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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...
Many of us remember when NHRA introduced their "Countdown to the Championship" points policy. Internet based keyboard equipped naysayers were wrapped around the block wielding protest signs and forming angry "drum circles", claiming their hate for the revised approach to NHRA's yearly points race policy. All of a sudden there's silence on the protest line (uh, the internet cable lines), as NHRA's 2011 season nears an end. There's nothing to really complain about because there's plenty of last minute points drama building for the 2011 finale. Going into this weekend's Pomona finals, the points race in Funny Car is extremely close and unsettled, Top Fuel still has a total of five drivers who could possibly become the champion, Pro Stock Motorcycle is still up for grabs (although y'all know that I'm rooting for local hero Eddie Krawiec). Admittedly, the Pro Stock Car championship was clinched a couple of weeks ago in Vegas by Jason Line, but keep in mind, the P/S class has a long history of racers claiming the "factory hot rod" category before the final event of the season, this has been a pattern in NHRA drag racing that certainly predates the revised "Countdown" format. I want to see Pedregon pummel the Pomono Flopper field and walk away with the championship. In Top Fuel I'd like to see Del Worsham get the title, for no other reason than I've always admired Worsham's purist drive for drag racing, there just seems to be something so pure about the way he approaches the sport... Switching gears... George Clinton and his Parliment Funkadelic band are coming to the Starland Ballroom on Saturday, Feb 11th. An old friend of Big Stick's, Ted Currier, co-produced Clinton's "Atomic Dog" hit. Ted Currier is the fellow who provided us (Big Stick) with the hypnotizing drum track we used on our "Crack Attack" hit. Anyways, all that trivia aside, nobody quite brings on the funk the way George Clinton does. Those of you within reasonable driving distance of Sayreville, NJ, that's where the Starland Ballroom is located, are wisely advised to buy your tickets now before they sell out...

The huge quartermile long asteroid that's coming our way today, towards planet earth, fortunately will not be crashing into our beloved piece of prime astral real estate. We lucked out this time. Scientist claim the big rock from Space is going to come within 202,000 miles of our humble abode. While 202,000 miles sounds like a heck of a long distance, truth is, in the realm of our Universe, it's considered just a block or two shy of our neighborhood, we're missing "impending doom" by not much outer-space distance at all. This means that we'll be able to conclude NHRA's 2011 season this weekend at Pomona. If the asteroid were to hit us today, naturally we'd all be upset (and most likely deceased), and there sure wouldn't be any chance of the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals taking place Nov 10-13. If earth was indeed the asteroid's target, we'd never get to see if it would be Matt Hagen, Jack Beckman, Cruz Pedregon, Mike Neff, Robert Hight, or even possibly Ron Capps taking the 2011 NHRA Funny Car championship. In Top Fuel we'd be left hanging as to whether Spencer Massey, Del Worsham, or Antron Brown would take top honors for the 2011 season. Those class championships among others would not be able to be properly played out if the asteroid, that just happens to be ironically and coincidentally as long as a drag strip was to make tragic contact with us mortal earthlings. See, sometimes you do get a break in this world of ours. Be thankful for that... Switching gears... I'd like to express my condolences regarding the recent death of GWAR guitarist Cory Smoot aka "Flattus Maximus". He was found dead on the band's tour bus just before they were going to cross over to Canada for some tour dates. This sort of reminds me of when we (Big Stick) were touring the U.S., and we played a club in Houston, Texas, where the night before, Shannon Hoon, the singer from the group Blind Melon was found dead in the bunk of their tour bus. Hoon's death was a result of drugs. It's still not clear what took the life of GWAR's Cory Smoot. You've got to try to keep your head on straight while on tour. My sympathy for the members of GWAR and Cory Smoot's family...

With CBS 60 Minutes commentator Andy Rooney passing away just a couple of days ago, I feel compelled to share and reflect some of my personal thoughts of the man. Andy Rooney's commentaries regarding life's large and small absurdities were a favorite feature of mine. Rooney claimed about himself, "I obviously have a knack for getting on paper what a lot of people have thought and didn't realize they thought", I like that. I'm even kind of happy the way some drag racing folks occasionally write me and say the same thing about me, I take that as one of the greatest compliments that someone in my line of work can receive... On the other side of the coin, I'm also aware that there's some close minded people who didn't like Andy Rooney's contributions to the 60 Minutes broadcast, I get that, some ignorant people thought that Rooney's brand of blunt observations had no place on the weekly broadcast--- And heck, when I first showed up on the drag racing internet, several years ago, some crusty and cantankerous blowhards felt the same way about me-- Once, one of them even wrote on the boards, "Hey lady, drag racing doesn't need an Andy Rooney!"-- HA!!-- And just like the way Andy Rooney would get "suspended" for times when he dared to "tell it like it like is", or at least how "he thought it was", and ruffle a few feathers, I too would catch heck from close minded drag racing web sites who weren't really interested in "truth", even though they, ahem, sure make an effort of, uh, "pretending" they do. When my writing would get a little bit on the controversial side, some folks just couldn't handle it-- Kind of like that famous Jack Nicholson line from A FEW GOOD MEN, when he shouts out, "You can't handle the Truth!!"... While I certainly didn't agree with everything Andy Rooney said over the years, as a matter of fact, I disagreed with him on a few choice issues, Andy Rooney still remains my kind of journalist and commentator. I believe we could use a little more "Rooney" and a lot less "blowhard" in this world of ours. Rest In Peace...

A few days back I blogged about Chevrolet celebrating their 100th anniversary, that blog prompted some folks from Chevy to contact me with some interesting tidbits of information that I thought I'd pass on to you. It seems that lots of drivers are coming to Chevrolet dealerships and trading in their imports for brand new Chevys. People are using their low-end import models, as well as their high-end and pricy imports as "trade ins" for new cars wearing the trusty Chevy "bowtie" insignia. The Chevy Malibu and Impala have become the new car of choice among many drivers who are ditching their, uh, "temperamental" imports, for the more reliable and "cost effective" (especially when it comes to repair bills) Chevrolet midsized models. Another factor that's bringing customers to their "neighborhood Chevrolet dealer" is the more "family friendly" environment that the dealerships are now providing for car shoppers. People who are shopping for new cars are growing tired of the stuffy "elite boutique" atmosphere that many of the import dealers project with their showrooms. Folks are flocking to Chevy dealers because of the more simplified and less stuffy approach that the brand's dealers are implementing, back to the basic baseball, apple pie and Chevrolet, "easy like Sunday morning" feeling you experience while shopping at your local Chevrolet dealership. Some Chevy dealers are serving fresh coffee, donuts, even chocolate candy, and providing kids with a well stocked playroom of toys, books, and video games, so that their parents will have the opportunity to be more focused, and not distracted by their kids while shopping for a new set of wheels. There's a real effort among Chevy dealers to step away from the hectic and impersonal "highway dealership" vibe that many of the import dealerships subscribe to. Chevy dealers are taking more of an "old school" American, "Norman Rockwell-esque" approach to selling cars at your local "neighborhood" dealership. I'm considering providing occasional "Chevy Dealer Updates" here on the blog, heck, don't be surprised if you see yours truly "Seeing the U.S.A." at the wheel of a brand new Chevrolet in 2012... I really like what the nice folks at Chevrolet headquarters AND at your local friendly neighborhood Chevrolet dealerships are doing to make for a better buying and driving experience-- It's invigorating. Finally, reasons for having real optimism for one of America's longest running automobile manufacturers...

Let's face it, culturally speaking, we as a nation often suffer from being immersed in a mainstream media induced stanky soup of social strychnine. Our priorities lean further towards worrying about whether or not Kim Kardashian will recover from her recent ten minute marriage, if the "baby" will be Justin Bieber's, or which pungent presidential hopeful is next in being the recipient of a slew of sexual harassment lawsuits... And as our concerns become more and more focused on Hollywood hyped hogwash and the like, it seems as if we're letting the important matters that REALLY affect our daily lives be ever so casually ignored. Kansas City International Raceway is about to get unceremoniously flushed down the toilet and steamrolled into a cesspool of the abyss by Kansas City's local political hacks. KCIR is a drag strip that's been part of the Kansas City community for over 40 years. The track has provided a safe and controlled environment for drag racers, a place for race fans to enjoy wholesome family racing entertainment, and also a place that's provided many jobs for track employees and those who work locally in the high performance and automotive aftermarket industry. So, while soooo many Americans are swept up in feeling sympathy for the Kardashian family spending $10 Million Dollars on a wedding for a marriage that almost instantaneously went bust, there's a 40+ year old drag strip in Kansas about to forever rot and rust. For all practical purposes, I don't believe there's any "saving" of the drag strip possible, the track's epitaph is probably being carved into a gravestone as we speak, however, all I ask is that as Americans, we pay a little more attention to matters like this as they are developing in our own communities, the kind of stuff that can REALLY affect us, and spend less time worrying about the hyped-up nonsensical hoopla that's being constantly shoved down our collective throats. Pay more attention to the stuff that really matters...

Today is "FEEDBACK FRIDAY", meaning I deal with emails that my assistant Stephanie and I receive from readers regarding my most recent blogs... Probably the blog that's roused up the most feedback this week, and possibly generated the most emails I've received since starting the blog was my Halloween drag racing tale of "Gooseface Gunzo" and his sultry Gina Lollobrigida lookalike sidekick "Gooseface Gloria". My tale of their unfortunate mishap after an unsuccessful day at the drags prompted feedback from some folks whom I never knew read the blog! Don't be surprised if you see the story of the 1960s drag racing duo's exploits and untimely eerie demise on a future episode of one of them TV ghost story shows!! WOW!!... Some of you emailed me regarding my blogs singing the praises of my local friends and drag racing heroes, like NHRA Vegas winners Eddie Krawiec, Tony Bartone, and Peter Biondo-- And my recognition of SHAKEDOWN AT E'TOWN promoter and Outlaw Pro Mod racer Dave Hance's recent career best 5.79/254mph pass at Maryland International Raceway-- However, as always, there were a few of you who voiced the opinion that I pay too much attention to the accomplishments of northeastern based racers, and not enough attention to racers from other regions of the nation-- Gee whiz, you can't blame me for giving credit to racers I know or who I'm familiar with, right?... Yesterday's blog regarding Chevrolet's 100th Birthday caused folks to write me. The hardcore Chevy racers and fans appreciated me recognizing the anniversary of the long running bowtie brand. Matt from Chicago wrote me that I should have included Dick "Mr. Chevrolet" Harrell in my list of great Chevy racers. I believe Matt is right about that. I apologize for missing a mention of any of the other Chevy heroes of the sport that have made history on the drag strip, however, there is a limit to the space of the blog, so unfortunately that does put a little restraint on my ability to name ALL the many warriors of drag racing's "Bowtie Brigade" over the years... 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...

HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY TO THE CHEVROLET BOWTIE BRIGADE...

Posted by: lovely

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Today is the day that Chevrolet is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Chevrolet was founded by racing pioneer Louis Chevrolet 100 years ago. Now I know what some of you skeptics and soured cynics might be thinking, how can a gal who has three muscled-up Fords stuffed into her garage be touting the birthday of Chevrolet? Well, just because I've got some Fords in my garage doesn't mean I don't have a place for Chevys in my heart. Through the years, I've admired and appreciated several of the cars that rolled off the bowtie assembly line... There's the Corvette, Chevelle, Camaro, Vega, Bel Air, Impala, heck, during the original muscle car era (1960s & 70s), Chevrolet had an incredible presence at the drag strip, hey, you know what they say, every late '60s Camaro that Chevy ever manufactured eventually found its way onto the drag strip. In Pro Stock racing, Bill "Grumpy" Jenkins put a real hurtin' on the competition with his stable of Camaros and Vegas. Chevy even broke into the Hemi dominated Nitro world with Bruce "USA-1" Larson's Chevy powered Funny Cars. Jim Bucher's Chevy Top Fueler was a major threat back in the day. And of course I have to mention my local "old school" Top Fuel friends and heroes, the "Hemi Hunter" crew, they once wreaked havoc here in NHRA's Division One territory with their dastardly dragster... "See the U.S.A. in your Chevrolet", that used to be a popular advertising phrase in the late 1940s and 1950s... Hopefully more folks these days will want to see the U.S.A. behind the wheel of a Chevrolet-- I'm not one to mince words or try to whitewash an issue, you know me, I give you all sides to the story, and I'm well aware that Chevrolet isn't in nearly as good of shape as a car manufacturer as it once was, yeah, I get that, however, it does appear that the current crop of Chevy engineers and designers are doing their best to produce a product that the public will want to buy. Today Chevrolet is unveiling the 2012 Centennial Edition Corvette at the Dubai International Motor Show. Last week I received some "spy shots" from my sources at Chevrolet, and I must declare that this is one 'Vette that I predict is going to be a winner with modern muscle car enthusiasts. It's Chevrolet's 100th anniversary, go out and kiss a Camaro, or hug a Chevelle, show some love for the bowtie brigade...

YOU CAN'T KEEP A GOOD MAN DOWN...

Posted by: lovely

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No, today's blog isn't about the courage and resilience that Chaz Bono demonstrated after being eliminated off ABC-TV's DANCING WITH THE STARS program... Today's blog is about an old drag racing friend of mine who is triumphantly stepping back into the driver's seat and returning to NHRA action. I'm talkin' 'bout Mike Ashley. I recall back in the late 1980s, when Mike was a threat in what was then the brand new genre of doorslammer racing referred to as "Top Sportsman", then later moving up to the ranks of Pro Modified. Back then, the regulars at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park gave Mike the nickname "The Kid", because he was relatively younger than most other racers in the class, and he possessed a youthful energy and enthusiasm for the sport that was nothing short of contagious. Mike went on to be a two-time NHRA Pro Modified series champion. Of course as many of you know, further down the timeline, Mike got the urge to burn nitro, resulting in him focusing his driving talents on piloting a fuel Funny Car. At the wheel of a fabulous Flopper, Mike scored a U.S. Nationals victory. There's no denying that "The Kid" from New York has grown up into one of the most capable of racing pilots in modern day drag racing. We then all watched as Mike had his troubles at the helm of his mortgage business, sidelining him from the sport. It's always been my belief that Mike was used as sort of a scapegoat for the whole housing bubble burst... Anyways, let's talk about the here and now. Mike Ashley recently put his fire boots back on, and made his first runs ever in a Top Fuel Dragster during post-race testing in Las Vegas. He earned his Top Fuel license with flying colors. Ashley is planning on racing at next week's NHRA final national event of the 2011 season, in sunny Pomona, California. He'll be in the driver's compartment of the Dexter Tuttle Top Fuel dragster. On behalf of all of us over here at Drag Racing Underground, and racing fans everywhere, I'd like to express best wishes for Mike Ashley in having a successful comeback to the sport of NHRA Championship Drag Racing, the sport that I know Mike loves with genuine passion. Yep, you can't keep a good man down...

With Halloween receiving so much attention, after all, it's now the second largest holiday in our nation, we've sort of overlooked NHRA's Vegas results of the past weekend, so let's get to it... A few of my local heroes managed to get their mitts on a nice, shiny "Wally" at the "Big O Tires" Nationals. Pro Stock motorcycle maven Eddie Krawiec, also known for his occasional sharp track management skills at E'Town scored a win in the two-wheeler "factory hot rod" class. Eddie beat his fellow Vance & Hines Harley Davidson teammate Andrew Hines in the final round, clocking a 6.93/194mph charge. We're all chuffed here in this neck of the woods to see Eddie dominating the Pro Stock Bike category... My former New York neighbor Tony Bartone nabbed a spectacular win in the gruelingly competitive Top Alcohol Funny Car class. Bartone defeated Shane Westerfield in the final round with a strong 5.54/260mph blitz... Local sportsman superstar Peter Biondo won Super Stock Eliminator. Biondo pulled a holeshot on Jackie Alley, who broke out in the final round... Congrats are also in order for Del Worsham in Top Fuel, Ron Capps in Nitro Funny Car, Mike Edwards in Pro Stock, Chris Demke in Top Alcohol Dragster, Jim Meader in Stock Eliminator, Billy Torrence in Super Comp, and Ed DeStaute in Super Gas... The NHRA 2011 season is drawing closer to an end. There's no denying that this season's points chase is one of lots of sweat and drama. No matter what some snerts on the drag racing internet say, I believe that NHRA Championship Drag Racing remains the hottest ticket in all of motorsports... Switching gears... I'm aware that there's still a lot of my regular readership who don't have electrical power in their homes due to the recent whacked-out weather. It can be tough living like a Pilgrim, with no electricity in these modern times-- You folks are in my thoughts. I hope everyone's power gets restored sooner than later. Hang in there, my dear friends...

Some of you have been bugging me to share a rather rare and obscure scary drag racing tale for Halloween. Well, being how I love my public, and want to do my best to please y'all, I uncovered this terrible tale of a drag racer, his feminine sidekick, and a trip from an unsuccessful day at the drags gone woefully wrong... It was back in the mid 1960s, there was a dragster racer from the Midwest known as "Gooseface Gunzo", he certainly wasn't one of the most popular of drivers on the circuit, but his reputation for being a showman (and a show-off) preceded him. Folks called him "Gooseface" for obvious reasons, at first glance, his facial features uncannily resembled that of a goose. While he wasn't one of the best looking men to ever drive a digger, he had the love of his gorgeous girlfriend and back-up girl sidekick affectionately known as "Gooseface Gloria", although Gloria's facial features had no resemblance to the bird of the same name, she actually shared a striking likeness with Italian film star Gina Lollobrigida. The tale is told that the two were driving at dusk, after a match race at the now defunct West Hampton Dragway in rural Long Island, New York. The two were driving along in their humble pick-up truck, towing their dragster on a simple open-air trailer. They were having a bit of an argument because Gunzo felt that after completing his first round burnout, Gloria didn't back him up properly into the groove of the race track, causing him to be short on traction and lose the round to his opponent. Their argument quickly became heated, and Gunzo, who was driving, wasn't paying proper attention to the road. All of a sudden, Gloria screamed at Gunzo, "LOOK OUT!!!", as she pointed to a large flock of geese who were crossing the dimly lit rural road. In an attempt to avoid hitting the large number of geese, Gunzo over reacted, and drove perilously into a large pond of water that was located just over a small embankment on the roadside. Sadly, the pick-up truck, the dragster in tow, "Gooseface Gunzo", and "Gooseface Gloria" all quickly sank to their demise at the bottom of the pond, ironically known as "Goose Pond", because it's a body of water where flocks of geese frequently gather. It's said that at times, even to this day, when dusk falls on the eerie pond, you can still hear the faint ghostly quibble between "Gooseface Gunzo" and "Gooseface Gloria" arguing over their first round loss, as the geese merrily swim about and congregate among themselves...