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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...

DAVE HANCE RECORDS CAREER BEST WITH HIS OUTLAW '57 CHEVY PRO MOD!!...

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Regular readers of my blog are aware of my deep respect and admiration of NY Motorsports' Dave Hance. I've known Dave for several years, interviewed him a couple of times for Drag Racing Underground. I recall when Dave would compete in E'Town's famous "Ultra Quick 8" doorslammer class. He's one of the guys in this drag racing business who genuinely talks the talk AND walks the walk, he's no blowhard, he's a fine gentleman, and the "real deal" in drag racing. Dave Hance is well recognized as a class-act racer, and being probably the smartest and most savvy of all independent promoters in the sport. His creating and developing of the SHAKEDOWN AT E'TOWN event clearly stands as one of the biggest accomplishments of any indie promoter in the sport, past or present, Dave is a promoter who knows how to run a race that satisfies the racers, spectators, and sponsors alike. We're all very fortunate to have Dave Hance involved as such an "active human-factor" in the sport of drag racing. Recently while testing at Maryland International Raceway for the Pro Mod race that got rained out in Virginia, Dave ran a career best 5.79 elapsed time at 254 mph!-- That's really hauling butt with his fabulous NY Motorsports '57 Chevy twin-turbo ride. I wouldn't be surprised if we see Dave Hance and his incredible team eventually set the World Door Car record, I'll bet there's still more horses waiting to be unleashed from the confines of his car's torrid turbo powered engine compartment. Congratulations to Dave Hance and his whole team on recording their career best performance!!... Switching gears... Lots of us in America are experiencing an early snow, I know that we sure got a lot of it 'round these parts. It's a slushy mix of snow and rain that's resulting in driving pains for many folks. I just ask that y'all be careful out on the roads. Exercise caution when driving in these less than ideal road conditions. You know I care about ya, and want ya to be safe... Take care...

Let's start this discussion off with recognizing the obvious, I'm aware that most "professional" drag racers who compete in the NHRA's drag racing series make a mere pittance of a penny compared to the multi-millions of dollars that the players of the NBA are known for bringing home, I get that-- Professional basketball players are part of America's "stick 'n' ball" sports culture, and just like pro football & baseball players, those athletes who play with balls, make lots more cash than our pro drag racers who play with fast cars ever do... But what amazes me, well, actually, I guess after being around the block in this business of professional sports journalism for some time, I guess in truth, it doesn't really amaze me much that the issue of the NBA having a "strike" or a labor/management dispute, receives so much more attention from the media than we'd ever see in the drag racing world-- Ya think that if maybe Don Garlits was abducted by aliens, we'd see the press give us a fraction of the attention that they're currently giving the NBA?... I guess if the NHRA and its racers brought the sport to a screeching halt over money issues, maybe, just maybe, we'd get a 5 sentence blurb printed somewhere in the back section of the newspaper sports pages, placed far back in the sports section with the strip club and "male potency" pill advertisements, and that's if we were lucky... I just believe it's a little off balance that the National Basketball Association's decision to stop bouncing their balls, is such a bigger story among the mainstream media than anything that could ever possibly happen in the drag racing world (short of Garlits getting abducted by aliens in plain view)... But hey, THAT'S just the way it is... And yes, I'm used to it being this way, just thought I'd blow off a little steam on behalf of all the frustrated folks in the drag racing business who wish things were a little different, and that the mainstream media would somehow be just a tad bit more concerned with our brand of spectacular sport...

Today is "FEEDBACK FRIDAY", meaning I deal with emails that my assistant Stephanie and I receive from readers regarding my most recent blogs... One of my loyal readers emailed, asking about information I posted on Draglist about John Peel, about how even before he became the superstar DJ in his homeland of England, he first took a DJ job here in the U.S. at a radio station in Texas, where he was responsible for breaking THE BEATLES in America, aiding the four "mop topped" rockers in achieving their domination of the American music scene in the 1960s-- Yeah, that's the real skinny on Peel-- At the end of this blog, I'll post the url address for BIG STICK's "DRAG RACING" youtube video that was created especially for the BBC's "John Peel's Record Box" Television Special... The subject of Formula-1 racing coming to the streets of Weehawken New Jersey prompted some of you to write me, a few of you wrote it's a good idea, while others who only believe racing should be done in a straight line gave the idea a hearty thumbs down... My blog regarding how our sport's crusty 'n' cranky geezers should be more appreciative of the California Hot Rod Reunion raised some heck among my readers, most agreed with me, while some folks claimed that NHRA still isn't doing enough to promote nostalgia racing... I received a few emails thanking me for bringing B-52 Fred Schneider's side project, THE SUPERIONS' "BATBABY" video to your attention just in time for Halloween. Fred has recorded with BIG STICK and he is one of my fave friends in the music biz. Glad you liked it... The subject of the possibility of a "Polygamy" financed Pro Stock conjured up mixed opinions among you all-- Mitchell of San Bernardino, CA wrote me an email saying, "Who cares??? Anybody who wants to support drag racing is welcome to step up and write a check!!!"... 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... Oh, and as promised, here's the url address for the BIG STICK "DRAG RACING" video that was created for the BBC's "John Peel's Record Box" Television Special, that's played yearly in conjunction with the U.K. Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame awards. Copy and paste it up to your browser... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bIYoQ42dBg

Halloween is definitely upon us... Halloween has become the 2nd largest holiday in America... Kids of all ages dress up in costumes, go to parties, and live out the night as their favorite ghouls, or various other different "fantasy" characters-- This Halloween I'm looking forward to transforming myself into a somewhat sultry version of "Minnie Mouse"... That said, I thought some of you might appreciate seeing THE SUPERIONS brand new "BATBABY" video now available on YouTube. THE SUPERIONS are actually a side project of B-52s member Fred Schneider. As some of you might already be aware, my band, music thing, whatever you want to call it, BIG STICK, recently had Fred Schneider in the recording studio with us, Fred sang co-lead vocals with us on a song called "HOT SAUCE". Fred gave us one super soulful vocal performance on the track, he did the best that we could have ever possibly hoped for, he really nailed it and did a spectacular job. We love Fred-- And we sure look forward to getting the song mixed and released out to a much deserving public. And I just want to give a shout out to Fred and the B-52s because I had a blast being their guest when they played the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank NJ awhile back.. Anyways, just in time for Halloween, THE SUPERIONS brand new "BATBABY" video is up on YouTube and ready for mass consumption, in the tradition of Halloween fare, I recommend watching it while eating soft and chewy "candy corn" (those little orange candies that surface every year during Halloween), if you're diabetic, replace the "candy corn" with an apple and you'll be just fine... Be warned, this is a "comedy" music video, it's intended to scare you and make you laugh, or something like that... Here's the YouTube url address, copy it and paste it up on your browser... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnsPFi3-s1o

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, whether you love him or hate him, the often controversial "plus size sex symbol??" of the political world, recently made a startling announcement that's been relatively ignored by the mainstream media (as well as much of the motorsport media too)-- Evidently Chris Christie just announced a deal with the folks from the London-based Formula 1 racing circuit to bring Grand Prix racing to New Jersey. Plans for a race to take place in June of 2013 have been set full speed ahead in motion. There's going to be a 3.2 mile road course in Weehawken NJ, along the edge of the Palisades, overlooking the Hudson River with the Manhattan skyline in the backround... Will it be nearly as "romantic" of a race as the yearly Formula 1 racing along the French Riviera in Monaco?-- I don't know about that, but from a financial perspective, it's believed the event will bring in 100,000 spectators and "several hundred million dollars" to the regional economy... Several years ago, New York City tried to make a similar sort of open-wheel racing event happen, as a matter of fact, the city held a glitzy press conference in hopes of selling the idea to the press and public, but it got shot down because New Yorkers were fearful of the "noise" that the roaring Formula 1 cars would make-- That's the press conference where I met Emerson Fittipaldi, as you regular readers of my blog are aware, I recently mentioned him in one of my blogs regarding the subject of mutual respect among drivers of different racing genres-- Anyways, no matter how you slice it, this is a pretty radical move for New Jersey. You think New Jersey and the town of Weehawken will be able to pull this off and make it a success?-- We'll see... Switching gears... To further celebrate the life of late rock 'n' roll radio personality John Peel (see yesterday's blog), here's the url address for Big Stick's "Drag Racing" video that was created especially for the "John Peel's Record Box" BBC Television Special... Copy it to your browser and enjoy... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bIYoQ42dBg

Seven years ago today legendary BBC Radio 1 disc jockey John Peel died at the age of 65. Today is being recognized by musicians and music fans throughout the world as International John Peel Day... John Peel revolutionized radio and is remembered as the man who broke EVERYTHING in England, which later spread to the world. He was up on everything and gave listeners a healthy earful with each and every nightly broadcast. He's credited with breaking Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and The Fall among others... Several years ago, we (Big Stick) sent our indie "Drag Racing" single across the pond to John Peel, fortunately he fell in love with it and played it with much frequency on his humongously popular radio program. The record charted, we signed with Blast First/Mute in the U.K., and we flew over to England to perform. I remember the first night in my London hotel room, listening to Peel's show and hearing him play Big Stick on the radio, and hearing his warm style of broadcasting, a style that seemed to speak personally to his droves of listeners. Throughout the years, until his death, he continued to play Big Stick, practically everything new that we'd send John over the years, he'd subsequently play on his show. One thing that really stands out, is that he actually played our "Broadcast Booth" single with regularity, a cut that's basically a "War of the Worlds-ish" narrative, with John Gill calling the action of a drag racing event, complete with roaring car sounds and such, however, there's no music whatsoever on the track, just talking and car sounds-- That definitely demonstrated to me John Peel's admiration and loyalty for Big Stick, and of course we admire, love and miss him so very much... And last but certainly not least, we're honored that he included Big Stick in his special "John Peel's Record Box", a box of a hundred or so records he kept in his home, and that he kept all together in a single box, so that in the event of a fire, after first gathering up his wife and kids, those particular records, out of the literally tens of thousands of records that he kept at his home, would be the ones that he would grab up and save... We're also happy that we received recognition on the BBC's "John Peel's Record Box" television program that runs yearly in conjunction with the U.K. Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame awards... We celebrate the memory of one of the most influential DJs who ever was. In closing, I'd like to say that for today, and forever, we're not all just musicians and music fans who believe in "Keepin' It Real", we're also musicians and music fans dedicated in our heart of hearts to "KEEPING IT PEEL"... We love and miss you John Peel...

With the completion of the 2011 NHRA championship drag racing season drawing to a close, the usual loose-lipped rumors are starting to fly regarding what's cooking up for 2012, circulating rumors about who will be driving which car, which crew chiefs will be going where, and which sponsorship deals are possibly on the horizon for next season are abound, both in the pits and in the press booth... One of the more tantalizing (or tasteless) rumors concerns the prospect of a certain popular "polygamist" television show stepping up to provide 2012 sponsorship support for a relatively successful NHRA Pro Stock team. I guess polygamists need lots of wives to be happy, and Pro Stock racers need lots of expensive parts to be competitive, so maybe it's a marriage made in heaven, or more likely a marriage made in Utah, (ha ha)-- But seriously, this is sort of strange stuff in my opinion, I mean, if you really think a household is supposed to look like "Grand Central Station", with multiple wives bustling about, and thirty or forty hungry kids seated at the breakfast table every morning, well, more power to ya, I'm of the opinion that it's got to be overwhelming, and I also have to wonder, with all those dozens of kids in your family, how do you manage to give each child the necessary amount of attention and nurturing??... Evidently the success of a certain polygamy promoting TV show featured on a popular cable network has indeed captured the imaginations and curiosity of much of the mainstream American public, because it's being reported from reliable sources that viewer ratings are through the roof-- Does this mean that the drag racing community is ready to accept and embrace a polygamy financially powered Pro Stock team?? I dunno? Some men who I know in the drag racing world can barely stand their one wife, ha ha, how do you expect them to relate to a racing team that's backed by a sponsor who believes men should have multiple wives?!?... Look, I know that competing on the grueling NHRA tour is no picnic, and it costs lots of money to give it a serious effort, I get that, still, I really have to wonder if Pro Stock and Polygamy can make for a compatible combination in NHRA drag racing...

It's no secret that out of all drag racing fans, it's the nostalgia geezers who have the hardest time conducting themselves on the internet in a civilized manner-- Although, for some reason, all the nostalgia geezers that you meet at the drags who DON'T frequent the internet, seem to be the most peachy warm, friendly folks that you could possibly imagine, hmm, I wonder why that is? Maybe some geezers have trouble adapting to this "new computer technology", ha ha, and it riles them up into a feeble geriatric fuss, I dunno... Anyways, this weekend is the 20th annual California Hot Rod Reunion, an event put on by the National Hot Rod Association (y'all know that the internet geezers hate them the most, go figure)-- Truth be told, the NHRA does a pretty darn good job of making this yearly nostalgia event a good time for all the peeps in attendance. And yes, I know, I know, I know what some of you skeptical readers are thinking, you're thinking, hey Doc, why don't you discuss the alleged "Valley Fever" epidemic that's been linked to the event?-- Well, I'm not discussing that because to be quite frank, I don't believe that I'm qualified to discuss it, you need to take that matter up with your family physician... I'm glad that Steve Gibbs has been named the grand marshal of this year's CHRR. Mr. Gibbs has a long history in the sport, he's definitely paid his dues in this drag racing stuff, it's my opinion that if anyone deserves the recognition that comes with being the grand marshal of this event, Steve is certainly the man for the job!... Switching gears... I'd like to give a shout out to The World Famous Gas House Gang for their performance at Rug's & Riffy's tavern last night. Their blended rock 'n' soul sound had the dance floor in a complete state of frenzy. They played the best cover of Wilson Picket's "Mustang Sally" that I've heard in recent memory. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and I want to thank everyone who was so darn nice to me last night. Love you all!!...

Hey folks, for all my local readers, I just wanted to tell you that I've been told there's going to be some feisty "No Time" action tomorrow at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. As many of you already know, it's the "No Time" cars that have become a favorite form of dastardly doorslammin' pleasure for lots of fans. This class features the best in "anti-hero" drag racing on earth. The cars aren't sporting million dollar paint jobs, quite the contrary, they often appear in primer paint and rather ragged trim, however, they are a lot of fun to watch. So shut off the big clocks, so nobody can see what kind of times they're running, place a friendly wager with your buddies as they stage into the beams, and let the good times roll!!... What's the deal with Lindsay Lohan??-- Why are the courts being so brutally cruel to this young woman?? Since when do Hollywood stars get punished so severely for showing us their "inner party animal"? Of course I don't want to see her abuse herself with drugs and alcohol to the point where she's rendered a vegetable, but do you really think the way the Los Angeles court system appears to be going out of their way to humiliate the poor girl is a good thing?? I sure don't. I had the opportunity to meet Lindsay at a film festival in the Hamptons, where a film that I (and John Gill from Big Stick) recorded the music score for was playing, and I gotta tell ya, she's a really sweet kid. She's now doing community service at the L.A. County morgue-- Is this really the right place for her to be??-- I dunno-- It's my opinion that the judicial system is going out of their way to push Lindsay over the edge-- Yeah, maybe she does need help fighting her alleged "demons", I get that, but hey, the courts shouldn't be trying to push her past the brink of sanity....

Today is "FEEDBACK FRIDAY", meaning I deal with emails that my assistant Stephanie and I receive from readers regarding my most recent blogs... The feedback that I've received regarding the death of two time Indy champ Dan Wheldon has been an admittedly mixed bag... My call for drivers of different genres of motorsport to show a mutual respect for each other hit a nerve with some of you-- My email box was full with readers voicing the opinion that the whole respect issue should be a two-way street, it seems that many of you are of the opinion that most racers (and fans) of NASCAR, INDY RACING, and other forms of motorsport are the ones guilty of not having any respect for DRAG RACING-- Well, to be honest, I kinda know where y'all are coming from, yeah, drag racing has always suffered from a lack of respect from the other forms of motorsport, much due to the fact that we just travel in a straight line for a matter of seconds, and some folks have a hard time interpreting drag racing as having the level of difficulty that the other forms of motorsport are interpreted as having, naive people figure how hard can drag racing be??-- We don't even make turns, or stay racing on the strip for a time duration that exceeds seconds-- I get that, and maybe we can change that by inviting more of our NASCAR and INDY friends out to the drags, so they can see for themselves that this drag racing stuff is tougher than tiddlywinks... A few of you agreed with me that Emerson Fittipaldi is a world-class racing personality... My story of meeting John Force and Darrell Waltrip on Wall Street resulted in a some of you reminding me of how those two racing greats appear together on Drag Racing Underground's FLOPPERS DIGGERS & DOORSLAMMERS dvd-- However, the majority of you still claim that you can't stand Darrell Waltrip's "Boogity, Boogity, Boogity" routine... In closing, I'd like to once again express my condolences to the INDY crowd for their loss of Dan Wheldon. Several of you INDY racing fans emailed me saying that you appreciate me giving Dan Wheldon the respect that I did, and that you occasionally read my blog, even despite the fact that I talk DRAG RACING all the time, because you think I'm kinda "funny" and "profound", uh, I guess I'll take that as a compliment... 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...