WAS A BAD DAY FOR BIGOTS...

Posted by: lovely

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For the first time in NHRA history, two female drivers claimed professional category wins at the same event. Courtney Force drove her Traxxas Ford Mustang Nitro Funny Car to the winner's circle for the first time in her career, and Erica Enders earned her second career Pro Stock victory in her GK Racing Chevy Cobalt at the O'Reilly Parts NHRA Northwest Nationals. Look, I know it's 2012, and the current days in which we now live are far more "civilized" than they were 20-30 years ago, however, believe it or not, from being a woman in this drag racing business myself, I can assure you that's there's still a few blowharded bigots in this thing who DO NOT like the idea of women being involved in a sport that they consider to be strictly a "Man's World"-- AND they sure as heck DO NOT like the idea of TWO strong women showing their driving superiority by winning their respective categories at a major NHRA event... Holy Cow, Mr. Moo!!--- THIS IS BIG!!... And this definitely demonstrates that women have really come into their own in NHRA drag racing, and us gals are here to stay... I want to congratulate Courtney Force's and Erica Ender's teams, they really got their game "dialed-in" just right and put a hurtin' on the competition...  In all fairness, I'd also like to give a tip of the hat to Pro Stock racer Greg Anderson, I heard that he apologized for his recent rant against Erica Enders-- It takes a REAL MAN to admit when he's done wrong, and I certainly admire Anderson for stepping up and saying he's sorry... In closing, I must say that the sport of drag racing is really fortunate to be one of the few sports in this world where a woman can put her foot down (on the accelerator pedal) and make a lasting impression...

 

Erica Enders is one of the two women (Courtney Force is the other) who proved at NHRA's Northwest Nationals that when there's a lady staring you down in the opposing lane, you best be prepared to get down to business...

Mascara and mad horsepower can be a threatening combination in NHRA drag racing...


For some reason, local bars and nightclubs in the area are actually now promoting "Halloween Parties" in the Summer. These same parties seem to be catching on and becoming pretty popular. That being said, I spoke about this new and strange phenom with a friend of mine in the high performance aftermarket biz, and same friend suggested to me that I actually run my traditional drag racing Halloween tale of "Gooseface Gunzo" on this steamy August Summer day.... So, I figure, why not-- If folks really do miss that Halloween spirit in the Summertime, I guess I can oblige... Here it is... This is a terrible tale of a drag racer, his feminine sidekick, and a trip from an unsuccessful day at the drags gone woefully wrong... It was back in the mid 1960s, there was a dragster racer from the Midwest known as "Gooseface Gunzo", he certainly wasn't one of the most popular of drivers on the circuit, but his reputation for being a showman (and a show-off) preceded him. Folks called him "Gooseface" for obvious reasons, at first glance, his facial features uncannily resembled that of a goose. While he wasn't one of the best looking men to ever drive a digger, he had the love of his gorgeous girlfriend and back-up girl sidekick affectionately known as "Gooseface Gloria", although Gloria's facial features had no resemblance to the bird of the same name, she actually shared a striking likeness with Italian film star Gina Lollobrigida... The tale is told that the two were driving at dusk, after a match race at the now defunct West Hampton Dragway in rural Long Island, New York. The two were driving along in their humble pick-up truck, towing their dragster on a simple open-air trailer. They were having a bit of an argument because Gunzo felt that after completing his first round burnout, Gloria didn't back him up properly into the groove of the race track, causing him to be short on traction and lose the round to his opponent. Their argument quickly became heated, and Gunzo, who was driving, wasn't paying proper attention to the road. All of a sudden, Gloria screamed at Gunzo, "LOOK OUT!!!", as she pointed to a large flock of geese who were crossing the dimly lit rural road. In an attempt to avoid hitting the large number of geese, Gunzo overreacted, and drove perilously into a large pond of water that was located just over a small embankment on the roadside. Sadly, the pick-up truck, the dragster in tow, "Gooseface Gunzo", and "Gooseface Gloria" all quickly sank to their demise at the bottom of the pond, ironically known as "Goose Pond", because it's a body of water where flocks of geese frequently gather. It's said that at times, even to this day, when dusk falls on the eerie pond, you can still hear the faint ghostly quibble between "Gooseface Gunzo" and "Gooseface Gloria" arguing over their first round loss, as the geese merrily swim about and congregate among themselves...

 

With the new popularity of many local bars hosting Halloween themed parties in the Summer, it's been suggested that I run my haunting drag racing Halloween tale of 60's digger driver "Gooseface Gunzo" and his feminine sidekick "Gooseface Gloria". Their unsettling tale of untimely demise is not for the faint of heart. Here's one of the only known renderings of "Gooseface" and his dragster from a vintage T-Shirt recently found at a drag strip swap meet...

From the Drag Racing Underground historical image archives. Story & artwork copyright DRU.


"ANIMAL" JIM FEURER TO SERVE AS HONORARY LEGEND AT RT. 66 CLASSIC!!...

Posted by: lovely

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This news regarding "Animal" Jim Feurer was brought to my attention by my longtime friend, Michelle Marchese, of Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. As many of you know, "Animal" will forever be a favorite among E'Town Raceway Park spectators due to his booked-in appearances during the golden age of the United States Super Circuit... I covered those races for Drag Racing Underground and have met the man, and I can assure you that "Animal" was a ferocious competitor at those events, and one heck of a superbly spectacular showman... The following is an excerpt from a Route 66 Raceway press release I'd like to expose my readership to... "Animal" Jim Feurer will serve as the Honorary Legend during the 2nd Annual Route 66 Classic nostalgia match racing event at Route 66 Raceway (in Joliet IL) on Sat, August 18. Feurer will make both an on-track appearance in his '79 Mercury Zephyr as well as select the "Legend's Choice," an award that he will present to the nostalgia drag or show car of his choice. Ever the showman, Feurer's drag racing career started in the early 60's with an array of street rods. His legend was officially born on July 20, 1969, when Feurer debuted "The Big Animal", a '57 Merc that he wheeled to the 1D/Hot Rod class win that very day. Two Oswego Dragway Track Championships later and Feurer had transitioned his way to the Pro Stock ranks. It was during his Pro Stock years when he first introduced the '79 Merc Zephyr that came to be known as "Zeke the Zephyr"-- "Zeke" evolved under the hood from a small block power plant into a 672 CID Kasse Ford Hemi mountain motor with nitrous and served as one of the original inspirations of the Pro Mod movement. After 43-years of racing, the Lacon, Illinois resident remains actively involved with drag racing.  When not racing himself, Feurer serves as an Official Tech Inspector at Route 66 Raceway. The Route 66 Classic is an all-day nostalgia event at the Joliet, Illinois facility. From nostalgia funny cars to classic street rods, the event is a celebration of everything vintage. Old School funny cars, dragsters, altereds & roadsters participate, as well as door cars ’79 and older. Gates open at 9am for the all-day event with the primary spectator show time beginning at 7pm... I strongly recommend that folks from the Joliet, IL, area attend this great event and join in on celebrating the "Legendary" career of "Animal" Jim Fuerer...

 

I strongly recommend that you go see Honorary Legend "Animal" Jim Feurer with his Mammoth Mercury "Zeke" the Zephyr, Saturday, August 18th at the 22nd Annual Route 66 Raceway Classic nostalgia match racing event at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois...

Photo courtesy of the "Animal" Jim archives.


Today is "FEEDBACK FRIDAY", meaning I deal with emails that my assistant Stephanie and I receive from readers regarding my most recent blogs... We've received lots of emails in response to our asking you what sort of punishment (if any) you believe Evan Knoll should receive when sentenced for his crimes come November. The former corporate honcho, hype man, and "Honey Boo Boo" of Torco Racing Fuels, who threw tons of money at drag racing, pleaded guilty to nine charges that include eight counts of lying to the government and one count of bank fraud. Once Knoll is sentenced, he could receive up to 30 years in jail and have to pay a whopping $100 million bucks in restitution... A majority of you didn't express much compassion for Knoll. Lori from Vegas wrote, "Give him the maximum sentence. Evan Knoll is responsible for grief suffered by the racers he promised sponsorship money to that never materialized."-- Wally from Omaha, Nebraska said, "30 years in jail is probably too many, but he should get at least 20!"-- Anthony from Brooklyn NY chimed in with, " Throw the book at the bum!"... There were a few of you who were more sympathetic towards Knoll's situation. Mike from Leominster, MA wrote, "There's murderers who get less jail time than what Evan's facing. He didn't kill anyone. Give him a break."-- Evelyn from Harrisburg, NC said, "Evan Knoll suffered a near fatal brain injury that clouded his judgement. That's reason to drastically reduce his prison sentence."-- A prominent figure in the drag racing industry who asked to remain anonymous wrote, "Let Evan Knoll go free. He was generous to me and my team when times were good."... Switching gears... We received plenty of positive feedback from you folks regarding this past weekend's E'Town Nostalgia Summernationals. Those of you who attended the event expressed what a great time you had-- I appreciate knowing that there's people who realize that the event IS one of the best nostalgia themed happenings in the nation. (it's certainly the longest running one in the nation!!)... 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...

 

While Evan "Honey Boo Boo" Knoll didn't receive much praise from my readers, last Sunday's E'Town Nostalgia Summernationals event certainly did... Here's a pic I snapped at the race... The owners of this car claim it's the original Billy "The Kid" Stepp Pro Stock Demon (The "Mob Gangster" inspired ride from the '70s)... Anyone who disputes that claim will be put in the trunk "Soprano style" and dropped off at an undisclosed heavily wooded location (just kidding)...

Photo by yours truly for the Drag Racing Underground historical image & video archives.


WHAT DO YOU THINK SHOULD HAPPEN TO EVAN KNOLL??...

Posted by: lovely

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I realize that it's not "Feedback Friday" yet, that's tomorrow, however, we've been receiving tons of emails regarding my blog from the other day regarding the sentencing of Evan Knoll. The former wealthy owner, honcho, and hype-man of Torco Racing Fuels who threw tons of money at drag racing has pleaded guilty to nine charges that include eight counts of lying to the government and one count of bank fraud. Once Knoll is sentenced, he could receive up to 30 years in jail and have to pay a whopping $100 million bucks in restitution. Knoll created false documents that showed Torco sold large quantities of tax-exempt fuel for off-road purposes. Those records were then filed with the IRS to request refunds for fuel taxes that were supposedly previously paid... I want to know what YOU think about this-- Do you believe that Evan Knoll should be sentenced to a long stint in the slammer (prison), a short stint, should he have to pay millions of dollars in restitution, or are you one of those folks who believe his claims that when he hurt his head during a street accident, he really did suffer serious brain damage making him void of responsibility for some of his criminal actions, and therefore, Evan should just get a slap on the wrist??--- Tell me what you think is a proper prison sentence or punishment (if any) for Evan Knoll. Send your opinions by using the "Contact Us" link at the top of this page. Please keep your emails brief and to the point. Also please include where you're writing from, I find the location of where people are writing me from to be somewhat 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)...  I'll discuss your opinions tomorrow in my "FEEDBACK FRIDAY" blog...