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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...

A SUNDAY PRAYER... ER, PRAYING MANTIS...

Posted by: lovely

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Here in my office, I have a window directly behind my chair where I sit when writing this blog. Right outside my window is a huge "Buddleia Bush", more commonly known as a "Butterfly Bush". My particular Butterfly bush has purple blossoms and attracts lots of butterflies, hummingbirds, and insects seeking its sweet nectar. Six days ago, I was just daydreaming, looking outside my window, and gazing at the Butterfly bush. I noticed a strange, borderline alien appearing creature positioned in the thick of the plant's many branches, it was a Praying Mantis. He was the same shade of brown as the plant's branches. The long, lengthy, and lanky appearing insect's ability to camouflage itself into the bush was amazing. Much to my surprise, he (the Praying Mantis), turned his triangular shaped head directly in my direction, and gave me a good looking over, we definitely made "contact" with each other, I even spoke briefly to him, and he was really watching me talk with him-- Yeah, it was weird. As the days went by, even with some pretty harsh rain showers and stormy weather, the Praying Mantis remained clinched on the bush, occasionally moving to a different branch of the bush, but basically staying in the same mid to lower center of the plant. Sometimes he would hang upside down, maybe that's when he would sleep?-- I dunno. When I would go outside to the front of the house to check the mail, I would walk over to the bush and talk him up a bit. And he would turn his triangle head towards me and pay attention. The neighbors probably thought I was talking to the bush, although I guess talking to a Praying Mantis also ranks as being kinda out of the ordinary. A couple of days ago was the first and only time I actually saw him eating, he had a big greenish beetle in his spiked clutches, and yes, in keeping up with his species' somewhat gory reputation, he was apparently eating the beetle alive, yuk-- Although it looked like it was the same kind of beetle that's been eating the leaves of the Butterfly Bush, so I guess the Praying Mantis was "doing his job" and functioning as an "organic pesticide"... Well, this Sunday morning, I moved my window curtain to once again peek out on my Praying Mantis friend, only to find that he actually climbed all the way to to the very top of the highest branch, a branch that comes practically right up to my window, and he was definitely ready for me, peering directly through the window, into my eyes, with his strange alien-like eyes, with the window between us, we were maybe only 8-9 inches apart from each other, yeah, I guess over the course of the week, I did make a friend with this weird creature. I guess he was saying goodbye, 'cause later, after I returned to my office from taking my morning shower, he was gone. I'm gonna miss the little freak...

Yeah, first there were the rumors that Chaz Bono will be playing the starring role of the late "Jungle Jim" in an independent film, then, I proved those rumors to be completely false, then, there was the rumor of Chaz playing the part of Pro Stock superstar Larry Morgan in a made-for-TV movie, that too was proven by yours truly to be absolutely false, and now, with the smell of "Indy" in the air, rumors are flying that the "woman" scheduled to make her Pro Stock driving debut this coming Labor Day weekend is Chaz Bono... First of all, I don't believe that Chaz Bono refers to "himself" as being a "woman" anymore, and I doubt that we'll be seeing Chaz climbing into a Pro Stock car at Indy-- It just ain't gonna happen-- As a matter of fact, I can guarantee you that it's not gonna happen!!... However, reliable sources report that Super Stock driver Grace Howell will be hooking up with Cunningham Motorsports to make her Pro Stock driving debut at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil. Grace Howell will "grace" the cockpit (pun intended) of Jim Cunningham's Pro Stock Ford Mustang. The 25-year-old gal from Aiken, South Carolina, has been stoked about racing her whole life. She started in Jr. Dragsters when she was only eight years old-- She was very successful in the Jr. Digger class, winning the NHRA National Championship at the Texas Motorplex in '96. When Grace was 16 she went Super Stock racing and finished in the top ten of Division 2. She also had substantial success with Sport Compact Pro Stock racing in NOPI competition. In 2010 it was Grace who won the AA/SA class at Indy at the wheel of a Ford factory-built Cobra Jet Stock car. Grace is chuffed to have this opportunity to drive a Ford for her Indy Pro Stock debut, she's a lot like me, she's a Ford gal too. Jim Yates is the assigned crew chief, and is working with Grace Howell, readying her for Indy. We wish Grace Howell, Jim Yates, and the entire Cunningham Motorsports team the very best of luck...

Almost everyday we get emails at Drag Racing Underground practically begging that we bring back the kind of interactive "forum" we had in the past. It seems that some of you really miss the opportunity to express your own thoughts and opinions here on the DRU web site. After much conversation (and debate) among all us here at Drag Racing Underground, we've decided to stick to our guns, and NOT bring the "forum" format back, because we really don't have the free time to monitor and maintain it. And yes, I know that some of you have offered your services (on several occasions) to work for absolutely free as forum monitors for us, and as much as we appreciate those of you offering your time and effort to do so, we really don't want to go in that direction. We've all seen drag racing forums and message boards where the site owners bow out (coward out) of managing their boards, and then assign "civilians" and/or "friends" to act as monitors, and then those individuals sort of completely mess things up with their own egos and power-tripping sense of "authoritah" (South Park reference), and really screw things up, yeah, we've seen that happen elsewhere on the web, and we don't want that to happen here... However, all this sort of thinking gave me the idea of creating "FEEDBACK FRIDAYS", a way for your views and opinions to possibly get some recognition here on my blog. On Fridays, I'll address some of the emails and "feedback" I receive from you the readers, I'll try to be fair and balanced, so I'll address the good, the bad, and even some of the ugly emails and responses we receive regarding the news, opinions, and perspectives I've expressed on the blog. We'll give it a try starting next Friday. So, if you've got something to say about what I say here on the blog, go to the "Contact Us" link at the top right side of the page (located just above the enticing (ha ha) photograph of yours truly), and tell us what's on your mind. Please keep it short and to the point, that way, both my trusty assistant Stephanie, and myself, will be more inclined to read what you have to say. No rambling please... Thanks...

As we all know, the sport of drag racing is among only a handful of sports where women and men can compete on the proverbial "level playing field". While many sports discourage, if not flat-out discriminate against women getting involved, drag racing has pretty much provided an "open door policy" for women wanting to satisfy their "need for speed" and aspirations of straight-line hot rod competition. Yeah, I know that our sport does still harbor some completely classless blowhards (often in their "geezer twilight years") who still firmly believe a woman's place is only supposed to be in the kitchen, and definitely not doing her thing at the drag strip-- I've encountered some of these brainless buffoons, mostly on the internet, 'cause they're usually too feeble to fess-up to their prejudice in person-- These kind of crusty guys are still desperately hanging on to the washed-up ways and beliefs of the "Old South"-- Yeah, let's face it, some degree of prejudice in the drag racing world does still exist, however, on the optimist side of the coin, it certainly does appear, THAT particular brand of pea-brained prejudice is becoming less and less popular in our drag racing community, especially among the smart and far more enlightened younger generations-- That's a good thing... That said, please note that tickets are still available for the 9th Annual WOMEN IN THE WINNER'S CIRCLE FOUNDATION award celebration, where NHRA legend Shirley Muldowney will be among those honored on Thursday, September 1st, at Don Schumacher Racing, 1681 E. Northfield Drive, Brownsburg, Indiana. I genuinely applaud the folks at Schumacher Racing for hosting this important event. Honorary Chair Charlotte Lucas, Women In The Winner's Circle founder Lyn St. James, and drivers including Melanie Troxel and Erica Enders will join engineers, team members, and other VIPs at this gala celebration. Attendees are offered a chance to meet these fine women (and others) and learn more about their goals and achievements. Many of them are featured in a traveling exhibit currently on display at the Indiana State Museum. For more information please visit www.lynstjames.com

MONSTER TRUCK MELTDOWN AT E-TOWN TONIGHT... SOME BIG STICK NEWS...

Posted by: lovely

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Tonight, Wednesday, August 17th is the First Annual P.C. Richard & Son MONSTER TRUCK MELTDOWN presented by Chevrolet. As Summer comes to an end and your kids are about to face the stark reality that they'll soon be sitting in a cold, clammy claustrophobic classroom, as opposed to frolicking in the open air freedom of Summertime bliss, why not give them a final last hurrah of the season, a night out that will remain a cherished memory for the rest of their life?-- Why not take them to Raceway Park to experience the ultimate MONSTER TRUCK MELTDOWN?!!-- Trucks include GRAVE DIGGER, BIGFOOT, MONSTER MUTT, BLACK STALLION and many others. Additional entertainment for the evening will be provided by the HELL ON WHEELS BIKE STUNT TEAM, BENNY THE BOMB (America's All Time Favorite "Stunt Hunk"), CARTOON CHARACTERS, and FIREWORKS!! Gates open 5pm, the big show starts at 8pm... Switching gears, with some exciting BIG STICK news... Bass player extraordinaire Kevin Rutmanis (THE COWS, THE MELVINS, TOMAHAWK) will be adding his talents to a new BIG STICK track in the studio. We're chuffed to have Kevin contributing his bass playing abilities in the studio with us. Listen to hear BIG STICK on an upcoming edition of (NPR) National Public Radio's "Hearing Voices" program. A special edition of the popular show titled "Engine Overdrive" will feature some of our classic hot rod/drag racing oriented hits, as well as an exclusive preview of our new "DRAGUMENTARY" track that will be featured on our upcoming release. I'll give you more information about the NPR radio show here on the blog, so stay tuned for details...

Tomorrow night, Wednesday, August 17th is the First Annual P.C. Richard & Son MONSTER TRUCK MELTDOWN at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park... Let's face it, all the big stores are already running their "Back To School" TV commercials, to horrify your kids and remind them that soon Summer will be coming to an abrupt end, and before they know it, your kids will be trading in their bathing suits and Summertime frolicking fun, for the daily grind of getting up early and returning to the dull and dreary classroom-- So therefore, I strongly suggest that before your kids are forced back to school against their free will, that you let them enjoy a final taste of Summer Monster Truck Thrills!! Bring your kids to Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey, to the MONSTER TRUCK MELTDOWN and let them have a chance to enjoy an evening that you'll all remember for a lifetime. Round up the whole family and share together this final and last hurrah of Summertime unbridled fun!! The mammoth-sized Monster Trucks to be featured at tomorrow night's big show include GRAVE DIGGER, MAXIMUM DESTRUCTION, BIGFOOT, IRON MAN, MONSTER MUTT, VIPER, WAR WIZARD, MONSTER BUS, BLACK STALLION, and the IRON WARRIOR!!-- Nowhere else on the planet will you find a more rambunctious assembly of the world's most fierce and ferocious Monster Trucks performing their unique brand of four-wheeled wonderment!! Plus you'll see the extremely heroic HELL ON WHEELS BICYCLE STUNT TEAM, BENNY THE BOMB (America's All Time Favorite "Stunt Hunk"), CARTOON CHARACTERS, and FIREWORKS!! Gates open at 5:00pm, the feature show starts at 8:00pm. I urge you to not let this last chance for Summertime Fun slip through your fingers, be a proactive parent and make plans NOW to provide your kids with an incredible night of family Summertime Fun!! Make sure that you and your family are at Raceway Park tomorrow night for the First Annual MONSTER TRUCK MELTDOWN!! BE THERE!!...

Yesterday our old friend Lou flew in from Los Angeles, where he lives and works as an attorney, he called us up and invited us to join him, his brother, and his brother's wife for a benefit event being held at the Brick House Bar & Grill in Sayreville, New Jersey. It was a benefit called "Jammin' For The Animals", with a percentage of the bar's beverage and food sales to be donated to the Sayreville Pet Adoption Center. It sounded like a pretty darn good idea to me, and being that we haven't seen our friend Lou since Christmas, we decided to stuff our pockets with cash and go help some needy animals. The place was packed with kindhearted peeps who were doing their part (by partying) to help the critters from Sayreville's Pet Adoption Center. There were even a couple of local drag racers who I know from the Raceway Park scene in attendance. There were bands donating their talent and time to entertain the crowd. I admit that I usually have a tough time enduring lengthy music sets by New Jersey "cover bands", but fortunately, the bands booked for this shindig were rather entertaining and enjoyable. Y'all know that I love animals, all kinds of animals, so I was glad to spend some cash and help out, especially since the Sayreville Pet Adoption Center is a "no-kill" shelter, meaning that the animals are not euthanized for space. Pets remain there until a suitable home can be found for them. If you're in the Central New Jersey area and looking for a loving critter to add to your family, I strongly suggest you visit the Sayreville Pet Adoption Center at 1400 Main Street in Sayreville, NJ-- Or you can see their available pets on the web www.sayreville.petfinder.org

I have talked about SUGARLAND in this blog before-- The clever and creative country/pop music duo made up of key members Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush. I don't know them personally, but, our dear friend, Fred Schneider of the B-52s, who recorded vocals with us (BIG STICK) this year on one of our new songs for an upcoming release, has told us what great people the SUGARLAND folks are-- Fred should know, he and the B-52s performed "LOVE SHACK" with SUGARLAND at the Country Music Awards a couple years ago, being that SUGARLAND had a huge hit single covering the B-52s' classic... Well, anyways, this latest news certainly qualifies as a prime example of "When Bad Things Happen to Good People". Yesterday at the Indiana State Fair, just prior to when SUGARLAND was scheduled to go on stage and perform their headlining set, severe weather with high winds knocked over the stage framework and lighting rig, killing a reported four concert attendees and injuring another 40 people. While the high winds caused the collapse, SUGARLAND's Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush along with their five band members were safely contained in a concrete bunker beneath the ground, holding their traditional pre-show prayer circle. Witnesses claim it was a perfectly blue sunny day just until the wicked weather arrived and caused the tragedy. This is very sad. SUGARLAND's Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush are heartbroken over this. I wish to express my sincere condolences for the families and friends of the SUGARLAND fans who died at the Indiana State Fair. Our thoughts and prayers are with you...

In yesterday's blog, I told you how longtime Orlando World Street Nationals promoter, Carl Weisinger, decided NOT to host his big outlaw doorcar spectacular this year, but instead, chose to "postpone" the event until next year (2012), blaming the weak economy for his decision. After posting yesterday's blog, I received emails from some of you, claiming that you're of the opinion that Weisinger's version of the story isn't the entire story. Some of you aren't buying Weisinger's reported reasons for pulling the plug on the 2011 World Street Nationals. After my trusty assistant Stephanie did some additional research on the topic, she brought to my attention that there are rumors that Weisinger has some potential buyers, wanting to purchase his interest in the Orlando Speed World track-- And there's also word floating around that putting on the huge doorcar race isn't as "fun" for Weisinger as it used to be-- If that's so, that's completely understandable, I know for a fact that there's more hassles involved with putting on a big drag race than most folks could ever imagine-- It's "Migraine City" when you're trying to put together a mammoth-sized drag racing event-- I definitely get that, and I have lots of respect for Carl Weisinger for his ability to make the Orlando event such a successful independent drag racing phenom... So hey, maybe it's not all just about the failing economy, maybe there are some other reasons why Weisinger decided to "postpone" the race until next year. I try to keep an open mind and consider all possibilities. Stephanie and I also found it kind of interesting that In an interview with DRAG RACING ONLINE, Weisinger brought up the fact that he believes short-sighted promoters with little to lose are driving heads-up doorslammer racing off a cliff-- I guess that's sort of like the same thing we've seen happen with Nostalgia Funny Car racing. There is certainly some truth to Weisinger's claim, sometimes half wit race promoters can do far more bad for a scene than good by not using their noggin. Whatever the case, the bottom line is that there ain't a WORLD STREET NATIONALS in Orlando this year. And like I said in yesterday's blog, that's a bummer-- I think we can all at least agree on that...

Every year I get an invite to cover the WORLD STREET NATIONALS at Orlando Speed World Dragway. However, this year I won't be getting an invite, as a matter of fact, nobody will be going to the WORLD STREET NATIONALS this year because the event has been "postponed" until 2012!!-- G-G-Golly Gee Willikers!!... Carl Weisinger, the popular promoter of the prestigious heads-up doorslammer event blames the lame economy for his difficult decision to pull the plug on this year's edition of his radically rambunctious race. Weisberger says, "I have talked to several racers and some of them candidly tell me the economy and general business environment right now makes committing the money to prepare their car and travel to Florida a luxury they really have to consider. Travel costs have escalated tremendously in the last year and their disposable income has taken a hit."... So there you have it, folks, fear of a financially strapped for cash racing population, coupled with the possibility of a thin and stripped down car count means no WORLD STREET NATIONALS for 2011. Mr. Weisinger believes that with the current economic unrest, he best not risk the chance of putting on a 2011 show that might fall short of what he believes race fans have come to expect from the WORLD STREET NATIONALS. It appears to me that Carl Weisinger is taking an extremely pessimistic posture, although I guess he does have optimistic hopes that the economy will get back on its feet for the event to return in 2012. Well, I too hope that the nation's economy can get off the critical list, and somehow get stabilized enough in 2012 for Carl to regain confidence and feel "comfortable" about hosting the WORLD STREET NATIONALS again... I sincerely wish Carl and his crew in Orlando the very best in bringing the event back next year... Wall Street crushes the World Street Nationals-- What a bummer!!...