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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...

HURRICANE CAUSES SOME TO CARRY ON LIKE CANNIBALS...

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The evening after we had the earthquake in my region of the nation, I was sitting in a pizzeria, one of the "political" channels was blaring out of a TV set. That Dennis Miller guy was making a point of the way the Japanese behaved so graciously when suffering through their recent tsunami nuclear knock-out punch, compared to the panic-prone disorder and selfishness we witnessed through the media during our recent earthquake. Miller said something like that if we ever had a major disaster, he thinks within three hours we'd become cannibalistic, of course he said it somewhat jokingly, but yesterday what he said appeared to ring a little painfully true. Yesterday all the streets, highways, byways and stores were a Holy Mess!! People were driving like wayward ants, cutting each other off like cockroaches... People were fleeing to stores like flies to seaweed-- Holy Cow!!-- Some folks conducting themselves in an extremely rude manner. Lots of "Get Out of My Way" rhetoric being babbled among enraged shoppers throughout the stores. I'm making my "exodus". I'll try to remain calm, cool and collected. The black 2000 Lincoln Continental is a pretty darn stable and weighty ride, so I feel alright about traveling. I hope all you folks reading this who are also in the path of "IRATE IRENE" manage to hang in there and handle it with a sweet dose of luck and a touch of grace... If you've been absent from this blog for a couple days, and you haven't heard about BIG STICK being featured on NPR's "HEARING VOICES" program, you can read my blogs of the last couple of days and get the skinny. It's a special "ENGINE OVERDRIVE" episode of the "HEARING VOICES" show. There's going to be "classic" BIG STICK music and a sneak preview of "DRAGUMENTARY", a track from our upcoming LP. The track has racers, cars, guitars, and friend Tom Timko on a horn-- It's a nice combo. Check out those blogs from the last couple days and find out how and where you can hear the show. Thanks...

Last week I told you that we're going to try a "FEEDBACK FRIDAYS" format here on the blog, making it possible for you folks to write me via the "Contact Us" link located at the top right of this page. My trusty assistant Stephanie and I went through practically all your emails, at least the ones that were short, to the point, and didn't ramble on-- Here's what you had to say... Some of you made a valid point by bringing up the fact that you have not seen much of me at the drag strip this season. And I apologize to all of you who miss seeing me, and also miss me interviewing racers and doing all the sort of stuff that I'm usually known for doing. It's just with my current BIG STICK workload, I really have to dedicate so much of my time to the music thing. We're in the recording studio mixing, and we're actually still recording a couple of additional songs for an upcoming release. We're working with folks like Fred Schneider (B-52s), Johnny Kelly (TYPE O NEGATIVE, DANZIG, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY), Kevin Rutmanis (THE MELVINS, TOMAHAWK), I mean, BIG STICK is B-B-BUSY! Once again, I'm sorry for not having more of a presence at the strip lately. Others wrote to me about a typographical error that's been up on the description of this blog page for months, we got that fixed for you spelling sticklers. Lots of you from overseas wrote about how much you enjoy reading my blog, I'm very appreciative of my international fan base, I really am. Of course some of you still wrote that you want a "forum" back on the site, I dunno 'bout that, I don't think so... Keep those "FEEDBACK" emails comin'... And hey, speaking of the BIG STICK music thing that's taking up all my time, don't forget-- This weekend NPR's (National Public Radio's) "HEARING VOICES" show will present a special "ENGINE OVERDRIVE" edition of the program... You'll hear lots of drag racing sort of stuff... You'll also hear some "classic" BIG STICK, like our "DRAG RACING" hit, and you'll get to hear an exclusive sneak preview of our "DRAGUMENTARY" track, a track from our upcoming LP... "HEARING VOICES" will broadcast on SIRIUS-XM Satellite Radio Channel 122 THIS SUNDAY from 3–4 pm ET (2–3 pm CT) AND from 7–8 pm ET, (6–7 pm CT)... For all you folks who don't subscribe to the SIRIUS-XM Satellite Radio, I posted a link that will take you to a page on the official "HEARING VOICES" web site, there you'll see a listing of ALL the many radio stations across America that carry the show, and what day of the weekend and particular time they broadcast it... I'm sure you'll find a station that broadcast it in your neck of the woods... Copy and paste to your browser... http://hearingvoices.com/news/series/stations/

BIG STICK ON "HEARING VOICES" SIRIUS-XM SATELLITE RADIO SCHEDULE...

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Hey folks, if you read yesterday's blog, I give you the real skinny on THIS weekend's "HEARING VOICES" radio show. The popular radio program that airs on NPR (National Public Radio). This particular weekend there's a special "ENGINE OVERDRIVE" edition of the show. You'll hear lots of hot rod and drag racing stuff on this weekend's "HEARING VOICES" radio show. That said, there's gonna be some "classic" BIG STICK featured on the show, like our "DRAG RACING" hit, as well as a special sneak preview track from our upcoming LP. It's a track titled "DRAGUMETARY", if you're a true drag racer or fan, you're not going to want to miss hearing it! Critics agree that BIG STICK has a genuine knack for capturing the true essence of drag racin' through creative and unique musical prowess. Anyways, I found out from our good friend WILDGIRL that this special "Hearing Voices" show will broadcast on SIRIUS-XM Satellite Radio Channel 122 THIS SUNDAY from 3–4 pm ET (2–3 pm CT) AND from 7–8 pm ET, (6–7 pm CT). I thank WILDGIRL for that piece of valuable information... For all you folks who don't subscribe to the SIRIUS-XM Satellite Radio, here's a link that will take you to a page on the official "HEARING VOICES" web site, that lists ALL the radio stations across America that carry the show, and what day and time they broadcast it... Copy and paste it to your browser... http://hearingvoices.com/news/series/stations/

THIS weekend I strongly recommend all my many loyal gearhead friends listen to NPR's (National Public Radio's) "HEARING VOICES" program. There's going to be a special edition of the radio show this particular weekend called "ENGINE OVERDRIVE". This special edition of the "HEARING VOICES" show will feature audio content of a hot rodding and drag racing nature. You'll hear some "classic" BIG STICK, like our "DRAG RACING" hit, and you'll also be treated to a special sneak preview of our upcoming LP, with a brand new track called "DRAGUMENTARY". You'll dig "DRAGUMENTARY" because it features real racers and great car sounds, laid over a groovy music track that is nothing short of infectious! You might even hear some WILDGIRL sound bites too! The following link will take you to a page on the official "HEARING VOICES" web site, where you'll see a complete listing of ALL the radio stations that carry the program, and when during the weekend they broadcast the show (the day and time). This way you can tune in THIS weekend to hear BIG STICK on the "HEARING VOICES" radio show... Here's the link, copy it and paste it up to your browser... http://hearingvoices.com/news/series/stations

I believe we're all overdue for some SHAKEDOWN AT E-TOWN promotion. Let's face it, the so-called "postponement" of the Orlando World Street Nationals for this year is quite the news story, breaking the hearts of Outlaw Doorslammer racers and fans across America. We're very fortunate that promoter Dave Hance and his trusty crew are still working "full speed ahead" on making the upcoming, 9th edition, of the SHAKEDOWN AT E-TOWN race a ravishing success. If you haven't wrote in the dates of October 7-9 on your calendar yet, I strongly suggest you do so right now! Make plans to attend this exquisite event that genuinely ranks as a doorslammin' enthusiast's heaven on earth. Heads-Up Racing is the "real deal" in drag racing, and at SHAKEDOWN, I can guarantee you that there's going to be enough Heads-Up mammoth motored mayhem to keep you on the edge of your seat. Yeah, I know that some of you reading this are saying to yourselves that it's still only August, so why is Diana making such a big deal about a race that's still a couple of months away?-- Well, the reason why I'm giving SHAKEDOWN a push with today's blog is because NOW is the time to make sure everybody writes Oct 7-9 in their datebook-- Now is the time to make sure that you book that particular weekend (Oct 7-9) for your very own unbridled dastardly doorslammer enjoyment!!... Switching gears... I just found out that the BIG STICK feature on National Public Radio (NPR), the one I told you about a few days ago, to be broadcast on the popular "Hearing Voices" program, is going to take place THIS weekend. You'll hear some "classic" BIG STICK, and also a special sneak preview of our new DRAGUMENTARY track, a song that will be featured on our upcoming release. The DRAGUMENTARY track has our old buddy Tom Timko playin' sax on it, the same Tom Timko who has played with everyone from Aretha Franklin to Shakira-- DRAGUMENTARY is a total drag racing audio extravaganza. The program is carried on a heck of a lot of radio stations across the nation. I'll give you more of the details pertaining to BIG STICK on National Public Radio's "Hearing Voices" show with tomorrow's blog... In the meantime, you can check out NPR's "Hearing Voices" radio show web site http://hearingvoices.com

CONGRATS TO JOHNNY GRAY ON BOLD BRAINERD NITRO FUNNY CAR VICTORY...

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It's always exciting when we see a racer who has paid lots of dues in the sport capture a big NHRA national event class victory. Johnny Gray is 58 years old and he feels great about his recent winner's circle appearance at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway. From behind the butterfly steering wheel of his sleek "Service Central Dodge Charger", Gray managed to get past popular "internet whipping boy" & Don Schumacher team racer Ron Capps to clinch the final round of Nitro Funny Car. Gray recorded a blistering 4.113 at 307mph on the big board with his final round charge, aboard his dastardly Dodge Charger. Johnny Gray used to spend his time Pro Stock racing, you know, the so-called "Factory Hot Rods" (yeah, I know, I know, Franklin Ratliff used to hate it when ya call 'em that), the race cars with working doors were once Johnny Grays' ride of choice, well, it seems these days, that the sensation that comes from gettin' seated inside a Nitro burning ride, with a flip-top body has Johnny Gray going gaga-- He says the raucous ride in the Nitro Flopper is an experience he can't even put into words-- Johnny Gray is loving the "Nitro fix" he gets from being seated in the cockpit of his fabulous Flopper... Our congrats to Johnny Gray and his whole team for giving the Brainerd Funny Car field a swift beatin'... Also congrats to the other Brainerd event winners-- Antron Brown in Top Fuel, Greg Anderson in Pro Stock, LE Tonglet in Pro Stock Bike, Jim Whitely Top Alcohol Dragster, Kris Hool Top Alcohol Funny Car, Randy Hopkins Super Stock, Ron Mattson Stock, Gary Stinett Super Comp, Randy Vados Super Gas, Brian Antony Top Sportsman... P.S. I certainly appreciate all you fine folks sending emails for my "Friday Feedback" feature, keep 'em comin'-- But please keep 'em short and to the point. No rambling please... Thanks... You folks are the best...

A SUNDAY PRAYER... ER, PRAYING MANTIS...

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Here in my office, I have a window directly behind my chair where I sit when writing this blog. Right outside my window is a huge "Buddleia Bush", more commonly known as a "Butterfly Bush". My particular Butterfly bush has purple blossoms and attracts lots of butterflies, hummingbirds, and insects seeking its sweet nectar. Six days ago, I was just daydreaming, looking outside my window, and gazing at the Butterfly bush. I noticed a strange, borderline alien appearing creature positioned in the thick of the plant's many branches, it was a Praying Mantis. He was the same shade of brown as the plant's branches. The long, lengthy, and lanky appearing insect's ability to camouflage itself into the bush was amazing. Much to my surprise, he (the Praying Mantis), turned his triangular shaped head directly in my direction, and gave me a good looking over, we definitely made "contact" with each other, I even spoke briefly to him, and he was really watching me talk with him-- Yeah, it was weird. As the days went by, even with some pretty harsh rain showers and stormy weather, the Praying Mantis remained clinched on the bush, occasionally moving to a different branch of the bush, but basically staying in the same mid to lower center of the plant. Sometimes he would hang upside down, maybe that's when he would sleep?-- I dunno. When I would go outside to the front of the house to check the mail, I would walk over to the bush and talk him up a bit. And he would turn his triangle head towards me and pay attention. The neighbors probably thought I was talking to the bush, although I guess talking to a Praying Mantis also ranks as being kinda out of the ordinary. A couple of days ago was the first and only time I actually saw him eating, he had a big greenish beetle in his spiked clutches, and yes, in keeping up with his species' somewhat gory reputation, he was apparently eating the beetle alive, yuk-- Although it looked like it was the same kind of beetle that's been eating the leaves of the Butterfly Bush, so I guess the Praying Mantis was "doing his job" and functioning as an "organic pesticide"... Well, this Sunday morning, I moved my window curtain to once again peek out on my Praying Mantis friend, only to find that he actually climbed all the way to to the very top of the highest branch, a branch that comes practically right up to my window, and he was definitely ready for me, peering directly through the window, into my eyes, with his strange alien-like eyes, with the window between us, we were maybe only 8-9 inches apart from each other, yeah, I guess over the course of the week, I did make a friend with this weird creature. I guess he was saying goodbye, 'cause later, after I returned to my office from taking my morning shower, he was gone. I'm gonna miss the little freak...

Yeah, first there were the rumors that Chaz Bono will be playing the starring role of the late "Jungle Jim" in an independent film, then, I proved those rumors to be completely false, then, there was the rumor of Chaz playing the part of Pro Stock superstar Larry Morgan in a made-for-TV movie, that too was proven by yours truly to be absolutely false, and now, with the smell of "Indy" in the air, rumors are flying that the "woman" scheduled to make her Pro Stock driving debut this coming Labor Day weekend is Chaz Bono... First of all, I don't believe that Chaz Bono refers to "himself" as being a "woman" anymore, and I doubt that we'll be seeing Chaz climbing into a Pro Stock car at Indy-- It just ain't gonna happen-- As a matter of fact, I can guarantee you that it's not gonna happen!!... However, reliable sources report that Super Stock driver Grace Howell will be hooking up with Cunningham Motorsports to make her Pro Stock driving debut at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil. Grace Howell will "grace" the cockpit (pun intended) of Jim Cunningham's Pro Stock Ford Mustang. The 25-year-old gal from Aiken, South Carolina, has been stoked about racing her whole life. She started in Jr. Dragsters when she was only eight years old-- She was very successful in the Jr. Digger class, winning the NHRA National Championship at the Texas Motorplex in '96. When Grace was 16 she went Super Stock racing and finished in the top ten of Division 2. She also had substantial success with Sport Compact Pro Stock racing in NOPI competition. In 2010 it was Grace who won the AA/SA class at Indy at the wheel of a Ford factory-built Cobra Jet Stock car. Grace is chuffed to have this opportunity to drive a Ford for her Indy Pro Stock debut, she's a lot like me, she's a Ford gal too. Jim Yates is the assigned crew chief, and is working with Grace Howell, readying her for Indy. We wish Grace Howell, Jim Yates, and the entire Cunningham Motorsports team the very best of luck...

Almost everyday we get emails at Drag Racing Underground practically begging that we bring back the kind of interactive "forum" we had in the past. It seems that some of you really miss the opportunity to express your own thoughts and opinions here on the DRU web site. After much conversation (and debate) among all us here at Drag Racing Underground, we've decided to stick to our guns, and NOT bring the "forum" format back, because we really don't have the free time to monitor and maintain it. And yes, I know that some of you have offered your services (on several occasions) to work for absolutely free as forum monitors for us, and as much as we appreciate those of you offering your time and effort to do so, we really don't want to go in that direction. We've all seen drag racing forums and message boards where the site owners bow out (coward out) of managing their boards, and then assign "civilians" and/or "friends" to act as monitors, and then those individuals sort of completely mess things up with their own egos and power-tripping sense of "authoritah" (South Park reference), and really screw things up, yeah, we've seen that happen elsewhere on the web, and we don't want that to happen here... However, all this sort of thinking gave me the idea of creating "FEEDBACK FRIDAYS", a way for your views and opinions to possibly get some recognition here on my blog. On Fridays, I'll address some of the emails and "feedback" I receive from you the readers, I'll try to be fair and balanced, so I'll address the good, the bad, and even some of the ugly emails and responses we receive regarding the news, opinions, and perspectives I've expressed on the blog. We'll give it a try starting next Friday. So, if you've got something to say about what I say here on the blog, go to the "Contact Us" link at the top right side of the page (located just above the enticing (ha ha) photograph of yours truly), and tell us what's on your mind. Please keep it short and to the point, that way, both my trusty assistant Stephanie, and myself, will be more inclined to read what you have to say. No rambling please... Thanks...

As we all know, the sport of drag racing is among only a handful of sports where women and men can compete on the proverbial "level playing field". While many sports discourage, if not flat-out discriminate against women getting involved, drag racing has pretty much provided an "open door policy" for women wanting to satisfy their "need for speed" and aspirations of straight-line hot rod competition. Yeah, I know that our sport does still harbor some completely classless blowhards (often in their "geezer twilight years") who still firmly believe a woman's place is only supposed to be in the kitchen, and definitely not doing her thing at the drag strip-- I've encountered some of these brainless buffoons, mostly on the internet, 'cause they're usually too feeble to fess-up to their prejudice in person-- These kind of crusty guys are still desperately hanging on to the washed-up ways and beliefs of the "Old South"-- Yeah, let's face it, some degree of prejudice in the drag racing world does still exist, however, on the optimist side of the coin, it certainly does appear, THAT particular brand of pea-brained prejudice is becoming less and less popular in our drag racing community, especially among the smart and far more enlightened younger generations-- That's a good thing... That said, please note that tickets are still available for the 9th Annual WOMEN IN THE WINNER'S CIRCLE FOUNDATION award celebration, where NHRA legend Shirley Muldowney will be among those honored on Thursday, September 1st, at Don Schumacher Racing, 1681 E. Northfield Drive, Brownsburg, Indiana. I genuinely applaud the folks at Schumacher Racing for hosting this important event. Honorary Chair Charlotte Lucas, Women In The Winner's Circle founder Lyn St. James, and drivers including Melanie Troxel and Erica Enders will join engineers, team members, and other VIPs at this gala celebration. Attendees are offered a chance to meet these fine women (and others) and learn more about their goals and achievements. Many of them are featured in a traveling exhibit currently on display at the Indiana State Museum. For more information please visit www.lynstjames.com