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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...

E'TOWN FORD & MUSTANG SHOW & GO SATURDAY JUNE 23RD!!...

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Coming up on 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 liking for Fords, this day at Raceway Park will put you in 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 and lots of ALL FORD CAR SHOW activity too!!...  Also scheduled is a REAL STREET ROAD TOUR!!-- That's right!!-- 30 miles on the scenic streets of New Jersey, then compete in 3 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 groovy feature of the 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 goodies. There's a comprehensive FORD PARTS SWAP MEET  to help you find those blue oval items 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 day 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 right now to BE THERE!!...


SAYING GOODBYE TO DRAG STRIP STALWART JOHN MITCHELL...

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With all the news and commotion around the office, I believe there's one significant matter that slipped by the radar and most definitely deserves to be acknowledged on this page. I'm referring to the recent passing of drag strip stalwart John Mitchell. The former driver and privateer owner of the "Montana Express" Top Fuel dragsters died on Saturday, June 2nd at the age of 67. In the 1960s and early 1970s Mitchell was an owner/driver known for being a highly respected staple of the circuit. When Mitchell returned to drag racing in 1987, he established himself as being an owner responsible for giving several professional drivers their first crack at the wheel with his Mountain Express A/Fuel Dragsters. To say that Mitchell had an eye for helping develop noteworthy talent would practically be an understatement. Some familiar names who received their big break from Mitchell include Larry Dixon, Tony Pedregon, Frank Pedregon Jr., and Ron "The NAPA Man" Capps. In 1995 Mitchell returned to Top Fuel racing with the Montana Express moniker. The late Clayton Harris (one of my favorite drivers and gentlemen of all time) was hired to tune and pilot the digger. Other personalities who Mitchell brought aboard on his nitro-fueled employment roster included "Hot Rod" Fuller, Andy Woods, Marshall Topping and David Grubnic. In 2003 Mitchell exited the NHRA ranks with Paul Romine in the cockpit. My sincere condolences to John Mitchell's family and friends. There are plenty of folks in the drag racing community who will be faithfully cherishing their memories of John Mitchell for many years to come. Rest In Peace.


GET YOUR GM GROOVE ON TODAY AT RACEWAY PARK!!...

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TODAY, Sunday June 10th there's an event at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park for all the folks who I often refer to as the "Muscle Car Majority", it's the ALL GM SHOW & GO!! This event is a celebration of General Motors' muscle (past and present), and the manufacturer's incredible brands of automotive machinery, with all their aesthetic beauty and fine design. There's going to be show classes for all GM brands. Come and celebrate the high performance perfection of Chevrolet, Pontiac, Oldsmobile, Buick, and Cadillac. And of course there's also going to be 1/4 mile drag racing on the historic E'Town strip. There will be GIANT trophies awarded to ALL drag winners and runner ups... AND for all you Buick fans, there's going to be a BUICK QUICK 16 special challenge-- For those of you who would "rather drive a Buick", this is YOUR kind of race!! If General Motors is your high performance inspiration, this is one day at Raceway Park you definitely do not want to miss. GM has a great tradition of producing a wide range of serious American muscle car machinery, and I can guarantee you that TODAY you'll have the opportunity to see, hear and feel all the GM muscle that you can possibly handle at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park!!

 

Get your General Motors groove on TODAY, Sunday June 10th at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park!!...

Wheels-up action and so much more to explore at E'Town TODAY. Photo snapped by yours truly.


FEEDBACK SATURDAY-- FOUL MOUTH FORCE & HARLEY HATERS SPEAK OUT...

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Today is "FEEDBACK SATURDAY", being that yesterday's usual "FEEDBACK FRIDAY" was bumped by my SNAKE & MONGOOSE movie scoop update... So, lets get right to dealing with the emails that my assistant Stephanie and I received from readers regarding my most recent blogs... Yesterday's blog about the SNAKE & MONGOOSE film generated positive responses. Many readers, including Duane from PA, wrote us saying that he can't wait to see the story of the drivers who inspired his favorite "Hot Wheels" cars... As expected, my blog praising Courtney Force's simultaneous honing of her driving AND interview skills stirred up the usual handful of "Force Haters", the few who don't like to read ANYTHING that's Force related-- However, the "Haters" were outweighed by far more positive responses, such as Sean from Grand Junction, CA, Sean wrote that he digs Courtney "spicing up the F/C field"... My blog expressing admiration and respect for Pro Stock Motorcycle sensation Eddie Krawiec also generated a "mixed bag" of mail. Evidently there's a few foul-mouth "Harley Haters" who read my blog and got mighty angry, one of them, James from Boulder City, NV believes an "additional 100 pounds?!" should be required by NHRA on any Harley Davidson powered bike in the class. On the other side of the coin, I received plenty more emails from fans who are behind Eddie Krawiec, like Mickey from Stamford, CT, who wrote that he's glad that a Harley is on top!! ... I want to thank the grand total of two of you who read this blog, and showed up at last night's JuneBug Art Fest to see me and my bronze bunny sculptures. Wendy and Linda, you really made my night with your homemade cookies and appreciation of my art! I love you for it!... I would also like to let you folks who are into "heavy" music be made aware of the SUMMER JAM FESTIVAL that happens TODAY June 9th at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. A wide array of bands will be performing starting at 4pm. Tickets are available at the gate... And don't ya forget that tomorrow June 10th is the big ALL GM SHOW & GO at Raceway Park. The "Muscle Car Majority" will be at E'Town for a great day of racing and car show fun... 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...


SOME INSIDE SCOOP ON SNAKE & MONGOOSE MOVIE...

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It's Friday, and I usually do my "Feedback Friday" blog, but I'm moving that to tomorrow, mainly because we received an upbeat call here at Drag Racing Underground headquarters from Alan Paradise, he's the writer and executive producer of the SNAKE & MONGOOSE feature film, (John Gill took the call, 'cause as usual, I was outside tending to my garden), and I want to share with you some of the encouraging news about the movie that Alan communicated to John... The filming portion of production has wrapped up and it went extremely well. Tom McEwen's "English Leather" Corvette Funny Car makes an accelerating appearance in the film. One of the most memorable moments of the project was witnessing an elated Don Prudomme on the set, with an ear-to-ear grin on his face, while sitting at the wheel of the fired-up Greer-Black- Prudhomme dragster (now owned by Bruce Meyer). The casting for the film went beautifully, when seeing Don Prudhomme and actor Jesse Williams (who plays "Snake") hanging out together on the set, you'd swear they were blood relatives. Actor Richard Blake played a very convincing Tom McEwen. On occasions when the real Tom McEwen and Don Prudhomme managed to spend time with each other on the set, the banter between those two fellers provided the cast and crew with some genuine entertainment!-- Evidently "Snake" and "Mongoose" were quite a hoot together. Actress Kim Shaw did a fine job of playing Judy McEwen (Tom's wife). The main cast and surrounding cast all shined with their respective roles. The first couple weeks of shooting were interior and non racing shots, once the shooting started for the racing action, the cast and crew were in complete awe of the racing machinery used in the film. To say that the sights and sounds of the drags managed to get them psyched would be an understatement! Veteran cinematographer John Bailey did an exceptional job of capturing all the drama and action, including the aesthetic brutality and beauty of the racing scenes, as well as all the drama and nuances of the non racing scenes. The editing and post production phase is now underway. Hopefully the film will release in Spring 2013. Alan Paradise assured Drag Racing Underground that the imagery and sound of the film will translate well onto the big screen. I'm completely convinced that whether you're a hardcore drag fan (like most of my readers), or a novice with little knowledge of drag racing, this film will touch you and win your heart. I want to thank Alan Paradise for sharing the scoop with Drag Racing Underground... Can't wait for the release...

 

The story of the Don "The Snake" Prudhomme and Tom "The Mongoose" McEwen includes their historic "Hot Wheels" Funny Cars and so much more. Their rivalry was real and the biopic film about their lives and racing careers is progressing well...

Their famous 1970's "Hot Wheels" Funny Cars revolutionized drag racing marketing to the masses.


ALL GM SHOW & GO THIS SUNDAY JUNE 10TH AT RACEWAY PARK!!...

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THIS SUNDAY June 10th there's an event for all the folks who I like to call the "Muscle Car Majority", it's the ALL GM SHOW & GO!! This event is a celebration of GM muscle and the manufacturer's incredible accomplishment of beauty and design in their many various vehicles (past and present). There's going to be show classes for all GM brands. And of course there's also going to be 1/4 mile drag racing on the historic E'Town strip. There will be GIANT trophies awarded to ALL drag winners and runner ups... AND for all you Buick fans, there's going to be a BUICK QUICK 16 special challenge-- For those of you who "rather drive a Buick", this is YOUR kind of race!! If General Motors is your high performance inspiration, this is one day at Raceway Park you definitely do not want to miss. GM has a great tradition of producing a wide range of serious American muscle machinery, and I can guarantee you that you'll have the opportunity to see, hear and feel all the GM muscle that you can possibly handle THIS SUNDAY at E'Town!!

 

See, hear and feel all the GM muscle that you can possibly handle at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park THIS SUNDAY June 10th. Come on down to E'Town with your family and friends to experience GM muscle, beauty and design!!

Photo from the Drag Racing Underground hardcore GM image archives.


COURTNEY FORCE HONES DRIVING & INTERVIEW SKILLS SIMULTANEOUSLY...

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As the 2012 season really gets into gear, it's becoming clear that Courtney Force definitely is establishing herself as a "Force" (pun intended) to be reckoned with. At this past weekend's 43rd Annual Toyota SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, it was Courtney Force in her Traxxas Mustang who put Tim Wilkerson on the trailer in round one, Matt Hagan in his Aaron's Charger on the trailer in round two, then she was just barely beat by Ron Capps in his NAPA Charger in round three. Seeing Courtney make it to round three in her "rookie year" of the class demonstrates that she's getting her groove on. And it's becoming apparent that it's not just her driving chops that she's honing, Courtney Force is also honing and sharpening up her gabbing skills when a microphone is placed in front of her face. I love hearing her approach to tackling an interviewer's microphone, because she does so with just as much gusto as she applies to driving her nitro ride. Courtney sure sounds a lot like a chip off the old proverbial block, meaning a lot like her dad, daughter Courtney flaps her gums with the same sort of enthusiasm that's made John Force such a major media sensation over the years. I'm impressed by how Courtney now has the ability to master the top-end interview with the same charm and accelerating excitement as "Father Force". Courtney was wowing 'em at E'Town on the track AND on the microphone. Just like dad, Courtney was doing her interviews in a way that compresses the hard facts into a few sizzling and sensational sentences, and then wrapping it all up by paying respect to her sponsors who pay the bills, all while doing so in a hyped 'n' hot roddin' fashion similar to John Force-- And hey, THAT'S a good thing-- I like it!!... The new generation at Force Racing is making sure that the family business continues to resonate throughout the motorsports world LOUD and CLEAR!!...


YOU KNOW YOU'RE A MAJOR DRAG RACING THREAT WHEN...

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Q. When do you know you're a bona fide 100% major threat in the sport of drag racing? A. When 3 out of your 4 opponents on race day redlight against you in a desperate and failing attempt to beat you.... In the case of Pro Stock Motorcycle winner Eddie Krawiec, that's exactly what happened this past Sunday at E'Town's 43rd Annual Toyota SuperNationals. Eddie is a two time NHRA champion aboard his Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley Davidson. And as you already know, if you read this blog with any regularity, Krawiec is a former E'Town employee who made history at his home track. The emotional moment y'all saw him having after winning Sunday's final round was well warranted. Tears of joy were definitely in order.... So anyways, back to the matter of 3 out of Eddie's 4 race day opponents turning on the red as the result of a desperate and failing attempt to beat him... Well, in round one, it would be Joe DeSantis on his Suzuki going red. The second round produced the only opponent who didn't redlight, Matt Smith, who was simply outrun by Eddie and his Harley. In the third round LE Tonglet went red on his Suzuki. And in the final round Hector Arana Sr. activated the dreaded red bulb in desperate hope of getting the goods on Eddie. Yep, 3 out of 4 opponents redlighting against you means that you are a serious threat! Heck, that's the sort of thing we're used to seeing happen when an "unbeatable" bracket racer meets opponents who aren't up to the challenge, like when racers used to face the late bracket great Jim Harrington. It's also worth noting that Eddie set both ends of the E'Town track record on Friday with a 6.782 197mph No#1 qualifying pass... Ultra congratulations go out to Eddie Krawiec and his entire team for attaining such dastardly domination of the two-wheeled factory hot rod class...


Even though Ron Capps set the world on fire with the quickest Funny Car run of all time (3.96) during Friday night's qualifying, he had to settle for runner-up to teammate Johnny Gray on Sunday. Despite Spencer Massey rocking the drag racing world by recording the quickest gosh darn Top Fuel pass of all time (3.72) on Friday night, he went out in the third round to eventual winner Steve Torrence. This past weekend's Toyota SuperNationals was proof that NHRA Championship Drag Racing is no walk in the park. The nitro racing was about the toughest it could possibly be in scenic Englishtown, NJ. Not that the Pro Stock classes (or any of the other classes) were a walk in the park either. Number one qualifier Jason Line, the driver who lots of folks thought was a "sure thing" for the winnner's circle, was defeated in the final by teammate Greg Anderson. The only racer who made it all look somewhat easy, even though we know that it's not, was local hero Eddie Krawiec in Pro Stock motorcycle. With his emotional first ever E'Town SuperNationals win, at the same track that Eddie used to manage and work regularly at, he captured the hearts of all the fans in the stands by hot rodding his Harley to victory. Hector Arana Sr. redlighted in the final against Krawiec. It's also worth noting that Eddie nabbed the E'Town P/S bike track record. All of us here at Drag Racing Underground are happy for Eddie Krawiec and his Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson team. In the ProCare Rx Pro Modified series, local favorite Mike Castellana went out in the semi finals to eventual winner Danny Rowe. In the final round it would be Rowe and his  '68 Camaro beating Troy Coughlin and his red-bulbin' '68 Camaro. Sportsman winners were Arnie Martel Comp Eliminator, Brian Martel Super Stock, Joe Santangelo Stock, Franklin D. Bartolomeo Super Comp, Ray Sawyer Super Gas, and Pete Biondo Super Stock. In closing, I'd like to say that we were all proud to see the Junior Dragster league be recognized at this event for their 20th Anniversary. E'Town's Dave Napp and his late father Vinnie Napp were the two individuals responsible for launching the Jr. digger concept and working tirelessly to make it the national phenom that we see today.


CASTELLANA PREPARED TO POUNCE PRO MODIFIED??...

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Saturday at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park was one of the better days of drag racing in recent memory. Longtime friend and local boy done good Mike Castellana appears to be dominating the ProCare Rx Pro Modified competition at the 43rd Annual Toyota SuperNationals. Mike nabbed the number one qualifying position with a 5.856/245mph assault. He also won the first round running of the class in his Al-Anabi Racing super-trick '69 Camaro. Will Mike continue to dominate??--- I admit to being a little bias because I've known him for so long-- I do wish Mike and his team the best... Ron Capps held on to his number one qualifying spot (and world's quickest F/C pass EVER) status. However, Capps wasn't able to back up Friday night's 3.96 for the official NHRA record yet... Top Fueler Spencer Massey also held on to his number one qualifying spot (and world's quickest T/F pass EVER) status. However, just like Capps, Massey wasn't able to back up his Friday night 3.728. While yesterday's weather conditions were pretty darn good, they couldn't compare to Friday night's ultra-super-mega and unbelievably perfect weather conditions, making Capps' and Massey's back up attempts unattainable... Jason Line's Friday night 6.518 stuck through Saturday and he remains No#1 qualifier in Pro Stock with four wheels... Eddie Krawiec's Friday night 6.782/197mph stuck through Saturday, keeping him in the No#1 qualifying spot for Pro Stock on two wheels-- And that number also earned him the Raceway Park track record. Will local favorite Eddie Krawiec give 'em all heck on his Harley today??-- We'll see... "Mother Nature" appears to be blessing us with beautiful weather today. Hopefully we have a superbly spectacular day of round racing ahead of us. Y'all c'mon down to E'Town!!...