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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...

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 that stressed the importance of drivers knowing and practicing a "quick escape" from their race cars, so that they'll have a fighting chance of avoiding serious injury or death in the event of a fire or catastrophic mishap prompted nearly a hundred of you to write me!.One of the more emotionally charged emails came from Becky of Wilsonville, Oregon who wrote that her brother would probably still be alive today if he would've practiced a strategy of quick escape. I'm very sorry about your brother, Becky... My anti-terrorism blog that highlighted the way us good folks in the drag racing biz manufacture underwear to repel fire and danger, while terrorists are fabricating underwear to combust, start fires and cause danger resulted in a disturbing email from Terry of Brooklyn, NY. Terry wrote, "I was just losing some of my anxiety about flying, now I'm back to where I was right after 9/11."... My blog acknowledging John Force and Kenny Bernstein being inducted in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame resulted in some appreciative emails from fans (and crew members) of both racers. Although James from Elyria, Ohio wrote that he could do without me writing about the big stars like Force and Bernstein, because he reads about them "TOO MUCH" at all the other drag racing web sites-- You're certainly entitled to your opinion, James... We received far more positive feedback than James' email in reference to my blog paying tribute to the recently deceased Harry "Blue Max" Schmidt and Beastie Boy Adam Yauch... I'm excited about going out tonight to see my old NYC friend Rob Zombie perform at the PNC Art Center in Holmdel, New Jersey. Lacuna Coil are also on the bill-- I really love them... 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...


DRIVERS SHOULD PRACTICE QUICK "ESCAPES" FROM THEIR RACE CARS!!

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Today's topic is one that's directed at the many race drivers who read this blog. Every now and then this important safety issue rises to the surface of discussion, I'm talking about the issue of whether or not you would be able to quickly "escape" from your race car in the event of a fire or catastrophic mishap... Several years ago there was a racer at the now defunct West Hampton Dragway who just bought a new safety harness. This driver got strapped into his car not knowing how to actually unfasten himself with the new hardware, he reasoned that he'd figure that out after completing his run-- Unfortunately he had some sort of bad transmission fire and wound up trapped in his own car, unable to undo his own seat belt/harness. The fire grew so rapidly and intensely, and the track was so lacking in safety preparation that the driver lost his life stuck inside his car's own fiery inferno. Look, I know that there's some ignoramuses in this drag racing business (although they are in the tiny minority) who are absolutely of the blowharded belief that they "know it all" and don't need to be schooled on the importance of safety or anything that hints of intelligence or reason, I get that, knuckle draggers don't like hearing the truth, especially when it's coming from a confident and intelligent woman. HOWEVER, each and every racer SHOULD KNOW the quickest way and procedure to GET OUT of their race car in the event of a fire or major mishap. I always tell racers that they should know and even practice a quick "escape plan" from their car, so that if catastrophic trouble should ever occur, they'll at least have a fighting chance of avoiding serious injury or death. Do it for yourself. Do it for your family, they love you and appreciate you being around...

 

Drivers should be able to quickly "escape" from their race cars in the event of a catastrophic fire or mishap. Here you see me wearing the necessary safety gear for a trip down the drag strip. I'm always one for encouraging safety. If today's blog can save even just one racer from getting burned, hurt, or worse, I've done my job...

Still frame of yours truly from a BIG STICK music video scheduled for 2012 release. Special thanks to the "Motor City Zombies" Nitro Funny Car racing team for lending me the driving safety gear. Courtesy of the BIG STICK video and image archives.

 

 


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

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Being that we're now in the merry month of May, I believe it's only appropriate that I encourage y'all to attend the upcoming PC Richards & Son 37th Annual NIGHT OF THRILLS presented by Premio Foods. It happens Saturday Night May 19th at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. 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-wheel 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 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!! 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 from the Drag Racing Underground E'Town image archives.


Over the last couple of decades the sport of drag racing has made huge leaps and bounds in the production of clothes designed to deter fire and NOT combust. Manufacturers such as Simpson and others have done incredible research and development, resulting in the availability of fire suits, masks, and yes, even underwear that works wonders in keeping racers much safer in the event of a catastrophic fire... That said, I believe the latest big news item to hit the mainstream media, of having a terrorist board a plane while wearing a "new and improved" (sic) pair of  "undetectable" underwear with "concealed plastic explosives" is just downright disgusting-- As us good folks in the drag racing biz now have underwear designed to save lives, terrorists have developed underwear designed to do the exact opposite, to cause death and destruction... The so-called "War on Terror" is lasting a lot longer than we'd like. The 9/11 mentality is still a humongous part of the world stage. It really is a shame that the human race has those who are so emotionally and mentally deranged-- Those who can't function without trying to cause harm to others... I'm certainly not going to claim that I know the solutions to all our world's sickest of problems, but I do wish that there really was a way to put an end to all this ongoing ghastly garbage... Clothes designed to save racers (and fire fighters) from flammable danger MAKES SENSE-- Clothes designed to combust, start fires and cause catastrophic death DOES NOT...

 

I'm seen here wearing special drag racing clothes designed to protect me from the dangers of fire... Those who choose to wear clothes designed to combust, start fires and cause death are deranged... When will all this crazy insanity come to an end?!?...

Thanks to the Team Zombie Funny Car gang for lending me their firesuit to wear for a Big Stick music video shoot.


Congrats to Ron Capps on his first win of the season at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway. Capps put a clinch on John Force Racing's 2012 total drag strip domination in the Funny Car field. Crew Chief Rahn Tobler was certainly a smart choice for Capp's Schumacher team flopper... Young gun Steve Torrence beat Tony Schumacher in the Top Fuel final to win his first career Top Fuel victory at the wheel of  Capco Contracters dragster. Torrence's transition from being a big shot in the Alky digger ranks to the Nitro contingent is now complete... Pro Stock phenom Greg Anderson defeated teammate Jason Line in the final round to make it to the Atlanta winner's circle. Anderson's incredible reaction time skills were a determining factor in his race weekend success. Of course Anderson doing so well with his Summit sponsored car at his sponsor's event is a bonus for him and his team's efforts... In Pro Stock Motorcycle local (New Jersey) superstar Eddie Krawiec nabbed his second major event victory of the 2012 season. The occasional Old Bridge Township Raceway Park manager outran first-time finalist Michael Ray. Krawiec and his Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley Davidson now have 13 career victories and two at Atlanta Dragway... Congrats to ALL the Pro and Sportsman teams that put the heat on at NHRA's "Hotlanta" event... Switching gears... I spent some of my weekend attending my very first kennel club event, you know, it's a dog thing-- I must admit, watching all sorts of different dog breeds running and jumping their way through a complex agility course is quite a rush!!-- It's amazing just how darn smart some of the dogs in the competition were. Many of you know that I'm a real animal lover, so you can imagine how much I enjoyed this type of event... Oh, and I do want to remind everyone that May 31 - June 3 is the 43rd Annual Toyota NHRA SUPERNATIONALS at E'Town-- It's just 'round the corner on the calendar, so make sure you have your scheduling plans in order to attend-- See YOU there, baby!!....

 

Congrats to Ron Capps on his Atlanta Funny Car victory. And congrats are also in order for Eddie Krawiec, Steve Torrence, and Greg Anderson for their respective Southern Nationals class wins. Here's a photograph from a few years back of Ron Capps with yours truly during my somewhat controversial "jetsetter journalist" fashion period...

Photo courtesy of Drag Racing Underground's historical Old Bridge Township Raceway Park archives.

 


FORCE & BERNSTEIN INTL MOTORSPORTS HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES...

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I'd like to congratulate John Force and Kenny Bernstein on their recent inductions into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame. I thought it's interesting (and impressive) to realize that Bernstein remains the only race team owner to have collected wins in each of America's three major motorsports series: NHRA, NASCAR, and CART (indy car). Of course besides being an accomplished driver, Bernstein is known for being one of the most savvy businessmen to ever participate in our sport, heck, any guy who can hold on to a Budweiser sponsorship for 30 years knows what he's doing. Some of Bernstein's other accomplishments include being a six-time NHRA world champion, 69 event victories, and the first driver to break the 300-mph barrier in Gainesville, Fla in 1992... John "Brute" Force has been a major threat in NHRA Funny Car racing since the early 1990s and owns NHRA records for victories (134), No#1 qualifying positions (139), elimination round-wins (1,102 WOW!), and world championship titles (15). NHRA President Tom Compton presented Force his induction. In his acceptance speech, Force was gracious to mention his gratitude for the crew chief talent of Austin Coil, and the love and unwavering dedication of his lovely wife, Laurie. And of course Force acknowledged Castrol for being with him for such a darn long duration of his career. There's no doubt that John Force and Kenny Bernstein are among only a handful of "superstars" of this sport who've achieved such a spectacular level of success. It's no secret that drag racing is an extremely tough and grueling business, Force and Bernstein have an awful lot to be proud of, both of them getting as far as they have in this sport, and now receiving their rightful place in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame is the proverbial icing on the cake... In all the times I've had dealings with these two incredible drag racing heroes, they've always been perfect gentlemen to me, so I have a lot of respect for them. All of us folks here at Drag Racing Underground headquarters are mighty darn proud of you two fellers...


PAYING RESPECT TO HARRY "BLUE MAX" SCHMIDT AND BEASTIE BOY ADAM YAUCH...

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Today I want to acknowledge and show some respect for two people who've recently passed away... First there's Harry Schmidt, the original owner and crew chief of "The Blue Max" Funny Cars. Schmidt was a Texan who made a name for himself in the 60s and 70s teaming up with such famous driving personalities as Mike Burkhart, Mark Higgenbotham, Jake Johnson, Richard Tharp, and Raymond Beadle among others. "The Blue Max" line of Funny Cars were a staple on both the match race circuit and the national event trail. In 1976 Harry Schmidt and Raymond Beadle won the prestigious NHRA U.S. Nationals. It's common knowledge that Harry Schmidt is considered to be one of the "founding fathers" and true pioneers of the early Funny Car scene. He's also an NHRA Hall of Fame inductee. Schmidt succumbed after a long battle with cancer. Our sincere condolences to his family and friends.... The second passing I'd like to acknowledge is that of Beastie Boy member Adam Yauch aka "MCA". Yauch co-founded the Beastie Boys with Mike "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz in 1979. They started out as more of a hardcore punk group, but went on to make a big name for themselves in rap. Many moons ago I was at a lower East Side Manhattan nightspot sitting in close proximity to Adam Yauch and the other Beasties when they all broke out into an impromptu performance of a Big Stick song called "Wild Child" from our "Live in London" release. That was quite a night and I was flattered by their ability and interpretation of the song. Adam Yauch was a genuinely nice guy who cared about oppressed people and tried to make the world a better place. We're all going to miss him very much...


FEEDBACK FRIDAY-- THANKS FOR WELCOMING ME BACK WITH SO MUCH LOVE!!...

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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... Of course I'm going to use today's blog to acknowledge all of you who've written me over the last couple of days, thanking me for returning back to this blog-- I do believe that some of you, such as Jake from Valinda, CA were slightly over dramatic by insisting that their lives just weren't complete in the absence of my blog, ha ha-- but I get the idea... Like I told you all, John Gill sort of sold off some of the Drag Racing Underground business, so that put my blog duties on hiatus for about a month-- However, I assure you that with the new business deal, my blog will remain (partly because it seems to bring a whole lotta "traffic" to the web site), and because I couldn't leave you, my loyal and beloved readers in the dust-- I love you all too much for that to happen!!... I received a gift from an elderly drag journalist colleague who shall remain anonymous, this same colleague who has labeled me "The Almighty Mercenary of Modern Drag Racing Journalism" actually sent me a dozen roses to celebrate my return to the blog-- That was such a nice gesture and I greatly appreciate it... I also want to thank Randy from Snohomish, WA for writing me about how his young daughters missed my blog... And thanks to Bruce M, John K, Tommy C, Richie H, Bignutz Racing, and Chuck T from Facebook for showing support...  Thanks to ALL of you who've emailed me with positive vibes... I'm so genuinely thankful for all your positive comments... I promise to continue TELLING THE TRUTH-- AND TELLING IT IS LIKE IT IS-- THAT'S my commitment to drag racing and to my many loyal readers... I only received two bigoted emails saying a gal has no place talkin' drag racin', I'm sorry that some people have such hate corrupting their hearts-- I pray for them... 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...

 

Thanks to ALL of you good folks who took the time to show your appreciation for me returning to the blog!!

Yours truly doing my journalistic duty for Drag Racing Underground... Taking my notes as night falls on the E'Town strip, and the final rounds between racers commences... Yeah, it's gettin' a little chilly, and I admit to being somewhat tired from enduring a long day of conducting interviews and making notes, but hey, I'm a dedicated gal who takes my journalist responsibilities very seriously... I sincerely believe that my public deserves truth, honesty and the REAL story... THAT'S my commitment to you...

 


 

 

 


E'TOWN SWAP MEET & AUTO SHOWS THIS WEEKEND MAY 4-6!!...

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Those of you who read this blog with regularity are well aware of my affection for swap meets and auto shows. It stimulates the mind to peruse your way through countless car parts, knick knacks, and the many miscellaneous items you see on display and for sale at these sort of colorful events. And it's no secret that the 30th Annual Spring Englishtown Swap Meet & Auto Shows scheduled for THIS weekend May 4-6 is bound to be one of the best of the season. You'll see the spacious Raceway Park grounds (300 acres!!) converted into a huge swap meet supermarket, offering up items from the most practical to the most deliciously obscure, and y'all know those hard to find car parts are always a staple of what's up for sale as well. The car shows are also a major attraction to stimulate your senses-- There's classic cars, trucks, muscle cars, race cars, a wide and wonderful variety of automobile machinery always makes the car show competition a "must see" spectacular. One of my favorite features of the car show is the prestigious Vinnie & Richard Napp Memorial Cup competition... Come see the vendors, the cars, and all the many treasures of the Spring Englishtown Swap Meet & Auto Shows!!... THIS weekend May 4-6 at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park... For more details and scheduling please visit http://www.etownraceway.com

 

Come out to the Englishtown Swap Meet & Auto Shows THIS Weekend May 4-6!!

Shop the massive swap meet grounds and see beauties at the car shows like this sweet '61 'Vette. Photo by yours truly.


DRAG RACING UNDERGROUND RELAUNCHING!!...

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First of all, I want to apologize to all you folks for this blog being absent for awhile. We've sort of did a relaunching of the DRAG RACING UNDERGROUND web site. Some other people have sort of bought into the business and that has resulted in various changes and stuff. However, I assure you that I'm here to stay-- I'm in it for the duration... The DRAG RACING UNDERGROUND business has grown in leaps and bounds over the last year, and we're very appreciative for all your support-- You're the reason why we're the undisputed leaders in hardcore drag racing dvds-- And we love you for that-- We love you for your unwavering loyalty... I must also say that I've been pretty darn busy with my music thing, BIG STICK-- I've been working in the studio preparing for our 2012 release. We've got some great guest music celebs and stars helping out with the recording-- including Fred Schneider of the B-52s, Johnny Kelly of TYPE O NEGATIVE fame, our old pal Tom Timko and several others... It's good to be back here on the blog... I really do love you all for flooding me with emails expressing your concern!!... I'm back-- I'm fine-- And I'm ready to blog some genuine honesty and heart into your day. You're definitely the best darn friends a gal could ever ask for!!...

 

I'm glad to be back on the blog! Thanks for your loyal readership! Love ya for it...

A still from BIG STICK's "DRAG RACING" music video. The "DRAG RACING" song will now be featured in legendary BBC London DJ John Peel's online record collection. The song made the Top 100 among his 25,000+ record collection. And we are chuffed to be featured as part of the John Peel's Record Box BBC-TV program in conjunction with the U.K. Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame. We're very grateful for the honor.