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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 dose 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...

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GETTING NASCAR FANS TO GIVE NHRA DRAG RACING A SERIOUS LOOK...

Posted by: wkpmhb

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What are the chances of hardcore NASCAR fans getting a taste of NHRA drag racing, and then deciding to also become fans of straightline racing? In drag racing we don't make those sort of edge-of-your-seat torrid turns that you see in NASCAR roundy-round racing. Our format of competition only lasts for mere seconds, blink and it's practically over. While NASCAR fans are used to races that last long enough to go in the kitchen and grab a beverage, make a sandwich, feed the dog, etc, and when you get back to your seat there's still plenty of racing remaining for your viewing pleasure... The reason for me addressing this issue is because of the hype surrounding NHRA Funny Car racer Alexis DeJoria's trip to the Food City 500 NASCAR race to try to promote drag racing. Do you think Alexis' numerous personal appearances throughout the NASCAR weekend, including Q&A sessions, visits to sponsor suites, and autograph sessions was able to sway NASCAR nuts to develop any affection towards drag racing?-- I dunno, most diehard NASCAR guys who I overhear yakking at bars and other public places, seem to be pretty set in their ways, and not necessarily open to try anything new or different from their usual routine, and yes, I admit that we've got our own minority of blowhards in drag racing who are pretty much the same way. We are creatures of habit and familiarity, we find what we like in life, and most often stick with it-- like your brand of favorite breakfast cereal or your favorite living room chair... If the sport of drag racing could recruit even a tiny percentage of the NASCAR audience to become loyal fans of our form of motorsport, that would be a huge increase for us-- I get that-- And I also have to give credit to Alexis DeJoria and her team for making an effort to work towards that ambitious goal. We should see more NHRA stars like Alexis DeJoria attempt to promote NHRA racing on NASCAR soil, I believe it's at least worth a try to influence the massive NASCAR crowd into giving NHRA drag racing a look...

 

Our racers go in a straight line, it's all over in a matter of seconds, there's no torrid turns like you see in NASCAR racing-- That said, I address the question of whether or not NASCAR fans can be swayed into developing an affection for NHRA drag racing...

Photograph of the historic Englishtown Raceway Park starting line taken by yours truly.

 



SNAKE & MONGOOSE... FINALLY A NEW LEGIT DRAG STRIP FLICK...

Posted by: wkpmhb

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Movies about drag racers are few and far between. That's just the way it is. Evidently much of the "mainstream" entertainment industry doesn't believe that drag racing is quite "mainstream" enough to dump multiple millions of dollars on producing films related to our straightline sport. However, that said, it appears from what NHRA and other reliable sources are telling me, that legit film producers Robin Broidy and Stephen Nemith are going to make a drag flick about Don "The Snake" Prudhomme and Tom "The Mongoose" McEwen.  Wayne Halloway will direct the film, which he wrote with Alan Paradise. The story will tell the tale of the friendship, rivalry, tragedies, triumphs and success of "The Snake" and "The Mongoose". Some of you might remember when these two racing personalities revolutionized the bu$ine$$ side of the sport by enticing toy giant Mattel to become the sport's first nonautomotive "corporate" sponsor, and to manufacture scaled-down toy replicas of "Snake" and "Mongoose" Funny Cars and Dragsters. Jesse Williams (Grey's Anatomy, Brooklyn's Finest, The Cabin in The Woods) has been cast to play Don "The Snake" Prudhomme and newcomer Richard Blake (Dragonball: Evolution) will take on the role of Tom "The Mongoose" McEwen. NHRA has partnered with the film makers as a "marketing ally" in this ambitious project. It all sounds good on paper, and hopefully this venture will give us a relatively accurate interpretation of the dramatic "Snake" and "Mongoose" drag strip saga... Let's face it, drag racing sure could use a movie like this to document the history of these two iconic quartermile rivals-- And we could sure use the potential publicity that a decent drag racing film could generate for the sport-- This could be the proverbial "win-win situation" that this sport is so in desperate need of, to generate interest, and to educate much of the "mainstream" public, who unfortunately still think of drag racing as nothing more than a place for "low lifes", "thugs" and "rebels without a cause"-- In my opinion, this could be just what the doctor ordered for the sport, this could be what drag racing needs to relight our fire with the mainstream population into this new millennium. Get the cameras rolling and let the colorful "Snake" and "Mongoose" story be told... I want to wish all the various different folks involved with this film project the very best of luck...

 



HAPPY SAINT PATRICK'S DAY... NHRA CHASSIS CERTIFICATION AT E'TOWN...

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Happy Saint Patrick's Day to all my Irish readers. Saint Patrick is the most commonly recognized of the patron saints of Ireland. Today is all about celebrating Irish people and culture. Having lived in New York for so long, I've seen the Irish bars serve "green beer", and I've also seen my share of parades. I'd just like to dispense some friendly advice to those of you planning on "celebrating" today's holiday. First of all, if you're going to consume alcoholic beverages, try to stay within your reasonable limits. Don't be drinking more than you can handle on Saint Patrick's account-- I'm sure that if St. Patty is in fact watching over you today, he doesn't want to see you with your head stuck in the porcelain throne, gettin' severely sick from drinking too much. Just as I'm sure he doesn't want to see you get drunk, and then get behind the wheel and wrap your car around a telephone pole-- Please exercise some discretion if you're gonna celebrate the day with alcohol, because the patron saint can't possibly be looking out for ALL the drunks today-- That's too tall an order even for a saint!! Enjoy Saint Patrick's Day and party responsibly... Switching gears... Today is NHRA Chassis Certification at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey. It's a rain or shine affair. For those of my northeastern racer readers in need of chassis certification, today is your day at E'Town. As I look out my window this morning, it appears that "Mother Nature" is being rather kind, so it's certainly a nice day to bring your ride to Raceway Park and get this necessary deed done if you are required to. For more information visit E'Town's web site by clicking on this link... http://www.etownraceway.com/

 

Being that today is officially Saint Patrick's Day, I figured that I'd post a pic of my late mother-in-law. She had plenty of Irish heart. We all miss her dearly 'round here... I encourage all my Irish friends and readers to please enjoy St. Patty's Day responsibly...

Photo courtesy of John Gill

 


Today is "FEEDBACK FRIDAY", meaning I deal with emails that my assistant Stephanie and I receive from readers regarding my most recent blogs... First of all, I'd like to discuss an email I received from an elderly colleague from California who shall remain anonymous, this same colleague has a long history in drag racing journalism and broadcasting-- In response to my recent blog about a certain legendary Greek drag racer, who is no less than 82 years old, and is still driving Top Fuel, I said some rather strong, non flattering, though completely truthful remarks about other less noble drag racers from the 1960's-1970's era of the sport, this resulted in the elderly and retired west coast broadcaster to call me, "The Almighty Mercenary of Modern Drag Racing Journalism"-- Wow!! A new title for me to add to my resume... ha ha... I'm also thankful for the positive comments that fellow female drag journalist Susan Wade wrote about me in her Comp Plus blog a couple months ago-- And this new tip of the hat from a male broadcasting legend has me very thankful that my peers in this business have such respect for my work-- THANKS!! Yep, I tell THE TRUTH-- I TELL IS LIKE IT IS-- THAT'S my commitment to this sport and to my many loyal readers... Switching gears... My blog about "No Time" Street Racers at E'Town caused Bubba from Newark, NJ to write, "Thanks for supporting us urban racers!"... My blog singing the praises of local heroes Eddie Krawiec and Mike Castellana received lots of positive responses from friends at Raceway Park and others. However, Sean from Vancouver, Washington wrote, "Your bias towards local racers gets on my nerves."-- Well, okay, you're certainly entitled to your opinion, Sean, and I appreciate you voicing it... I heard from a few of you thanking me for my Gatornationals Sportsman coverage. Chris from Owosso, Mich wrote, "Please keep giving the little guys of the sport some recognition in your blog"-- Will do, Chris!!... 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...

 

Is this sweet, innocent, unassuming gal "The Almighty Mercenary of Modern Drag Racing Journalism"?!?--- 'Guess so... Hey, I'll take that as a compliment... I firmly believe that it's my job and responsibility to "tell it like it is" to the drag racing community...

Yours truly hanging out in the grandstands at my favorite drag strip, Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey.


Old Bridge Township Raceway Park is hitting the streets this 2012 season with seven remaining giant days that will feature No-Time Street Racers. These guys and gals will have a chance to get off the highway (and back streets of Newark) and legally head down to the famous E'Town 1/4 mile.  Street racers and their fans better write the following dates on their calendars-- August 5th, August 19th, September 16th, November 4th, November 18th, November 25th, and December 2nd... All seven dates will be a bargain for "NO TIME" race fans, with all-out heads-up "NO TIME" racing being the headlining feature. Further special attractions will be announced. So place your bets and come out and experience the best street racers in the tri-state area doing it the right way. Just remember, kids, don't try this #$% at home!!-- Racing belongs on the drag strip. You all know that I've been a huge fan and supporter of Raceway Park's "NO TIME" racing scene for several years, and for very good reason-- It's my authoritative and expert opinion that "NO TIME" racing is one of the last remaining genres of the this sport that I consider to be REAL drag racing!!... Write down the dates and plan on being at E'Town to get yourself a taste of "REAL" and "AUTHENTIC" drag racing, "NO TIME" style!!... Old Bridge Township Raceway Park shuts down their clocks and prepares their well-prepped drag strip to ROCK!!... BE THERE!!...

 

"NO TIME" cars are a blast. With their unassuming appearance, ditching glossy florescent paint schemes in favor of flat primer, and hiding their performance by having the track shut off the big clocks. These racers shoe polish a "N/T" on their windows and allegedly race for big bucks. I simply adore this form of hardcore drag racing and highly recommend that every true-grit drag racing fan experience it at least once in their lifetime... This is REAL drag racing, baby!!...

From the Drag Racing Underground media archives.


FINAL ROUND NHRA GATOR NATLS SPORTSMAN RECOGNITION...

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Let's get down to giving some final-round recognition to the Sportsman winners at the Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals presented by NAPAFilters.com... In the Alcohol Dragster class, Chris Demko got a holeshot on Bill Reichert off the line, Demko beating Reichert fair and square with a 5.30 271 mph time slip, to Reichert's trailing 5.31 265mph... In the Top Alcohol Funny Car category, Mickey Ferro nabbed the holeshot with his Monte Carlo, defeating Paul Gill in his Mustang. Ferro recorded a winning 5.55 258 mph to Gill's losing 5.60 250 mph runner up effort... In Super Stock, Joe Tueton Jr. broke out, handing David Rampy the win. Rampy ran 10.25 and Teuton went quicker than his dial with a 8.49... In Stock Eliminator, Charles Fitzsimmons wins his first national event of his driving career by beating Chris Stephenson in the final... In Super Comp, Todd Ewing pulled off an incredible 0.002 reaction time, making it possible for his slower 8.93 to beat Frank Altilio's quicker 8.91. The NHRA calculating experts believe that Ewing won the battle by no more than approximately 21 inches at the finish line. Super close drag racing in the Super Comp class!!... In Super Gas, Jim Perry earned his very first national event "Wally" by defeating Rich Price. Winning a national event in the "9.90" class is no easy task. Congratulations to Jim Perry, and to ALL the winners of their respective categories at the Gatornationals... It's my authoritative and educated opinion that Sportsman racers who make it all the way to the winner's circle at NHRA national events are among the toughest cookies in the sport of drag racing... There's no "free lunch" in NHRA Sportsman racing, you've got to earn every round...


"Mother Nature" decided to play relatively nice  for the Monday rain-delayed Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals presented by NAPAFilters.com... Number #1 qualifier Morgan Lucas took Top Fuel, running the second-quickest run in NHRA history with a 3.743 326.87 mph to defeat a traction starved Tony Schumacher in the final... Robert Hight and Johnny Gray were "traction starved" as well in the Funny Car final. However, Hight got the best of a ground pounding pedalfest, recording a 4.866 236.05 mph to Gray's 6.074 116.09 mph. Fans always love a Funny Car pedalfest-- I know that I sure as heck do!!... In the Pro Stock final Mike Edwards got a holeshot advantage over Greg Anderson. Edwards went 6.566 211.30 mph to Anderson's quicker but no cigar 6.538 211.69 performance-- This was definitely an example of a "factory hot rod" racer winning a duel as a result of a superior reaction time at the christmas tree... Pro Stock Motorcycle was all about our local hero Eddie Krawiec. He beat teammate Andrew Hines in the final round with a 6.822 194.94 mph charge to Hines' trailing 6.861 194.55 mph effort. Krawiec was the number one qualifier at Gainesville, setting the e.t. record at 6.750 seconds. This was also Krawiec's third consecutive Gator's victory. At this point, it appears that Eddie Krawiec is starting to embark on a two-wheel rampage of 2012 Pro Stock Bike domination... Veteran racer "Tricky" Rickie Smith won his first ever NHRA Pro Modified victory. Smith beat my local buddy, No#1 qualifier Mike Castellana in the final round. Smith ran 5.913 240.29 mph to beat an "out of the groove" Castellana's 6.435 189.79 mph. Even though Castellana recorded an incredible .006 reaction time, once his car got loose, it was "Tricky" Rickie who would reach the finish line first... Congrats to ALL the race teams who made the NHRA Gatornationals a truly Gator-Tastic event...

 

 


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...

 

 


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