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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...
I admit that I've been sort of trying to sidestep this story, but, I've been gettin' so many emails and stuff regarding it, that I figure I best write something here on the blog. Everyone is yakking over the Al-Anabi Racing Organization terminating their sponsorship of Pro Stock Motorcycle racer Matt Smith (P/S Bike winner at ETown's NHRA SuperNationals). And rumors are circulating that other Al-Anabi sponsored teams are on the chopping block. I have met Sheikh Khalid Al Thani at "Shakedown" and I genuinely like the guy. He's thrown tons of money into supporting the sport (and he still is throwing tons of money into supporting the sport). Folks love it when they see sponsor money rolling in, however, when sponsor money gets pulled away, it can get kinda nasty, especially on the drag racing internet. I recall several years ago when Miller Beer pulled their funding of drag racers. Snerts and blowhards on the internet were calling for a "boycott" of the beer brand (yeah, right, like they'd ever be able to muster up the courage and willpower to give up their Miller beer, ha ha). And now, with Al-Anabi reducing some of their sponsorship involvement, internet snerts and blowhards are gettin' all huffy and puffy on Al-Anabi Racing. This is just the way it is. If you're looking for the internet snerts and blowhards to show any class regarding this matter, it ain't gonna happen, this is the kind of fodder they live for. I say we should all be appreciative of what Al-Anabi has done for us, and all that they are continuing to do for us-- I sincerely do feel for those who are getting cut from Al-Anabi financing, but I must remind them, THAT'S drag racing-- That's all... Hey, don't forget that tonight June 21st (5-9pm) is a Cruise Night at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. Free admission, a free pass down the 1/4 mile strip for muffled cars, burnout contest, food, beer, music, rock climb... I cordially invite YOU to come on down to Englishtown for this evening's Cruise Night.

Before we get started here, I just wanted to reiterate what a blast everyone had at ETown's NIGHT OF THRILLS on Saturday. You can read some of the event's highlights and performances in yesterday's blog below... In other Raceway Park related news-- ETown's Cruise Nights have become a local phenom among hot rodders looking for a true "hassle free" alternative to the run-of-the-mill cruise nights often hosted by surrounding municipalities. The next one is tomorrow night Tuesday June 21st 5-9pm (other dates are July 12th & August 9th). Entry is FREE and you're also entitled to a FREE pass down Raceway Park's famous 1/4 mile dragstrip (as long as yer car is street-muffled)-- You can't beat that!! There's a burnout contest (with no fear of losing your license or a stiff ticket from a traffic cop like what happens at most other cruise nights). There's also music, food, beer, and even a rock climb!!-- It's about time someone does a cruise night RIGHT!!-- You may have read my opinion of the other local cruise nights over at the H.A.M.B., about how I think many of the towns that are now hopping on the cruise night bandwagon do such an awful job of it, with their hidden speed traps and restrictions that make it far more likely to send you home with a traffic ticket than a sense of satisfaction. That's not the case at ETown's Cruise Nights! Raceway Park does it the right way! Come on out to Old Bridge Township Raceway Park for a cruise night that finally makes good sense for the hot rod enthusiast!!... Switching gears here... I'd like to express our condolences to Clarence Clemons' family and musical colleagues. We (BIG STICK) recently did some recording with a horn player friend of ours, Tom Timko, who has done work with Bruce Springsteen (including his Madison Square Garden show). Tom told us that Bruce Springsteen and all his band, including Clarence Clemons are great people. Clarence Clemons was Bruce's soulful sidekick for decades, and a true fan favorite. Clarence "The Big Man" Clemons will certainly be missed...

Last night's 36th edition of Raceway Park's NIGHT OF THRILLS filled the grandstands with more enthused fans than I've seen in recent memory. Let's go right to the video tape and review some of the night's top highlights-- FUEL ALTEREDS: THE PUNISHER went 6.42/210mph to defeat FUELISH BEHAVIOR. The Altereds did the best darn burnouts of all the booked-in talent!!... NOSTALGIA FUNNY CARS: Dave Sano's "SCREAMING INSANITY" Pontiac clocked an impressive 6.70/201mph. Al Hanna's EASTERN RAIDER was gettin' the bugs out with a 8.33/163mph check-out pass. "CRAZZZY JAKE" CRIMMINS Mustang went 5.94/240mph in 1st rd to beat "NITRO NICK'S" Vega 6.20/201mph. In 2nd rd "CRAZZZY JAKE" went 5.85/242mph to beat "NITRO NICK'S 6.09/232mph (I want to see a rematch at the ETOWN NOSTALGIA SUMMERNATS on July 24th!!)... PRO MOD: Vinny Demieri's Camaro 6.28/216mph. Tommy Gray's UNDERTAKER goes 6.09/239mph to defeat Andy Jensen's 6.15/231mph. The doorslammers were certainly assaulting the historic ETown drag strip... Nitro Harleys were performing in the mid 6's at over 200mph... The JET CARS did their usual wowing of the crowd. Al Hanna's got GOJO aboard sponsoring one of his Jet Funny Cars. Ernie Bogue's "Beast of the East" and the "Queen of Diamonds" did the "Wall of Fire" spectacle. Bob Motz and his Jet Truck put on a command performance at over 200mph... Tom Meents was voted King of the MONSTER TRUCKS in his popular Maximum Destruction entry. The "Grave Digger Legend" tribute truck was amazing. The best "donuts" and "cyclones" in the history of ETown's Monster Truck events were whipping the crowd into a complete frenzy!! The new "Higher Education" Monster School Bus is quite a sight!... Benny "The Human Bomb" ended the evening by "blowing up real good" in a late model sedan. The fans really do love Benny!!... I appreciate ALL of you who stopped by the Drag Racing Underground tent to say hello. I took a lot of pics with folks, that's always fun for me. Thanks to PC RICHARD & SON for sponsoring this shindig. And thanks to all the race teams, Raceway Park staff, sponsors, and most importantly, thank YOU, the fans in the grandstands, who made it a most memorable evening...

It's finally here, baby, Saturday, June 18th, the 36th Annual Snap-On NIGHT OF THRILLS presented by PC Richard & Son. It all happens at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. Here's a general summary of the event's lineup-- Monster Trucks include Maximum Destruction, Grave Digger Legend, Monster Mutt, Viper, Iron Warrior, Black Stallion, Captain's Curse-- Jet Dragsters and Funny Cars include the Queen of Diamonds, Beast from the East, First Strike, Top Secret-- Pro Modifieds include Andy Jensen, Tommy Grey, Matt Deitsch, Vinny Dimieri-- Fuel Altereds include Duane Beers & Jim Giffords-- Nostalgia Funny Cars include "Crazzzy Jake" Crimmins & "Nitro" Nick Bonifante-- Wheelstanders will be reaching for the stars in spectacular fashion-- Nitro Harley Motorcycles will be cackling their way into the hearts of thousands of spectators-- The Hell on Wheels BMX Stunt Show will be in the house for your entertainment pleasure-- Cartoon Characters will be out and about to meet and greet the kiddies-- And last but certainly not least, the legendary Benny "The Human Bomb" will provide a fiery finale to rock your world!! Round up the entire family and come on down to ETown!! Get your family's Summer off to a sizzlin' start at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park!! BE THERE!! For additional information please visit www.racewaypark.com... Switching gears... Our friend, veteran Pro Modified racer "Trickie" Rickie Smith suffered a high speed crash during qualifying at NHRA's Ford Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tenn. Rickie Smith's '68 Camaro crossed the centerline down track and hit Pete Farber's '69 Daytona. Rickie Smith was taken to Bristol Regional Medical Center with a fractured left knee. Fortunately Pete Farber was unhurt. We all wish Rickie Smith a speedy recovery and return to the drag strip...

Don't y'all forget that THIS Saturday June 18th is ETown's 36th Annual NIGHT OF THRILLS!! Come on out to Raceway Park and see Monster Trucks, Jet Cars, Pro Mods, Fuel Altereds, Nostalgia Funnies, Nitro Harleys, Cartoon Characters, and the always explosive Benny "The Human Bomb"!! For more details on all the wild acts booked on the bill, read my blogs from the last couple days. It's truly going to be an "Under The Stars Spectacular". Get your family's Summer off to a sizzlin' start at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park... Switching gears here... It seems that U.S. law enforcement wants to know if the man behind the ultra-flamboyant "South Park-ish Ghay Biker On Acid" appearance has all his marbles, and whether or not he's actually competent to stand trial. Evan Knoll will receive a thorough competency evaluation to see if his 2004 Dodge Viper crash really did result in the kind of brain damage that Evan claims it did. When Evan Knoll crashed his Viper it was quite a mess, I saw the photos and they were scary, however, there's lots of drag racing folks (and members of U.S. law enforcement) who remain skeptical as to whether or not Knoll's position that his "car crash" caused him "brain damage", and therefore stands as a valid excuse for his extreme lapse in judgement when he allegedly defrauded the government out of millions of dollars. If you just fell off a turnip truck and have no idea of what this debacle is about, page down on this blog page. Can the man with the exaggerated thick mustache and goatee ("1980s San Francisco Bath House" fashion sense) get the gov to believe he lost his marbles in a car crash? I know that there's going to be some people reading this who are going to vehemently disagree with me, but I do in fact believe it's possible. Stranger things have happened in our court system, and like I said, I actually do believe that Even Knoll DID lose some of his marbles, I mean, how else do you explain his reckless fiscal behavior and ultra-flamboyant Village People fashion sense?? I firmly believe Evan Knoll's brain injury will provide him some valuable legal defense in this matter.

I just received word from our good friends at Raceway Park confirming some more of the racers scheduled to appear at this Saturday's 36th Annual NIGHT OF THRILLS. In the Pro Modified class look for such heavyweights as Andy Jensen, Tommy Grey, Matt Deitsch and Vinny Dimieri. The most feared names among the dastardly doorslammers are booked in to fight tough for the ETown fans. The competition is guaranteed to assault the clocks and put down serious rubber on the historic drag strip. Fuel Altereds are also now featured on the Night Of Thrills' bodacious bill!! You will absolutely love these wild 'n' wooly open-wheeled wonders of the sport. See Duane Beers and Jim Giffords strap into their hairy-canary Altereds and race each other, putting you, the spectator, in an "Altered State" of drag racing consciousness!! The Altereds are arguably the most rambunctious of all the drag racing classes. Yep, come on out and SEE IT ALL at RACEWAY PARK-- The Nitro Nostalgia Funny Cars, the Pro Mods, Fuel Altereds, Jet Cars, Nitro Harley Motorcycles, Wheelstanders, Benny "The Human Bomb"-- And the Absolute Best MONSTER TRUCKS in the Entire Nation!!-- They will all be towing-in to ETown THIS SATURDAY, June 18th for the 36th Annual NIGHT OF THRILLS!!... It's fast family fun for everyone. Big-Name Monster Trucks and Top-Shelf Drag Racers doing battle under the stars!! It's raucous night-time entertainment that will get your family's Summer off to a sizzling start! For more information visit www.racewaypark.com

I received a "confrontational" email regarding yesterday's blog, from someone asking why I didn't mention the Nostalgia Funny Cars that will be appearing at ETown's upcoming Night Of Thrills. The author of the email went as far to make the preposterous accusation that I no longer like the Nostalgia Funny Car scene. Give Me A Break!-- Nothing could be further from the truth. I've always loved the Nostalgia Flopper scene and I always will. While I'll admit that I believe there's some crusty 'n' creepy "parasitical hanger-ons" who occasionally infect the Nostalgia Funny Car scene (like the author of the referenced email, ha ha), you know, the kind of blowhards who slovenly stink up the scene, and are about as helpful to this genre as a wet blanket-- Truth Be Told, I do in fact love the Nostalgia Funny Car scene and all the "real" people who are a part of it. I was just guilty of an honest oversight when I went amiss in mentioning the Nostalgia Funny Cars-- Now that I've got that all cleared up... I am proud to announce that "Crazzzy Jake" Crimmins' 1972 Mustang and "Nitro" Nick Bonifante's 1977 "U.S. Male" 'Stang will be appearing at the show for some good old fashion Nitro Nostalgia Funny Car match racing. I strongly urge all my local readers to come on out to Old Bridge Township Raceway Park on Saturday June 18th for the 36th Annual Night Of Thrills!!... In other ETown related news, I'm glad to report that an additional "Big Tire Outlaws" event has been added to the track's schedule for Sunday July 3rd!!. The new heads-up doorslammer class that is somewhat reminiscent of ETown's former "Ultra Quick 8" will be blasting down the quartermile in brutal battle royale, assaulting the ETown clocks and all your human senses!! Make this date part of your 4th of July weekend celebration, I assure you the fireworks will be flyin' when the Big Tire Outlaws take to the historic ETown strip!! Mark Sunday July 3rd on your calendar now!!

For all my local readers (NJ. NY, CT, PA), if you have not already made plans to bring your family out to E'Town this Saturday Night, I strongly recommend that you do so right now. This Saturday Night, June 18th, Raceway Park will play host to its first of four Family Fun Thrill Shows, with the 36th Annual Night Of Thrills presented by PC Richard & Son. Of course the car-crushing, mud-slinging Monster Trucks will be there to entertain children of all ages (admit it, the adults love 'em too!). Reigning champ Tom Meents will be behind the wheel of the always unpredictable Maximum Destruction. Other trucks include Iron Warrior, Monster Mutt (my favorite with its cute floppy ears!), Black Stallion, and the E'Town debut of "Grave Digger Legend"!! The Jet Dragsters and Funny Cars including the "Queen of Diamonds" will be setting the night on fire! Top Fuel Harley Davidsons will be blitzing down the strip with cackling two-wheel wonderment. Potent and powerful Pro Modifieds will be beating the E-Town clocks into oblivion! Drag Racing's wildest Wheelstanders will be reaching for the sky and winning the hearts of young and old alike. Bob Motz and his "humongous among us" Jet Peterbilt Truck will rock the foundation and provide a perfect start for your sizzlin' summer vacation! The kiddies will see all their favorite Cartoon Characters up close and personal. And last, but certainly not least, Benny "The Human Bomb" will deliver a fiery Finale that will close out the night in spectacular fashion! This is a show that's genuinely fun for everyone. I've been attending Raceway Park's Night Of Thrills for as long as I can remember, and I assure you, it never fails to amaze, ignite and inspire my imagination. Grab the whole family and make it a night that will provide memories you will cherish for a lifetime! For more info and details please visit www.racewaypark.com

My trusty assistant Stephanie and I finally got through all your responses in Drag Racing Underground's official Evan Knoll Poll. Y'all know Evan Knoll, the former honcho of the now-defunct Knoll Gas/Torco Fuel Empire, with his ultra-flamboyant "South Park-ish Ghay Biker on Acid" appearance-- The fellow who used to generously throw tons of money into supporting and sponsoring various drag racing teams, events, media, etc-- The Evan Knoll who is now in deep trouble with the government, for allegedly collecting millions of dollars from the U.S. Treasury by illegally claiming a fraudulent refund for high-octane racing fuel-- The Evan Knoll who is facing bank fraud charges and now has the I.R.S. breathing down his back... ANYWAYS, we asked you whether or not you believe we in the drag racing community should rally to support Evan Knoll and also whether or not we should raise cash to assist Evan with his mounting legal defense expenses... Well, out of the 328 of you who responded by last Saturday night, it appears that 296 of you didn't find much room in your hearts to show any support for Evan Knoll, a small minority of you who wrote negatively about Evan even claimed that you actually suffered personal financial hardship as a result of Evan's alleged money mismanagement. 27 of you wrote us with varying degrees of mercy and forgiveness, however, only a few of you wrote that it was reasonable to actually offer any mass rallying of moral or financial support for the man. And 5 of you wrote that you couldn't care less and that my initiating this poll was a complete waste of time and bandwidth, and that I was an idiot for even doing this poll (Hey, I respect your brutal honesty)... I'd like to thank everyone who participated (about 1/3rd of you chose to voice your opinions anonymously)... I thinks it's interesting the way some of you, such as Zombie, David, Lauren K, and Barry from Nashville (among others) pointed out how Evan was a "hero" to everyone when he was throwing lots of money around, and didn't become perceived as a "zero" until the proverbial gravy train went dry. And thanks to you all who typed nice words about my blog with your responses. So, what's MY real opinion of all this Evan Knoll business??-- Uh, well, thankfully I didn't suffer any personal financial hardship from Evan's fall from grace, but I wish those who did could somehow be compensated. I do think that he did have his heart in the right place early in the game, and call me "too compassionate for my own good", but I do believe he warrants some forgiveness and support from us in the drag racing community. It's not too tasteful to see a sport that always eats its wounded...

The news of General Motors CEO Dan Akerson calling for consumers to pay an additional $1 per gallon gas tax sure proved to be a public relations blunder for the domestic car company, the same company that we all saved from ruin with our tax dollars. Dan Akerson claims that forcing Americans to pay another buck per gallon at the pump would help GM sell more of their fuel efficient cars (Dan Akerson must figure that jacking up gas prices by another dollar per gallon would force us all to buy one of GM's new peanut sized rides whether we like it or not). Hey, if gas prices go up another buck per gallon, I'm still holding on to my 2000 Lincoln Continental, I'm not going to "cross over" to a "wimpmobile", and I'm sure there's lots of folks like me who also won't be running to the GM showroom either if gas goes up another buck at the pump. And what about all the working schlubs in this nation who still find themselves financially crippled, barely capable of making ends meet for their families, because they're still struggling in the remnants of our latest economic recession?-- Imposing a big jump in gasoline prices sure won't improve their quality of life, it would only result in more financial hardship for them-- Although, I guess Dan Akerson believes his quality of life, and General Motors' bankroll would get phatter with way-higher gas prices. And what about all our nation's drag racing schlubs who will no longer be able to afford to fill their tow vehicles' gas tanks to haul their race cars to the strip? We already hear many drag racers complaining about gas prices as they stand now, add another dollar a gallon and you can bet your sweet bippy that a lot of race cars will be spending far more time parked at home in the garage, than being towed to the race track. GM CEO Dan Akerson's approach of "strong-arming" Americans at the gas pump into buying "greener" and more "fuel efficient" cars is unequivocally unethical-- I'm just tellin' it like it is... To all my local readers, don't y'all forget that today (June 12th) is the 6th ANNUAL AMERICAN MUSCLECAR MADDNESS & BIG TIRE OUTLAWS event at E-Town!!...