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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...
In my Big Stick music life, we recently did some recording with a longtime friend and exceptional sax player named Tom Timko, and in Tom's long resume of legendary recording artists that he's played with, is soul music singing great Aretha Franklin, and as most of you probably already know, one of Aretha's most memorable hits is a song called "RESPECT"-- Yeah the one where she spells it out, R-E-S-P-E-C-T... Well, the concept of RESPECT has been the theme of this blog over the last few days, much due to the recent tragic passing of Indy 500 champ Dan Wheldon. I've been talking about how racers from different genres of motorsports should have respect for each other, even though they're not necessarily involved in the same type of racing. Yeah, I know, I know, I know what you might be thinking, from what you see rampant on the drag racing internet, that people involved with drag racing don't have much respect for anything or anybody-- Well, I assure you, that's NOT true, it's just that the small minority of blowhards who constantly post on the drag racing sites don't have respect for much of anything, but I can guarantee you, that the "Silent Majority" of drag racing folks who probably never post on the drag sites are darn good and respectful folks... Anyways, back to the drivers of different motorsports genres having respect for each other-- Several years ago I was a guest at some big Wall Street press shindig, at the New York Stock Exchange. One of those dreadful diecast car companies was "going public", you know what I'm talkin' 'bout, those diecast race cars that you thought (or were promised) would appreciate in value over the years, HA!-- That sure didn't happen, much like many of Wall Street's other hollow promises, well, anyways, I digress... The point I'd like to make is that it was at this particular press gathering where I spent some quality time with NHRA drag racing's John Force and NASCAR racer turned TV personality Darrell "Boogity, Boogity, Boogity" Waltrip. And I gotta tell ya, those two guys, though coming from much different sides of the motorsports spectrum, showed each other (and yours truly) an incredible amount of genuine respect-- And both of those men made an impression on me to last a lifetime-- John Force and Darrell "Boogity, Boogity, Boogity" Waltrip are both classy guys, they're good for a laugh, and they know the importance of mutual R-E-S-P-E-C-T among racers of different genres of motorsports. John Force and Darrell Waltrip's mutual respect for each other stands tall as a shining example of the way it's supposed to be...

I admit that I'm still kinda wired over the death of two time Indy 500 champ Dan Wheldon. Adding to that wired feeling is the perturbing fashion of how Wheldon's on-track tragedy is being handled (uh, make that "mishandled") by the mainstream media. Yesterday I ranted over the way an ESPN talking head said something like, "Even NASCAR drivers have some respect for the fallen Indy Racer Dan Wheldon"-- as if we're supposed to be surprised that NASCAR racers would care about a fallen racer from a genre of motorsport that isn't NASCAR??-- What's up with that?!... I know a few NASCAR drivers who respect NHRA racers... Several years ago I attended a press conference at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City, it was there where I met another "two time Indy 500 champion" named Emerson Fittipaldi. I must say, that out of all the many racing drivers I've met doing this job, over two decades, it was Mr. Fittipaldi who probably impressed me the most-- His grace, confidence, humbleness, and fierce competitive spirit was beyond reproach. He appeared to me as the "motorsport professional personified"... There were other Indy racers at the NYC press conference, and they all struck me as being men who live, breath, and sleep racing-- Just as much as all the pro NASCAR racers I've met over the years. And it's my opinion, that in their heart of hearts, NASCAR racers know darn well that Indy Racers are just as "hardcore' about their chosen form of professional motorsport as they are... Losing Dan Wheldon was a major blow to motorsports, I'm not going to deny that-- When motorsports loses a star racer, it does cause people to reflect on it all, and sometimes it leaves you feeling a bit uneasy inside (just being honest, folks), however, when it's all said and done, some racers wouldn't have it any other way... Drivers like Dan Wheldon are not the common breed of racer, they are the kind of racers who constantly strive for unwavering excellence in their personal performance, they are the kind of drivers who have racing running vigorously through their blood-- I believe that drivers from all forms of motorsport, who really have a "racing 6th sense", and are "True Grit" in their racing conviction, know that the loss of Dan Wheldon is a major loss for all motorsports... Maybe tomorrow, in keeping with the theme of professional racers from different types of motorsports, having respect for each other, I'll discuss when I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with NHRA's John Force and NASCAR's Darrell "Boogity, Boogity, Boogity" Waltrip at the New York Stock Exchange...

Yesterday I was watching ESPN-TV... There was a taking head sitting pompously at at one of the network's "news desk" wannabee sets, briefly babbling about the loss of esteemed and accomplished Indy 500 driver Dan Wheldon... Same talking head said something like, "Even NASCAR drivers have some respect for fallen Indy racer Dan Wheldon"... I'm thinkin' as I'm hearing this, wait a minute, what to you mean by saying that?!-- Are we supposed to assume that NASCAR racers are soooo far superior to INDY racers?!-- I mean, what do mean by saying,"Even" NASCAR racers have some respect for deceased INDY great Dan Wheldon?!?-- Don't get me wrong, I know that NASCAR racing is tough, very tough, and you've got to be extremely skilled to be competitive, however, that's not to say that NASCAR is necessarily tougher than INDY racing, or that NASCAR racers are superior human beings compared to INDY racers-- I don't believe that for one minute... So please don't act like NASCAR racers are throwing INDY racers and fans a bone by acknowledging the death of an INDY racer, gee whiz, sorry if we wasted your precious and valuable time (gimme a break, roll eyes)... Yes, I know that NASCAR reigns supreme in this nation as the No#1 form of motorsport, I get that, but that still doesn't mean they're so much more superior than all other forms of motorsport... Which brings me back to the couple of blowhard NASCAR drunks I've told you about from "The Race Zone" bar in Old Bridge, NJ-- You know what I'm talkin' 'bout, those two fools who've bothered me repeatedly over the way "Dancing With The Stars" celebrity Chaz Bono shares a strong resemblance to NHRA pro stock superstar Larry Morgan-- I guess they think that NASCAR stands so far above us "third rate citizen" NHRA drag racing folks, that they can make their Chaz Bono/Larry Morgan jokes until the cows come home. After all, NASCAR makes us simple, hickoid, NHRA drag racing folks look like farm league, right?-- Whatever!! (rolls eyes)... In closing this rant, I just want to say, next time you NASCAR campers want to try showing some respect for a fallen racer from a different form of motorsport, could you at least try to make it appear as if you really do mean it?!?-- Or as if you really do have RESPECT for them?!?-- Is that too much to ask of you?!?... Try showing us "little people" who come from what you'd consider to be the "inferior" forms of motorsports a little class for a change, even though we know you're "faking it"...

We are all deeply saddened by the death of two time Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon as a result of the catastrophic crash at yesterday's Las Vegas Indy 300 race... I'm sure that I speak for the entire drag racing community when expressing our sincere condolences to Dan Wheldon's family, friends and crew members... Rest In Peace...

All this "Occupy Wall Street" hoopla is really catching on... Now there are "anti-corporate" demonstrations and rallies popping up all over the nation... All this demonstrating got me to thinking, with all the "blowhard fury" that drag racing's keyboard lackeys unleash on the internet, especially the seemingly "endless drip" of anti-NHRA rhetoric they persistently pollute the internet with, you'd think these folks would finally get up from behind their dusty computers, and organize some sort of "Occupy Glendora" rally... ha ha... When are these constant non-stop whiners and cry babies, especially from the Nostalgia Funny Car scene, since they are hands-down the most guilty of being the most vocal (uh, through their keyboards of course) when it comes to complaining and whining about NHRA, so, uh, when are THEY gonna have their "20 Man March" or sumpthin' like that (although I think there's probably in reality no more than 15 of 'em total on the internet, actually, maybe the REAL number is only like 5 or 6, however, it just seems like there's more of 'em because they never stop their childish whining), so then, once again, I must ask, when are they going to march on 2035 Financial Way, in Glendora, California, 'cause that's where NHRA's headquarters are located-- They could all wear their old "Gooseface Gunzo" and "Jungle Jim" t-shirts, and carry signs that say stuff like, "The Big Show Must Go!", or "Where's Our Piece Of The Pie?!?"... ha ha... Of course I write this in jest, and I realize that most of these old burnt out hippie geezers can barely physically stand up on their own, much less stand up, and actually walk and march for the stuff that they seem to never shut up about (ha ha)... That said, in truth, it's my belief that NHRA has actually been pretty darn good to the Nostalgia crowd, we do see old-school drag racing cars on display or occasionally even running on the strip during NHRA's "big show" tour-- Heck, NHRA even lets 'em have the California Hot Rod Reunion-- When you really get down to it, all the folks currently marching across the nation calling for a reduction in corporate greed, and an increase in fiscal responsibility, have a far more stronger case than those 12 or so drag racing geezers do... NHRA has been good to you grumpy old sods, you should be a bit more appreciative of what they do for you... The proverbial glass is half full, not half empty... Think about it....

GETTING DOWN 'N' DIRTY IN THE MUD AT OLD BRIDGE TOWNSHIP RACEWAY PARK...

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Are you ready to take your endurance to its limits designed by my U.S. Marine buddies? Looking for obstacles used to train the world's most enduring soldiers from all branches of the Military? Seeking a mud course that is tough, much tougher than most? Well, look no further than Old Bridge Township Raceway Park-- Today, Saturday, October 15th, Rock Solid Sports is hosting the "ROCK SOLID MUD RUN". The Mud Run is the ultimate challenge combining running with an obstacle course and lots and lots of mud!! The Mud Run covers all physical tasks and you will push yourself to the limits in running, swimming, crawling, climbing and jumping. All obstacles are "military styled" which are used in the most intense of TRUE military training courses. The Mud Run will challenge you for one to two hours, depending on your personal fitness level. This is much more fun than just running another boring and dreary marathon, or your typical lifeless neighborhood 5K (Yawn!). A Mud Run is about TEAM WORK and PUSHING YOURSELF TO THE LIMITS!!! A portion of the event's profits will be contributed to the Semper Fi Fund. (You know them from the work you've seen me do, and y'all know that lots of U.S. Marines are longtime fans of yours truly and my blog, you can't be a REAL U.S. Marine and not be a fan of "The Doc", I'm very grateful for the incredible support I've received from multiple generations of brutally loyal Semper Fi folks-- I love ya'll for it!! )... It will be a family fun day filled with challenging events to show loved ones that you can complete the challenge!! The family fun continues with an after party and concert (Wow!!)... If this is your scene, I strongly recommend this event... Go to Raceway Park today and get yourself down 'n' dirty in the mud...

FEEDBACK FRIDAY... SPECIAL "SHAKEDOWN AT E-TOWN" EDITION...

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This Friday is a special "SHAKEDOWN AT E-TOWN" edition of FEEDBACK FRIDAY... To get things started, I must say that a lot of people I spoke to at SHAKEDOWN this past weekend, face to face, and in person, were pretty much echoing the same type of comments similar to what I've been receiving recently in my email box. People were expressing to me how much they've missed seeing me at the drags this year. And to be completely honest, I can certainly understand where you people with that opinion are coming from. I admit that I've been busy as heck working on the BIG STICK music stuff, all the recording & mixing activity can be a real "time burglar", leaving me little opportunity to get out to the drags. I'm not necessarily that happy about missing lots of quality drag racing, and from what y'all been emailing me, and subsequently telling me to my face at SHAKEDOWN, apparently many of you ain't much happy 'bout it either-- And I respect your honesty in telling me so, but please try to understand my position in all this, at this stage of the game, I have to give my time to getting the new BIG STICK release completed. (I'm sure the hardcore music fans who read the blog are probably glad about that)... Anyways, hey, I did manage to spend ALL THREE DAYS last week at SHAKEDOWN, and did catch up with many of you, my dear drag racing friends, so let's try to be thankful for the precious time we recently shared together... I received positive feedback regarding my blog where I praised the exceptional level of good sportsmanship I witnessed at this year's SHAKEDOWN. Many agreed that outlaw doorslammer racers get tough on the strip, but know how to be gentlemanly once they step out of their cars... I also received a whole big heaping of emails thanking me for recognizing Raceway Park's Safety & Rescue workers, and RP's track preparation/maintenance crew (and all the people who do this sort of work at drag strips across the nation)-- Many of you who work these crucial jobs at drag strips from all over the map chimed in with your appreciation of my blog-- Some of your emails really emotionally touched me. You folks are all heroes to me... My blog that stated how SHAKEDOWN renewed my faith in independent drag racing drew some mixed reactions, some of you wrote that you still think the number of quality independent drag racing events is in decline, and that SHAKEDOWN's tremendous success is a rarity in today's indie motorsports environment-- And yeah, maybe some of you make a good point with that opinion-- I guess if the general economy can regain some strength, then ya might see independent drag races gain some strength as 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...

A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO SHAKEDOWN...

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I was kind of hesitant to talk about what I'm gonna talk about today. Actually, I discussed it with my trusty assistant Stephanie, and she insisted to me that my sophisticated & intelligent readers have come to expect me to tackle the somewhat sensitive and controversial issues of the day... So here it goes... Sunday morning during my drive to the SHAKEDOWN AT E'TOWN event, I was stopped at a red light in Sayreville, NJ, at the intersection located at the start of the Sayreville bridge. Much to my surprise, there were a bunch of "Tea Party" activists holding some kind of rally, right there at the foot of the bridge. I'm thinkin' to myself, gee whiz, this is suburbia, what the heck is a "public demonstration" doing here?!? There were lots of middle-aged protestors, carrying signs about over taxation and fighting big government, etc, etc... Then as I'm watching the "Tea Party" gang raising a ruckus from the comfort of my loaded 2000 black Lincoln Continental, I hear a "special report" on the radio about all the people rallying in downtown NYC, as part of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement... I dunno, I don't mean to discourage any of you folks involved in all this "new wave" of "politically charged demonstrations", no matter what side of the political fence your views fall on, I mean, don't get me wrong, I believe it's healthy for citizens to exercise their constitutional rights 'n' all that, however, I gotta ask, isn't all this shouting and pointing kind of a day late and a dollar short? With all due respect, most of America's decent blue collar/middle class jobs have already migrated to Mexico and overseas decades ago (you ain't gonna reverse that), and if you REALLY believe that taxes are ever going to get reduced enough so that you'll really be able to feel any difference in your tax bill, or better yet, if you've got some kind of cockeyed idea that we'll ever really see true "fiscal responsibility" from the Washington fat cats, well, if that's the case, let's just say I've got some oceanfront property in North Dakota I'd like to sell you... Hey, I guess all the people "trying to make a difference", like the "Occupy Wall Street" activists who are trying to shake up the zillionaire financial tycoons of Wall Street, and the "Tea Party" activists with their rallies designed to rile our nation's political landscape all have "good intentions", and I don't mean to rain on your parade (or rallies for that matter), but don't cha just think that maybe, just maybe, you're all a little too late with your efforts? Kinda like hoping you can still win a drag race after cutting a miserable light off the tree-- Well, who knows?-- Maybe you will get lucky, I dunno, sometimes even when you're late off the line you can still get a break, and still win the race, but please be advised that the odds aren't in your favor. But good luck to y'all anyway, 'cause you're definitely gonna need an awful lot of luck to play catch-up in this political & financial form of global competition... You've got a long, hard, grueling thrash ahead of you...

SHAKEDOWN AT E-TOWN = GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP & POLITENESS PERSONIFIED...

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Those of you who've been reading the blog lately, are aware that I was busy conducting on-camera interviews this past weekend with the SHAKEDOWN AT E-TOWN racers. I was getting up-close and personal with the drivers who are courageous enough to pilot the fiercely fast doorslammers competing at the event. The one thing that impressed me most about ALL the drivers and team members that I spoke with, was that whether they failed to qualify, went out early in rounds, or were successfully winning rounds and trampling the competition, they all managed to remain humble, and polite, and be "good sports" about it-- They all presented themselves with oodles of genuine "Good Sportsmanship", and well-mannered upstanding character... All the guys were gentlemen and all the ladies were classy. I really must say that the "outlaw doorslammer racers" really "get" what drag racing is about-- They don't behave like "thugs" or the stereotypical "low-lifes" that much of the mainstream media and naive public tend to unfairly label drag racers as being. No-sir-eee Bob!!-- The racers and their crew members at SHAKEDOWN possess the proper perspective when it comes to the issue of good sportsmanship-- They act in a way that definitely sets a good example for all the youngins. Kids can learn a lot from these doorcar racers, like there's no need to slam your helmet on the ground after losing a round of racing, or there's no need to swear and cuss like a feeble fool if things aren't necessarily going your way, and yes, the minute minority of grotesque, half-wit geezers who currently pollute the Nostalgia Funny Car scene with their cesspool-ish, low-life mannerisms could learn a thing or two from these younger and far more classier doorslammer folks... I would like to sincerely commend the outlaw doorslammer racers & their crew members, for their ability to be wicked-serious competitors when staging and racing their cars on the drag strip, yet remaining the pinnacle of good sportsmanship and politeness the second they step out of their cars and into the public eye-- SHAKEDOWN AT E-TOWN proved that our doorslammer racing community is indeed "GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP & POLITENESS PERSONIFIED". You make us all mighty proud to be a part of this particular drag racing scene... You are all a "class act" of racers whom I have the utmost respect for...

This past weekend's historic SHAKEDOWN AT E-TOWN served as proof positive that the "stars" and "heroes" of our sport aren't just limited to the drivers and crew chiefs at the track. SHAKEDOWN was a prime example of just how important the safety & rescue workers, and the track preparation & track maintenance crew are to the successful running of a drag racing event. When you're racing cars that are as fast and potentially "volatile" as the many entries at SHAKEDOWN, those in the know are well aware of how important the people who prep the track and keep it clean are-- And how important the role of the safety & rescue workers are as well... The doorslammer racers who participate at SHAKEDOWN have a lot of class, because they do make a habit of acknowledging the efforts of the safety and track maintenance workers, you do see and hear the doorcar racers often singing the praises of the so-called "unsung heroes" of the sport. At this past weekend's SHAKEDOWN, the 9th edition of the event, the rescue workers were just as fast in their response time to troubled racers, as the racers usually are in their reaction times when launching off the christmas tree-- The safety crews moved quickly whenever a racer needed their help... And from what I could see, the trusty Raceway Park track preparation and maintenance crew kept diligently on-task, keeping the whole E-Town quartermile in optimum racing condition... Yep, the folks working the event, doing the jobs that aren't quite as "glamorous" as driving or tuning the starring cars, are just as important of an ingredient in the recipe of a successful drag race-- Some folks like to say "it takes a village to raise a child", well, I say it definitely takes a sizable and dedicated crew to provide the supporting roles necessary to run a great drag racing event... Thanks to all the people at Raceway Park (and drag strips everywhere), who take on those important roles and give us a much safer sport... You are all champions in my book....