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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 writes the truth... 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 right 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 drag racing 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...

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...

 

 


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...