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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...

Dave Hance of NY Motorsports (my fave promoter) and Old Bridge Township Raceway Park (my fave track) proudly announce that the tenth running of the SHAKEDOWN AT E'TOWN is scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 12, 13 & 14, 2012. Many racers and fans agree that SHAKEDOWN AT E'TOWN has grown into the Ultimate Outlaw Heads-Up Doorslammer event in the entire world! Now in its 10th triumphant season, there's absolutely no denying that SHAKEDOWN has become a "MUST ATTEND" race for outlaw competitors and fans alike. The record books take a severe beating at each and every SHAKEDOWN, as the cool Fall temperatures combined with E'Town's superior track prep and conditions make for a very, very fast drag strip. Side by side outlaw racing, featuring the best heads-up competitors in the nation is what SHAKEDOWN is all about!... Classes include Pro Mod, Top Sportsman, Pro Import, Outlaw 10.5, Heavy Street, Outlaw Radial/Limited Street, X275, 8.50 Index and Pro Street Bike. All the classes provide edge-of-your-seat drag racing excitement. History is made at SHAKEDOWN, year after year. The elapsed times are low and the mile per hours are sky high. The racers always hook hard and perform their career bests. SHAKEDOWN AT E'TOWN is without doubt a Who's Who of quick doorslammer stars and cars-- It's colossal. All the biggest names in the outlaw doorslammer world come to E'Town with big expectations and big horsepower!... Be sure that you mark your calendar for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 12,13 & 14, 2012. Don't miss your opportunity to experience the 10th ANNUAL SHAKEDOWN AT E'TOWN! Come on out to E'Town and see the biggest guns of heads-up racing battling for huge cash money and ultimate outlaw bragging rights. You deserve to enjoy the best doorslammer racing has to offer, you deserve to personally experience this incredible in-your-face phenom. Don't you dare hesitate! Grab you calendar NOW and write in October 12, 13 & 14 to insure that you'll be here at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park for the SHAKEDOWN AT E'TOWN. This event earns my highest rating of "5 Doc Stars", and ranks as my "MOST RECOMMENDED RACE OF THE 2012 SEASON", so you know it's guaranteed to please! Rain date November 2, 3, & 4. For additional info please visit http://www.shakedownatetown.com/ and   http://www.etownraceway.com/

 

Join promoter extraordinaire Dave Hance and yours truly at the 10th Annual SHAKEDOWN AT E'TOWN October 12, 13 & 14 at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in New Jersey.... It's my most highly recommended race of the 2012 season!!... BE THERE!!...

Article written by "The Doc" reprinted courtesy of Raceway News & National Dragster. Photo by Drag Racing Underground.

 


The concept of a fully enclosed canopy on a Top Fuel dragster isn't really that new of an idea. "Big Daddy" Don Garlits drove with one on his last of the "Swamp Rat" series dragsters. While I do realize that Garlits' canopy isn't exactly like the one that Don Schumacher's camp are currently experimenting with, both Garlits and Schumacher believe putting a canopy on dragsters can improve safety and aerodynamics... Look, if anyone in this drag racing journalism biz is known for "telling it like it is", that journalist is definitely yours truly, so I'm not going to mince words here or beat around the bush-- I'm well aware that practically ANYTHING Don Garlits believes in, is often the subject of ridicule by others in the drag racing community, and his belief in the canopy concept is no exception-- it ranks right up there with his belief in the monostrut wing and UFOs-- For some reason, almost everything that Garlits thinks is a good idea gets shot down by a group of others in the drag racing industry... That said, Don Schumacher doesn't quite have the same sort of problem among his drag racing peers (not yet). I guess since Schumacher hasn't done an interview with me claiming he believes in UFOs (like Garlits did), he's still hanging on to a little more credibility among drag racing's ultra staunch conservative contingent. However, there are a few of Schumacher's peers claiming that his canopy idea is dumb. The issue of adding the weight to the cars that comes with a canopy raises serious NEGATIVE safety concerns with some. Don Schumacher's harshest critics aren't buying the safety argument at all, as a matter of fact, they're saying that if a canopied car gets in an accident, the canopy could actually cause more harm than good-- They think that Don Schumacher just wants his car to have an unfair "aerodynamic advantage" over the rest of the field... Where do I stand on this controversial subject? Well, I believe that if "Shoe's" team wants to do further testing and R & D work with the canopy, they should be allowed to do so--If Don Garlits believes in the concept, that leads me to think that it could have some merit. I'm one of the people in this sport who respects Garlits and DOESN'T think he's a whack job... What's next from the Schumacher camp?-- An Army dragster sporting a monostrut rear wing?-- We'll see...

 

Don Garlits believes in UFOs and canopies for Top Fuel Dragsters, so far, at least to my knowledge, Don Schumacher only believes in the latter... What do you think? Do cockpit canopies belong on NHRA's nitro diggers??... Yes or no??...

Yours truly with "BIG" talkin' UFOs for the Drag Racing Underground's FLOPPERS DIGGERS & DOORSLAMMERS dvd release... click here for that release info... http://www.dragracingunderground.com/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage-ask.tpl&product_id=4&category_id=1&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=48&vmcchk=1&Itemid=48


Some of us remember several years ago, when drag racing photographer turned professional drag racer, Whit Bazemore, stirred up controversy among NHRA followers when he "flipped the bird" at Scotty Cannon. This happened after both drivers stepped out of their respective Funny Cars after a race, and evidently Bazemore, who was driving the Matco Tools flopper at the time was mad as heck at Cannon, because he felt that Cannon took way too long to stage when they were back on the starting line... Of course the amount of hype concerning that particular drag racing related incident pales in comparison to the "flipping of the bird" fiasco at last night's NFL Super Bowl. During the Super Bowl half-time show, singer M.I.A. flipped off zillions of TV viewers when she made the lewd gesture during a performance of Madonna's new "Give Me All Your Luvin'" single. M.I.A. also seemed to say an expletive (I don't give a s***), a line from Big Stick's classic (I Look Like S***) single of several years ago-- Well, actually, I don't really believe she was trying to mimic Big Stick, but I just thought I'd just throw that in... Anyways, I guess almost every Super Bowl half-time performance these days has it's spicy moment, remember Janet Jackson's infamous "wardrobe malfunction"?-- When her top moved, exposing her breast or something like that?... I guess M.I.A. was feeling a bit cranky last night, I don't really know the reason for her actions, unless it was just a premeditated marketing move to attract all the publicity she's receiving today (which I guess makes sense)... At least when Whit Bazemore did it, we all sort of understood his exact reasoning for it... If you'd like to see a free YouTube video, where you'll see me behind the scenes at an NHRA press conference, discussing Whit Bazemore's flipping of the bird with Drag Racing Underground honcho Mike Bennett, you can click on this link (it happens around 1minute 20seconds into the clip) click on the below link for a freebie video treat from the Drag Racing Underground archives... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mJ1IP9_nkc&list=UUvTmV1NcqkJ0fWwK1vV4jeg&index=4&feature=plcp

 

 


N.J. GOV CHRISTIE & N.Y. MAYOR BLOOMBERG PLAYING IN SUPERBOWL?!?...

Posted by: lovely

Tagged in: Untagged 

I realize this is a drag racing blog, however, the rumors around here concerning today's playing of the NFL Super Bowl are just way too weird for this gal to ignore. For those of you who aren't from my neck of the woods, let me fill you in on a long running local debate that never seems to go away-- It's a debate regarding whether or not the New York Giants are REALLY a New York team, OR, if they're actually a New Jersey based team. You see, the Giants actually practice and play their games in NJ, and this causes lots of folks to consider them as being the "NJ Giants", and NOT the "NY Giants". However, on the other side of this debate, the name of the team is in fact officially the NY Giants, and New Yorkers strongly INSIST that the ball club is their own!!... This leads me to discuss the seemingly strange rumor that NJ Governor Chris Christie and NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg are actually going to be brought in to join the Giants for a couple of plays during today's Super Bowl! That's right, the "plus-size sex symbol" among staunch republican females, NJ Gov. Christie, and multi-billionaire NY independent Mayor Bloomberg are rumored to be participating for two plays each with the Giants in today's Super Bowl, with the politician who performs best with the team, earning the honor of calling the Giants his team for his State or City. "Bear" like NJ Gov. Chris Christie is rumored to be suiting up to play defensive tackle, while "quick on his feet" and "nimble" NY Mayor Mike Bloomberg is rumored to be playing offense as either a tight end or wide receiver. Which of the politicians will fair best on the field? I really don't know, it's a tough call... I'm aware that halftime entertainer Madonna is a friend of Michael Bloomberg, maybe she'll offer him some encouraging moral support that will put him at an advantage? Chris Christie certainly does have the "beefy physique" of a dastardly NFL defensive tackle, however, I'm not sure if his level of endurance is up to snuff. I'm having a somewhat difficult time believing this rumor, but I guess we'll just have to see. Do you think of the Giants as a NY or NJ team? Do you think they're going to defeat the New England Patriots? Do you think you have enough potato chips and onion dip in stock for your Super Bowl party? These are some of the questions we ponder on this Super Bowl Sunday...

 

 

 


Tomorrow is the big day in America, it's Super Bowl XLVI.  And while I'm well aware that the NFL's Super Bowl is what so many people are talking about, I'd like to say some words about the NHRA SuperNationals!!... The 43rd annual Toyota NHRA SuperNationals will be here before you know it, coming up on May 31st through June 3rd.  And yes, this year it's officially the "Toyota" SuperNationals. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. has generously expanded its participation in NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing by becoming the title rights sponsor of the event at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ. I realize that the news of Toyota stepping up as title sponsor was announced a couple of days ago, however, I didn't give Toyota any props here on the blog yet, so I'm doing so now-- "better late than never" as my old friend and fellow drag journalist, the late, great Steve Collison used to say. For those of you who still haven't ordered your advance tickets for the E'Town event, why not put that on your "to do" list right now. Get those hot little tickets in your hands, mark the dates on your calendar, and be prepared to usher in the Spring with one of the very best races on the NHRA tour! To get your tickets and learn more info about this spectacular event visit E'Town's official web site, I put a link to it at the end of this blog... Okay then, let's talk a little Super Bowl chatter. Needless to say, my money is on the NY Giants puttin' a relatively serious hurtin' on the New England Patriots. Over here at Drag Racing Underground headquarters, we root for the Giants because John Gill's dad used to know one of the team's head coaches back in the day-- So "Big Blue" is the team of choice 'round these parts. Hope all my friends who are already in Indianapolis for the game have themselves a darn good time. I'll be watching from the comfort of home on one of our oversized HD television sets. I'll let DRU guinea pig mascot Selky aka "Bucky Buck" provide the halftime entertainment, she can hop around a lot more enthusiastically than any cheerleader can, ha ha... Anyways, back to the business of the SuperNationals, here's the link that will take you directly to Raceway Park's web site, so you can order your advance tickets for drag racing's "Super" event. Click on this...  http://www.etownraceway.com/

It's quiet and empty now. However, come May 31-June 3, the 43rd Annual Toyota NHRA SuperNationals pulls into Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. Order your advance tickets now so that you're well prepared to experience drag racing's "Super" event!!

 


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

Tagged in: Untagged 

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.