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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...

OLD SCHOOL 1970'S FUNNY CARS PROVIDE E'TOWN THRILLS!!...

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Thousands of enthusiastic fans poured through the gates of Raceway Park last Saturday night looking for thrills-- And it's common knowledge among those in the know that the E'Town track's famous PC Richards & Son NIGHT OF THRILLS event never fails to deliver to those thousands of spectators. Of course there's Monster Trucks, Jet Cars and Wheelstanders on the bill, after all, it IS a "Thrill Show". However, it's worth noting that there's also another category of drag racing machinery that's becoming a staple of E'Town's world famous thrill shows-- I'm talking about the Nostalgia Funny Cars. These so-called "Plastic Fantastics", sporting bodies from the 1970's are often booked to perform and do their part in producing thrills for race fans. My old pal Rocky Pirrone showed up with his "Screaming Eagle" Firebird and put a slight hurtin' on Nost F/C pioneer Dave Sano and his  "Screamin' Insanity" '73 Grand Am. When Pirrone and Sano squared off in a battle royale of the "SCREAMING" floppers, it was Sano who found himself gettin' out of the groove around half track, while Pirrone stayed relatively steady, although Pirrone did get a little wiggly around 1000ft-- When it was all said and done though, the bout between these two pristine Pontiacs saw Pirrone take the win light with a stout 6.73 170mph charge. Sano settled for a 7.27 139mph runner up time slip. Bob Toth in Rocky Roxlau's "Time Bomb" Vega raced Marty Danko in his Altered. Toth pulled off a sweet old school smokey burnout, as did Danko as well. When the tree went green, Danko had a pretty rambunctious launch that definitely cost him valuable time, allowing Toth the opportunity to make his way down the E'Town strip way ahead of Danko. However, when Toth was down on the big end, the Vega did get awfully close to the wall. Thankfully Toth's driving talents saved him from hurting the car's beautiful body. And Toth was victorious with a 7.48 E.T., while Danko recorded an 8.64... If this brand of Nostalgia drag racing is your thing, I strongly suggest that you mark your calendar for Sunday July 29th, that's when E'Town's NOSTALGIA SUMMERNATIONALS takes place-- You do NOT want to miss it!! Kudos to all the Nostalgia teams who did their part to put the "THRILL" in Raceway Park's most recent NIGHT OF THRILLS...

 

Old school Funny Cars like Rocky Roxlau's  "TIME BOMB" Vega have proven that they too can provide spectators with quite a thrill! And yes, that's Nostalgia drag racing living legend Rocky Pirrone seen sitting in the back round.

If Nostalgia themed drag racing turns you on, be sure to make plans to attend E'Town's NOSTALGIA SUMMERNATIONALS scheduled for Sunday July 29th.




I had a great time last night at Old Bridge Raceway Park. The P.C. Richard & Son NIGHT OF THRILLS was a complete blast. I'm grateful for all you blog readers who took the time to come say hello to me at the Drag Racing Underground tent. Meeting you fine folks who read my blog with regularity is a real treat for me. The pits and grandstands were packed with spectators checking out the Monster Trucks, Jet Cars, Wheelstanders, Pro Mods, Nostalgia Funny Cars, Altereds, Nitro Harleys and all the other goodies booked into the show. I'll talk more about last night's E'Town Thrill Show in my upcoming blogs over the next few days... But for now, I'd like to switch gears and take a moment to pay my respect to Big Willie Robinson who just passed away. Big Willie was a muscular man who wore a bowler hat, drove a hardcore Hemi Daytona Charger and was the undisputed king of the late '60s-70's East L.A. street racing scene. With so many troubled kids of the era turning to drugs and street gangs, Big Willie and his wife Tomiko organized the "Brotherhood of Street Racers" as a way to combat the social ills of the period and promote "peace through racing". Working with local officials and police, Big Willie was the main force in the building of Brotherhood Raceway Park on L.A. harbor's Terminal Island. As many of you know, in the past I've tried to do my part to help curtail the vicious "thug element" of New York & New Jersey street racing, and encourage local youths to race "safely" and "legally" at the drag strip, so I really do hold a special place in my heart for Big Willie. I have genuine admiration for all he's accomplished. Willie's wife Tomiko passed away in April of '07, hopefully Willie's spirit and her spirit are reunited. Let it be known that both of them will never be forgotten by those of us in the hardcore drag racing community...


Wouldn't you like your kids to have the opportunity to experience the thrill of seeing the  "HIGHER EDUCATION MONSTER BUS"?!?-- Of course you do!!--- The mammoth "MONSTER BUS" along with our nation's very best "MONSTER TRUCKS" will be raising heck tonight, Saturday, May 19th at the PC Richards & Son 37th Annual NIGHT OF THRILLS presented by Premio Foods!! That's right my dear friends, it all happens tonight May 19th at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown NJ. This is by far the biggest and best thrill show on the entire planet!!-- I highly recommend it as a perfect night out for "fast family fun"!! The Monster Trucks will be out in full force-- Monster Trucks scheduled to appear are BRUTUS, AVENGER, VIPER, BAD HABIT, BLACK STALLION, THE MONSTER TRUCK SCHOOL BUS plus two more!! The flame throwing Jet Cars will also be dazzling your senses-- You'll see the CANNONBALL EXPRESS, BLACK ICE, JERSEY ICE, JERSEY THUNDER and the CHATTANOOGA CHOO CHOO!! The two-wheeled 'n' wonderful Nitro Harley Davidsons will be in the house to heat things up!! The SUPERWINCH ROADSTER and RICH HUTCHINS' Wheelstanders will be reaching for the skies!! Freestyle Motocross and BMX Stunt riders will be demonstrating their awesomely amazing skills!! There will be CARTOON CHARACTERS and FREE COTTON CANDY in the all new KIDS ZONE!! The legendary BENNY THE HUMAN BOMB will provide the night's fiery finale!! Benny is the KING of thrill show entertainment!! Every ticket is an all access pit pass. Discount coupons are available at PC Richards & Son stores. Gates open 4pm, family pit party & driver meet and greet at 5 with the Monster Truck Mayhem kicking off at 7pm!! For more information visit http://www.etownraceway.com/

 


FEEDBACK FRIDAY AND SAYING GOODBYE TO DONNA SUMMER...

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Today is "FEEDBACK FRIDAY", meaning I deal with emails that my assistant Stephanie and I receive from readers regarding my most recent blogs... Yesterday's blog giving readers a heads-up about the Force Funnies appearing in Elvis trim at Bristol prompted positive and negative reader reactions. "Force Fan #1" wrote me that he's buying all the diecast cars that will be manufactured to celebrate the event. A far less enthusiastic email from Andy in Pittsburgh, PA claims "He's sick of all the Force hype!"... Lots of you appreciated my blog reminding you about tomorrow's E'Town NIGHT OF THRILLS. Tyler from Cape May, NJ said he'll be bringing his whole family to experience the thrills!... Also received positive feedback concerning my blog wishing Happy Birthday to promoter Dave Hance, and urging readers to mark the SHAKEDOWN dates of Oct 12, 13, 14 on their calendars. The folks at E'Town, where the race takes place were pleased with the blog, and Rosco from Maine wrote that he'll be packing his Chevy Suburban with all his poker playing pals to show them what outlaw drag racing is all about... I want to take a moment to say something about yesterday's reported passing of Donna Summer. Back in the early 80's we (Big Stick) were hanging and working with renowned NYC disc jockey/mixer/producer Ted Currier (of WBLS FM and "ATOMIC DOG" fame, AND Ted created the drum track for our CRACK ATTACK hit). Ted had a gig spinning records at the gigantic FUNHOUSE dance club on Manhattan's west side. I distinctly remember being there and hearing Donna Summer's "I FEEL LOVE" on the club's humongous state-of-the-art sound system for the first time, and thinking how it's the most uniquely spacey, sensual and soulful dance record EVER. Donna Summer really had a special vocal gift and an attitude that made her easy to like. She is going to be sorely missed by many music fans. Goodbye Donna Summer we love you back...  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... Thanks...


ELVIS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING, HE'S GONE TO THE DRAG STRIP...

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I know there's readers of this blog who are fans of the late Elvis Presley. And I'm also aware that there's a majority of folks who read this blog who are also fans of John Force (and yes, as I know from your feedback, there's a minority of you who get appalled each and every time I give Force any press whatsoever on this page)... HOWEVER, that said, John Force and teammate Robert Hight will celebrate the legacy of Elvis during the 12th annual Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway on June 15-17. In conjunction with Elvis Presley Enterprises and Lionel NASCAR Collectables, John Force Racing will again feature Elvis on its Mustang Floppers. Yep, Elvis will be aboard the Force funnies (in spirit) for some wild nitro charged rides in Bristol! Each driver will be competing in a specially designed Elvis 35th anniversary Ford Mustang Funny Car for this onetime special weekend... For all you folks into the diecast collectable scene, Lionel NASCAR Collectables will offer 1/24 and 1/64 scale diecast cars of both Force's Castrol GTX High Mileage/Elvis 35th Ford Mustang Funny Car and Hight's Auto Club/Elvis 35th Ford Mustang Funny Car. For those of you who are still gaga over diecast cars, and have a love for Elvis AND for the John Force Racing camp, you can preorder the cars by clicking on this handy dandy link... http://www.nhradiecast.com/


THIS SATURDAY MAY 19TH NIGHT OF THRILLS AT E'TOWN-- BE THERE!!...

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Just a friendly reminder that THIS Saturday, May 19th is the PC Richards & Son 37th Annual NIGHT OF THRILLS presented by Premio Foods!! That's right my dear friends, it all  happens THIS Saturday Night May 19th at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown NJ. This is by far the biggest and best thrill show in the northeast, if not the whole nation-- I've been attending this event for several years and I highly recommend it as a perfect night out for "fast family fun"!! The Monster Trucks will be out in full force-- Monster Trucks scheduled to appear are BRUTUS, AVENGER, VIPER, BAD HABIT, BLACK STALLION, THE MONSTER TRUCK SCHOOL BUS plus two more!! The flame throwing Jet Cars will be dazzling your senses-- You'll see the CANNONBALL EXPRESS, BLACK ICE, JERSEY ICE, JERSEY THUNDER and the CHATTANOOGA CHOO CHOO!! The two-wheeled 'n' wonderful Nitro Harley Davidsons will be in the house to heat things up!! The SUPERWINCH ROADSTER and RICH HUTCHINS' Wheelstanders will be reaching for the skies!! Freestyle Motocross and BMX Stunt riders will be demonstrating their awesomely amazing skills!! There will be CARTOON CHARACTERS and FREE COTTON CANDY in the all new KIDS ZONE!! The legendary BENNY THE HUMAN BOMB will provide the night's fiery finale!! Benny is the KING of thrill show entertainment!! Every ticket is an all access pit pass. Discount coupons are available at PC Richards & Son stores. Gates open 4pm, family pit party & driver meet and greet at 5 with the Monster Truck Mayhem kicking off at 7pm!! I'm looking forward to seeing YOU and YOUR FAMILY there!! For more information visit http://www.etownraceway.com/

 

Come on out for E'Town's 37th Annual NIGHT OF THRILLS on Saturday May 19th!! There's a whole lot of family fun for everyone!! See MONSTER TRUCKS, JET CARS, WHEELSTANDERS, NITRO HARLEY DAVIDSONS, FREESTYLE MOTOCROSS & BMX STUNT RIDERS, CARTOON CHARACTERS and the legendary BENNY THE HUMAN BOMB perform his incredible fiery finale!!

Benny The Human Bomb being interviewed by yours truly for Drag Racing Underground.


I believe the opportunity for drag racing fans to meet and personally connect with the NHRA tour drivers is a darn good thing. That's why when I receive a press release regarding driver(s) making "in-store" appearances I feel compelled to pass on the information to my many loyal readers... In conjunction with the 24th Annual Dollar General NHRA Summernationals at Heartland Park Topeka, May 18-20, Dollar General sponsored Top Fuel competitor J.R. Todd and team owner Rob Vandergriff Jr. will be at a local Dollar General location for an autograph signing Wednesday, May 16 (tomorrow!). The meet and greet will run from 5 to 7pm. The store's location is at 3410 SE 29th St., Topeka, Kansas. Todd is running his 3rd race of the 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing season and is bringing additional exposure to the event's sponsor for the eighth race on the sanctioning body's tour. Of course this race is extra special for Todd because he'll be piloting a Top Fueler in Dollar General trim for the event. Hopefully the Dollar General deal can turn into a long term sponsorship partnership. Bob Vandergriff Jr. gets the credit for putting the Dollar General deal together. I suggest that if you're in the Topeka neighborhood that you drop in to the Dollar General store and say hello to J.R. Todd and Bob Vandergriff Jr... I know for a fact that they're both super guys who love meeting the fans.


HAPPY B-DAY TO DAVE-- AND A "SHAKEDOWN" DATE REMINDER!!...

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I want to express Happy Belated Birthday wishes to everyone's favorite racer/promoter Dave Hance... AND I want to take another opportunity to remind my readers to please mark their calendars for October 12, 13 & 14th-- THAT'S when Dave's big SHAKEDOWN AT E'TOWN outlaw doorslammer race takes place!! I know that some of you are thinkin' that October is such a long way from now, and yes, we do have a whole Summer to enjoy before the Fall season arrives, but hey, write the SHAKEDOWN dates on your calendar NOW so that it's done and you're assured to not forget them!! Dave Hance of NY Motorsports and Old Bridge Township Raceway Park will be hosting the 10th edition of the event this year. Many drivers and fans agree that SHAKEDOWN has grown into the Ultimate Heads-Up Doorslammer race of the whole wide world. The record books take a severe beating each and every SHAKEDOWN, as the cool Fall temperatures combined with E'Town's superior track prep and conditions make for a very, very fast drag strip. Competition classes include Pro Mod, Top Sportsman, Pro Import, Outlaw 10.5, Heavy Street, Outlaw Radial/Limited Street, X275, 8.50 Index and Pro Street Bike. Side by side outlaw racing featuring the very best of heads-up competitors in the nation is what SHAKEDOWN is all about!!

 

SHAKEDOWN AT E'TOWN promoter Dave Hance with yours truly at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. Be sure you mark your calendar NOW for October 12, 13 & 14 to assure that you won't miss the best darn outlaw doorslammer race in the entire world come this Fall!!

A video still from Drag Racing Underground's SHAKEDOWN at E'TOWN dvd. For more info click here... http://www.dragracingunderground.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage-ask.tpl&product_id=2&category_id=1&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=48&vmcchk=1&Itemid=48


HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY...

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We all know that on this day the one theme and message that trumps all others is the wishing of Moms everywhere to have themselves a Happy Mother's Day. Therefore, why should my blog be any exception. It is on this day that we all celebrate MOM. I'd like to do my part in spreading the appreciation for Mothers worldwide. Give Mom what she really wants-- a hug, some loving words, and if possible, a day that includes a little bit of old fashion pampering. You don't necessarily have to book her a getaway day at a pricy Hollywood Spa (although if you can, that'd be mighty nice)-- Just give Mom the opportunity to put her feet up and read a good book, or the freedom to lay back and avoid the sort of hectic mayhem that's so often an unavoidable factor in her daily routine-- Or bear the brunt of some of Mom's daily responsibilities for her, like set the table, do the dishes, or the laundry or something like that... There's nothing else in this universe quite like a Mother's Love...

 

Remembering my Mom on this Mother's Day...

 

 


SAYING GOODBYE TO VERSATILE CAR GUY CARROLL SHELBY...

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Those  like myself who work in the tightly knit automotive journalist circles suspected that Carroll Shelby's health wasn't well this past April, when he was suspiciously absent from the local New York Auto show to promote his new 950-horsepower Shelby 1000 and 1,100-hp Shelby 1000 S/C. That was just uncharacteristic of the guy we've all grown to know as an enthusiastic promoter of ANYTHING he put his name on. The Texan who created the famous Shelby Cobra and other over-the-top high performance cars passed away Thursday night in Dallas at the age of 89. He was hospitalized for pneumonia and obviously wasn't able to beat it. Most of us gearheads are aware of the impact his Shelby Cobras and Shelby Mustangs had on the world's automotive stage. Shelby also paid dues as a formidable race car driver. Individuals like Carroll Shelby are certainly on the "endangered species list", guys like him simply do not exist in the automotive business anymore. People who can design, build, and drive race cars are definitely a dying breed. We're probably not ever going to see another Carroll Shelby appear in this biz, he was a product of a long bygone era in car culture. We're all mighty darn grateful for what he accomplished and contributed to the fast car scene over the span of his spectacular career. Rest In Peace.