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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 speaks the TRUTH!!... Nobody else on the web possesses the ability to speak the Truth, and 'TELL IT LIKE IT REALLY IS' the way she does!!-- 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 here at DRAG RACING UNDERGROUND... Diana's Blog gives you a daily does of TRUTH and REALITY with HEART... Diana's unique and refreshing perspective is unlike anything else on the 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...
Saturday August 6th is an event at Raceway Park that's of a somewhat different nature than what you'd usually expect from the New Jersey based motorsports mecca. It's the ROCK SOLID MUD RUN obstacle race. This is a form of racing that you do with your feet (wow, to think there's actually a form of racing that isn't done on tires?!-- Go figure??). Are you ready to take your endurance to its limits on a course designed by U.S. Marines?!? I know that I have a lot of longtime loyal Semper Fi folks who read my blog religiously every single day, and y'all can definitely appreciate that particular fact. The obstacles are like those used to train the world's best talent from all branches of the United States Military. There's going to be an ultra-tough 10 mile course, and also a 5 mile course that is still tough, just not quite as rigorous, so everyone can come out to Raceway Park and be challenged. These are not some cheap lame obstacles used by other "Mud Runs", the obstacles used at this event are definitely "Doc Approved" (ha ha) for optimum levels of endurance. The ROCK SOLID MUD RUN will cover many tasks to push your physical and mental limits. You'll be running, swimming, crawling, climbing, jumping and of course negotiating mud... LOTS OF MUD!!.... And being that it is August, we're all aware that it's gonna be HOT, really HOT, so there will be water obstacles to provide a refreshing break in the courses. There's a rumor circulating that yours truly might be there judging-- hmmm... Anyways, I hope to see you, if you're into this sort of scene, at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park on Saturday August 6th. Be prepared to get DOWN 'N' DIRTY in the MUD!!...

Every now and then this blog space is a place where we can pay respect to those in the drag racing community who have passed on. That is the case today. We recently lost Mike Conway... Mike Conway, 42, was found in his Freehold, NJ home last Sunday. Evidently Conway's house caught fire, and at this time, it's believed there's a strong possibility that he lost his life in the blaze. Mike was a member of BAC Local 7, Tile, Marble and Terrazzo Workers of New York and New Jersey. Those who are part of the Old Bridge Township Raceway Park family know Mike as a successful racer with his '86 Corvette, and for serving as an integral part of both the track's Corvette Challenge and Friday Night Index Race Series. Raceway Park veteran employee Michelle Marchese reports that at the next Corvette Challenge/EFI Race Series event on Sunday, August 20th, there will be a moment of silence and a solo pass down the track in honor and remembrance of Mike. And Raceway's Jeannie Linke claims that Mike was the kind of guy who would stay at the track even if he lost in an earlier round to root on other racers. It's agreed among lots of folks involved in the E-Town scene that Mike Conway was a stand-up guy who will be missed and affectionately remembered. Our thoughts and prayers for Mike's family and friends.

Are you like me, tired of hearing wheezing drag racing geezers always hemming and hawing about the extreme popularity of Monster Trucks among the youth of today? I mean, what do you expect, with only a few exceptions, like Rocky Pirrone and Dave Sano, most of the "Nostalgia" Funny Car drivers don't do those super long & thick smokey burnouts, or make flames that reach past the roof like the original pioneering drivers did, the racers who hooked us grownups into loving drag racing and becoming addicted to this stuff as kids (And yes, I understand that most of today's N/FC racers don't have the budget to put on all the showy frills of days gone by, I know that and I respect that)-- Ask modern Funny Car pilots to do a "dry hop" and they look at you like you're speaking Greek-- Uh, No Comprendo!! (Although Nostalgia F/C low-buck hero Willie Johnson sure knows what a "dry hop" is and has gained himself a fan base a result of it). And God forbid if any of the current crop of "modern" Flopper, Digger or Pro Stock racers would ever give their car a name-- No way!-- The days when drag racers used to give their cars catchy names and paint schemes with corresponding themes (like today's Monster Trucks do) are long dead-- The folks who run the Monster Trucks have the sense to realize that kids get a lot more excited about the prospect of going to see a "Grave Digger" or a "War Wizard" getting "major air" and doing outrageous "cyclones", than they do over the idea of seeing a bunch of, uh, "conservative on parts" drag racers with a bunch of corporate logos pasted on their cars. Look, I'm not railing on drag racing, I know that we've evolved as a sport into what we are today for many different reasons, reasons that I certainly don't have the time to tackle here-- And I know that drag racers usually put on the best show they possibly can for the fans, and when you're in the pits, it's common to see guys like John Force taking the time to kiss babies and autograph dad's t-shirt-- I get that-- The main reason why I'm taking the tone I am with today's blog, is to counteract the redundant drivel we constantly hear from old timers who pretend to be too stupid to understand the mass appeal of Monster Trucks among the youngins. Yeah, I know, I know, they're just jealous and upset because, well, these wheezing geezers simply have made being jealous and upset their favorite hobby and pastime... That said, please keep in mind that Wed Night, August 17th is the 1st Annual MONSTER TRUCK MELTDOWN at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. Kids of all ages are welcome to attend and let down their stuffy inhibitions to enjoy what truly promises to be a hot-diggity-dog display of motorsport muscle and spectacular showmanship. Make plans NOW to bring the whole family to E-Town for the 1st Annual MONSTER TRUCK MELTDOWN!!

I've kept quiet about all this raisin' the debt ceiling political circus crap, because quite frankly, I've got my own life to live, and I've come to the stark realization in my life that practically every second you spend talking politics, ain't gonna change one darn thing about anything, or provide one square inch of influence in this current political environment, because the powers that be are GONNA DO WHAT THEY WANT TO DO, regardless of how many straight-laced conservative tea party pundits, or liberal left-wing staunch stoners are crying 'n' whining into the wind, or having a hissy fit on CNN. Let's face it, for the most part, unemployment is still lingering like a pesky in-law, the government continues to spend like a drunken sailor, the war on terror is still draining us dry monetarily and emotionally-- It's all still quite the major mess out there. These are trying times for sure, that's why I'm doing what I can to have a good time, that's right, I can't let all this drama and trauma infest my brain and psyche, because I've got a drag racing business to run, and a BIG STICK record to finish before the rapture, "end-times", apocalypse, or whatever they happen to be calling it this particular week kicks in. When the four horsemen come riding towards me, from over the distant horizon on fire, I hope I'm either holding a mastered and finished BIG STICK record in my hand, or sitting in the stands watching two cars rip down the drag strip in a bombastic blaze of glory... Democrats, Republicans, Middle of the Roaders, yuk, it's all become a form of political pornography, an ungodly orgy of millions and trillions of dollars wasted in every conceivable manner one can possibly imagine-- maybe it's all Washington's idea of a party, but it sure ain't mine... I'm looking forward to SHAKEDOWN AT E-TOWN come October 7-9, that's part of my top priorities, y'all in Washington can take your blabber and drivel regarding "potential loan defaults" and "borrowing caps" and put 'em where the sun don't ever shine-- 'cause ya don't care what us normal folks think anyways... For all us regular people, strike up the band, start you engines, take the kids to see the new Harry Potter flick and try to have some fun while you still can... In closing, please allow me to make one thing perfectly clear, I'm not selling apathy, I'm simply stating REALITY, 'cause hey, that's just what I do here...

I've learned this week that some of my readers had no idea what a "NO TIME STREET RACER" is, however, I know y'all are well aware of who John Force is. And yes, I know that there's some of you who feel so bloated on the "Force fed" drag racing news diet that makes up so much of what the motorsports media feeds you, I get that, but hey, there's still no denying that John Force and his camp have worked awful long and hard to get where they stand today. That said, here's another spoonful of Force related news that even I feel compelled and obligated to feed my many loyal readers-- John Force's No. #1 qualifying position at this weekend's FRAM/Autolite NHRA Nationals earned him the achievement of having the most No. #1 qualifying spots of all the other racers in the NHRA arena. Force's ability to nab the top qualifying spot this weekend broke his tie with Pro Stock legend Warren Johnson. With a total of 139 No. #1 qualifying spots in his career, John Force is now the record holder, uh, number one enchilada for having the most No.#1 qualifying spots in NHRA history. Congratulations to John Force and his whole gang for adding yet another powerful page to their already illustrious drag racing history book... Switching gears here... Today is the "GRUDGEFEST" at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey. It's gonna be a doorslammin' delight. See the "BIG TIRE OUTLAW" racers try to write their own page of heads-up drag racing history. This is a class that is new and exciting-- You know that the competition is going to be nothing short of fierce-- Some of these racers have egos that are even bigger than their mammoth cubic inches stuffed under their race car's hoods. The "NO TIME STREET RACER" contingent will be shutting the clocks down with their "N/T" designation shoe-polished on their respective car windows, and they'll be racing for big bucks and bragging rights. It all happens today at E-Town. If dastardly outlaw doorslammers turn you on, this IS definitely the ticket for YOU!!...

After posting yesterday's blog regarding E-Town's upcoming GRUDGEFEST scheduled for tomorrow, Sunday, July 31st, I received inquiring emails from folks wanting to know just what the heck IS a "NO TIME STREET RACER"?!?... Evidently, there's lots of you reading this blog who are into drag racing, yet you are not familiar in any way, shape, or form with this sort of captivating "underground" sector of the sport. Well, "NO TIME STREET RACERS", although they're usually not actually "street racers" anymore, they mimic the style and racing strategy of the "old school" Newark, NJ and New York street racers of the 1970's and early 1980's, I'm talkin' racers like Levi Holmes, and the late, great Rufus "Brooklyn Heavy" Boyd. And to be quite frank, many of these racers are Afro-Americans who still hail from either the Newark, NJ or New York area. I also want to make clear that E-Town has always welcomed these racers throughout the years to come to the track and race legally-- And over the last several years, most of these racers no longer run illegally on the streets, but choose to limit their racing to the legal strip, and that's a "good thing" in my opinion. Their cars are doorslammers, and are often flat black or primer paint appearing, uh, non-glossy, non-flashy in appearance, sort of the complete opposite of most other race cars you see at the track these days (and it's kinda refreshing in a weird way)-- and the cars are "street appearing", with an emphasis on "hiding" obvious signs of power and performance from potential competitors, when these cars run down the strip, the clocks are often shut off so that nobody can see what kind of times they run (hence the "NO TIME" CAR moniker)-- Are you following me so far?-- Sometimes they give each other a head start off the line (without using the conventional handicap xmas tree method of bracket racers)-- They do it "street racer" style, with one car leaving off the green for a car length or two, then the other car leaves and attempts to run 'em down. They are "rumored" (ha ha) to wager bucket loads of cash against each other. It's a whole lot of fun for everyone, racers and spectators, uh, there's no "whining" or complaining, like I said, it's kind of a refreshing departure from the more "mainstream" drag racing scene. Hey, you can see these racers on Drag Racing Underground's "SHAKEDOWN AT E-TOWN" dvd (avail here on the site), or why not just come on down to E-Town tomorrow for GRUDGEFEST and see 'em in person!!-- And see the exciting "BIG TIRE OUTLAWS too... Read yesterday's blog to learn more of the specifics and details for tomorrow's GRUDGEFEST event...

Grudge Racing is an "old school" drag racing tradition that will be honored and in full-effect THIS SUNDAY, July 31st at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. The event is called "GRUDGEFEST", and it's basically going to be a giant grudge race day at E-Town-- You know there's gonna be radical rivalries and scores settled between racers who have a proverbial bone to pick with each other. NO TIME STREET RACERS are going to be in abundant supply, you know the deal, Newark street styled racing comes to Englishtown and the frenzied excitement boils over, as these raucous teams shut the clocks down and firmly lock horns, competing for bags of cold hard cash and big bragging rights-- It's a wild scene, a scene that I've grown to love over the years-- And one of the major reasons why I love this scene so much is because there's no "whining", I mean, gee whiz, let's get real, let's be honest, I have a reputation for "telling it like it REALLY is", and that's what I'm doin' here, it seems that other sectors of the drag racing world have recently become so rampantly over run with whiners and complainers, that it all makes THIS scene seem like a true breath of fresh air. This is the genre that spawned such stars of the "drag racing underground" as my buddy Levi Holmes and the late, great Rufus "Brooklyn Heavy" Boyd... Also featured on the bill are E-Town's "BIG TIRE OUTLAWS-- a class that is somewhat reminiscent of the former "ULTRA QUICK 8". We're talkin' dastardly doorslammers running heads-up and full-tilt quartermile battle royale. This is the kind of racing that keeps you on the edge of your seat and wanting for more. There will be 2 qualifiers for the "BIG TIRE OUTLAWS", the first at 10:45 and the second at 12. First round happens at 1:30. GRUDGEFEST promises to deliver a potent punch of "REAL" drag racing for racers and fans alike-- Yeah, babycakes, this ain't the "greasy kid stuff", this is "The Real McCoy"!! Grudge racers be prepared for the drag strip fight of your life. Spectators come prepared to be served-up a mighty plentiful platter of earth shattering grudge racin' grits!!... It's a recipe for a great day at the drags... THIS SUNDAY at RAAACEWAY PARK!!..

Emmylou Harris gave a beautiful performance last night at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ. She dazzled the crowd with a truly eclectic collection of songs. I took my trusty assistant Stephanie with me to the show, and she thoroughly enjoyed it, although she was skeptical at first, 'cause she ain't exactly the "laid back" music type. Y'all know me, I love all kinds of music, I really do, so I was definitely psyched before the show, during the show and immediately after, ha ha, I had a fabulous evening. It was my first time back at the Count Basie Theatre since seeing and hanging with my buddy and fellow Jersey native Fred Schneider of the B-52s, after he just recorded vocals for us (BIG STICK), and played the Jersey shore venue with his bodacious band... I also want to give you folks a heads-up about an upcoming show at the Count Basie Theatre scheduled for Wednesday night, August 31st, 'cause that's when that little band from Texas, ZZ TOP, take the stage. Both ZZ TOP and BIG STICK received lots of ink in Leah Kerr's popular DRIVING ME WILD (NITRO CULTURE) book a few years back, and I had the opportunity to meet those guys, they're incredible folks and seasoned musicians. And they most definitely appreciate hot rods and cars that go fast. Get your tickets NOW to see them play on August 31st... Another personal appearance that I believe is certainly worth mentioning in today's "Doc's Blog" is NHRA Funny Car star Matt Hagan's scheduled in-store meet 'n' greet TONIGHT 7-8pm at the Bass Pro Shop located at 1356 Bass Pro Drive in Manteca, California. Matt Hagan drives the DieHard Dodge R/T flopper for Don Schumacher Racing AND is also an Angus cattle farmer who spends much of his leisure time away from the drag strip hunting and fishing (I like to go fishin' too). This appearance is sponsored by the always generous Full Throttle Energy Drink folks, and is in conjunction with this weekend's big FRAM/Autolite Nationals in Sonoma, CA. I'd like to see all my regular west coast readers, and according to our most recent web site stats, there's an awful lot of you, go out tonight and see Matt at the Bass Pro Shop... Have Matt autograph your tackle box...

I want to give a heads-up to all my readers in the area regarding what I believe to be an extremely talented singer/songwriter scheduled to perform tonight at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ. Emmylou Harris will be playing the classy Jersey shore based venue. She's a 12-time Grammy Award winner, Billboard Century Award recipient and Country Music Hall of Fame inductee. Emmylou Harris' career as a singer and songwriter spans more the 40 years and 25 albums-- She has endured for so long and continues to remain as one of the most eclectic of recording artists I'm aware of. Her exquisite vocal style allows her music to flow effortlessly between pop, folk, country and alternative. Once while touring with BIG STICK, I had the pleasure of crossing paths with Emmylou Harris on the road, and she's one of the most genuine and down to earth ladies I've ever had the pleasure of meeting in this business of music. I respect her as an artist and as a human being. The Count Basie Theatre is a great place to experience live music. The last time I was at the Count Basie Theatre, was after Fred Schneider of the B-52s sang vocals with us (BIG STICK) in the studio on one of our new recordings-- wow, the B-52s sounded superb playing in the Count Basie Theatre, the acoustics and overall atmosphere can't be beat. I'm sure that Emmylou Harris is also going to shine and deliver a spectacular performance this evening at the Count Basie Theatre. Hope to see some of you music buffs there tonight. I'll definitely be there with bells on... Switching gears here, from talkin' 'bout one of music's most fabulous females, to hyping-up one of Raceway Park's most ferocious of new quartermile classes. It's the E-Town "BIG TIRE OUTLAWS", appearing THIS SUNDAY July 31st. This class features the most dastardly doorslammers on the planet, racers that are somewhat in the tradition of the track's former notorious and glorious Ultra Quick 8. I strongly recommend this date for those who like their doorslammer racing well-done and sizzlin' with excitement. See the best of heads-up heavyweights assaulting the historic E-Town drag strip!! Gates open at 8am, 2 qualifiers at 10:45 and 12. First round commences at 1:30. It all happens THIS SUNDAY at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey!!...

Just some added notes on this past Sunday's E-Town NOSTALGIA SUMMERNATIONALS. I'd like to thank veteran drag racing personality Jack Redd for taking the time to share some great stories with me at the event. And we're plenty thankful that he's awarded the E-TOWN NOSTALGIA SUMMERNATIONALS, DRAG RACING UNDERGROUND, and yours truly with his prestigious "JACK APPROVED" official seal of excellence, an extremely sought after honor in the world of drag racing. I've been receiving some emails from folks who were not at the event, who for some reason have had their heads filled with misinformation about the race, misinformation that's probably come from the same mental midgets who lie about practically everything else nostalgia drag related-- If you want to know the TRUTH and REAL SKINNY of the race, just read yesterday's blog, or read the raves on the H.A.M.B. board. Kudos again to Walter Frey and the entire E-Town staff for making such a success of this event, even with the wicked heat we experienced... If it's wicked 'n wooly fast doorslammers you seek, THIS SUNDAY, July 31st, the "BIG TIRE OUTLAWS" return to Raceway Park. These cars are the cat's meow for those who dig unadulterated head-ups side by side door-car drag racing. Gates open at 8am, 2 qualifiers at 10:45 and 12. First round kicks off at 1:30... Sorry to see Amy Winehouse join the "dead at age 27" musicians club, others in this sad club include Brian Jones, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Kurt Cobain. I'm aware that Amy had her drug and alcohol problems, and her "Rehab" hit certainly exemplified that. I did admire the way she creeped into the pop culture world with a brand of music that was kind of off the beaten path. On some of our (BIG STICK) stuff that we're recording and mixing, we've got baritone sax, trombone, and trumpet on a couple of the tracks, and the songs have a slight classic swing feel, so I can definitely appreciate what Amy Winehouse accomplished with her music. We have some of the best horn players in the world on our tracks, and they all told me that they believe Amy Winehouse broke positive ground in the music business. I feel bad for her parents, and I hope Amy can rest in peace...