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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...

FILMED AT E'TOWN-- "HOW A TOP FUEL DRAGSTER WORKS"...

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Earlier this year, the producers for Car and Driver TV, Car and Driver magazine’s new YouTube channel, asked Kalitta Motorsports to participate in a segment titled “How’d They Do That?” for the Popular Mechanics section of the channel about how an NHRA Top Fueler works and what it takes to cross the finish line in less than 3.9 seconds at more than 320 mph. At E'Town's 43rd annual Toyota NHRA SuperNationals in June, a video-production crew filmed Team Kalitta driver David Grubnic and the Optima Batteries Top Fuel dragster team putting their dragster through its paces both on and off the world class Old Bridge Township Raceway Park drag strip. The video crew spent all day Saturday, June 2, filming in the Team Kalitta pit area during qualifying for the event. This video breaks down a Top Fuel run and all of the critical components of the dragster used to make it happen. Grubnic not only drives the digger, but he is also relatively hands-on with all of its mechanical workings and advises team owner, crew chief Connie Kalitta on his race car’s tune-up. It’s Grubnic’s multifaceted nitro knowledge that helps him give in-depth analysis of all of the dragster’s systems throughout the video. It's my belief that many of you who regularly read this blog will find this video to be both educational and entertaining, I know that I sure did!!... Here's a direct link to the video on You Tube. Take a moment to check it out. Simply click on this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VF0JwxQqcA


E'TOWN SUMMER MOTORSPORTS & MONSTER TRUCK SPECTACULAR NEXT WED NITE!!

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Next Wednesday night July 18th is the P.C. Richard & Son SUMMER MOTORSPORTS & MONSTER TRUCK SPECTACULAR at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park!! I strongly suggest that you make plans NOW to round up your family and attend this event, because it is without any doubt the biggest "Fast Family Fun Show of the Year"!! The thrilling line-up of Monster Trucks includes "Avenger", "Spike", "Bad Habit", "Bigfoot", "Black Stallion", "Storm Damage", "Iron Warrior", "Viper" and my favorite of them all, the "Higher Education" Monster Truck School Bus!!... Flame throwing Jet Dragsters and Funny Cars on the bill include "The Queen of Diamonds", "Beast From The East", "First Strike", "Top Secret" and Bob Motz with his huge Jet Powered Kenworth Truck!!... Plus there will be dastardly doorslammin' Pro Modifieds (Pro Mods Rock!!) and Nitro Powered Harley Davidsons!!-- You'll also see High-Flying Freestyle Motocross riders and the H*ll On Wheels BMX Stunt Team!!-- All the kids' favorite Cartoon Characters will be on the grounds and fooling around-- And there's Free Cotton Candy for the kids in the Raceway Park Food Court!!... The night will be complete with a grand finale BANG from superior stuntman superhero Benny "The Human Bomb"!! The pit party starts at 5pm-- The big show kicks off at 8pm... Every ticket to Raceway Park is an all access pit pass. Meet the drivers, see the cars and trucks up close, take pictures. get autographs, and have the time of your life!!... Adults $30, Kids age 6-11 just $10, Kids under 5 are Free, and there's Free Parking!!... It's a Thrilling Night of Fast Family Fun for All Ages!!... Don't miss the opportunity for your family to experience the SUMMER MOTORSPORTS & MONSTER TRUCK SPECTACULAR at RAAACEWAY PARK!!

 

See the "QUEEN OF DIAMONDS" Jet Dragster and a whole lot more at the P.C. Richard & Son SUMMER MOTORSPORTS & MONSTER TRUCK SPECTACULAR on Wednesday July 18th at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park!! BE THERE!!...

Still Frame image courtesy of Drag Racing Underground's massive Raceway Park historic video archives.


DO YOU LIKE SIPPING SODA AT THE STRIP??...

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Do you like sipping on a cold and refreshing soda during a hot day the drag strip? Around this part of the nation, there's a politician named Michael Bloomberg, he's the mayor of New York City. Mayor Bloomberg has declared war on soda drinks. He's trying to pass a law limiting the size of soda cups that can be sold in his city. Evidently the idea of a "super sized" cup of soda is something Mayor Bloomberg wants to see eliminated. The reason for Bloomberg's aggressive war on soda is because he believes the large amount of sugar in sodas is the reason why so many folks are overweight--- He also blames soda on lots of folks coming down with diabetes.... Now look, I believe if you drink too much soda, that's not a good thing for your health-- Yes, the soda manufacturers do go overboard with the amount of sugar they put in some of their products... HOWEVER, I don't know if government regulation of soda is necessarily the right thing to do-- Can't we rely on folks using their own brains, common sense and discretion to curtail their excessive soda consumption?-- What do you think??--- Do you like to enjoy a cold soda during a hot day at the drag strip? Do you think the government needs to regulate you and your family's soda consumption?? You can email me your opinion (by using the "Contact Us" link atop the page), I'm genuinely interested in your thoughts on this matter... I just ask that you please keep your email 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...

 

Is soda really "The Real Thing"??-- Or is it such an "Unhealthy Thing" that its consumption needs to be regulated by our government?? Sipping a cold soda while enduring a hot day at the drags has become a common practice for many of us (including yours truly). This old school advertisement from drag racing's days gone by is a classic, don't cha think??....

 

Under that hot respirator mask the thought of drinking a cold soda must seem refreshing to this digger pilot...


PAT COOPER BRINGS HIS BRASH SENSE OF HUMOR TO RED BANK...

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I've been asked by my friends in Red Bank NJ to please give a mention about an upcoming show at the comfortable and cozy Count Basie Theatre. Comedian extraordinaire Pat Cooper is booked to perform at the venue on Saturday night August 18th at 8pm. Pat Cooper has been in show biz for a long, long time, he's certainly someone who I would consider to be a seasoned veteran, yet his searing brand of brash comedy is as fresh (well, actually much fresher) than that of most comedians young enough to be his great grandchildren. Pat's big break was in 1963 when he appeared on the Jackie Gleason Show, and he later went on to share the stage with Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Sammy Davis Jr. and more heavyweight stars. He's a regular on Letterman and lots of TV and radio programs. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to see Pat perform several years ago for a special benefit show at the Reo Diner in Woodbridge NJ-- He really made an impression on me, his rapid-fire delivery of skeptical and searing comedic observations are like no one else. There's no other entertainer I know of who can do what Pat Cooper can. He cracked me up!!-- And I don't necessarily consider myself that easy to entertain-- But Pat definitely tickled my funny bone and made me a fan of his torridly temperamental talent for life!!... Tickets are only $45, $35 and $25, that's a mighty good deal in my opinion. The Count Basie Theatre is located in Red Bank, NJ... Also on the bill is comedian Robert Klein...


E'TOWN "NO TIME" DRAG RACING IS THE REAL DEAL...

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Old Bridge Township Raceway Park is presenting  seven remaining dates that will feature "No-Time" Street Racers. These guys and gals will have a chance to get off the highways (and back streets of Newark) and legally race down to the world famous E'Town 1/4 mile.  Street racers and their fans better write the following dates on their calendars-- August 5th, August 19th, September 16th, November 4th, November 18th, November 25th, and December 2nd... All seven dates will be a bargain for "NO TIME" race fans, with all-out heads-up "NO TIME" racing being the headlining feature. So place your bets and come out and experience the best street racers in the Tri-State area doing it the right way. Just remember, kids, don't try this #$% at home!!-- Racing belongs on the drag strip. You all know that I've been a huge fan and supporter of Raceway Park's "NO TIME" racing scene for several years, and for very good reason-- It's my authoritative and expert opinion that "NO TIME" racing is one of the last remaining genres of the this sport that I consider to be REAL DRAG RACING!!... Write down the dates and plan on being at E'Town to get yourself a taste of "REAL" and "AUTHENTIC" drag racing, "NO TIME" style!!... Old Bridge Township Raceway Park shuts down their big clocks and tweaks their well-prepped drag strip to ROCK!!... BE THERE!!...

 

"NO TIME" cars are a blast. With their unassuming appearance, ditching glossy florescent paint schemes in favor of flat primer, and hiding their performance by having the track shut off the big clocks. These racers shoe polish a "N/T" on their windows and allegedly race for big bucks. I simply adore this form of hardcore drag racing and highly recommend that every true-grit drag racing fan experience it at least once in their lifetime... This is REAL drag racing, baby!!..

Photo by yours truly for the Drag Racing Underground massive image archives.


E'TOWN DEAD MAN'S CURVE DRAGS SAT JULY28TH!!-- BE THERE!!...

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Hey folks... I put this poster up in order to entice you to come out on Saturday Night, July 28th for the DEAD MAN'S CURVE DRAGS at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ... Yes, this happens Saturday the 28th, the night before the NOSTALGIA SUMMERNATIONALS (which happens on Sunday the 29th)... Both events have an authentic "old school" drag racing vibe and would make for a great "DOUBLE DOSE OF FUN" for your weekend!!... Make plans NOW to spend the last weekend of July taking a joyous ride down drag racing's memory lane at RAAACEWAY PARK!!... BE THERE!!...


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 stressing the importance of drivers practicing an "emergency exit" strategy to get out of their race cars in the event of a fire or catastrophic mishap resulted in loads of positive responses from readers. Todd from Fallon, Nevada wrote, "Thanks for thinking about safety. You probably saved a racer's life by writing your blog!". Sal from Bkyln NY said, "Practicing a quick exit from a race car is sound advice that can save your life!"...  My blog congratulating Erica Enders and her team on producing the first female racer EVER to stand in the Pro Stock winner's circle at an NHRA national event sparked an email celebration! Jody from Omaha, Nebraska wrote, "Thanks for giving us girls our proper gender props!". Roger from Alberta, Canada said, "If Erica can beat Greg Anderson, the boys club better watch out!."... My blog telling adults to exercise caution for their kids on the 4th of July, in order to protect them from firework dangers prompted Barry from Arlington, Washington to write, "I lost my right hand as a kid playing with fireworks. I wouldn't want to see that happen to anyone else. Thank you for acknowledging the real danger of fireworks."... My blog recognizing race car custom painting of the 1960s and 1970s caused Rosco from Morganville, NJ to passionately write me, "I wish custom painting would come back in style. All the generic looking vinyl wraps are boring crap!"-- Wow, tell us what you REALLY think, Rosco!! LOL... I received several emails thanking me for my birthday wishes for guest BIG STICK vocalist Fred Schneider of B-52s fame. Anne from Atlanta, GA simply wrote, "The B-52s rule!"... In closing, I once again want to thank those of you wrote me about my bronze bunny sculpture work, and although only a handful of you came out to the JuneBug Art Fest to see me and my bronze bunnies, that meant an awful lot to me-- I love you folks!!...  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...

 

My blog recognizing old school styled custom painting on race cars resulted in lots of you writing me with your thoughts. This is Rocky Pirrone's beautiful "Boss Hydro" Gasser all dressed up in cool custom paint.  And speaking of Gassers, come see the East Coast Gassers at E'Town's NOSTALGIA SUMMERNATIONALS on Sunday, July 29th... BE THERE!!...

Photo by yours truly. From the Drag Racing Underground massive E'Town image archives.


DRIVERS SHOULD PRACTICE "QUICK ESCAPE" FROM THIER RACE CARS...

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Today's topic is one that's directed at the many race drivers who religiously 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 a terrible 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 while 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 practice a quick "escape plan" from their car, so that if catastrophic trouble should ever rear its ugly head, they'll at least have a fighting chance of avoiding serious injury or death. Do it for yourself. Do it for your family, because they love you and appreciate you being around. Thanks...

 


Well, it's here, Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July. It's the federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence way back on July 4th, 1776. Our feisty ancestors declared their independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. Now we've got parades, picnics, concerts, political blowhards giving speeches, barbecues, and of course, we have lots and lots of FIREWORKS-- and we all know that a lot of those fireworks won't necessarily be the kind your local municipality shoots off into the night sky in a safely controlled environment, in actuality, the majority of firework activity will be our kids playing with their own personal stash of scaled down explosives (firecrackers, bottle rockets, etc). While we certainly want our kids to celebrate our nation's independence, we sure don't want them to spend their 4th of July in the local hospital emergency room. It's unfortunate that so many children do in fact wind up in the emergency room this time of year, severely injured, burned, maimed, and often left with lifelong disabilities as a result of "playing" with fireworks. So much horrible heartbreak endured by so many families. I ask on this day that all parents and grown-ups please keep an especially watchful eye on our precious children. We don't want to see our kids burned, maimed, permanently disfigured, or even dead from a foolish Fourth of July mishap. We folks in the drag racing community often have a heightened sense of safety and responsibility, now is the time to employ those positive character traits and keep our kids safe. This Independence Day holiday, let's make an effort to keep our kids independent of emergency room grief and turmoil. Try to celebrate our nation's glorious independence in a safe manner that would make our Founding Fathers proud...

 

"Uncle Sam" doesn't want you spending your 4th of July in the waiting room at your local hospital grieving over a tragic fireworks accident. Keep an eye on your children and be a responsible adult, make sure your kids don't let careless fireworks folly cause them to suffer severe injury or death... Do your job as a parent...  Be smart... Please try to celebrate the Fourth of July safely...

Photo of "Uncle Sam" at E'Town taken by yours truly.

ERICA ENDERS MAKES "FACTORY HOT ROD" HISTORY...

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While I'm sure that a majority of my readers are already well aware of the fact, I figure that I've still got to join in on the well deserved hype and hoopla of Erica Enders becoming the first female driver EVER to make it all the way to the finals and win Pro Stock at an NHRA event. It happened last weekend at the O'Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 Nationals near Chicago, that's where Enders put a loud and resounding end to the prior long-running "no trips to the winner's circle" status in the "factory hot rod" category among the kinder 'n' gentler gender. There's no denying that Erica has paid her dues in the sport. We all know that Erica got her start with the Junior Dragster class, and she's certainly stuck to her guns and strong drag racing ambitions with steadfast dedication. The Walt Disney feature film "RIGHT ON TRACK", that told the story of Erica and her sister Courtney's Jr. Dragster determination demonstrated to the masses that this lady is 100% hardcore. Heck, she outran four-time NHRA world champ Greg Anderson in the Route 66 Pro Stock final, she also put heavyweights Kurt Johnson, Vincent Nobile and V.Gaines all on the trailer. Of course a lot of credit has to be paid to her crew chief Dave Connolly for tuning Erica's GK Motorsports Chevy Cobalt to such spectacular round-winning performances, including Erica's final round 6.27/207mph charge. Erica Enders is a really nice, although brutally competitive gal, I sincerely congratulate her and the entire GK Motorsports team on their historic win... Another lady who deserves a big thumbs-up for her Route 66 performance is raucous rookie Courtney Force. She made it to the runner-up position in the Nitro Funny Car class. She lost to Jeff Arend in the final (I'm kind of happy for Jeff's victory). I told y'all that Courtney Force is gettin' her groove on, she'll be making plenty of female drag racing history for herself as time progresses. In closing, I'd also like to send congrats to Antron Brown (Top Fuel) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) for their respective Route 66 class wins.

 

When NHRA Pro Stock racers see this gal in the other lane, they know she means business. Congratulations to Erica Enders on becoming the first woman to win in the "Factory Hot Rod" class at an NHRA national event... She is all woman... Hear Erica and her Chevy Cobalt doorslammer ROAR!!...