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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...

YOU WANNA KNOW ABOUT MY SCULPTURE SIDE?!?...

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After yesterday's blog, telling you fine folks about me bringing one of my wax sculptures to the Modern Art Foundry in Astoria, NY, to be cast in bronze, I received several emails from readers curious to know more about my "artistic" side-- I admit that while I occasionally share with you my BIG STICK business, the music side of my life, I don't usually write much about the art and sculpture side of my life... Well, yes, I do drawings, paintings, and my current favorite form of art medium, sculpture work-- As far as my sculpture work goes, I've done some bronze bunnies that I'm kinda proud of. I often start my bronze projects with wax... I also occasionally work in wire and paper mache... I don't have any of my bunny pics handy today, but I do have a photo of a dragon I created from paper mache--- I'll get some photos of my bronze bunnies and other artwork together, so that I can post them here at a later date... Thanks to all of you who expressed an interest... And also to those of you who told me that you want to buy my art, despite the fact that you haven't even seen any of it!!-- THAT'S fan dedication!!-- I've said it before and I'll say it again-- You're the best friends a gal could ever ask for!!... Thanks...

 

This is a paper mache dragon I created. He's approximately 10" high. We see him here wreaking havoc among the thick backyard undergrowth... I'll post some more of my artwork at a later date... Thanks to all you folks who expressed an interest....

A dragon for all my drag racing friends...


Today is "FEEDBACK FRIDAY", meaning I deal with emails that my assistant Stephanie and I receive from readers regarding my most recent blogs... Let's get to it.... Yesterday's blog regarding "Big Daddy" Don Garlits having a stroke after admitting his wife, Pat Garlits, into the hospital with her late stage Alzheimer's disease prompted droves of compassionate responses from my readers. Darin from Ennis, Texas wrote that he was brought to tears by the news because he's been following Garlits' career since he was a little kid, and has met both Don and Pat on several occasions. I want to remind you folks that Don had a mild stroke and is doing well. However, with Pat in the hospital suffering from severe Alzheimer's, the couple are still desperately in need of our thoughts and prayers... My announcement of E'Town's 33rd Annual Nostalgia Summernationals & Old Time Drags & Funny Car Reunion taking place on Sunday, July 29th caused many of you to write me. Lots of you asking questions about entries and whether or not you can just bring your car to compete-- I suggest that you contact the track with those sort of questions, they're far more qualified to help you with those sort of inquiries than I am. Jerry from Dover, NJ wrote, "I'm bringing my kids to the race to show them what Funny Cars are supposed to look like!". As I said in my blog, this event earns my highest and most coveting rating of "5 Doc Stars", so you know it's the cat's pajamas!!... I want to take the opportunity to give a shout out to my friends at the Modern Art Foundry in Astoria, NY-- Yesterday I made the trip to Astoria to drop off another wax bunny for them to turn into a bronze-- They always do such a great job with my sculpture work. It was also nice to see my friends at OPA!-- The restaurant in Astoria that serves up the best authentic Greek food on the planet. Hostess Perdika Zevlakis and her staff are still the tops with me. It was also nice to see some of my hot roddin' buddies at the scenic Astoria Park too-- And I even had the chance to feed some of Astoria Park's unique "black squirrels" with a few peanuts that I brought in my coat pocket-- I had a real nice day in Astoria. Thanks to all of you who made me feel at home... Keep those emails comin', whether you agree or disagree with my opinions, I'm genuinely interested in your feedback... I just ask that you please keep your emails short and to the point, no rambling please, and please also include where you're from, I often find the location of where folks are writing me from to be sort of interesting... Thanks...

 

Y'all are excited about E'Town's 33rd Annual Nostalgia Summernationals & Old Time Drags & Funny Car Reunion scheduled for Sunday, July 29th. The event earns my highest and most coveting rating of "5 Doc Stars", so you know it's the cat's pajamas!!...

Willie Johnson's "NO MONEY NO FUNNY" '68 Nova Funny Car is a prime example of the sort of groovy old school drag racing machinery you'll see at E'Town's NOSTALGIA SUMMERNATIONALS... For more info visit Raceway Park's web site by clicking on this http://www.etownraceway.com/ To see a free video preview of the kind of action you'll see at this event click here http://www.dragracingunderground.com/~dragrac/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage-ask.tpl&product_id=3&category_id=1&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=48


Fist of all, I want to apologize to all my loyal readers for the Drag Racing Underground site (including this blog) being down over the last couple of days. Our resident geeks had some cyber modifications to make, at least now we're back, running on all eight cylinders-- I missed y'all and it feels good to be be back in the blogging seat-- Although the news I return to you with certainly isn't the most cheerful... Last week "Big Daddy" Don Garlits put his longtime and loving wife Pat in the hospital. As I've told you in the past, Pat Garlits is suffering from the late stages of Alzheimer's disease. Don was told by Pat's doctors that she will never be coming home.  I'm very sorry to hear this news.  On the most recent airing of CBS's Sunday Morning program, there was a feature on recording artist Glenn Campbell, who is now in the early stages of Alzheimer's, and to see the effects of this strange disease is pretty darn heart breaking... Anyways, then last Sunday, Don Garlits suffered a stroke, and he was rushed to the hospital. Fortunately Don received care in time to avoid serious complications from the stroke-- I guess it was a mild stroke as opposed to a severe one-- Don says that he's "doing great", and just suffered some minor memory loss for a short duration of time, and he adds "The good Lord was with me", and he also says that he'd appreciate everyone keeping Pat and him in their thoughts and prayers. I know that Don has a strong faith, so I imagine that's giving him some strength to endure all this hardship-- He's a strong man with a strong soul-- Of course our thoughts and prayers here at Drag Racing Underground go out to Don and Pat Garlits...

 

Don Garlits and yours truly during happier times at E'Town...

"Big Daddy" Don Garlits just had a stroke, and wife Pat is in the hospital with advanced Alzheimer's disease, please keep 'em both in your thoughts and prayers...


Antron Brown gets off on the right foot early in the season, with his second final round appearance in as many races, although this time he was victorious, winning Top Fuel at the NHRA Arizona Nationals. Brown pummeled his teammate  Tony "The Almighty Sarge" Schumacher in the final round, recording a blistering 3.793/319mph pass. "Mr. Brown" is now first in the T/F points standings-- Antron Brown is definitely living proof during this nation's highly publicized Black History Month, that the sport of drag racing is the most racially diverse of all professional motorsports... It was a "Totally Team Force" final in the Nitro Funny Car category. Robert Hight beat teammate Mike Neff with a 4.139/307mph fierce flopper assault. Neff is No#1 in the points standing, while Hight in No#2. Force fans were also happy as clams to see "whiz kid" Courtney Force make it to the semi finals-- Courtney is a positive role model for women and young folks, the kind of role model that the sport of drag racing is mighty darn thankful for having-- I believe Courtney is a bright beacon of hope for drag racing's future... You know, seeing how the racing went in Arizona, it's apparent that "team racing", an element of drag racing that some folks used to complain an awful lot about, has certainly become rather commonplace, and now widely accepted in the sport-- Of course it's too early in the season for folks to start pointing fingers and accusing team racers of taking "dives" for their teammates-- That doesn't come until later in the year... Anyways, defending Pro Stock world champ Jason Line beat KB Racing teammate Greg Anderson in the final with a dastardly doorslammin' 6.55/211mph timeslip. Anderson in No#1 in points with Line nipping at his heels at No#2... Here's the Arizona Nationals Sportsman winners-- Dan Flethcher in Super Stock, Leo Glassbrenner in Stock, Greg Boutte in Super Comp, Michael Miller in Super Gas, Ray Drew in Super Street, J. Wayne Silvia in Top Sportsman, and Tom Koenen in Top Dragster...

 

 


GRAY, LANGDON, EDWARDS TOP NHRA QUALIFIERS IN ARIZONA DESERT...

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Johnny Gray is your number one qualifier in the Nitro Funny Car class at NHRA's Arizona Nationals. Gray piloted his Service Central Dodge Charger to a blistering 4.074 pass at 298mph Friday night, that time slip stuck for the duration of the qualifying sessions. Gray will race Grant Downing in first round eliminations today. I'm glad to report that youthful fan favorite, rockin' rookie supreme Courtney Force managed to get in the program with the number 12 qualifier spot. We all know that Courtney's presence in NHRA drag racing is a major attraction for young folks who follow the sport... Friday night's qualifying session in Top Fuel also secured the number one qualifying position for Shawn Langdon of the Al-Anabi Racing camp. Langdon scorched the scoreboards with a 3.754 at 323mph- Yikes, that's moving!! Tony "The Almighty Sarge" Schumacher is the No#2 qualifier, the U.S. Army team certainly has the goods in their nitro arsenal to put a hurtin' on the field... In the "Factory Hot Rod" class a.k.a. Pro Stock, Mike Edwards made some history by setting the Firebird Raceway track record and securing the No#1 spot with a swift 6.536/210mph charge.  Edwards at the wheel of his Penhall/Interstate Batteries GXP has proven that he's a major threat among the dastardly doorslammer category. This makes for Edwards' 40th No#1 qualifying spot in NHRA competition. Jason Line is No#2 qualifier, so you can't count him out. In the first round today, you'll see Mike Edwards taking on Warren "The Professor" Johnson... As we get into the thick of the second NHRA national event of the season, it's pretty darn apparent that "stiff competition" is being served up for the fans in the grandstands-- And according to my reliable sources, the amount of those fans occupying those seats in the grandstands is surprisingly high considering the current financial health of the nation-- NHRA Championship Drag Racing is coming on strong, baby-- THAT sure as heck sounds like good news to this drag gal...


E'TOWN'S 33RD ANNUAL NOSTALGIA SUMMERNATIONALS SUN JULY 29TH!!...

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Hey folks... Time to get your calendar out and mark another race date that I strongly recommend for you and the whole family. It's Sunday, July 29th, 'cause E'Town will be presenting the 33rd Annual Nostalgia Summernationals & Old Time Drags & 10th Annual Funny Car Reunion. I've been going to and supporting this event for eternity, and for good reason, it's truly a memorable gathering year after year. This is a race that celebrates drag racing's colorful roots and history. No matter what your particular favorite genre of old school drag racing is, this event has it covered. You'll see Dragsters, Altereds, Gassers, Roadsters, Stock & Super Stocks, all sorts of variations of nostalgia themed rides-- And of course the Funny Car Reunion part of the event is a lot of fun too. The pits are packed with many precious classic rides on display. There's also lots of interesting vendors in the pits selling their neat stuff. If you're a geezer, this event will bring back lots of good memories for you-- If you're not a geezer, this event is an excellent opportunity to experience the best of drag racing's "old world" flavors and have a blast while doing so.... Every year Drag Racing Underground and I cover this event, we genuinely love it. Every year there's new surprises and people to see. Take a step back in drag racing's time tunnel, and get a taste of what made this sport so cool from the beginning... This event receives "5 Doc Stars", my highest rating, so you know it's the cat's meow!!-- Make sure that you make plans NOW to attend. Bring your family and friends, make a day of it-- A day of reliving drag racing memories that will create new treasured lifelong memories for you and your family to share together forever... BE THERE!!-- SUNDAY, JULY 29TH AT RACEWAY PARK!!...

 

DRAG RACING UNDERGROUND has been a huge supporter and promoter of this event for a long time-- And for good reason-- E'Town's NOSTALGIA SUMMERNATIONALS is a "MUST SEE" spectacular for drag racing fans of all ages. It's a truly great day at the drags that nobody should miss. It earns my highest and most coveting rating of "5 DOC STARS"!!-- BE THERE!!...

For more information visit E'Town's web site by clicking here http://www.etownraceway.com/ If you'd like a video preview of what kind of action you'll see at this event click here http://www.dragracingunderground.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage-ask.tpl&product_id=3&category_id=1&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=48&vmcchk=1&Itemid=48

 


Today is "FEEDBACK FRIDAY", meaning I deal with emails that my assistant Stephanie and I receive from readers regarding my most recent blogs... Let's get to it.... Yesterday's blog about Nathaniel, the guy on TLC's "STRANGE ADDICTIONS" TV show, who has, ahem "intimate sexual relations" with his '98 Monte Carlo completely grossed more than a few of you out. Mary from Buffalo, NY wrote, "Nathaniel is a nasty man!"... I received lots of thanks for my blog highlighting the recent Winternationals' Sportsman winners. Arnie from Pleasant Hill, Ohio wrote me an inspiring thumbs-up email!... My Valentine's Day blog about romancing the old skool drag racing respirator mask brought a lot of geezers out of the woodwork, many of you believe that NHRA should still permit its use. D.L. from Westport, CT wrote, "I still haven't got used to seeing dragster drivers wearing full face helmets. Bring back the masks!" I want to thank Rich Dana from OBSOLETE magazine for doing such a great layout of my respirator mask romance article in his magazine. I've just been told that Drag Racing Underground's John Gill will have a feature of his amazing artwork in an upcoming issue... My blog recalling my profound encounter with Whitney Houston's mom, Cissy, at a recording studio in East Orange, NJ sparked mixed responses. One of the more negative of them coming from Gerard of Monroe, Mich who angrily wrote, "How can you give any respect to a crack head?"-- Well, Gerard, it's no secret that a number of star drag racers from the our sport's "golden era" were either drunks, druggies, and/or wife beaters, I wonder if you'll be as critical and unforgiving of them when they pass away into the alleged afterlife? I'm not denying that Whitney made some bad mistakes, but I do respect her for what she accomplished, and for how hard she worked when she was at her prime... Altered enthusiasts thanked me for my blog promoting the World Fuel Altered Nationals broadcast on SPEED TV.  An email I received signed, "Bubba from Arkansas", said that he believes the Altereds deserve more ink and coverage from media folks like myself-- To that, I respectfully respond, I completely agree!!... Keep those emails comin', whether you agree or disagree with my opinions, I'm genuinely interested in your feedback... I just ask that you please keep your emails short and to the point, no rambling please, and please also include where you're from, I often find the location of where folks are writing me from to be sort of interesting... Thanks...

 

Glad y'all appreciated my ROMANCING THE RESPIRATOR MASK feature in OBSOLETE magazine...

Yours truly wearing the mask for a BIG STICK music video shoot, for our "BURNING RUBBER" track set for 2012 release. Thanks to Rob "Zombie" Bruce for lending me the mask.


WHEN "I'M IN LOVE WITH MY CAR" GOES TOO FAR...

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Lots of folks are into cars. Heck, this is a drag racing site, so y'all know that it's not unusual for automobile enthusiasts to dote over a car, spend excessive amounts of time and money on a car, whether it be a race car, hot rod, custom, etc... We get that... As a matter of fact, we all probably know somebody who has gone through a divorce as a result of them or their spouse giving more attention to a car than their marriage-- It's sort of an addiction-- I mean, let's admit it, I'm known for "telling it like it is", not mincing my words, we all know that with some people, their love for cars can be considered to be an addiction of sorts. Several years ago a major U.K. music publication featured a big two page color spread about yours truly and BIG STICK, titling the piece "DRAG ADDICTION"-- So yeah, I guess you can call this sort of love for the automobile an addiction... HOWEVER, I recently caught an episode of THE LEARNING CHANNEL'S (TLC's) show "MY STRANGE ADDICTION", that takes this love of cars affliction to a whole 'nother level, and a pretty unsettling one at that. The popular TLC-TV program featured a 27-year old guy named Nathaniel who has been in an "intimate" relationship with "Chase", his 1998 Chevy Monte Carlo, for nearly five years. Nathaniel goes on "dates" with his car, buys it "birthday gifts", and weirdest of all, he even has, ahem, "sexual relations" with it!!... I kid you not, Nathaniel, uh, "makes love" to his car. This is the first time I ever heard of this kind of thing. Many of us are aware of QUEEN's big hit in the 70's, "I'M IN LOVE WITH MY CAR", the song sung and penned by the band's drummer, Roger Taylor, that cleverly hints at loving a car in that sort of way, although I doubt that Taylor or anyone in QUEEN ever had "sexual relations" with a car... I must admit, I'm a pretty open minded woman, I usually subscribe to the "live and let live" mantra, but when I was watching TLC's "MY STRANGE ADDITION", and I saw Nathaniel "making a move" of a "sexual nature" on his '98 Monte Carlo, it lead me to believe that he's one feller who takes "loving his car" just a bit too far...

 

Photo from CREEM magazine of yours truly and BIG STICK with Brian May of QUEEN. Many of us know QUEEN's popular "I'M IN LOVE WITH MY CAR" song from their "NIGHT AT THE OPERA" LP, however, can some folks take loving their car too far?!?...

This press clip highlights the release of BIG STICK'S "FREDDIE & ME" track that we recorded in memory of the late Freddie Mercury. Spending some quality time with Brian May after Freddie just recently passed away was comforting for all of us...


NHRA WINTERNATIONALS SPORTSMAN WINNERS PLEASE STAND UP...

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The other day after I posted the winners of the "Pro" categories for NHRA's debut Winternationals event, I received an uproar of emails "strongly suggesting" that I best cover the Sportsman winners too. Well, as you know, Drag Racing Underground and I have always been championing the cause of giving props to the so-called "littler guys" of the sport-- So here we go... In the Top Alcohol Dragster final Chris Demke defeated Larry Miersh by running the quickest pass of the event, a blistering 5.28 270mph. One heck of a performance for Demke... Daniel Oliver captured the Top Alcohol Funny Car win in a very close contest with Jay Payne, winning by only 7ft on the finish line. Oliver put the pain to Payne in the Alky Flopper class... Randy Jones activated the dreaded red light in Comp Eliminator, handing the win over to Dan Fletcher. There's no denying that seeing the blaring red bulb appear on the NHRA christmas tree puts a quick end to the contest... In a tight squeeze of a win, Mike Cotten managed to get the best of Jody Lang in Super Stock. It was a win that was practically "too close for comfort", but a win nonetheless... Brad Burton pulled a holeshot on Don Keen to win in the Stock class by a total of 19 inches. Whew! Another close one in the Sportsman ranks... Tommy Phillips left the line too soon for sanity, redlighted, allowing Kevin Wright a sweet victory final round lap in Super Comp. Once again, another final round decided on the starting line... Winner Greg Venture nabbed the holeshot and ran closer to the index to cause Jimmy Lewis to settle for the runner-up spot in Super Gas. Venture had all his ducks in a row and it paid off by being victorious in the first NHRA event of the 2012 season... After seeing the ultra tight and tough Sportsman racing at NHRA's debut event, it most certainly does appear that we're in for an extremely nail biting year of drag racing from all the Sportsman categories. Hang on tight, folks, it's gonna be a spectacular season for NHRA Sportsman drag racing...


ROMANCING THE OLD SKOOL RESPIRATOR MASK ON VALENTINE'S DAY...

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Happy Valentine's Day!... Let's celebrate love, a drag racing kind of love... The kind of love that lots of us have for the old skool respirator mask, the head accessory that was worn by droves of Dragster &  Funny Car stars in the 60's and 70's... Yes, I know, the sanctioning body has deemed them outdated and obsolete... That said, I'd like to share the following  piece that I wrote for the newest issue of OBSOLETE magazine, celebrating the love that many of us share for the mask...

 

This is an ode to the old school respirator mask- the kind that drag racers of years gone by used to wear. Now, a current wave of nostalgia-spirited racers wear them as well. I like the explanation Lou Sgro gave me for wearing the mask; “I want to look the part- I used to wear a full-style helmet- actually you can see a lot better with a full-style helmet- but I want to look the part, and with the whole nostalgia deal, I want to make it look like it did in the 70's. That's why I wear the mask". There is a kind of romance that goes with suiting up with the old school respirator mask- it's not just a matter of stepping into the past, but overstepping the confines and style-starved stagnation of the present. There is no denying that wearing the mask is definitely a gas. To the uninformed and novice observer, you may appear as some sort of a character straight out of a 60's sci-fi B movie. But hey- that's not a bad way to present yourself, at least not in my opinion- not bad at all. I'd like to see a designated “wear your respirator mask to work” day- to hell with “casual fridays”. My friend Joe Jacono used to drive the “Rollin' Stoned” funny car in the 1970's. The respirator mask is among the attire he wore. A striking outfit, for sure! Mike Boyd wears the mask as he courageously pilots the "Winged Express"- an adorable, lovable nitro altered at it's best. Yeah, and there's me- wearing the mask on loan for a music video shoot along with fire suit and pants. There is a distinct aroma of charred funny car and burnt fuel that fills the mask, but I'm loving it so much-  loving the old school. Yeah, it's the romance of it all. The romance....

 

Why are so many folks obsessed and in love with this form of drag racing head gear that the sanctioning body has deemed obsolete? I discuss in my recent piece published in OBSOLETE magazine. Visit the OBSOLETE web site by clicking the link...  http://obsoletemag.blogspot.com

You can see my romantic ode to the old skool drag racing respirator mask for free on YouTube... Click on the below link...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTrvVi7C_Qg