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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...

FEEDBACK FRIDAY... TONY'S "THE SARGE" MONIKER STRESSES BLOWHARDS...

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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... Lets get to it... My recent blog congratulating Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher on his first Top Fuel win in 32 races at Bristol prompted lots of you to write in. I received emails from men and women serving in the military, thanking me for recognizing Tony Schumacher's huge "comeback" win. HOWEVER, I also received a few angry (and borderline lewd) emails from some readers who took issue with me referring to Tony as "The Sarge", evidently these same highly irate folks (with none of them saying they once served or are currently serving in the military) enjoy making a big stink about this matter. Brad from Lambertville NJ wrote, "Tony Shoe has no right to be called a Sarge."-- Well, I asked my assistant Stephanie to check with the U.S. Army's position on this issue, and she discovered that they have absolutely no qualms about Tony using "The Sarge" moniker, as a matter of fact, they LIKE him using the nickname!!-- So I gotta ask, if the U.S. Army is down with Tony being labeled "The Sarge", shouldn't the people who are so darn angry about it take a breather?! In my opinion, this is one of the most ridiculous issues to ever generate so much of a hefty response from my readers... And speaking of ridiculous, we also received a handful of emails from cyber blowhards angered by my blog that was dedicated to wishing Courtney Force a Happy Birthday. Of course I sort of expected this, I mean, every time I write something upbeat about the Force family of racers, I get badgered by the "Anti-Force Brigade"-- There's folks out there who think the Force camp already receive too much attention from the media, and they don't like me writing one positive word about anything Team Force related. But hey, it's my belief that Courtney is great racer and an excellent role model for women, so I make no apologies for wishing her well for her 24th birthday... For those of you in my neck of the woods, I'll be showing my bronze bunny sculptures tonight at the JuneBug Art Fest in Metuchen NJ. I put a photo below of the wire work that I initially do in order to create one of my bronze bunnies. I always receive emails from you folks asking to see my sculpture work, so I figured I'd post this photo for you...  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...

 

Here's a photograph of the wire work I initially fabricate in order to create one of my bronze bunny sculptures, like the ones that you'll be able to see tonight on display at the JuneBug Art Fest in Metuchen NJ. I started my love for sculpting the bunnies during my studies at the Art Students League in Manhattan. This is how my sculpture takes form, it's sort of like a race car's chassis.

Photo by yours truly. From my personal art and sculpture image archives.

 


HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY WISHES TO COURTNEY FORCE!!...

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Yesterday Courtney Force turned 24-years old. I'd like to wish her the best of Happy Belated Birthday Wishes... And yes, I know darn well that there's already some readers of this blog who are probably already desperately searching for the remote to change the channel, because they are of the belief that the Force family receives so much publicity everywhere else in the drag racing media, so therefore, I shouldn't give them one additional word's worth of play in my blog-- But hey, I genuinely appreciate all the Force family has accomplished and done for the sport of drag racing, so I've decided to let the naysayers exhale their hot blowharded air, I'm still gonna discuss the Force regime when they are deserving of it.... That said, once again, Happy Birthday to Courtney, she's living her dream in the generally male-dominated world of NHRA Drag Racing. She handles her 8000 horsepower ride with grace. She's turning into quite the competitive threat among the ultra-tough nitro flopper contingent-- And I'm really impressed by her ability to mimic the enthusiastic and "get to the hard facts" interview style that's helped make her dad a major household name in modern motorsports. When somebody puts a microphone in front of Courtney's face, she doesn't stumble or find herself at a loss for words, no-siree-bob!-- She starts flapping her gums just like her old man, capturing the attention and hearts of hardcore and novice fans alike. Her driving skills seem to be improving with each and every race. Courtney is a classy gal who is really going places in this world. I know that I speak for lots folks when I say that I hope she had a great birthday, and I wish for her to have plenty more. Courtney Force is drag racing's sweet salvation...


DIGS AT E'TOWN THIS SATURDAY JUNE 23RD!!...

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Looking for something different at the drags?! Well, allow me to suggest the "DIGS AT E'TOWN"... It all happens THIS Saturday at the 1/8th mile track at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park (you enter through the airport's gate #4). The event runs from 5pm to 10pm. It's an oldies sort of thing with a hipper kind of vibe. There's cool hot rods, drag racing, music, good food, and cold beer-- and there's old school racing on the 1/8th mile strip, complete with special awards given for various classes. Vintage Hot Rods, Customs, Street Freaks and Gassers are on the property. The admission price is only $12.00, kids 6-12 $6.00, kids 5 and under FREE... And FREE tech card for all pre-1965 hot rods, customs, also FREE tech card for muscle cars, U.S. bikes, and street freaks thru 1974. No extra charge to race! Helmets, seat belts, and mufflers required on all race cars...  THIS Saturday's event is the first of three for the 2012 season, the others take place on June 28 (the Dead Man's Curve Drags) at the 1/4 mile strip, and September 22 back at the 1/8th mile strip, so be smart and mark your calendar now!!.... The DIGS AT E'TOWN is a much kooler alternative to the many stale and stagnant sort of nostalgia cruise nights and get-togethers that we see in the area, THE DIGS has a groove that sets it far apart from the boring and conventional norm-- It's a happening scene that provides good times no matter what generation you are-- I strongly recommend you check it out-- Fill up your jalopy with family and friends and head to THE DIGS AT E'TOWN this Saturday June 23rd!!... BE THERE!!...

 

Get with it! The DIGS AT E'TOWN is the hippest time travelin' trip at the drag strip, baby!!...

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


THE FORDS ARE COMIN' TO E'TOWN THIS SATURDAY JUNE 23RD!!...

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Coming up THIS Saturday, June 23rd is E'Town's 24th Annual FORD & MUSTANG SHOW & GO. Racing is for street muffled vehicles only. This event is an "Absolute Must" for all members of the club that I like to refer to as the "Bold 'N' Beautiful Blue Oval Brigade"-- Yep, if you've got a sweet spot in your heart towards Fords, this day at Raceway Park will put you in darn good company, surrounding you with all the sights and sounds of countless fast 'n' fabulous FORDS!! There's going to be ON-TRACK DRAG RACING, along with plenty of "ALL FORD CAR SHOW" activity as well!!...  Also scheduled is a "REAL STREET ROAD TOUR"!!-- That's right!!-- 30 miles cruising the scenic streets of New Jersey, then return back to Raceway Park so that you can clock-in 3 accelerating runs down the E'Town 1/4 mile for lowest average E.T.-- The "Real Street Road Tour" leaves at 12 Noon SHARP (open to Fords and Mustangs ONLY)... A very special "OVER 50 YEARS OF MUSTANGS" car show is another favorable feature of this event, offering embroidered jackets to all show winners (your class must have at least 3 entrants to receive jacket)... New and used vendors will be on the property selling all kinds of gearhead related goodies. There's also a comprehensive FORD PARTS SWAP MEET  to help you find those blue oval items that you've been so desperately searching for. Gates open 9am, time trials at 10am, with eliminations to follow. This is a family oriented day of "Ford Fun"!!... So, if Fords are your passion, please don't miss your opportunity to experience this event at Raceway Park. Whether there's a Ford in your future, past or present, this is THE PLACE to be on Saturday, June 23rd. I strongly recommend that all my Ford friends make plans to BE THERE!!...


Tony "The Sarge" Schumacher finally won an NHRA national event while competing at the Ford Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol. Almost hard to believe that up to this point he's gone 32 races without a win! Piloting his digger with the consistency of a bracket car, "The Sarge" defeated Dom Lagana in round one, teammate Spencer Massey in round two, Clay Millican in the semi-final, and Doug Kalitta in the final. Congrats to Tony for getting his groove back!... The Team Schumacher wrath also carried over to the Funny Car class. Ron "The NAPA Man" Capps claimed the Nitro Flopper victory. Ron Capps had to defeat such heavyweights as Courtney Force, Tony Pedregon, Johnny Grey, and Alexis "The Darkness" DeJoria in the final. Of course Capps gleefully expressed his appreciation for team owner Don Schumacher, claiming that Don gives everything he's got into making their racing effort the tops. And naturally Capps also praised crew chief Rahn Tobler for tuning the NAPA Dodge Charger to the winner's circle. It's also worth mentioning that Capps tied "Big Daddy" Don Garlits on the all-time wins list with 35 victories... In the "Factory Hot Rod" aka Pro Stock class, it was Mike Edwards who wound up on top of the competition. It was Edwards' fourth victory in a row at Bristol! Racers who fell to Edwards' domination included Larry Morgan, Jeg Coughlin Jr., Erica Enders, and Allen Johnson in the final (as the result of a spectacular holeshot by Edwards)... My buddy, "Trickie" Rickie Smith earned an emotional win in the ProCare Rx Pro Modified class. Last year at Bristol Dragway, Smith suffered a debilitating crash forcing him to take a hiatus from the sport, but the veteran driver came back to Bristol on a mission, grabbing the No.1 qualifying position and earning his second win of the season. Smith and his IDG Camaro’s 6.055-second pass at 241.24 mph beat Donald Walsh’s 7.393-second pass at 171.99 mph in the final. There's no denying that NHRA Championship Drag Racing is tough, real tough, and it's no secret that those teams who manage to make it to the winner's circle are the very best that motorsports has to offer...


FATHER'S DAY AND E'TOWN'S GRUDGEFEST-- PERFECT TOGETHER!!...

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I would like to wish all the dads a Happy Father's Day! I'd also  like to make a recommendation of a way for the dads in my area to spend their day. How about coming down to Raceway Park to experience GRUDGEFEST?!?-- Today, Sunday June 17th is the second day of GRUDGEFEST at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in scenic Englishtown NJ. Gates open 8am and on-track actions kicks off at 10am, "NO TIME" Street Racers, AND the world famous OUTLAW BIG TIRE SHOOTOUT cars will be engaged in stiff competition on the E'Town strip. GRUDGEFEST is a concept that makes a heck of a lot of sense to me. It's an event designed to take racing off the streets and put it on a much safer and sanctioned drag strip where it belongs. Y'all know how much I love the "NO TIME" cars!!-- It's my opinion that the "NO TIME" cars are one of drag racing's sweetest forms of salvation!! THIS is the kind of drag racing that best mimics the way it used to be when the sport was first born, back when drag racing had a real edge to it. "NO TIME" racing is Newark style battle royale at its finest!! It's what drag racing is supposed to be!! It's slightly crude in form, the cars don't have 500 coats of fluorescent paint, many of the cars appear in plain black or gray primer paint, and they have a scary stance, lookin' bad to the bone-- It's all good in my humble opinion!!... And like I said earlier, the BIG TIRE OUTLAWS are also featured as part of today's GRUDGEFEST!! These cars are sorta reminiscent of E'Town's "Notorious All Glorious" heads-up Ultra Quick 8, as a matter of fact, some of the same dastardly drivers from the day compete in the BIG TIRE OUTLAW class. If you're hungry for REAL outlaw doorslammer racing, I can personally guarantee you that the OUTLAW BIG TIRE SHOOTOUT will completely satisfy your appetite!!... This is the sort of "guy thing" that certainly makes for a most fitting way to spend Father's Day!!-- Today is the perfect day for DAD to hang out at the DRAGS!!...


E'TOWN "GRUDGEFEST" THIS WEEKEND SAT & SUN JUNE 16 & 17!!...

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No, it's not "grungefest", you're not going to see a slew of 80's Seattle "grunge rockers", dressed in flannel shirts playing tiresome guitar tunes, no way!!--  It's "GRUDGEFEST"!!!-- A way far more exciting event than any "grungefest" could ever be, and it's happening today and tomorrow, Saturday & Sunday June 16th & 17th at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park!! Gates open 3pm today (Saturday) with muffled "NO TIME" Street Races from 5pm to 10pm. Tomorrow (Sunday) gates open 8am and on-track actions kicks off at 10am, "NO TIME" Street Races, AND the world famous OUTLAW BIG TIRE SHOOTOUT cars join in on the excitement too!! On both days racers get 3 runs for $40. GRUDGEFEST is a concept that makes a heck of a lot of sense to me. It's two days designed to take racing off the streets and put it on a sanctioned drag strip where it belongs. Y'all know how much I love the "NO TIME" cars!!-- It's my opinion that the mysterious "NO TIME" cars are one of drag racing's sweetest forms of salvation!! THIS is the kind of drag racing that best mimics the way it used to be when the sport was first born, and had a real edge to it. Newark style battle royale at its finest!! This is what drag racing is supposed to be like!! It's slightly crude in form, the cars don't have 500 coats of fluorescent paint, many of the cars appear in black or gray primer paint, and they have a scary stance and look to 'em that's most genuinely bad to the bone-- It's all good in my humble opinion!!.. And like I said, on Sunday (tomorrow) the BIG TIRE OUTLAWS are also added to the GRUDGEFEST mix!! These cars are sorta reminiscent of E'Town's "Notorious All Glorious" heads-up Ultra Quick 8, as a matter of fact, some of the same dastardly drivers compete in the BIG TIRE OUTLAW class. If you're hungry for REAL outlaw doorslammer racing, I can personally guarantee you that the BIG TIRE OUTLAWS will satisfy your appetite!!... Two days of nitty gritty drag racing at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park!! BE THERE!!...

 

THIS weekend Sat & Sun June 16 & 17 is GRUDGEFEST at E'TOWN. See the sinister "NO TIME" cars get off the back streets and alleys of Newark and NY to race on the historic Old Bridge Township Raceway Park drag strip. Sunday the OUTLAW BIG TIRE SHOOTOUT cars join in on the down 'n' dirty nitty gritty excitement. This is as HARDCORE as it gets!! BE THERE!!...

Photo by yours truly, shot for Drag Racing Underground on the bold 'n' brave backstreets of Queens New York, baby!!...


FEEDBACK FRIDAY... EMT AND FIRST RESPONDER WORKERS SPEAK OUT!!...

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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... All of us here at Drag Racing Underground did not expect the amount of email responses that were generated by yesterday's blog. My blog addressing Monday's hoaxed distress call to the Coast Guard, falsely claiming that a yacht exploded off the waters of Sandy Hook, NJ prompted a firestorm from you readers!! Evidently a lot more individuals who are employed as EMTs and "First Responders" read this blog than we could have ever imagined!! The sheer anger and disgust you all expressed towards the snert responsible for making the phony distress call was nothing short of overwhelming. Gina from Buckley, Washington wrote, "As a veteran EMT it sickens me to think someone would do this!". Jose from Brooklyn NY summed it up best, he said, "What if one of the first responders were seriously hurt while trying to locate the phony yacht and passengers?". I just want to say that I appreciate all you First Responders who so diligently responded to my blog, you've all made it quite apparent that you take tremendous pride in your work. Thank you so much for all your selfless, unwavering and loyal service that you provide each and every single day to your duly assigned communities...  Several readers felt compelled to write me and show their admiration for Steve Torrence's Top Fuel team wrapping their dragster in tribute to John Mitchell this weekend at Thunder Valley. Adrian from the U.K. wrote,  "American racers have a lot of class". Dennis from Highland Park, NJ wrote, "Seeing Steve Torrence's dragster in Montana Express colors will be a fitting tribute to John Mitchell.". I completely agree with Adrian and Dennis.... For those of you in my neck of the woods, I'll be showing my bronze bunny sculptures tonight at the Junebug Art Fest in Metuchen NJ. I put a photo of a couple of my bronze bunnies below. I always receive emails from you folks asking to see my sculpture work, so I figured I'd post this photo for you...  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...

 

Here's a couple of my bronze bunny sculptures. I am scheduled to be showing them this evening at the JuneBug Art Fest in Metuchen, NJ.

Photo of these two bronze bunnies conversing in the yard snapped by yours truly.


SANDY HOOK HOAX... GILL CONNECTS WITH RACEWAY FRIEND FROM THE PAST...

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I don't know how far the story of the Sandy Hook, NJ rescue hoax has traveled, if it's just been covered by local press, or if it made any national headlines, whatever the case, I want to briefly discuss it here. This past Monday, a phony radio distress call was made by someone claiming to be a "captain" on a yacht called the "Blind Date", according to the "captain", the boat suffered a huge explosion, resulting in death and injury for its crew and passengers. The hoaxer claimed the incident happened off the coast of Sandy Hook, NJ. This call prompted a massive gathering and effort of Coast Guard, State Police and other branches of government and municipal first responders to embark on a lengthy and extensive rescue mission. It was all for nothing, although it cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, and put lots of rescue workers in harm's way. Who would do this sort of "prank"?!?-- I don't get it?!?... Switching gears, to a far more positive story... Drag Racing Underground's John Gill was surprised to receive a phone call yesterday from a long, lost voice of the past. Jay Irwin, who is Gill's old friend and co-announcer from Raceway Park, rang John to catch up on old times, and shoot the breeze regarding what's been happening over the years. John told me that Jay is now doing well in Los Angeles, CA. It's also worth noting, that in the form of a really nice coincidence, Jay has become good friends in L.A. with a fellow who John has been best buddies with for even much longer than he's known Jay, I'm talking about Lou Trygar, a pal of John's since elementary school! Lou now practices law in L.A., and evidently Lou and Jay are now good friends out on the west coast. John and I usually see Lou twice a year or so, when he travels back here to the east coast to visit with family. Lou and John have stayed close for ages. Yes, the world is indeed becoming a smaller place, but at least for those who maintain their longtime relationships, it also remains a friendly place... The moral of the story is that if you know good people, who are genuinely good friends, it makes good sense to keep them as a part of your life...


TORRENCE TO WRAP HIS DIGGER IN REMEMBRANCE OF MITCHELL...

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Steve Torrence will appear at this weekend's NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals with his Capco Contractors' Top Fueler wrapped to resemble one of the recently departed John Mitchell's "Montana Express" dragsters from the 1990s. As I discussed in my recent obituary for John Mitchell, his Montana Express dragsters played host to several up-and-comers on the NHRA tour, one being Torrence's current crew chief Richard Hogan. Those of you who were paying attention to the E'Town Toyota SuperNationals witnessed Torrence graciously dedicate his T/F win to John Mitchell. I thought that was a warm and thoughtful gesture on Torrence's part... In regard to Torrence's team now deciding to wrap their digger in remembrance of Mitchell--  "Even though I didn't personally know John, he was an integral part of so many careers out here," Torrence said. "He certainly was a huge part of what Richard Hogan is doing now. Mitchell's team was a lot like Torrence Racing; they were a single car team out here racing the big names of that day. I can tell you from personal experience, that isn't easy, I have a lot of respect for what he did."... Of course crew chief Hogan is hoping to tune the team's "Montana Express" trimmed tribute all the way to the Thunder Valley winner's circle. In this drag racing business, I give a lot of credit to the younger folks who go out of their way to pay respect to pioneering heroes like John Mitchell. It's important that men like Mitchell's legacy remain alive even after they've passed on. Look, I know that we live in a society that's become all about living for the here and now, grabbing as much "instant gratification" as possible, and I realize that among much of today's youth, the act of even briefly bringing up ANY mention of days gone by is considered extremely, uh, "unhip"-- I believe that's a most unfortunate state of affairs in our current culture-- THAT'S why I'm so proud of Steve Torrence and his crew chief Richard Hogan for making this 300mph remembrance of John Mitchell happen...