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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...

Today is "FEEDBACK FRIDAY", meaning I deal with emails that my assistant Stephanie and I receive from readers regarding my most recent blogs... Let's get to it.... In yesterday's blog, part of my series about rock 'n' roll and drag racing, I offered up 2 copies of my Robert Williams' CHROME SMOKE & FIRE compilation for only $1000 a piece. I'm glad to report that by midnight last night, both copies were spoken for, and both were sold to fellows in Los Angeles. One buyer is a producer in the movie biz, and the other buyer is considered to be one red hot chilli pepper of a guy. Both John Gill and I gladly autographed the record jackets as per your requests. I'm going to use some of the money from the sales to help animals... It's also been brought to my attention that in the world of rock 'n' racing, that THE DIDJITS' "Top Fuel" is a song of honorable mention, and that folks should check out the band called BLOWER, featuring former DIDJITS member Doug Evans...  My blog expressing displeasure over the news that Melanie Troxel is now in need of a ride riled up "Angry Gary" from Kansas who wrote, "There's lots of sidelined male racers who deserve a ride just as much as Melanie!"-- Uh, do I detect a slight case of chauvinistic tendencies, Gary?...  My blog denying that I was NHRA's choice for new Chief Starter prompted someone from Glendora to recently inform me that longtime Division 6 starter Mark Lyle will fill the position. Congrats to Mark!!... Perry Wyatt Jr. and others thanked me for  acknowledging the passing of Perry Wyatt Sr., "Mr. Super Camaro". Once again, I express my condolences to family and friends of Perry Sr.... Lots of you loved the photo that I finally posted of my darling pet guinea pig, Selky aka "Bucky Buck". Thanks to Donna, Kathy, Angie, Rhonda and the rest of you for your beautiful comments. I assure you all that my precious guinea pig does the most outrageous "dry hops" you'll ever see!! LOL...  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, 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...

Yours truly on the drum kit with BIG STICK, performing the classic "DRAG RACING" track at CBGB's in New York City. Proof beyond any doubt that rock and racing are indeed compatible bedfellows... Photograph courtesy of Catherine Ceresole...


In this third installment of this series, I want to dedicate some space to CHROME SMOKE & FIRE. This two LP picture disc compilation release of classic hot rod music remains the most sought after item among serious hot rod music collectors. If you're lucky enough to even find a copy at some snooty record convention, you're probably not going to be able to buy it for any less than a grand-- It's become THAT valuable in the music marketplace.  It's a way-cool compilation put together by artist extraordinaire Robert Williams, featuring a vinyl assembly of Robert's all time favorite songs that deal with the subject of speedy cars. Those in the know are aware that when it comes to true hot rod art, culture and history, Robert Williams ranks as the undisputed number one Daddy-O of the world. Robert's incredible hot rod artwork graces the entire gatefold sleeve and is masterfully printed on both discs of the set. Songs are arranged in a chronological order, starting with songs from the 1940's, like Ramblin' Jimmy Dolan's "Hot Rod Race", and ending with Big Stick's "Drag Racing" track from the mid 1980's. Of course I'm proud that Robert chose one of our (Big Stick's) songs to include on his comp. I met Robert a couple of times at NYC art galleries, where his paintings were fetching hundreds of thousands of dollars, and we had the opportunity to talk shop about music, art, and drag racing. He's a real gentleman and subscriber to the old school methods of hot rodding. There's a total of 43 songs on the two colorful discs. Some of my faves include Lola Dee's "Hot Rod" Henry",  The Four Jokers' "Transfusion", and Ronny & The Daytonas' "Bucket T". I was fortunate enough to get my mitts on over a dozen of the CHROME SMOKE & FIRE releases when it first came out, because I was featured on the thing. As my gift to the hardcore folks who read this blog, I'm willing to let two of my copies go for the very reasonable price of only $1000 each. I know that sounds like a lot of money to some, but that price still falls short of what many snooty record dealers are demanding for it. You can contact me via the "Contact Us" link at the top of the page. I'll do this on a first come, first served basis. And keep in mind that I'm only letting two go, so please don't ask me to sell any more than that... In closing, I'd like to say that my absolute favorite song from the CHROME SMOKE & FIRE compilation is The Collins Kids' "Hot Rod", a song that the darling brother and sister duo recorded in the 1950's. Here's a FREE YouTube link to them performing it live on the "Western Ranch Party" TV show in 1958. I simply LOVE this!!... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CflFhAox2RQ&list=FLvTmV1NcqkJ0fWwK1vV4jeg&index=20&feature=plpp_video


Hot Rod buffs and serious music aficionados agree that Robert Williams' compilation of his all time favorite hot rodding tunes stands as the best collection of the genre ever assembled. The colorful artwork and priceless gearhead music can't be beat...

... And there's Big Stick's "DRAG RACING" tune for the grand finale...


Taking off from where we left off yesterday, I'm continuing the discussion about how the two separate worlds of rock 'n' roll and drag racing can occasionally intertwine with each other and produce favorable results. Yesterday I mentioned ZZ Top, The Beach Boys and some others-- Today let's add some additional examples of what I believe to be good musical works that reflect a drag racing and/or hot roddin' theme... DRAG CITY by Jan & Dean ranks as a classic... My old friend Rob Zombie's DRAGULA is definitely one heck of a hot rod charged number... Paul Revere & The Raiders' SS396 is a completely cool Chevelle anthem... Ministry's JESUS BUILT MY HOT ROD, featuring "The Voice of Drag Racing", Jon Lundberg, narrating during the break in the record is certainly worth mentioning... Springsteen's RACING IN THE STREET is one of the New Jersey based artist's better tracks... Metallica's FUEL has merit... Dick Dale's NITRO is an oldie but goodie... L7's SHIRLEY tribute is a nice tip of the hat to drag racing's most popular female fuel personality... My current favorite gearhead ditty is The Collins Kids' HOT ROD, the brother and sister duo of Larry & Lorrie Collins were all the rage in 1950's country and rockabilly circles, they're also included on Robert Williams' CHROME SMOKE & FIRE double LP picture disc set, the hot rod artist's compilation of his all time favorite gearhead songs-- Of course I'm very glad that Robert Williams included Big Stick's DRAG RACING on his compilation-- These days you're lucky if you can pick up CHROME SMOKE & FIRE at a record collectors fair for less than $500.00... I think tomorrow I'll possibly delve a little more into discussing the CHROME SMOKE & FIRE release... In closing, I'd like to wish my friend Barb Santucci a Happy Birthday... And I'd also like to wish longtime Drag Racing Underground associate "Miss Linda" a Happy Birthday as well...

Yours truly seated in a Super Gas ride, for a BIG STICK publicity shot snapped by Raceway Park photographer John McCartney.


Can musicians like muscle cars, hot rodding and drag racing? Well, over the years there's been some musicians, although not a whole lot, who have taken a liking to straight line racing. Often when I'm doing my BIG STICK music thing, people in the music industry will take me aside and ask, "Do you REALLY like that drag racing stuff??"-- And when I reply with a resounding "Yes!", they sometimes seem somewhat surprised by my answer. Usually they'll follow up by saying something like, "I thought you just record songs about drag racing to capitalize on the white trash market", or something similar to that-- Then I feel compelled to tell them that not all drag racing folks are white trash, bigots, and blowhards-- I tell them that there are a lot of what I'd consider to be relatively "normal" people who like drag racing too. I guess stereotypes are a big factor in our society, and unfortunately, for some people, the "degenerate white trash" stereotype is permanently etched into their psyche when it comes to how they perceive drag racing... Anyways, back to the question of whether or not there's musicians who REALLY like drag racing, well, Dick Smothers of the Smothers Brothers used to drag race. Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys had an affection for hot rods. ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons is an admitted drag-a-holic. And there are other musicians who dig drag racing, I'm not going to list them all here, but you get the idea-- They DO exist!!... John Gill and I, as Big Stick, have recorded drag racing related songs in the past, and we've got a couple more in our arsenal that we'll be including in our upcoming 2012 release. We're not ashamed to let skeptical music industry folks know that we REALLY DO like drag racing. Our friend Johnny Kelly of Type O Negative, Danzig, and A Pale Horse Named Death is a musician/gearhead as well. Johnny plays guest drums with us on our upcoming release, and sometimes Johnny races his sweet '70 Super Bee at E'Town... Yes, the worlds of music and drag racing do occasionally collide, and I believe it can be a good thing when they do...

Yours truly in a still from Big Stick's "DRAG RACING" music video, proof that it's okay for musicians to have a love for straight line racing and rock 'n' roll... You can watch the music video for FREE on YouTube by simply clicking on the link provided below... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bIYoQ42dBg&list=UUvTmV1NcqkJ0fWwK1vV4jeg&feature=plcp


PAYING RESPECT TO PERRY WYATT SR., MR. "SUPER CAMARO"...

Posted by: lovely

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I'm acknowledging the passing of Mr. "Super Camaro", Perry Wyatt Sr., who just recently lost his long battle with illness . Perry Wyatt Sr. owned and tuned the "Super Camaro" Funny Car. The flopper was campaigned around the Detroit area back in the early 70's...  Those of you who've seen our Funny Car Reunion Raw dvd are probably familiar with his son, Perry Shannon Wyatt Jr.,  because of my interview with him from E'Town's Funny Car Reunion. Although Perry Jr. didn't actually have a car at the event, the reason I interviewed him was because I was so impressed with his unbridled enthusiasm for the old school Funny Car genre. His love and passion for the scene far surpassed anything I've ever witnessed before. I figured I would give our viewers a glimpse of a man who I clearly considered to be the "ultimate" Nostalgia Funny Car enthusiast-- And I must say that Perry Jr.'s enthusiasm appeared to be so pure and genuine, that I knew interviewing him, and featuring him on the program would result in spreading that incredible enthusiasm to our thousands of viewers, because it was obvious to me that Perry Jr.'s love and enthusiasm for the N/FC scene was contagious. That said, the reason for Perry Jr. possessing that level of unbridled love and enthusiasm is all because of his Father-- It was his Dad who gave him that gift-- THAT's where Perry Jr.'s love and passion for the genre came from... I'd say that Perry Wyatt Sr. gave his son a very valuable gift... I'd like to express our sincere condolences to Perry Shannon Wyatt Jr. and his entire family... I agree with Perry Wyatt Jr. that his Dad is now in a much better place...

Perry Wyatt Sr., Mr. "Super Camaro" Rest In Peace.

 



RUMORS THAT I'M NEW NHRA CHIEF STARTER FOR 2012 FALSE...

Posted by: lovely

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Last night I was at cocktail party with lots of northeastern drag racing folks in attendance. One topic of conversation that kept coming up at same cocktail party, was the completely cockeyed rumor that yours truly has accepted the position of new Chief Starter for the NHRA in 2012. Of course we all know that former Chief Starter, Rick Stewart, hung up his hat last year for a much deserved retirement. And while it's certainly true that NHRA hasn't officially released who will be filling Rick's shoes, I can assure you that it won't be me!!... As much as I love drag racing, I still have a BIG STICK album to finish, and to be honest, I don't really know if I could be impartial enough to do the Chief Starter position justice-- Plus, I'm not much of a fan of the kind of traveling you'd have to do as Chief Starter, I'm not that fond of staying in lots of hotels, you know, the whole bed bug infestation hoopla and all that. Seriously, I'm NOT the gal for the job. So, who is, you ask??-- Well, that's a tough question. I doubt that Chaz Bono is the right woman, er, man, er, individual for the job. Maybe comedian Christopher Titus would work? I mean, Titus genuinely likes drag racing, and he could fill the void of track cleanup downtime with his down to earth sense of humor. Just hand him a microphone while the NHRA Safety Safari is tending to an oil down, and he'll have the fans in the grandstands laughing it up... What about William Shatner? With Priceline.com dropping him from their TV commercials, maybe he could do it? Shatner would probably command a substantial salary, but hey, think of all the additional tens of thousands of "trekkies" he'd draw to each and every national event!!... In all seriousness, there's talk that there might not even be a "Chief Starter" position in 2012. I'm hearing that NHRA might just have regional or divisional "guest starters" do the job... I really don't know what's gonna happen regarding the spot left vacant by Stewart's retirement, but what I definitely DO know is that this gal won't be accepting the job, so y'all can squash that ridiculous rumor...

I've got a BIG STICK album to finish, and I'm quite content doing my drag racing journalism job from the press suite, so don't be expecting to see yours truly standing on the starting line and taking on the stressful position of NHRA's Chief Starter...


Melanie Troxel recently announced that she will not be driving for Roger Burgess' R2B2Racing team in 2012. The Funny Car operation is shutting down and everything is being put up for sale. Troxel has raced on and off for Burgess' team over the last four years. Her dual driving duties of racing the team's Funny Car AND Pro Mod entry kept Melanie mighty busy in the past. The team plans on still campaigning their Pro Mod car in some capacity, but no word on who the new driver will be... So, anyways, what it all boils down to is that Melanie Troxel is now available for hire. It's my opinion that she's proven to be a pretty competitive shoe when given the right opportunity. Melanie possesses a very pleasant personality that represents the sport in a way that comes off as ultra positive-- She's not a cry baby, or a blowhard, she comes off as being good genuine drag racing folk. I was very impressed a few years ago when she was the focus of a piece on the popular CBS SUNDAY MORNING television program-- Talk about being a great ambassador for the sport of drag racing!!-- Melanie Troxel is one likeable lady, she has the kind of appeal that any smart team or sponsor should appreciate... That said, I know there's a heck of a lot of high profile team owners who read this blog regularly, and I want y'all to consider the idea, if you do happen to be in the market for a driver, to seriously consider making an offer to Melanie Troxel. Having Melanie missing from NHRA drag racing is something that I'm not particularly looking forward to-- And I'm sure there's lots of fans out there who share my sentiment... I want to see the fine gal who once represented drag racing so proudly on CBS-TV's SUNDAY MORNING program remain a steady driver in NHRA's 2012 racing program...

 

 


Today is "FEEDBACK FRIDAY", meaning I deal with emails that my assistant Stephanie and I receive from readers regarding my most recent blogs... Let's get to it.... Yesterday's blog dedicated to the memory of fallen U.S. Marine Cpl. Kevin Reinhard prompted lots of my Semper Fi followers to write me. Rory, a retired "leatherneck" from Boise ID asked me to mention that while the Taliban is proudly taking credit (sic) for bringing down the helicopter that killed Reinhard and his fellow Marines, NATO says that's not the truth. Therefore this was NOT a victory for the Taliban. Thanks Rory for bringing that to our attention... A few of you folks who build race cars appreciated me giving y'all the heads-up regarding E'Town's NHRA chassis certification on Sat, March 17th... In regards to my blog praising Courtney Force's recent Funny Car testing success in Florida, some of you gave me the thumbs up, although a few of my readers wrote that it's too early for me or anybody in the press to be judging Courtney as a success. Dennis from Lodi, CA wrote that Courtney Force still needs to prove herself to convince him that she can really drive a Nitro F/C... My blog congratulating Drag Racing Underground buddy Darrell Waltrip on getting inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame brought mixed reactions from readers. Some of you claimed that you think NASCAR gets enough publicity without me giving them even more with my blog. My friend Michelle from Raceway Park brought up a photo that she remembered of seeing Wildgirl and Darrell Waltrip together, taken at a NASCAR banquet, and suggested that I post it here on the blog, I'll have to research that further... Thanks to those of you who responded to my "Glamour Hot Rod Photography for Hire" blog, I managed to fill the final vacant spots for my Summer shooting schedule. I appreciate the positive comments from everyone who checked out my glamour hot rod photography gallery here on the DRU site's photo section... And speaking of photography, below I posted a photo of my lovable guinea pig, Selky aka "Bucky Buck", because every time I mention her in my blog, I get emails from y'all requesting to see a photo of her...  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, 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...

By popular demand, heeere's Selky aka "Bucky Buck". Her nickname "Bucky Buck" is due to her tendency to become a bit rambunctious when her vittles and hay aren't delivered to her in a timely fashion, she tends to buck around and raise a slight ruckus. However, she's really an adorable sweetheart. She's our official mascot here at Drag Racing Underground...


UNITED STATES MARINE CPL. KEVIN JAMES REINHARD REST IN PEACE...

Posted by: lovely

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As some of you already know, more former and current soldiers serving in the United States Marines Corps read this blog, more so than all the other drag racing web sites combined, much because of the work that Drag Racing Underground and I do behind the scenes for the U.S.M.C.... It's for that reason, and also due to John Gill's family having a history with the Marines, and the fact that John grew up with the family who recently lost Cpl. Kevin James Reinhard, that I dedicate today's blog to the fallen soldier... With only two weeks to go in his second tour of duty, Cpl Kevin James Reinhard was one of the six Marines who lost their lives when their CH-53D Helicopter recently went down in Afghanistan. Kevin Reinhard enlisted in the Marines Corps in 2008. His parents and sister described Reinhard as a generous and funny man who loved snorkeling, fishing, his sports car and walks along the beach even during winter's deepest bite. An assistant principal where Reinhard went to high school said, "You could tell that serving his country was a passion for him. It wasn't something he needed to do. It was something he wanted to do."

 

 


NHRA CHASSIS CERTIFICATION AT E'TOWN SATURDAY MARCH 17TH...

Posted by: lovely

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We all know that a race car is only as good as its chassis. The chassis is the frame, bone structure and supporting strength of a race car, it's absolutely necessary for a car to have a properly constructed chassis in order to be both competitive and safe on the drag strip. I want to give racers a heads-up that Saturday, March 17th E'Town Raceway Park will be conducting official NHRA Chassis Certification come rain or shine. Racers are always writing me, asking if I know when chassis certification is being done, so I figure that I'm doing the right thing by passing on this information to y'all right here with my blog. I suggest that you in turn pass this information on to people you might know who don't necessarily read my blog (yes, believe it or not, there are still a few folks who don't read my blog, ha ha)-- But in all seriousness, chassis certification is definitely serious business, and if you're in need of it, you best mark March 17th on your calendar right now, so you don't forget...  In order for a race car to go straight and be safe, the chassis needs to be done right, so, if you're looking to buy a chassis, or have some work done on your current chassis, make sure you find a reputable fabricator. Don't make gettin' your chassis work done on the cheap more of a priority than gettin' it done right!!... In closing, I'd like to say Happy Birthday to longtime Drag Racing Underground friend and occasional employee, Linda Gecker. Have a good one Linda!! I sent you a gift that you should be receiving today via Federal Express. Enjoy your day, Linda... I want everyone reading this blog, whether it's your birthday or not, to enjoy your day and make the best of it...