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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...

THANKSGIVING WEEK IS HERE... TURNING ON THE THANKFULNESS...

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Well, Thanksgiving is almost here, so I figure I'll try to write one of my more "uplifting" blogs, hopefully it'll get us all off to a positive start for this week. I'm genuinely thankful for lots of stuff in my life. Admittedly, all the work I've been doing for BIG STICK lately has reduced the amount of "live" drag racing I've been able to experience in 2011. However, the times I've had at the drags over this past season have been most memorable. E'Town's NOSTALGIA SUMMERNATIONALS/FUNNY CAR REUNION was a fun time for me. Ya'll know that I love the "old school" drag racing flavor. I especially love the nostalgia themed Funny Cars and the Gassers, and both of those contingents were in ample numbers at the event. The East Coast Gassers put on an incredible show. Seeing all you folks in person from the nostalgia scene was also a pleasure that I enjoyed a lot. SHAKEDOWN AT E'TOWN brought a whole bunch of racers and fans out to the strip for its 2011 edition. Promoter extraordinaire Dave Hance, Raceway Park's Michelle Marchese, and the entire E'Town staff worked tirelessly to give us the biggest and best outlaw doorslammer race in the world, and they sure succeeded. I had a good time because I spent all three days of the event doing interviews with racers, and getting the chance to reconnect with a lot of you doorcar folks who I've known for decades. Yeah, I'm a "people person", and thankfully, I was able to get up-close and personal this year with so many of you peeps at SHAKEDOWN... I'm so darn thankful for all you folks who've made Drag Racing Underground the undisputed leader in hardcore drag racing independent and alternative entertainment. Since we've updated the DRU web site, we've been receiving more DVD orders than ever before in our history, I'm very thankful for that. Of course I'm also plenty thankful for the incredible number of you who've chosen to check in here every single day and read this blog. Every time our resident Drag Racing Underground "ultra geeks" do the math and figure out the "traffic" that this site and my blog are generating, they report bigger numbers and more of you spending extended durations of time here as well. I am humbled by your phenomenal support and want you to know that I thank you all from the bottom of my heart... Yeah, I'm one very thankful gal as we kick off Thanksgiving week 2011...

According to the folks at the Ford Motor Company, they've recently earned their first NHRA Manufacturers Cup since way back in 1982. Ford also received the prestigious honor in 1964 and 1965 (much due to the birth of the Mustang). At NHRA's recent Full Throttle Drag Racing Series Awards Ceremony, Jamie Allison of Ford Racing said, "This is a special honor to accept in a special year at Ford."-- Allison added, "Our commitment at Ford to NHRA runs deep and with true dedication. We are thankful for all the teams that wear the Blue Oval with pride, and for those who have helped contribute to this championship."... Those of you who read my blog with regularity are aware of how much of a "cheerleader" I am for America's "Big Three" auto manufacturers. Look, I realize that among much of the more snooty members of the mainstream automobile press, it's no longer "chic" or "hip" to sing the praises of the "domestic breeds", I get that, but hey, I don't care. I know that there are cars rolling off the domestic assembly lines that are just as good and reliable as the imports-- Especially some of the domestic models that are being built at the various Ford plants. I've got no less than three fabulous Fords in my garage. I wouldn't trade my loaded "Back in Black" 2000 Lincoln Continental for ANY import-- My Continental rides like a charm, it's more comfortable than I ever imagined a car could be, and it's got plenty of power to spare when aggressively accelerating on the highways and interstates. And of course y'all know about my 2003 T-Bird roadster, dressed in its metallic "shadow mountain grey" paint, with 300+ Ford horses stuffed into the engine compartment, it's fast, REALLY FAST-- And with its incredible premium sound system, I check out all our BIG STICK studio mixes in my T-Bird. And lastly, when I'm lookin' to be "conservative" and play down my "celebrity" image, ha ha, I dress incognito and drive my always reliable Ford Escort, the car gets like 30 miles per gallon on the highway or something ridiculous like that. Congratulations to the fine fellows and ladies of the Ford Motor Company on winning the 2011 NHRA Manufacturers Cup-- And heartfelt thanks to ALL the Ford racers who whipped butt on the drag strips this year to make winning this award possible...

Several days ago I made the comparison between those involved in the "Occupy Wall Street" protesting, and the geezers on the drag racing internet who have so much disdain for Kenny Bernstein and his son Brandon. The reason for that being because both groups appear to share contempt towards wealthy folks. You know what I'm talking about, the old "class warfare" schtick-- And I've got to admit, I find this kind of mindset rather baffling as far as the old drag racing geezers go, because as the late Chris Martin (former scribe for NATIONAL DRAGSTER) once told me, "The overall majority of drag racing's elderly fan base is made up of ultra conservative men who like Hank Williams Jr., and don't have much love at all for rock 'n' roll or ANYTHING that even remotely hints of liberal thinking."-- Well, in all respect to my deceased buddy, how do you explain all the geezers who can't stand the Bernsteins because they're wealthy and successful? I guess this is yet another example of the typical "nonsensical hypocritical buffoonery" of the drag racing internet's aging blowhard set? I mean, I've always thought it to be somewhat silly and ignorant to not like somebody simply for the fact that they have a few more bucks than I do. The whole "Occupy Wall Street" mentality that the geezers have embraced and exhibit at the mere mention of a Bernstein does indeed have me a bit baffled. I really can't make much sense of it all, I'm not even going to pretend I understand it, 'cause I really don't. I'm sure that I'll now receive a whole flood of emails from geezers trying to explain their way out of this one. If you are one of the many drag racing geezers who are now, after reading this blog, getting all red and puffy in the face, and preparing to shoot me off an angry email explaining yourself, please, please, try to do so in a civil manner, and please also include which State of our great Nation that you're writing me from. I often find the location of where folks are writing me from to be sort of interesting. Thanks...

Today is "FEEDBACK FRIDAY", meaning I deal with emails that my assistant Stephanie and I receive from readers regarding my most recent blogs... Most of the feedback I've been receiving is in regards to my three positive Bernstein blogs of the week. Some of you complimented me for having the guts to say what you claim that you'd NEVER say on the drag racing internet, out of fear that the blowhard lynch mob would attack you, uh, I guess I can understand that, although I wish more of you would be courageous enough to speak the TRUTH on the web without fear of the mental midget blowhard brigade. And I did receive some negative emails from those of you who still insist on making a big issue of whether or not Kenny Bernstein had facial plastic surgery, one of you, Joel from Arizona wrote, "Kenny should hold a press conference and admit to having plastic surgery"-- Does it REALLY matter to some of you THAT much?!?... In regards to my blog complimenting the NHRA 2011 Full Throttle Champions, I received positive emails for my praise of Del Worsham and my calling him one of the sport's "True Grit" racers. Some of you took offense at my referring to the Pro Stock class as "arguably the most competitive of the pro categories", Lou from Wisconsin wrote me, "If it's so competitive, how come Jason Line had the championship wrapped up two weeks before the finals?"-- Uh, alright, point taken, Lou... My blog complimenting Bruce Larson as being an example of a successful drag racer from the 60s and 70s who WASN'T the stereotypical drunk, drug addict, or woman beater brought in lots of emails thanking me for bringing that to the drag racing community's attention. Bruce's recent "USA-1 Dragfest" at his spacious Pennsylvania barn was a major success, and the fact that alcoholic beverages and smoking were strictly prohibited didn't dampen the spirits of those in attendance one bit. Even Drag Racing Underground's own Gary "Bud" Luske who made the drive to Larson's shindig attested to that (and he's known around the DRU office for liking to tip back a few for lunch). Yes, Virginia, there really were some "good guys" like Bruce "USA-1" Larson back in the old days, racers who knew how to behave like gentlemen and reject the low life lifestyle... 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...

Every day brings new revelations regarding the mental degradation among the drag racing web's deranged degenerates. So often on the drag racing internet you see old men emotionally flapping their jowls about their kids. So much "father & son" rhetoric, old geezers typing about how they shed tears and wept like a baby as they watched their sons and/or daughters taking their first pass down the drag strip at the wheel of a Junior Dragster, or how one of their kids once handed them a socket wrench in the garage as they were working on their race car, and it made them so proud that they fell to their knees in a state of emotional rapture, weeping tears of joy as they boisterously thanked the heavens above, etc, etc... Oh, but these exact same blowhards who preach the sacred sanctity of passing the family drag racing baton on to their kids, simply hate the idea that Kenny Bernstein did exactly that with his son Brandon. Is it because that Kenny Bernstein has a phatter wallet than they do? Is it a stupid "class warfare" kind of thing? Why is it holy hoopla when these ragging rejects pass the drag racing torch on to their kids, but it's frowned upon in the case of Kenny Bernstein and his son Brandon?! Everyone who REALLY knows anything about drag racing is well aware that Kenny made Brandon work awfully hard & pay his dues in the sport before ever handing him the keys to a Top Fuel Dragster. Brandon had to painfully prove to his dad that he really wanted it, and that he was willing to get his fingers dirty to earn the right to eventually drive a Top Fueler. It wasn't just handed to Brandon without him first demonstrating beyond any doubt that he was deserving and qualified for the job... I dunno, I just don't get it... I was there, in the thick of it all, at Englishtown back in 2003 at the K&N SuperNationals, when Brandon had his horrific T/F crash that took him over the wall. I watched father Kenny run from the starting line to his son's mangled wreckage, and I witnessed Kenny having to hear his son complain of lower back pain, and then I saw all the fatherly love coupled with simultaneous fear in Kenny's eyes. And later down the timeline, we've all seen Brandon pick himself up by the bootstraps with his dad's blessings and courageously return to the driver's seat. If you're one of those cyber blowhards who doesn't believe that's an example of genuine father and son love, drama, and drag racing true-grit, then I'm of the strong opinion that you clearly lack both a real heart and a sound mind... You're just another clueless drag racing internet blowhard...

With yesterday's blog, I discussed the way Kenny Bernstein's retirement announcement has generated so much trash talkin' negativity. Even though the guy has paid more dues in drag racing than most of his keyboard based critics could ever endure, it seems that the cyber bloodbath is continuing and will probably last for a long duration of time. And of course Kenny's son and driver Brandon is also being unmercifully tied to the cyber whipping post as well. It seems that some derogatory drag fans have a real problem with Brandon's appearance. Who knew that drag fans much rather talk like Joan Rivers covering the red carpet, than actually ever talk about, oh, I dunno, the actual "racing" itself. And speaking of appearances, now we're seeing the Joan Rivers-esque internet drag racing snerts revisiting the subject of Kenny Bernstein's alleged facial plastic surgery. Despite the fact that I've been told that Kenny claims that his face has never gone under a surgeon's knife, it seems that drag racing fans aren't buying it, and they simply refuse to let it go. It's kind of funny the way those same drag racing fans who flame Kenny for his tight facial features have no complaints when their favorite "Desperate Housewife" gets a nip and tuck, I guess that's what you call a "hypocritical double standard" or something like that. The only surgery that I'm aware of Kenny having was when he once had critical back surgery, to relieve his painful symptoms of "spinal stenosis", a narrowing of his spinal canal that was a result of his countless trips down the drag strip, while having to absorb the volatile vibrations that come with courageously piloting nitro powered Funny Cars and Dragsters over multiple years of grueling drag racing competition. Fortunately for all the blowhards on their keyboards who are relentlessly putting Kenny down, they don't have to endure the kind of volatile vibrations and negative g-forces at the seat of their comfy computer chairs in their mother's basement. Sure, they might temporarily pull a muscle in their back as they reach for their milk and cookies while typing their Kenny Bernstein cyber tirades, but they have no idea of the persistent kind of pain that comes from actually driving the cars that make the big noise and rattle their knees as they're sitting safely in the grandstands with soft drink and cheeseburger in hand-- It's a lot easier and SAFER being a Joan Rivers on your keyboard, than a Bernstein at the wheel of an 8000+ horsepower race car...

The news that drag racing veteran Kenny Bernstein has decided to fire all his crew, put his entire operation up for sale, and graciously retire has brought out the sick and deranged side of drag racing fandom. This sport is a lot like that line from THE EAGLES' "Hotel California" song, "You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave". We all know that sick and twisted cults have the same kind of messed-up mentality as some drag racing fans do, basically speaking, things turn very ugly when a member of the cult (or the sport of drag racing) decides that they want to leave-- This whole Charlie Manson-esque mentality in drag racing is kind of grotesque. Evidently Kenny wasn't able to secure the kind of sponsorship dollars necessary to run the 2012 NHRA season. So, instead of drag racing's "cultish" fans wishing Kenny the very best and respecting him for all he's accomplished over his long and arduous career in the sport, they're all typing on their 'puters sick and deranged comments about the racing veteran, with no sense of respect for the guy. And geez, what those same dingbat fans are saying about Kenny's son Brandon, I can't even print on these pages. The fact is that both Kenny and his son Brandon have paid some pretty grueling dues in this often unforgiving drag racing business, sure, they made the "big time", but they've also experienced some pretty scary and painful incidents along the way-- It ain't no walk in the park working behind the wheel of a volatile nitro ride (even if you're fortunate enough to have a multi-zillion dollar budget). How come with other sports, when one of their own decides to retire it's handled with class and respect? Why is it that drag racing gets all filthy and crude when one of ours makes the decision to call it quits? I just don't get it.... I mean, if all these immature drag racing fans who are being so crude about Kenny's retirement REALLY want the outside world to stop stereotyping drag racing fans as "white trash", uh, maybe they should stop acting like it...

I know that lots of fans and folks in the media are happy that Del Worsham captured the Top Fuel championship. I'm among the many people who are chuffed over Del Worsham's success. It's my opinion that Del is about as hardcore of a drag racer as you'll ever know in these modern times. I was there, in the thick of it all, several years ago at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park when Del burnt his hands up really bad in a Funny Car fire. Del had to spend some serious hospital and rehab time as a result of that scorching ride. That's when Del was relatively new to the nitro scene. Many other "newbies" would have walked away from this sport after what Del went through, but Del sure didn't-- Del stuck it out and proved that he's a bona-fide member of drag racing's "True Grit Club" (and I tell ya, there ain't that many racers who really qualify to be a part of that club). I'm doin' the Del happy dance to see him wind up on top of the Top Fuel field... Cattle rancher Matt Hagan is the 2011 Funny Car champ. It's my opinion that Matt is one of the most personable fellows in the nitro flopper ranks. He's down to earth and one of the sport's "real people". Matt and his trusty team worked awful hard to nab the 2011 title and I'm glad as heck they succeeded ... Jason Line was the only racer of the "pro" categories who had his championship already wrapped up weeks before the Pomona Finals. Congrats are certainly in order for Jason and his crew in securing the 2011 Pro Stock Championship title. It's often argued that the "factory hot rod" class is the most competitive and unforgiving of all the pro categories-- So winning an NHRA championship at the wheel of a car with doors is a most admirable accomplishment for sure... Last but certainly not least, we have local hero Eddie Krawiec capturing his second World Championship in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class. Two-wheeling his way to fame while straddled aboard his Screamin' Eagle Vance & Hines Harley. The occasional E'Town track manager has proven beyond any doubt that he is indeed a force to be reckoned with among the bodacious Pro Stock bike contingent... Congrats to ALL the 2011 champion team members who worked so hard behind the scenes to help facilitate the above mentioned drivers' sterling successes-- I'm aware that there's lots of blood, sweat and tears en route to an NHRA world championship, it takes the hard work and unwavering dedication of the entire crew to make it happen...

Yesterday and today at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, the type of racing competition going on is quite different than what you'd usually expect at New Jersey's premier "world class" motorsports facility. It's the "TOUGH MUDDER" event. Instead of racers getting plenty of traction and bite on E'Town's incredibly well prepped drag strip, there's a whole bunch of folks attempting to slip and slide through the mud over grueling obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces. This is NOT your typical lame 5k or 10k run (Yawn!), this is the real deal of physical endurance. Simply being capable of completing the TOUGH MUDDER is a badge of courage. About 78% of the people who enter this competition actually have the stamina to complete it. If you want to see the world's toughest of mudders, I suggest you make tracks today to Old Bridge Township Raceway Park... Switching gears... Yesterday was Bruce Larson's "USA-1 DRAGFEST" at his Pennsylvania barn. One of Drag Racing Underground's own resident cyber geeks Gary "Bud" Luske managed to attend, and said it was a great day of waxing nostalgic. Of course I was obligated to the recording studio for Big Stick duties, and was unable to fire up my T-Bird roadster and make the drive to Larson's. As I told y'all in yesterday's blog, I admire Bruce Larson because he isn't your "stereotypical" 60s and 70s drag racing legend. Bruce Larson ain't a drunk, or a druggie, or a reckless womanizer, like the cantankerous geezers on the internet insist all our drag racing stars of years gone by once were-- No-Siree-Bob!-- Bruce Larson is a prime example that upstanding morals and ethics definitely DO have a place in drag racing-- It ain't all sleazeballs and creeps. There were many racers back in the day who were decent stock like Bruce Larson. Gary claimed that the vibe at the gathering was so much fun that he didn't mind Larson's strict no booze and no smoking policy. And of course Gary's health benefited from the policy...

Let's be real. Let's face the facts of the matter. If you ever bother to check out the "nostalgia" drag racing scene as it's portrayed by crusty and cantankerous geezers on the internet, the imagery of it all appears to be dank, dark and sorely sleazily depressing. Old timers who still have a gasp of breath left and the strength to type on their keyboard, very rarely (if ever!), talk about the actual racing from back in the day, oh no, instead, the web is polluted with sick stories of the many illicit and illegal drugs that the "Gooseface Gunzos" and "Jungle Jerrys" did, or how they used their racing rigs to transport illegal drugs from coast to coast-- and how many bottles of beer they drank while recklessly plowing down Rt. 66 en route to another match race, or how many under-age "chicks" they had anonymous, illicit, unprotected sex with, etc, etc, etc... It's just plain GROTESQUE!!... You'd think that drag racing of years gone by was ONLY for low-lifes and the most vile of vegabonds-- Well, thankfully, we have my personal drag racing hero, Bruce Larson's "USA-1 Dragfest" to prove that the cesspool induced image of what drag racing used to be is definitely NOT the complete story! Bruce Larson was successfully drag racing in the 60s and 70s, the era that internet geezers vehemently insist that drag racing was all about just being the biggest creep you could possibly be and not much else (sic). Fortunately, those of us in the know are aware that Bruce Larson was one of the many racers of the day who DID NOT subscribe to the low-life lifestyle, and Bruce won many races and gained lots of fame. Bruce is living proof that the nostalgia internet snerts are wrong. That said, today is Bruce's "USA-1 Dragfest" at his Stoney Creek Barn located at 600 Stoney Creek Drive in Dauphin, Pennsylvania. It's a family oriented gathering where there's nostalgia cars on display, bench racing, photo album sharing, movies, videos, and lots of wholesome activities to keep you and your family busy and entertained. It's a good time for all attending. And, uh, oh yeah, Bruce "USA-1" Larson doesn't permit any alcoholic beverages or smoking on the premises...