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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...

Just last week I told you about local boy done good, Eddie Krawiec, recording the fastest run in Pro Stock Motorcycle history-- Eddie went 6.771 at 200.08 mph while testing at South Georgia Motorsports Park. The first 200 mph pass from a Pro Stock Bike ever recorded. While I admit that Eddie Krawiec's 200 mph pass is an "unofficial" record, it still rocked the drag racing world to its core... Eddie Krawiec and his Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Pro Stock Motorcycle V-rod crew just made more history at the 43rd annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals presented by NAPAFilters.com at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville. The two-time Gatornationals champ ran the quickest pass in Pro Stock Motorcycle history en route to the No#1 qualifying spot on his "Hot as Heck" Harley-Davidson. Krawiec set the "official" national record on Saturday with a blistering 6.750 pass at 198.03 mph!! This makes for Eddie's tenth No#1 qualifier of his colorful career AND also earns him a 20 point bonus for setting the national e.t. record. Last year Krawiec set the "official" speed record at this same event and won it as well... I also want to give props to another local drag racing hero who is making us proud 'round these parts. Mike Castellana is the No#1 qualifier in Pro Modified. Mike and his Camaro took out Jay Payne in the first round of eliminations... Unfortunately rain and less than ideal weather caused yesterday's eliminations to get postponed until today (Monday), so hopefully "Mother Nature" will cooperate and give us a good day of drag racing. Maybe we'll see Eddie Krawiec "officially" set the MPH record if the skies are sunny and there's no headwind-- Maybe Mike Castellana will win the first 2012 running of the Pro Mod class-- Let's hope that the weather clears up enough to run the remainder of the event... Good luck and best wishes for safe racing to ALL the Gainesville competitors...

 

 


Rookie Nitro Funny Car sensation Courtney Force had a brush up with the retaining wall at Gainesville during qualifying at the NHRA Tire Kingdom Gatornationals. While she was fortunately unscathed by the incident, her Traxxas-sponsored  Flopper wasn't so lucky. The car suffered serious body and chassis damage rendering it permanently retired from any further on-track action. Team Force had to bring out a spare Funny Car for "Courageous Courtney" to continue with. Courtney's brush with the wall knocked the wind out of her, and resulted in a brief moment of difficulty with her breathing, but she soon recovered like the "true grit" gal she is, and was subsequently given the green light by medics to carry on with her race day, proving to the public once again that Courtney Force definitely has the "right stuff" to be a professional NHRA drag racer.  She returned with the spare Funny Car in the next qualifying session to run a very impressive 4.136 to land the 11th spot in the fierce 16-car field. I'm happy that Courtney Force is okay, and I wish her, along with her hard working crew lots of luck at today's NHRA sanctioned Tire Kingdom Gatornationals event...  Switching gears... I'm saddened to report that longtime Pro Stock crew chief and driver Buddy Ingersoll passed away... On behalf of all of us here at Drag Racing Underground, I'd like to express our sincere condolences to Buddy's family and close friends... Rest In Peace...

 

 


EAT A GYRO AND CELEBRATE "THE GREEK'S" LIFETIME LUCAS DEAL...

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I know it's been news for a few days, but I just find myself compelled to comment about  Lucas Oil's sponsorship of Chris "The Greek" Karamesines. It appears that Lucas Oil founder Forrest Lucas has done what so many drag racing fans have been wishing for, he's agreed to sponsor "The Greek" for as long as the legendary racer wants to compete.  As you probably know, Chris Karanesines sure as heck ain't no "Spring Chicken", he's 82 years old-- an age when most racers like himself, who've been doing this drag racing schtick since the 1950s are either bedridden or dead-- I mean, let's be real, let's tell the truth, uh, back in the old days, lots of drag racers weren't exactly advocates for healthy living, many lived their lives like lowlife degenerate dirtbags (of course with the exception of Don Garlits, Bruce Larson, and some other individuals who had the sense and morality to not carry on like blazing idiots)... Driving a Top Fuel dragster at the age of 82 qualifies Chris Karamesines as an absolute anomaly of modern motorsports. Most geezers have already had their relatives or local Department of Motor Vehicles take their regular driver's license away by time they're 82 years old!!-- So, seeing Karamesines secure a Top Fuel sponsorship deal at the ripe old age of 82 is quite a noteworthy news flash!!... I remember when my friend, the late Chris Martin, a journalist for NATIONAL DRAGSTER, used to tell me how that long before there was ever a "Jungle Jim", there was Chris "The Greek" Karamesines, and how "The Greek" was the original pioneer of wild 'n' whacky drag racing showmanship-- Of course I'm sure there's probably a handful of people reading this blog who don't buy  Martin's notion that "The Greek" knew how to wow the crowds long before anyone else in this business did, but, being that Chris Martin was actually around "back in the day", I tend to believe what he told me... On behalf of all of us at Drag Racing Underground, I'd like to thank Forrest Lucas for making the funds available for "The Greek" to continue living out  his drag racing dreams into his geriatric years-- and very best of luck to Chris "The Greek" Karamesines in his pursuit of winning rounds and showing all the youngins how it's done... We'll be watching...

 

 


FEEDBACK FRIDAY... DRAG CREWS SPEAK OUT, HAPPY B-DAY WISHES AND MORE...

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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.... Drag bike fans and my friends from E'Town appreciated me acknowledging Eddie Krawiec being the first Pro Stock Motorcycle rider to put "200 MPH" up on the big board... My blog urging racers and fans to not let high gas prices discourage them from going to the drags this Summer brought mixed reactions from readers. Richard from Ashland, Virgina wrote, "If gas prices go to $5 a gallon I'm parking my race car!"... My blog expressing my sympathy for my many readers enduring the twister and tornado devastation in the South and Midwest prompted Linda from Kentucky to write, "Thanks Doc, for being a city girl who actually gives a s**t about us country girls."... My blog providing smart suggestions to drivers and crew members to help avoid dangerous and time consuming oil downs resulted in lots of emails, some from veteran car owners and crew members thanking me for informing crew people who might be "a little wet behind the ears" regarding this subject. Raymond from Greenbrier, Tenn wrote, "I always give a thorough look under my son's dragster before sending him down the track. I keep my eyes open for leaks. It's the right thing to do!"...  I want to send out a couple of Birthday wishes today. First to Big Stick's original mentor, Ted Currier, the fellow who provided the drum tracks for our "Crack Attack" hit. Ted is the co-producer of George Clinton's incredible "Atomic Dog" record too. I also want to wish Happy Birthday to Johnny Kelly, the talented drummer of Type O Negative, Danzig, and A Pale Horse Named Death. Johnny is also a gearhead like us, with his sweet '70 Super Bee that he occasionally races at E'Town. Johnny plays guest drums on our (Big Stick) "Hoochie Express" song that we'll be releasing this year... Very best of Birthday wishes to Johnny Kelly and Ted Currier...  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...


Best of Happy Birthday wishes to Johnny Kelly, the ultra-talented drummer of Type O Negative, Danzig, and A Pale Horse Named Death. Johnny is a gearhead just like us, seen here with his sweet '70 Super Bee that he occasionally races at E'Town. Johnny plays guest drums on our (Big Stick's) "Hoochie Express" song that we plan on releasing to the public this year...


 


SPRING ENGLISHTOWN SWAP MEET & AUTO SHOW MAY 4-6!!...

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The 30th Annual Spring Englishtown 2012 Swap Meet & Auto Show is scheduled for Friday, May 4th thru Sunday, May 6th. The date has been moved a little for this year, so please take note. I suggest that you write the days on your calendar now, so that you can plan on attending. This event is always fun for me. I love it because you never know what you'll find, all sorts of strange and unique treasures can be found at this swap meet spectacular. And the car shows are definitely the cat's pajamas! All stock production to 1997 show vehicles are welcome on Saturday & Sunday. The cool car show competitions include-- Top 60 People's Choice, People's Choice Car 1959 & Older, People's Choice Car 1960 & Newer, People's Choice Truck, Best Club Participation, and the coveted Vinnie & Richard Napp Memorial Cup. Raceway Park fills up their 300 spacious acres with enough cars, part, oddities, and novelties to keep you and your family busy, as you explore all the eye candy and interesting items on the massive grounds. Lots of my friends and I make a point to check this event out, like my buddy Johnny Kelly of Type O Negative fame, he always scours the grounds for hard to find Mopar parts. General admission is only $10.00 per day, children under 12 are FREE. Gates open 7:00 AM each day, closing 6:00 PM. Rain or Shine. FREE PARKING. No pets. No motorized traffic will be allowed in the flea market area. Bicycles limited to 5mph. For more information please visit http://www.etownraceway.com/

 

See lots of sweet rides at the 30th Annual SPRING ENGLISHTOWN 2012 SWAP MEET & AUTO SHOW May 4th thru May 6th.  It's a fun for the whole family kind of event... I strongly recommend you make plans now to attend... See it all at Raceway Park!!...

Beauties like this growling '66 GTO  are common on the car show grounds...


LOCAL BOY EDDIE KRAWIEC MAKES PRO STOCK BIKE HISTORY AT 200MPH!!...

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Those of us from my neck of the woods are used to seeing Eddie Krawiec occasionally handling management duties at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park aka E'Town (my favorite drag strip). And of course as most of you probably know, Eddie  Krawiec is the reigning NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Motorcycle champion. While testing Monday at South Georgia Motorsports Park at Valdosta, Eddie became the first Pro Stock Motorcycle rider to put "200 Miles Per Hour" up on the big board. Eddie ran a 6.771 at 200.08 mph, and while the performance is considered to be "unofficial" in terms of NHRA record-keeping, the 6.771 and 200.08 mph is quicker than Hector Arana Sr.'s NHRA elapsed time record of 6.777 and faster than Eddie's own speed record of 199.26 mph from last year's edition of the NHRA Gatornationals... Eddie credits ideal air and atmospheric conditions as a contributing factor to his historic Georgia performance, and believe it or not, he also claims that it was a pass that fell short of feeling perfect, as a matter of fact, Eddie said that the bike even spun the tire a bit and rattled around a little-- Geez, I guess if Eddie can once again find himself and his bike in ideal air, and make a completely gremlin-free pass, who knows what startling numbers will appear on his time slip?!?... Maybe we'll see Eddie Krawiec make more history at this weekend's Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals?! Congratulations are definitely in order for Eddie Krawiec and the entire Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Pro Stock V-rod crew for being the first P/S Bike team to penetrate the 200 MPH barrier!!... We're all mighty proud of y'all!!...

 


Here we go again, my dear friends,  with gas prices already at the highest on record for this time of year, and economic "experts" predicting that "regular" gas prices will rise to possibly $5.00 a gallon this Spring and Summer, I have to ask, will obscene gas prices derail drag racing's 2012 season??... Will obscene gas prices be reason for racers on a budget not to tow to races outside their immediate area? Will a sinister spike in gas prices keep families on a budget from making lengthy car trips to the races, resulting in less spectators in the grandstands? I admit to being a little bit worried. It appears that the economy is making "baby steps" towards a slight recovery, however, ultra inflated gas prices could smack us with a painful setback... According to President Obama, there's no "silver bullet" to combat inflated gas prices. Presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich promises that if he's elected, we'll see gas prices fall to $2.50 per gallon!! Although we're told that Gingrich's promise is just a case of blowhard hot-air directed at vulnerable voters-- In other words, it's a lie... Can ANYONE save our nation's common folk from getting abused with every painful visit to the gas pump? I guess the answer is NO. And with all the trouble we see in Iran, and all the garbage going on in the Middle East, there really is no end in sight to provide gas price gauging relief... I guess the only thing for humble drag racers and drag fans to do is cut back on other "luxury" expenses in order to have money saved to fill their gas tanks for lengthy trips to the races. I really wish I had a better solution to the problem, but I don't. I wish our government would have a solution to this problem, but they obviously don't really think it's as much of a problem as millions of cash strapped Americans do.  In closing, I appeal to my readers to please not allow rising gas prices to keep you from enjoying drag racing this coming Spring and Summer. Figure out a way to budget your money so you can afford to make it out to the drags, whether you're a racer or a spectator, don't let high prices at the pump put your 2012 racing season in the dumps. Let's work together to bring economic recovery to drag racing... Please, let's not let the whole sport of drag racing severely suffer because of the insatiable greed of a few gluttonous oil companies...


LET'S TALK OIL DOWNS, DOWNTIME, & CREW MEMBERS GETTIN' DOWN...

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Before I got started on today's extremely serious subject, I just want to say how much I enjoyed the B-52's "With The Wild Crowd" special on PBS-TV last night. The group turned out an incredible performance in Athens, GA, the place where they originated some 34 years ago. I'm happy for Fred , Cindy, Kate & Keith, they certainly deserve this sort of  hyped-up recognition for all the rockin' 'n' soulful music they've given us.... Okay, switching gears to today's main subject-- It seems like every single time I'd check in on the "March Meet" this past weekend, there would be yet another oil down, keeping the clean-up crews plenty busy, and keeping the race cars off the track. I realize that oil downs are a touchy issue, I know that there's some folks in this business who don't like to hear a gal like me try to talk some common sense into the heads of racers and crews about this troubling curse of the drag racing world, but hey, that's too bad-- SOMEBODY has to speak up about this plaguing form of event downtime, and since I have the biggest reputation in the drag racing media for "telling it like it is", that's exactly what I'm gonna do right now... First of all, it's time for many team crew chiefs and crew members to take their responsibilities a lot more seriously than they do now. Even if you're not making "big bucks" for crew duties, and your only pay for the weekend are barbeque burgers and a pat on the back, you've got to realize how important your role in the racing operation truly is. You've got to make sure that before you send your driver down the drag strip, that you've checked every possible variable on the car that could result in fluid leakage-- and while your driver is staging in the beams, at least one crew member should "get down" on the ground, and check underneath the car for leaks-- I know it's not "glamorous" work, but someone should do it to insure you're sending your driver down the track with nothin' drippin' from under the car, this way your driver won't slip on his own oil and possibly crash-- And this sort of preventive procedure can also eliminate the downtime that comes with costly clean-ups... Downtime hurts everybody. You have to do everything in your power as a crew person to make sure that your team's car is solid and sound before it zooms down the track. And for you drivers reading this, if you suspect that your ride is broke or that it's leaking, PLEASE do your best to safely pull off to the side of the track and out of the groove, so that if you are leaking, you won't get fluid on the main groove of the track... I ask that if you know some drivers and crew people who DON'T read this blog, that you make sure that for this particular blog installment that they DO...

 

Even if you're a crew member not making the "big bucks", and your only compensation for the weekend are barbecue burgers and a pat on the back, it's still imperative that you take your responsibilities very seriously, and do everything in your power to ensure you're sending your driver down the strip in a ride that's as safe as it can possibly be-- and leak free...

... And for you drivers, if you suspect your car has broke and could possibly be leaking fluids, pull safely off to the side of the track and get out of the main groove. This will make cleaning up your car's mess a lot easier and less time consuming...


OUR FRIENDS THE B-52's "WITH THE WILD CROWD" AIRING ON PBS-TV...

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As many of you folks who read this blog with regularity are already aware, we (Big Stick) are good friends with popular music group the B-52's. We even have Fred Schneider performing guest co-lead vocals with us on a track we plan to release in 2012-- The song titled "Hot Sauce" features Fred giving an outstanding soulful vocal performance with John Gill and yours truly-- Wait 'til ya hear it, it's a blast!!.... Anyways, this month, Public Broadcasting Stations (PBS-TV) will be airing a special presentation called "B-52's With The Wild Crowd"-- the program includes concert footage from the group's 35th Anniversary concert in Athens, GA, the place where the band first assembled. It's pretty amazing to think they've lasted all these years, and still remain a strong force in the music world. Their legions of fans are in great numbers and stretch all over the globe. The late John Lennon of Beatles fame was actually ready to give-up on music, until he heard "Rock Lobster" on the radio, and that inspired him to get off his butt, get back in the studio and start recording music again... Let's face it, the B-52's have a unique form of talent that not many other groups in the history of rock 'n' soul possess... I'm proud to call them friends, and to know that they're actually big fans of the music I make-- I believe they are the cat's pajamas of popular music... Here's a link that will provide you with a schedule of when the B-52's "With The Wild Crowd" airs on your local PBS-TV station-- http://www.b52sonpbs.com/


Since most of the drag racing media seems to be completely ignoring the fact that parts of the South and Midwest have been going through complete mayhem the last couple of days, I feel compelled to say something-- The severe storms that have generated devastating tornadoes has resulted in so much destruction and death, that it's difficult to comprehend. Not until after the mainstream news shows here in the Northeast get done telling us about how Kim Kardashian took off her makeup, or how Steven Tyler took off his pants, do they even touch upon the brutal story of how the weather is making life for our brothers and sisters in the Midwest and South unbearable. I'm sure that if Newt Gingrich and Al Sharpton decided to play "Twister" together, it would receive a lot more attention from the media people who control the news shows, than the actual "Twisters" that have destroyed entire communities from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes... Yes, I'm disappointed by the lack of concern that I'm seeing for all the poor folks who've been pummeled by "Mother Nature", simply because they live in "rural" America, as opposed to the "cosmopolitan" cities like New York and San Fransisco-- Just goes to show you where the mainstream media's priorities really stand... That said, I want to express my concern, sympathies, and sorrow for all the people who've had their lives turned upside down by this rash of brutal weather. When the news programs finally do get around to spending a brief minute showing the devastation, it weighs heavily on this gal's heart. I know that I have an awful lot of loyal readers from some of the places hit hardest by the tornadoes, those of you who are still fortunate enough to have computer access, I want you to know that there's lots of folks like myself who DO care about you and your families-- I want y'all to know that you are in our thoughts and prayers...