Dina Parise Racing
Napping in my NHRA Jr Dragster stroller in the Dina Parise Racing pit. Yup, that’s my favorite place to be. I don’t mind being in the pits listening to the roar of the cars. It puts me to sleep. Kinda like when Mommy vacuums. These are all noises I am used to. But, once it gets too hot, I need air conditioning! I am a princess, you know! But I was not always…….
Here’s another fact you may not know about me, well unless you have one of my ‘Hero Cards’ , of course ! In my ‘younger’ days I was what they call a ‘Pet Therapy’ Dog. Many humans do not know what that actually is. No, I did not perform Therapy by walking on backs or giving a Therapeutic Massages, although I am talented enough to do so! Let me woof it out to ya……
Therapy Dog’s rock! We are trained to visit with those who may need affection and comfort. Hey, I’m cute and furry, who wouldn’t like that? I went to visit Nursing Homes. But others also go to hospitals, schools, hospices and even disaster areas! Did you know that petting me can actually lower your Blood Pressure? Yup! Like a bit of doggy magic!
Because I am so laid back and cool, my (then) trainer Kate thought I would be a great ‘Therapy Dog’. She suggested Mom take me to Bideawee (on Long Island, NY) for Pet Therapy Certification. I passed with flying Dog Bones! They gave me a cool vest to wear and everything!
Like I said, I went to Nursing Homes. Mom felt that was the place for me! I heard her talking about ‘Nanny Stella’. That was her grandma. She was in a nursing home years before and she suffered from Dementia. Now, Mom went everyday to visit ‘Nanny Stella’, but she noticed many other residents never had visitors. That made her sad. So, when I came along, Mom thought there was a reason I was there! And she was right!
I loved getting to go to visit my peeps! I could tell they were excited to see me too! If I knew how to smile, I would have! That was a great job!
I know I no longer am a ‘Pet Therapy’ dog, but these days I need a bit more rest. Kinda like the peeps I used to visit!
Did you know that ‘Pet Therapy’ does not just have to be dogs? I knew a big Pot Belly pig that did it too! I remember, she loved to eat grapes and popcorn! So, if you have an animal you think would be good at ‘Pet Therapy’ you should research it locally! You can make so many very happy to visit with a furry friend like me!
Now in my ‘Pet Therapy’ retirement, I lounge around at the racetrack. I also meet and greet the DPR fans because, well I’m just good at it! Peeps can’t resist me!
Please remember , not all animals are as easygoing about noise as I am. And with the 4th of July approaching it makes my fury friends scared. Keep them indoors so they don’t get scared or hurt!
For more fun tips don’t forget to check me out on twitter! https://twitter.com/ProModBella ( @ProModBella )
Have a Happy and Safe 4th of July!
Woof out to ya all !
I have been asked to write for the Athletes Voices Column on Double G Sports! I love that more peeps want to know about this amazing sport of Drag Racing and this DPR team! I hope they are ready!
A bit about me joining Double G Sports.com :
**I will be posting on the 20th of each month.**
My Athlete’s Voices Archive: http://doublegsports.com/category/other/athletes-voices/dina-parise/
Here is the first installment…..
Athlete’s Voices: Dina Parise, Episode 1. It’s About Mental Preparation, But Don’t Forget the Stilettos!
“I don’t mind living in a man’s world as long as I can be a woman in it.” That is one of my favorite expressions by Marilyn Monroe. Now, I’m not piloting a 3,000 Horse Power 63 Corvette Pro Mod in a pair of stilettos or anything, but you get the point!
Since this is my first blog here on DoubleG Sports let me catch you up to speed! I’m Dina Parise. President of Dina Parise Racing A two car Pro Modified Drag Racing team. In Drag Racing we Race two cars side by side. We either race ¼ mile or 1/8 mile depending on the event we are attending. In ¼ mile for example a ‘run’ ET (Elapsed Time) is usually 6 seconds or less at speeds of over 240MPH. And… Yes, I said two car team. I pilot a 1963 Corvette and my husband Andrew (my team mate and fiercest rival) pilots our 1953 Corvette. Each car has 3,000 Horsepower and can pull in excess of 3 G’s when leaving the line. Cool stuff right?
Please note, I am writing this between races…. Welcome to my world! As I write, I have to then step away and later return to the lap top with more info! So, try to keep up!
Piloting a Pro Mod can be a tough gig. But, not for reasons you may think. I’m not referring to my competitors or to the fact that I’m a chick. The tough part in many instances can just be the car itself. Take for instance my outing at Capitol Raceway. If it was not bubbling over, spilling out or shutting off….. then, it was not happening! AAAHHH, Drag Racing! Some days just go that way! You can’t win for losing!
It’s days like that , you cannot let those issues in your head. I am an athlete by nature. As a former figure skater amateur competitive and later professional for the Ice Capades , I know the importance of concentration. Now especially, concentration and focus is a matter of safety. The game has changed but the mindset remains. My mental preparation has not strayed much though. In years past I used a Walkman, now I use an IPod. My music choices have probably not strayed much either! Def Leppard, Queen, AC/DC, Bret Michaels, Bon Jovi I guess you get my drift.
I often wonder about other athletes. How do they get their heads in the game? Do they use music? Do they jog? Do they do crossword puzzles? I think we all have a way to get in the zone and it is personal preference.
As I said, mental preparation is key. I must be prepared for what may happen in an instant. Take my latest outing at Atco Raceway. I pulled up to the starting line, as I do for any typical run. This run became anything other than typical. Mental Preparation…. Here is where it becomes key. Late into the run, the rear of the car began to bounce in the air. That is not typical of this type of race car. My crew member noticed that my Chutes (Parachutes) did not deploy as they usually do. He calmly repeated the word ‘chutes’ to me in my ear. In my head I was screaming, “UM, yes… I’m aware of that, but they are not coming out!” But my hands were fighting a different battle. One I was feverishly losing. When a Pro Mod is bouncing in the air at over 200 MPH chances are, things will not go in your favor. Of course, what goes up must come down. When she did, she was not facing in the same direction as she was initially. So, up on the two driver’s side wheels she went! Feeling as if she was going to roll, the best I could do was wheel her easy enough to calm her down. All things considered the damage was minimal. The chutes did decide to make a guest appearance after all was said and done. Better late than never? I think not!
This DPR team will now move forward and continue to work harder than ever! I hope you all will check us out at http://dinapariseracing.com/ ! Be sure to follow DPR on FaceBook, Twitter and Google Plus to see what we are up to and where we are! Don’t forget to check out our amazing Marketing Partners when you visit our website http://dinapariseracing.com/marketing-partners . People always ask how DPR can get out there to do what they do. The Advertising Partners are the key to DPR’s success! This team works hard to keep their Advertisers happy! So check out the Advertisers and go ahead and try their products and services! DPR uses them all!
Thanks for reading! See you at the races!
‘Till next time!
The First Quarter
Well the Dina Parise Racing team has a tough start to the first quarter so far. I suffered my very first engine explosion ever driving my 1953 Corvette Pro Mod, which was not pretty by the way. Oh, and of course it was documented in Drag Illustrated’s May/June Issue.Photographer Van Abernethy never misses a beat.
As for Dina’s car, her 1963 Corvette Pro Mod is just not playing nice in the sand box. We call it the ‘Beast’ for a reason! And the ‘Beast’ name will remain, at least for now. We have hired some folks to do a Voodoo dance and scare the devil out of it. Hopefully, that will work.
Like they say; if it was easy everybody would be doing it. We aren’t going to throw the towel in just yet so keep a close eye on the progress.
The Men Behind the Scenes
Keeping busy as a crew member oh, and a driver, (that statement always makes my crew laugh) I don’t always get to hear what the announcers say.But, having to play both roles,I do at least try to pay attention as often as possible. Every so often I will hear things said , regarding our team or others.At times, I am in awe of the plethora of information I hear! Question for everyone, when was the last time you thanked the announcer?Asked them for their autograph,or took pictures with them ? Can’t remember can you? They speak to thousands of people during an event, an entire event! I can tell you is this, they have a much harder job than I do. They have to be a comedian, yet they must be a book of knowledge. They need to be exciting and all the while speak to people who know everything about drag racing and some that no nothing about drag racing and make it entertaining and understandable for all . It’s a tall order. Yes, some announcers are over the top at times, but think about this ; would you rather hear crickets in between rounds?
My good Friend Rockin Rob Cherkas is a great example of such an announcer! The guy is a great drag racer in his own right and the Announcer for many racing events. He is the most professional and exciting guy to listen to when he is announcing. He begins his day in the team pits gathering information ( like a sponge) so he can relay that information to the fans. Team by team, round by round, Rockin’ Rob keeps the fans informed and intrigued.
If you are NHRA nut, Bob Frye was the voice of NHRA. I had the honor of meeting Mr.Frye while we were racing at Numidia Dragway many years ago. As he interviewed Dina, I said ‘ ” Now, that is one job I would suck at.” Not only does he remember names, he has to remember engine specs, what he ate for lunch yesterday, be funny to boot. Are you nuts? I am lucky if I remember my wife’s name! What’s her name? …..oh, ya….Boss.
So, the next time your at race thank your announcer! He has one the toughest jobs around.
Sitting VS. Standing
This is a topic that still blows me away and I really wish people would just deal with it.
Yes, Dina has had her mishaps but they are not due to the fact that she is a female or that she can’t drive. She has had issues (mechanical in nature) beyond her control. What really drives me nuts is when I hear the statement “Women should not be in a race car”. I love this statement . Honestly, it makes me push Dina even harder (well, harder than she pushes herself!).
Trust me, I have noticed that this sport has enough men in it that should never be allowed to drive a street car, let alone a 200+ MPH bullet. When Dina went to Frank Hawley Drag Racing School for her license, I saw grown men all pumped up with their chest out being cocky. Well, after the first burn out they were practically sucking their thumbs and asking for a glass of milk because they were so scared. I did ask this one guy, what happened when he did not complete part of the course. His answer; ” This is not for me, way too much.” At least he was honest, but I wasn’t going to let him off too easy. I said, “well you gave the girls in the class a hard time” (because he did), “I don’t see your chest pumping now, it isn’t so easy is it?” He put his head down and just walked away.
My point is, regardless, if it is my wife or another female we as men need to show respect to them just like you would to any male driver. If you are a guy, and race and lose to a female, it doesn’t mean you are any less of a man, it just means you lost the race. If you think it is easy (if you have not raced), spend the money at Frank’s School and try it. You may be surprised. The next time you think a female should not be in racing, go tell Shirley Muldowney or Bunny Burkett what you think. Be sure to keep your mouthguard in, you may need it.
The brains that make us look good.
For a small team we get a lot accomplished and a lot goes unnoticed but not forgotten. This year DPR has the pleasure of working with Jon Salemi ( AKA Salmi) of Resolution Racing Services. I was told he was a good guy, knows his stuff blah blah… I’m from NY, proof is in the numbers. Well, he has proven me to eat my words. He knows his stuff. From a 6.15 to 6.05 in two runs, that is impressive but what really was impressive is he told me what it was going to run. Now If the guy who was to check the rods only did his part we would of went on the next round,. HHHMMM, now what is that guys name ? Oh, ya ! That was me. Yes, I am admitting I made a mistake, it doesn’t happen often because I am perfect but it happens. All seriousness, Jon is a great tuner and has brought a lot of new information to our team. Now, if he can only give us the winning Lotto numbers……….
My brotha from anotha motha, Butch Bruzele. Butch is the man who no matter what happens, smiles and says we will get it next time. He is always Johnny on the spot and just keeps going. A Quick story : We needed tires for the race car while at Virginia Motorsports Park. We found them three hours away but had to pick them up. Butch and I drove. When we arrived the guy says where you putting the tires? We said in here!We were driving a Mustang! We had to push the front seats as close to the dash as possible. We got lots of stares the whole way back to the track! Without him in the pit area, I would have jumped off the trailer many times.He for sure….Keeps me grounded!
Jody Lupton (Aka Pepsi) is our ‘Southern Fried goodness’ boy. This guy will drive to any race track at any time of the day. For one event we drove 5 hours one way to pickup batteries! Pepsi drives a Box with air suspension that is 3 inches off the ground!I think I left my butt back at the race track 4.55 mins into the drive. Pepsi is a book of knowledge as well. He remembers every run, every detail.He is his own computer, for sure!
These guys are our part of our family now, even if they don’t like it or want to admit it. They get to endure the same pain, fun and excitement the Boss gives me including gray hair. I can say we have a lot of fun in our little DPR family and without them and the others that I will mention next time I would not be able to be so perfect. Come on I had a .000 light at MIR ! But seriously, these faces you see behind the cars, staring at the computer screen for hours, full of oil and covered in rubber are a huge part of our family. Even though the first quarter wasn’t a great one, the second quarter is looking a lot brighter already. So, keep an eye out for the crazy Italian family and some southern boys as well. Huu.. I think I have a new reality TV show, Italy meets the South. Meatball vs Grits. Ravioli vs Biscuits and gravy.
There was somethin’ strange in the neighborhood….Well, the Ghostbusters did not get a call, but the Dina Parise Racing team sure could have used ’em! Chasing ghosts and gremlins, you would have thought it was Halloween! The Dina Parise Racing team attended the Northeast Outlaw Pro mod Association event at the ‘New’ Capitol Raceway. Although it was not Halloween, this outing seemed to be more tricks than treats! “Between the sweltering heat and the fact that my 63 Corvette was just not willing to cooperate, it was a frustrating weekend.” , Stated Dina Parise. ” This car is fast, and we know that. So once she settles in… Look out!” Said with a smile.
Although the DPR team had a DNQ for this past weekend’s race, it was not a total loss. The team was inundated with fans back at the trailer after each pass. ” It really makes you feel good that you have fan support regardless of the outcome.” Stated Dina Parise. “Of course we want a stellar number on every pass, and we want to win. Some days that’s not in the cards, but it’s nice to know that the fans are ok with that. But I will not be making a habit of it, let me make that clear! ” She laughs.
As stated earlier, this NEOPMA event was held at the ‘New’ Capitol Raceway in Crofton , Maryland. This track does have a very rich history in Drag Racing . From Don Prudhomme to Joe Amato to Bunny Burkett this track has entertained many with the best of the best. Then for a period of time, Capitol Raceway seemed to have fallen into a bit of disrepair. It seemed it’s reputation among racers and fans had become muddied and things looked bleak. Then in 2012 along came Raceway Promotions, a company formed by John Crane and B.J. Herrell to revitalize the facility. “Frankly, we were not sure what to expect when we arrived here on Friday.” Stated Andrew Parise. ” But I have to say, Jimmy (Bradshaw) and the crew really put the racers first and kept the track conditions under control given the unbearable heat, and especially since we were only running Dina’s car; Happy wife, Happy life!” He laughs.
Next stop for the DPR team is the NEOPMA race at Atco Raceway. The ghosts have been exorcised and all is well in the Parise camp, and the team is ready to resume racing.
DPR would like to Thank : Butch Branzelle, Nick Montana & Chris Montana (Pro Chassis Design), Jody Lupton and Dave Jordan for their assistance on and off the track .
People always ask how DPR can get out there to do what they do. The Advertising Partners are the key to DPR’s success! This team works hard to keep their Advertisers happy! Check out the Advertisers and go ahead and try their products and services! DPR uses them all ! NGK, LAT Racing Oils, CRC Industries, Throttle Threads (the official team uniforms), Radical Corvettes, Island Propane, Neal Chance, Hoosier Racing Tire, Browell Bellhousing and Pro Chassis design. Visit here : http://dinapariseracing.com/dina-parise-racing-sponsors for all their websites and details! Contact DPR to become an Advertising Partner!
Story by: DPR
Photo By D&S Photography