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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...
I've received several inquiries asking me why I have never addressed the health concerns that have been spooking folks who attend the California Hot Rod Reunion. With the event coming up at the end of October, it seems that the rumors of Coccidiodomycosis "Valley Fever" being connected to the Bakersfield location are once again surfacing their ugly head. Fomoso Raceway is reported by some as being a "hotbed" for the disease to flourish and infect those with "compromised immune systems". Some "experts" claim it originates from disturbed agricultural land in the southwest desert region of the U.S. and Mexico. The disease is supposedly spread by wind or by turning up the land for agriculture. The spores are then inhaled, becoming imbedded in the lungs, resulting in the sort of serious sickness that folks like Dale Pulde and others have claimed suffering from... However, on the other hand, there are "skeptics" in the drag racing community who think the whole "Valley Fever" thing is nothing more than a bunch of hyped-up hooey nonsense. There are people in the drag racing community who insist that taking themselves and their families to the California Hot Rod Reunion is absolutely safe and in no way a risk to their health and well being... Where do I stand on this matter??-- Well, I believe that all the conflicting reports and rumors surrounding this issue are enough to make your head spin. And to be quite blunt, I do not feel properly qualified to dispense an opinion for either side of the argument. When I don't completely understand all the sides of a matter that's as critical as this one, I'm not the kind of blowhard blogger who "pretends" to know what's best, and then just types disingenuously at readers to appear on top of it and "all knowing"-- That's not how I've earned the trust of the thousands of people who read this daily blog regularly. What I will say, is that if you do have serious concerns regarding this issue, I suggest consulting with your family physician and directing your questions to qualified medical professionals-- This health matter is too far removed from my knowledge and line of expertise for me to offer up reputable advice...

AMC FANS HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE "REAL DRAMA" OF LOSING THE BRAND...

Posted by: lovely

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To many of my loyal readers, AMC stands for the now defunct American Motors Corporation. The automobile manufacturer responsible for such models as the Javelin, Matador, Pacer (as seen in the popular Wayne's World film), Hornet (my favorite of the line) and of course the Gremlin (the cute one)... However, for today's blog installment, the "AMC" that I'm talkin' 'bout is the long running daytime drama "ALL MY CHILDREN". I'm sure that some of you folks are familiar with, or have watched this "soap opera" at least once in your life, as I'm sure there's some of you who've watched it with regularity (although you probably wouldn't admit it). After 41 years, that's right, 41 YEARS!!-- The ABC-TV drama aired its final episode yesterday (Friday) to its many sobbing fans, yours truly included. Yes, I admit it, I've been a fan of a few soap operas over the years. I used to watch the CBS network's GUIDING LIGHT, the show that actually holds the record for the longest running show in television history (72 years!!), that program recently bit the dust as a result of falling ratings. The falling ratings problem is also responsible for ALL MY CHILDREN's demise as well. The networks can't muster the budgets to keep their soap operas financially feasible these days. It's a lot cheaper for networks to buy "reality programming" or just pay a "judge" to star in a phony courtroom show, than to spend all the cash necessary to produce a soap opera, with lots of actors and crew on the payroll. I'm going to miss Erica Kane (Susan Lucci), Adam Chandler (David Canary), Tad Martin (Michael E. Knight), and all the actors who made the show a hoot to watch. I remember many moons ago, running home from elementary school at lunch time, and after school with my girlfriends to watch ALL MY CHILDREN (and the "goth" soap DARK SHADOWS). Soap Operas are now a fading part of our American culture, much like REAL American muscle cars, both might not be considered to be real necessities by those who don't understand the romance connected to them, but I sure do... Rumors are circulating that an "online" version of ALL MY CHILDREN is in the works, although that idea doesn't really turn me on, I say let the show go with dignity, Erica Kane and her supporting actors belong on the small screen (Television), not the really small screen (your computer monitor)...

Today is "FEEDBACK FRIDAY", meaning I deal with emails that my assistant Stephanie and I receive from readers regarding my most recent blogs... Hands down, the most "feedback" received over the last several days (and in months) was in regard to my "DANCING WITH THE STARS" blog-- The one where I told you about the NASCAR guys who were bothering me in a local bar & grill, because the television monitors in the bar were playing "transgender" celebrity Chaz Bono kicking up her/his heels on ABC-TV's DANCING WITH THE STARS show, the NASCAR guys thought that Chaz Bono was Pro Stock legend Larry Morgan, and they were trying to get me to believe that Chaz Bono was actually Larry Morgan, it was just plain awkward for me. While most of you agreed that you do indeed see some resemblance between Chaz Bono and drag racing superstar Larry Morgan, mostly in their sparkling eyes and facial expressions, some of you made a point of writing that you believe Larry Morgan is considerably older than Chaz Bono, after we researched those claims, Stephanie and I found that to be true. My readers are sure smart cookies!!... In reference to my idea of asking the DANCING WITH THE STARS producers to put Larry Morgan on the show, and possibly pair him off with Chaz as a dance partner, so that viewers might think the two are twins, well, that caused a bit of a firestorm-- Mainly because lots of you wrote that there's NO WAY that the producers of DANCING WITH THE STARS would EVER consider featuring an NHRA drag racer on the show. We received one rather heated email from Craig of Kansas City, insisting that not even John Force would be considered as a contestant on the show, because as he put it, "drag racers don't get any respect", and, "TV shows like DANCING WITH THE STARS only let stars from the stick and ball sports participate"-- Hmm, maybe there is some validity to Craig's claim, I dunno, I'd like to think that a drag racer COULD get an opportunity to be asked on the show-- Evidently many of you don't agree with me at all on that possibility-- Some of you seem to think it's absolutely impossible and would never happen... Oh well, 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...

As many of you know, I don't usually blow my horn much regarding the various DVDs we have for sale here at Drag Racing Underground. The reason for that being, besides the fact that when you cut through all the hype I'm really just a low-key and humble gal, is that all our DVDs sell rather well without me having to promote 'em much, especially with our "new & improved" web site, so, I don't really need to say much about them, they kinda sell themselves, and for that I'm very thankful and I never take our loyal customers for granted... But I did want to bring our BRACKETS OR BUST III dvd release to the attention of those of you searching to recapture memories from the now defunct Long Island Dragway (also known as West Hampton Dragway and Long Island Motorsports Park). Ya see, there's a popular thread on the YellowBullet board regarding the closed down track, with postings of old pics, and racers waxing nostalgia about the days when the place was open for business. And same racers have contacted me on many occasions asking if any of our Drag Racing Underground dvds feature footage from Long Island Dragway. Well, I posted on the Yellowbullet board that I recently discovered (because I watched it start to finish) that our BRACKETS OR BUST III dvd features LOTS of L.I.D. footage, including Bracket Cars, No Time Cars, and the "birth" of the Northeast Pro Shootout Circuit. My posting on the YellowBullet board resulted in an onslaught of orders for BRACKETS OR BUST III, and I figure that I might as well mention the DVD here on my blog too-- This way, those of you who don't read the YellowBullet board, and are looking to recapture some of your precious Long Island drag racing memories get a proper heads-up as well. Please keep in mind that the footage for this release was shot in the mid-90s, before the "digital age", so the quality isn't as slick as our newer releases, however, if you're one of the folks who are missing the old days of Long Island Dragway, you better get this particular DVD for your collection asap (before it sells out, we already received orders for over 100 of 'em yesterday). Click on the "Video Catalog" link at the top of this page, then when the Video Catalog page appears, scroll down and click on the BRACKETS OR BUST III dvd cover to get to the order page... I'm glad that we here at Drag Racing Underground had the foresight (and brains) to preserve your priceless Long Island memories with our BRACKETS OR BUST III release... Enjoy the DVD...

Friday September 23rd thru Sunday September 25th is the 35th Annual Fall Englishtown Swap Meet & Auto Shows at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. If you're looking for something interesting and fun to do this weekend, I strongly recommend that you consider attending this event. If you're looking for those hard to find parts for a build, or just looking for some unique and slightly off the wall items for your car or home, this is THE place to be!! There's soooo many vendors selling their unique stuff that you'll be intrigued, enticed, and genuinely amazed!! Saturday and Sunday are the famous auto shows, featuring all sorts of classics and vehicles of special interest. All kinds of mild to wild rides will be on display-- Antiques, Classic Muscle Cars, Street Rods, Hot Rods, Pro Street, Gassers, Rat Rods, Nostalgia Funny Cars, Trucks, Motorcycles, Bicycles, Race Cars and so much more! Lots of nifty awards will be given to the best cars of their genre, including the prestigious Vinnie & Richard Napp Memorial Cup. Family fun for everyone! I love strolling through the countless acres of interesting vendors and spectacular show cars. I have lots of great memories from this event. I remember shopping for parts for Johnny Kelly's (Type O Negative, Black Label Society) '70 SuperBee. Take your family out to this event this weekend and create some great memories that you'll all cherish for a lifetime. Gates open 7am each day and close at 6pm. Admission is only $10 per person each day with children under 12 free. For more information and details please visit www.racewaypark.com

Last night after a long session in the recording studio, I stopped for a bite at a local bar & grill establishment, a place that's always packed with lots of diehard NASCAR fans. Many of the folks who frequent the establishment know me and are well aware of my strong affiliation with NHRA Championship Drag Racing. As I was getting settled in and about to bite into a burger, a couple of NASCAR guys at the other end of the bar yell over to me, "Hey, Doc, look, isn't that one of your Pro Stock dudes on TV?!?"... I look up at one of the many TV monitors situated throughout the bar, and the popular ABC-TV show DANCING WITH THE STARS is on... I try to assess what's goin' on, and what those guys at the other end of the bar are talkin' about, I squint my eyes a little bit, and I focus in on the TV screen-- Then I'm thinkin', wow, is that Pro Stock living legend Larry Morgan performing on DANCING WITH THE STARS?!? Many of you know that I've admired Larry Morgan's ability to drive the "factory hot rods" for a long time. And it sure did look like Larry Morgan was dancing up quite a storm on the highly rated ABC-TV program, but after a minute of staring at the TV, it finally registered in my mind that it definitely WASN'T Larry Morgan. Then I said to those NASCAR guys, "Uh, no, that's not who you think it is (Larry Morgan), that's author and activist Chaz Bono, the daughter of 60's singing sensations Sonny & Cher, that's the Chaz Bono who is now in the midst of some sort of "gender reassignment" or sumpthin' like that"... The NASCAR guys looked at me completely dumbfounded, like I was crazy, and replied, "No Way!!". I then went on to explain to them that Chaz Bono and Larry Morgan share a very similar resemblance, but I assured them, that was not Larry Morgan kicking up his heels on DANCING WITH THE STARS, that was Chaz Bono... After that somewhat startling and "awkward" moment, we all shushed up, and I commenced to eating my late dinner, and the NASCAR guys continued to drink their draft beers... Hmm, I wonder what it would look like if DANCING WITH THE STARS producers paired Chaz Bono to dance with Larry Morgan??-- Think about that for a minute. That would most definitely be weird. Some viewers would probably think that the two of them are twins... Weird stuff...

Yesterday "Mother Nature" was pretty darn cooperative here in our neck of the woods, providing those of us in the Englishtown area with the kind of weather where the rain stays in the sky, and doesn't fall on the drag strip, and temperatures maintain relatively mild and reasonable numbers... In the much hyped (and rightfully so) "BIG TIRE OUTLAW" class, John Schroeder got the best of Ray DeAngelis in the fierce 'n' feisty final round 4.72 to 5.73. The "BIG TIRE OUTLAWS" had themselves a special 1/8th mile "SHAKEDOWN TUNE-UP" edition of their racing series. With the Fall season ramping-up and changing the weather from Summer's hot 'n' sticky, to Fall's cool and occasionally tricky, the seasonal aromas of burning leaves and ultra-phat doorslammers burning rubber are in the air. Time for lots of racers from here in the northeast, as well as all the other regions of this great nation, to get prepared for October 7-9th's big SHAKEDOWN AT E-TOWN event. Now considered the premier outlaw doorcar race of the entire world, SHAKEDOWN promoter Dave Hance, E-Town's Michelle Marchese & the whole darn trusty Raceway Park crew are gonna pull out all the stops to make sure this year's edition of the event is a "MUST" for all serious racers and fans alike. I can't stress enough how important it is for you to mark October 7-9 in your datebook right now, be sure that you make the necessary plans and arrangements to be part of this year's SHAKEDOWN AT E-TOWN... Before I sign off on today's blog, just one more thing, I want y'all to know that Mike "Moneybags" O'Sullivan was victorious in yesterday's running of the 8.50 Class... Have yourself a great day, and if for some reason you haven't done so already, please make your plans NOW to attend SHAKEDOWN AT E-TOWN in October...

It's September, the temperatures are getting lower as the anticipation among racers and fans for October's "SHAKEDOWN AT E-TOWN" event gets higher and higher. If you'd like to experience & sample first hand, what I would call an enticing "SHAKEDOWN APPETIZER", I strongly recommend you make tracks to Raceway Park today. The "BIG TIRE OUTLAWS" return to ravage the drag strip and duke it out, trying their hardest to put each other on the trailer-- It's heads-up outlaw styled doorslammer racing at its absolute best!! Plus you'll enjoy a very special "1/8th Mile SHAKEDOWN TUNE UP" for race teams looking to "dial-in" and get their "combo" worked out for the upcoming Oct 7-9 SHAKEDOWN AT E-TOWN event. Today's temps and conditions should be relatively similar to what we'll be experiencing at SHAKEDOWN in the beginning of October, so it's definitely a good idea to bring your raucous ride to Raceway Park today and try to get a handle on all the subtle particulars and variables necessary to be competitive, so you'll have more of a clue as to how to set your car up come SHAKEDOWN. It's also worth noting that E-Town's exciting 8.50 class will be strutting their sassy stuff today as well-- The 8.50 racers provide grueling race entertainment that deserves your attention. Qualifying rounds start early in the day, around 10:00-10:30, and eliminations happen around 1:00-1:30 in the afternoon. There will be dastardly doorslammer racing and "SHAKEDOWN TUNING" going on all throughout the day. September doorcar racing sizzles TODAY at Raceway Park in scenic Englishtown, New Jersey!!...

If you read this blog early enough today (Saturday Sept 17th), there's still time to round up your family and take 'em to Raceway Park for the 35th Annual U.S. Diesel Truckin' Nationals. Gates open 9am. The big show starts at 7pm. There's going to be more beautiful big rigs to feast your peepers on than imaginable. Plus the best MONSTER TRUCKS in the nation will be fighting it out in spectacular fashion-- There's also going to be an incredible Jet Dragster and Funny Car show to heat things up. And Bob Motz with his awesome JET POWERED PETERBILT will be rocking the foundation and creating a fire-filled state of pandemonium under the stars. Chill with your fave ICE ROAD TRUCKER Maya Sieber and so much more!!... Tomorrow, Sunday, September, 18th, the BIG TIRE OUTLAWS return to Raceway Park!! This will serve as the "make up" race from August 21st. This is a doorslammer delight for certain. You'll experience a special "1/8th Mile SHAKEDOWN TUNE UP" that's going to be in full-effect!!-- See racers trying to get their groove on and combination dialed-in for the upcoming SHAKEDOWN AT E-TOWN race scheduled for Oct 7-9. Plus they'll be a special 8.50 class race to put a smile on yer face! Eliminations kick off around 1-1:30 in the early afternoon. Raceway Park is serving up a hot dish of outlaw doorslammer jammin' Tomorrow Sunday September 18th!!...

Today is "FEEDBACK FRIDAY", meaning I deal with some of the emails I've received from readers regarding my most recent blogs... I received the most reaction to my "Drag Racing Internet Should Take Lead From NJ Anti-Bully Laws" blog. Evidently there's lots of you, surprisingly many other "elderly" members of the drag racing community, who believe their elderly "peers" who bully and carry-on like certifiable creeps should "grow up" and try behaving like decent people for a change... It's agreed that just because some old geezers with computers claim that they once smoked a "joint" (a marijuana cigarette) with late 60's digger driver "Moosefaced Gunzo", or bought "Jungle Jim" a beer, that doesn't entitle them to act-out like temper tantrum toddlers going through their "terrible twos" when online. Veterans like Jack Redd (of "Jack Approved" fame) and many of you other "seasoned" drag racing folks gave me praise for being practically the only voice on the internet with enough might and muscle to speak-up about this issue-- Hey, just doin' my job, just doin' my job-- And to the one disagreeing individual claiming to be a Nostalgia F/C hanger-on, who clearly "crossed the line" with the angry blowharded email he sent, complete with plenty of cuss words and threatening tone, uh, your email has been forwarded to my attorney and law enforcement... Of course my blogs addressing 9/11 caused some of you to send me rather emotional emails describing your own personal hardships. One email from Cindy of Long Island, NY, who lost family in the attack really tore at my heart. I'll admit that some of you came down hard and aggressively on the "terrorist" side of the matter. We all seemed to agree that the NYC memorial space was constructed with class... I received positive feedback from a couple folks, including a dear friend of mine who works at Raceway Park, about the way I told y'all that bringing your kids to the U.S. DIESEL TRUCKIN' NATIONALS this Saturday (tomorrow) September 17th, can be an educating and mind stimulating experience for them. That said, if you haven't yet made plans to bring your kids out to this event, I sincerely do recommend you do so. Maybe your kids will be inspired enough by all the big beautiful trucks to want to become a skilled and in-demand diesel mechanic, or mechanical engineer, or custom painter, or one of many careers open to those who have an appreciation for the big rigs rolling through America's highways and byways... "BE THERE" tomorrow, Saturday, September 17th, at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park for the 35th Annual U.S. DIESEL TRUCKIN' NATIONALS!!...