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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...
Yesterday, June 27th, marked the two year anniversary of Michael Jackson's untimely death. For a good portion of the 1980's and beyond, the over-saturation and exploitation of Michael Jackson's image, music and dynasty made me puke. You couldn't go anywhere without hearing those Michael Jackson songs blaring out of radios, or having his videos assaulting your senses at an "exaggerated level", that even far exceeded that of the usual brand of showbiz induced ad nausea. I recall record executives telling me that we couldn't release any BIG STICK "product" when Michael Jackson was releasing his stuff, because the music stores needed all their available stock room space to have the necessary amount of Michael Jackson inventory to service his zillions of followers. Yes, I do believe there is such a thing as too much hype. That said, yesterday I watched Michael Jackson's final "THIS IS IT" theatrical concert film, a video release compiled from over 100 hours of rehearsal footage for the shows he was scheduled to perform in London at the time of his death. "THIS IS IT" aired on one of the cable networks. Anyways, now that all the hype and dust has finally settled, and you don't hear and see Michael Jackson 24/7 on your radio or television, the "THIS IS IT" documentary does indeed show us what incredible talent and soul the "gloved one" truly possessed. Sure, for the most part, during Michael's adult life, on the overly glitzed surface of it all, Michael Jackson seemed to no longer appear like the cute little kid singing "Rockin' Robin" or "Dancin' Machine" on the Ed Sullivan show. As an adult man, Michael morphed his appearance with numerous surgeries, went to Hell and back with abuse allegations and lawsuits, and took it on the chin regularly for his often unconventional behavior. After watching "THIS IS IT", it became clear to me, that the "REAL" Michael Jackson wasn't really that guy that the mass media and his Hollywood press agents were stuffing down our throats, and choking us with all those years-- The "REAL" Michael Jackson was really much more like that cute, and extremely talented soulful kid we remember from days gone by. It's a shame that the "Fame Monster" got the best of Michael in the end, it really is sad...

I would like to congratulate our hometown hero, Raceway Park man about town, Eddie Krawiec, on his Pro Stock Motorcycle win. Eddie two-wheeled his way to victory on board his Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines bike, in Norwalk, Ohio, at the 5th Annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals. Krawiec beat Matt Smith in the final and elevated himself to the number one points spot. Congrats are also in order for another local racer done gosh, darn good-- Hot shot rookie Vincent Nobile put that red-light final at ETown behind him, and won the final round in Pro Stock (four wheels) at Norwalk against veteran racer Larry Morgan. (Rumors of Chaz Bono playing the lead role of Larry Morgan in an upcoming made-for-TV movie are greatly exaggerated). Nobile proudly piloted his Mountain View Tires Dodge Avenger to collect his second win of the season, and advance to third place in NHRA points. The other local boy to shine at Norwalk is Mike Castellana who picked up his second win of the season during the NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. Castellana beat No. 1 qualifier Mike Rowe in the final. Local talent really cleaned up in Norwalk this past weekend.... I'd like to thank my good friend Stacy for hosting an incredible "JERSEYLICIOUS" style barbeque this past Saturday. I told you about Stacy "The Vintage Maven" and her incredible "INCOGNEETO" (yes, that's how it's spelled) vintage clothing store on my blog last Thursday, the same store in Somerville NJ where "JERSEYLICIOUS" TV star Olivia Blois and "yours truly" shop for the absolute very best in vintage fashions. Stacy sure knows how to have a party. I definitely enjoyed myself at her barbeque. I drove my 300+ horsepower shadow mountain grey '03 Thunderbird convertible, wearing a vintage tube top from Stacy's store to her swingin' Somerville NJ shindig. It was also sort of a family reunion for Stacy, with lots of her relatives showing up for the party. It's all about FAMILY 'round these parts, as it darn well should be...

Flooding seems to be in the news an awful lot of late. The Mississippi River has sure taken its financial and emotional toll on countless victims. Now we see flooding of the Souris River in North Dakota forcing over 11,000 people to be evacuated from their homes. While the National Weather Service predicted the river's crest later in the weekend would be two feet lower than earlier projected, there's still plenty of people watching their homes being destroyed by the wet 'n' wild wrath of unruly water. It must be pretty heartbreaking and gut wrenching for these poor people to see the homes that they've worked so hard to obtain and maintain become a wet mess. Fortunately the sewer system and the electric are still functioning. Though health officials report that some contaminated water seeped into the municipal water system, and have ordered residents to boil drinking and cooking water for the next 24-48 hours. I'm going to be blunt here, 'cause that's just the way I am-- When others lack the courage to write the hard facts of a matter, I take the lead and serve up the real nitty gritty-- Here I go again-- Look, America, it's certainly no secret that much of our nation's mainstream media (especially New York City and Hollywood California ) pay little to no attention to a midwest locale like North Dakota. The Hollywood elite believe that folks who live in North Dakota aren't quite "hip" enough to qualify for their liking. Well, listen up-- Here at Drag Racing Underground, we sell a lot of our videos/dvds to the good people of North Dakota. I would even go as far to guess that there's more drag racing fans in North Dakota than there are in NYC and Hollywood combined. North Dakota folk are hardcore. At this time, I want to express my concern for all my readers of this blog who hail from the "Roughrider" State of North Dakota. Try to hang in there and make it through this trying ordeal. My thoughts and prayers are definitely with you all...

If heads-up raucous outlaw doorslammers are your cup of tea, please be advised that ETown will be serving up their unique brand of tantalizing, tasty, testosterone-laden "BIG TIRE OUTLAWS" on Sunday July 3rd!! Remember ETown's notorious, all glorious "ULTRA QUICK 8" class?-- Well, the "BIG TIRE OUTLAWS" are sort of keeping that style of heads-up outlaw, somewhat stock-appearing drag racing tradition alive. This is the kind of unpredictable, occasionally volatile doorcar competition that always delivers plenty of on-track action. You'll see some of the stars of the former Ultra Quick 8 trying their hand at the new BIG TIRE OUTLAW class-- Plus, there's some new kids on the block (nothing to do with the "boy band" of the same name, I promise!) who will be out to knock down the seasoned veterans. It's a recipe for dastardly doorslammer nirvana!! Qualifying is scheduled for 10:45 and 12:00. First rounds kicks off at 1:30. What a great way to help celebrate the 4th of July holiday-- Come on out for the doorslammer fireworks Sunday July 3rd at Raceway Park!!... Peter Falk, 83, who played the role of TV detective "Columbo" passed away. Falk suffered from Alzheimer's disease for several years. I don't know about you, but, I always enjoyed watching the Columbo television mysteries. Peter Falk sort of played the part of a detective who came off to many of his snooty villains as a boob, however, in the end, Columbo always managed to outsmart them and close the case. Wearing his trademark rumpled raincoat and baggy brown suit, Columbo didn't put that much stock into his appearance, but he worked diligently in catching the bad guys (and girls). "Oh, and just one more thing", as he used to say, I know that lots of folks reading this, as well as yours truly, are going to miss Peter Falk very much... Thankfully Peter Falk left us with such a great body of dramatic work to enjoy for many years to come... Rest In Peace...

The recent controversy over a video recording of a TSA security officer performing an extremely excessive "pat-down" of a 6 year old girl sent shockwaves throughout the media. Prompting Congress to have a House subcommitee hold a hearing on the federal government's screening at airports of children younger than 13. I know that terrorists could use kids to blow up airplanes, and I'm well aware of how drug dealers use kids to transport their illegal wares. However, all this patting down of our precious innocent children is definitely injuring their dignity. The screener's frisking of the back of the little girl's hair in the video was especially disturbing to this journalist. Yes, we have to remain vigilant at our airports, I get that, but this matter seems to have gone just a bit too far, at least where our kids are concerned. Remember the old WONDERAMA kids TV show? The show's theme song went something like, "Kids Are People Too, Wacka-Doo, Wacka -Doo, Wacka-Doo"-- well, I firmly believe that is the truth. Kids ARE people too and deserve a degree of respect. Go to the pits of any Jr. Dragster event, and you'll see exactly what I'm talking about. Those kids who race their Jr. Diggers under the watchful eyes of their loving parents are some of the best kids I know. I would certainly trust them to sit next to me on a plane, without having to endure an extensive and humiliating "pat down" prior to boarding. Look, I have the foremost reputation for "telling it like it is" on the drag racing internet, and that's exactly what I'm gonna do to close today's blog installment-- Here it goes-- We as adults have created a tainted world culture and society that's pretty gosh darn screwed up. My only hope is that we as elders can somehow fix it, or at least make things a little better, a little more safer, saner, tolerable and liveable, so that our children don't have to inherit and live their lives in this dreadful mess of a world we've created, especially when it comes time for our children to raise their children.

According to the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers, with members who claim to read my blog religiously, they are now reporting a steady boost in sales that began last year. New vehicle dealerships in NJ confirm last year's total sales were in excess of $25.8 billion, up $4.8 billion from 2009. Can this strength in sales remain on the upswing? Our economy, while certainly doing better than it was after the "big crash" of '08, is still on shaky ground, however, new car dealers are trying to remain hopeful for the remainder of this year. And we can't overlook the impact of Japan's tsunami in stalling manufacturing for some brands. What's this all got to do with drag racing? Well, I want to see the car manufacturers do better, so they'll be able to offer more financial support for our sport . I'm aware the support from "The Big Three" for drag racing has picked up a bit of late, but I'd like to see it improve substantially more. I'm going to remain optimistic... More Jersey news-- I was ecstatic to see "JERSEYLICIOUS" TV star Olivia Blois shopping at my friend Stacy "The Vintage Maven's" INCOGNEETO (yes, that's how it's spelled) vintage clothing store on last Sunday's episode of the popular MyStyle Network show. Stacy's store in Somerville, NJ is THE PLACE to go for vintage clothes, shoes, hats, jewelery, and accessories. I shop there all the time (for real). You can watch JERSEYLICIOUS Sunday nights on the MyStyle Cable Network at 8pm. It's a fun show. Yeah, it's kind of silly sometimes, but I get a kick out of it. I admit that I even like the cheesy theme song (which Olivia sings the vocals on). I apply my JERSEYLICIOUS smokey eye shadow makeup and proceed to rip down the Jersey Turnpike in my 300+ horsepower shadow mountain grey '03 Thunderbird convertible, uh, wearing a vintage tube top from Stacy's store-- Yeah, baby, that's all I need for my sexy 'n' sizzlin' New Jersey Summer...

This past Monday evening marked the One Year Anniversary of the RACIN & ROCKIN DRAGLIST RADIO SHOW. The program's special guests were Raymond Beadle (of Blue Max fame) and Gary Scelzi. The show airs every Monday night 8-10 pm eastern, 7-9 central, 6-8 mountain, 5-7 pacific. You can hear the program exclusively on the Zeus Radio Network (I included the cyber url address at the end of this blog). DragList web site founder and drag racing internet pioneer Bill Pratt hosts the show. Bill has been a good friend of Drag Racing Underground for a long time, and he sure knows how to keep the program interesting, by asking his guests the kind of questions that you the listener would want to ask if you were there in the radio studio. He's polite and to the point, respectful of his guests and it all makes for a fine evening of "audio nirvana" for the drag racing enthusiast. DragList's John Bockelman handles musical duties on the show, spinning records and talking music. John is an accomplished musician in his own right, he really knows music, his contribution to the show is the proverbial icing on the cake. When the new BIG STICK album is completed and mixed (hopefully during this millennium), you'll be able to hear it on the show. Bud De Boer and Barb Santucci book the talent. I give the whole crew props for all the work they do to keep the show on the air. Many of you know that I've worked in terrestrial radio, with WILDGIRL on WFMU, so I'm aware that it can be a hectic scene when trying to keep it all together. The RACIN & ROCKIN DRAGLIST gang sure do keep it together in spectacular fashion, delivering a weekly program that's both entertaining and informing. I want to wish DragList many more years of RACIN & ROCKIN on the cyber radio... Be sure to copy and paste the following url address to your bookmarks so you can listen to the RACIN & ROCKIN DRAGLIST RADIO SHOW on Monday nights, do it now!... http://zeusradio.com/station/RacersReunionRadio/

I admit that I've been sort of trying to sidestep this story, but, I've been gettin' so many emails and stuff regarding it, that I figure I best write something here on the blog. Everyone is yakking over the Al-Anabi Racing Organization terminating their sponsorship of Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Matt Smith (P/S Bike winner at ETown's NHRA SuperNationals). And rumors are circulating that other Al-Anabi sponsored teams are on the chopping block. I have met Sheikh Khalid Al Thani at "Shakedown" and I genuinely like the guy. He's thrown tons of money into supporting the sport (and he still is throwing tons of money into supporting the sport). Folks love it when they see sponsor money rolling in, however, when sponsor money gets pulled away, it can get kinda nasty, especially on the drag racing internet. I recall several years ago when Miller Beer pulled their funding of drag racers. Snerts and blowhards on the internet were calling for a "boycott" of the beer brand (yeah, right, like they'd ever be able to muster up the courage and willpower to give up their Miller beer, ha ha). And now, with Al-Anabi reducing some of their sponsorship involvement, internet snerts and blowhards are gettin' all huffy and puffy on Al-Anabi Racing. This is just the way it is. If you're looking for the internet snerts and blowhards to show any class regarding this matter, it ain't gonna happen, this is the kind of fodder they live for. I say we should all be appreciative of what Al-Anabi has done for us, and all that they are continuing to do for us-- I sincerely do feel for those who are getting cut from Al-Anabi financing, but I must remind them, THAT'S drag racing-- That's all... Hey, don't forget that tonight June 21st (5-9pm) is a Cruise Night at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. Free admission, a free pass down the 1/4 mile strip for muffled cars, burnout contest, food, beer, music, rock climb... I cordially invite YOU to come on down to Englishtown for this evening's Cruise Night.

Before we get started here, I just wanted to reiterate what a blast everyone had at ETown's NIGHT OF THRILLS on Saturday. You can read some of the event's highlights and performances in yesterday's blog below... In other Raceway Park related news-- ETown's Cruise Nights have become a local phenom among hot rodders looking for a true "hassle free" alternative to the run-of-the-mill cruise nights often hosted by surrounding municipalities. The next one is tomorrow night Tuesday June 21st 5-9pm (other dates are July 12th & August 9th). Entry is FREE and you're also entitled to a FREE pass down Raceway Park's famous 1/4 mile dragstrip (as long as yer car is street-muffled)-- You can't beat that!! There's a burnout contest (with no fear of losing your license or a stiff ticket from a traffic cop like what happens at most other cruise nights). There's also music, food, beer, and even a rock climb!!-- It's about time someone does a cruise night RIGHT!!-- You may have read my opinion of the other local cruise nights over at the H.A.M.B., about how I think many of the towns that are now hopping on the cruise night bandwagon do such an awful job of it, with their hidden speed traps and restrictions that make it far more likely to send you home with a traffic ticket than a sense of satisfaction. That's not the case at ETown's Cruise Nights! Raceway Park does it the right way! Come on out to Old Bridge Township Raceway Park for a cruise night that finally makes good sense for the hot rod enthusiast!!... Switching gears here... I'd like to express our condolences to Clarence Clemons' family and musical colleagues. We (BIG STICK) recently did some recording with a horn player friend of ours, Tom Timko, who has done work with Bruce Springsteen (including his Madison Square Garden show). Tom told us that Bruce Springsteen and all his band, including Clarence Clemons are great people. Clarence Clemons was Bruce's soulful sidekick for decades, and a true fan favorite. Clarence "The Big Man" Clemons will certainly be missed...

Last night's 36th edition of Raceway Park's NIGHT OF THRILLS filled the grandstands with more enthused fans than I've seen in recent memory. Let's go right to the video tape and review some of the night's top highlights-- FUEL ALTEREDS: THE PUNISHER went 6.42/210mph to defeat FUELISH BEHAVIOR. The Altereds did the best darn burnouts of all the booked-in talent!!... NOSTALGIA FUNNY CARS: Dave Sano's "SCREAMING INSANITY" Pontiac clocked an impressive 6.70/201mph. Al Hanna's EASTERN RAIDER was gettin' the bugs out with a 8.33/163mph check-out pass. "CRAZZZY JAKE" CRIMMINS Mustang went 5.94/240mph in 1st rd to beat "NITRO NICK'S" Vega 6.20/201mph. In 2nd rd "CRAZZZY JAKE" went 5.85/242mph to beat "NITRO NICK'S 6.09/232mph (I want to see a rematch at the ETOWN NOSTALGIA SUMMERNATS on July 24th!!)... PRO MOD: Vinny Demieri's Camaro 6.28/216mph. Tommy Gray's UNDERTAKER goes 6.09/239mph to defeat Andy Jensen's 6.15/231mph. The doorslammers were certainly assaulting the historic ETown drag strip... Nitro Harleys were performing in the mid 6's at over 200mph... The JET CARS did their usual wowing of the crowd. Al Hanna's got GOJO aboard sponsoring one of his Jet Funny Cars. Ernie Bogue's "Beast of the East" and the "Queen of Diamonds" did the "Wall of Fire" spectacle. Bob Motz and his Jet Truck put on a command performance at over 200mph... Tom Meents was voted King of the MONSTER TRUCKS in his popular Maximum Destruction entry. The "Grave Digger Legend" tribute truck was amazing. The best "donuts" and "cyclones" in the history of ETown's Monster Truck events were whipping the crowd into a complete frenzy!! The new "Higher Education" Monster School Bus is quite a sight!... Benny "The Human Bomb" ended the evening by "blowing up real good" in a late model sedan. The fans really do love Benny!!... I appreciate ALL of you who stopped by the Drag Racing Underground tent to say hello. I took a lot of pics with folks, that's always fun for me. Thanks to PC RICHARD & SON for sponsoring this shindig. And thanks to all the race teams, Raceway Park staff, sponsors, and most importantly, thank YOU, the fans in the grandstands, who made it a most memorable evening...