Honor the Sacrifice on Memorial Day

Fire up the grill, it’s Memorial Day! I bet that’s what you are thinking, right? Of course, we all work our fingers to the bone in anticipation of the next vacation day or holiday. It’s the perfect time to gather with family and friends. Or, are you a shopper? If you are, there are plenty of sales to take advantage of. When it comes to holidays, we all utilize that time off in different ways. We are entitled to it. We have worked for it. After all, we live in a country that allows us the freedom to do what we want when we want.

Do we ever think about the freedom and rights we are so privileged to have? Probably not. Our country seems unsettled and a bit chaotic, at the moment. Citizens are at odds over what they consider right and wrong. Many have taken to the streets to protest. Some protest in other manners. The bottom line is that we have the means to speak and gather freely.

The truth is, many Men and Women (of our U.S. Military) have sacrificed greatly for the freedom we all take advantage of. Agree or disagree with how the freedom has been obtained, the bottom line is we owe those who sacrificed a debt of gratitude. Keep in mind we must ‘hate the war, NOT the warrior.’

Be sure to Fly your flag high. Have that Barbeque! Go buy yourself something nice! But, before you do, please take a moment to remember why Memorial Day originated and those it was created to honor. A moment of our time is the least we can do. As you honor those who sacrificed for our freedom, be sure to keep in mind the families that are left behind. Maybe take a quick trip to a military cemetery and lay a wreath or flag to commemorate those we have lost. Teach your children to understand and respect the sacrifices made.

At 3 p.m. local time, all Americans are asked to pause (as an act of National unity) for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.

To all those who are serving or have served, we Thank You for your service and sacrifice. We will never forget.

“Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.” —Franklin D. Roosevelt 

For an extensive list of Military discounts please visit:  https://militarybenefits.info/

Photo and Story by Dina Parise


Choosing Politics over Promotion, makes Racing a Drag

You cannot escape it. Talk of politics is all around us at what seems to be every moment of the day. I personally am not a fan of talking politics, but in this instance, I will make an exception.

Drag racing is a tough sport in many ways. Of course, I say this from experience. Our sport is not only difficult from a performance aspect, but from a financial aspect as well. As a team owner (and driver) I can attest to the difficulty of fielding ‘Stella’ our Cadillac Pro Mod for one race let alone an entire season. The unfortunate truth is that we (the independent teams) have more of an uphill battle when it comes to funding and sponsorship. That is not a complaint by any means, but it is the truth. We as teams (and drivers) do not need anyone, let alone a sanctioning body, hindering the use of a sponsor logo, especially when it relates to the very sport we all work so hard to participate in and promote. This week, Larry Dixon returned to the seat at the Gator Nationals in his own car (as opposed to driving for a funded team). He stated he is running Gainesville and hoping to possibly run another event. Something we at Dina Parise Racing can understand and relate to.

NHRA in its infinite wisdom placed a ‘cease and desist’ (of sorts) on Dixon running a sponsor’s logo due to ‘conflict of interest’ (*See below). They reference the rule that states: right to refuse to display any sponsor decal on a racecar or rig it deems as detrimental to the organization. Detrimental? In this instance, I would say in this case, NHRA may have a flair for drama and at the same time, has given IHRA and the World Series of Drag Racing more publicity than they could have ever asked for.

Dixon’s NHRA Mello Yello NHRA Drag Racing Series Gator Nationals event sponsorship is on behalf of The World Series of Drag Racing, an event hosted by Cordova International Raceway. Did I mention Cordova is owned by IHRA, another sanctioning body you may have heard of? I, like anyone else, understands the competitive nature (and egos) between the two sanctioning bodies. The sponsorship was to promote a ‘match race’ during this World Series of Drag Racing event. The event itself is not in conflict with the NHRA schedule, nor was the IHRA logo included on the sponsor decal. Did they ‘ride the line’ with this one? Maybe. But the bottom line was that it was a specific event being promoted, and that was the means for this multi-time champion to get back in the NHRA show. This move puts a bad taste in the racers and race fans mouths.

While understanding, we are dealing with two different sanctioning bodies, we must also understand another important issue here. There is a lack of ‘full fields’ not just in the nitro ranks of NHRA, but throughout the sport. Gone are the days of 30 plus cars fighting for sixteen spots. This may be a bit of a grey area here, but in the end, we need to promote our sport and its drivers.

Let’s talk scheduling. I do know a bit about this, due to my former profession as a professional skater for the Ice Capades. We too had competitors, therefore, our shows were booked in at venues accordingly. Did they want to make their competitor happy? No, but they did want to make the fans happy, and they are the ones purchasing the tickets (and merchandise). As in my former show world and in racing, I believe the answer is simple. Sanctioning bodies, as well as large racing organizations, need to work together for the betterment of the sport. Not looking for a Kumbaya moment here, just a resolution. Each year, there needs to be a formal conference to address the complexities of our sport. First and foremost, they need to address scheduling. To (at least attempt) not schedule major events on top of one another benefits everyone. This is not foolproof, but addressing scheduling will make a difference. Racers can possibly run more events, and fans have more options of events to attend. Addressing rule and class structures so teams can have the option to run more events. This especially applies in Pro Mod. The rules and structure of the class varies to where many teams cannot compete or even hope to be competitive. It is the racers as well as the fans that deserve that respect. Without the racer, (and the race fan) what do you have?

Organizations need to take stock in the teams. They need to learn how to better promote the teams and events as well as themselves, and worry less about the politics. When promoting teams, it is imperative to promote all that participate, not just the heavy hitters. Keep fans excited and connected. In turn, ROI (return on investment) will be created for the sponsors, and racers will have the means to continue racing. Need to know a thing or two about promotion? Contact me (http://dinapariseracing.com/contact/ ) and let me show you the way. Yes, that is an example of shameless self-promotion. See how I did that?

Now, more than ever, sponsors are hard to come by. No sponsors, no racers; therefore, no fans and no show. Although the organizations themselves are separate entities, the goal is still the same. Working together will benefit everyone. It is the most efficient way to have the fields and stands full.

Want to learn more about DPR? The Website will show you the way! For all things DPR please visit: http://dinapariseracing.com/   Be sure to follow along on Social Media to keep up with it all !

See you at the races and beyond!

Dina Parise

* Competition Plus- http://competitionplus.com/drag-racing/news/politics-puts-the-kibosh-on-dixon%E2%80%99s-gators-sponsor

Passion VS Conscience a delicate balance

Accept the things to which fate binds you, and love the people with whom fate brings you together, but do so with all your heart. ~Marcus Aurelius

There are many outside (and even inside) the tight knit circle of Drag Racing that do not understand how we persist regardless of circumstances surrounding us. It seems to be a struggle of conscience verses passion. Many of us wondering where do we draw the line? When do we say ‘the show must go on’ and when do we pull the plug?

Passion is the strongest of emotions, yet so is grief. How do we balance the two yet be true to the ones we care for? It’s a delicate balance. Oddly in racing, it seems that question answers itself. Passion consoles the grieving party. Passion in turn gives strength and becomes a form of solace. This seems true for most athletes. Therefore, it is an unspoken understanding that when tragedy strikes within the ranks the competition will continue. It continues because that passion is what fuels every competitor and inevitably keeps that competitive flame burning. Passion binds us, fate brings us together and keeps us forever bound to one another.

Having been an athlete all my life, I understand this theory all too well. Sudden death or injury can make anyone question continuing in that moment. Again, as I have learned it is the passion that we draw upon for strength. Utilizing that passion for strength is what eases the conscience in the long run merely for the fact that it solidifies the tie that binds us. Call it cliché, but it is the truth.

So, for those standing in judgment of others continuing to follow their dreams in the face of adversity I ask you this simple question: ‘What did YOU do today?’ Until your answer consists of struggling to make your way, fighting tooth and nail to achieve your goals; you may want to keep that pie hole shut. There are too many that condemn the actions of others without having any real knowledge of those they are condemning or what it is they do. I am making a blanket statement here. But I have said it before, until you have been there, done that or stood in THAT person’s shoes you have no right to judge.

Frankly it does not matter your passion , be it; Drag Racing ( I will admit we prevail on the ‘cool scale’), Figure Skating (yes also high on that ‘cool scale’ as well ), a ball sports, music , art, whatever . In the end it all comes down to the conscience verses passion. Let your passion continue to keep your dream alive. Your conscience will keep itself in check and you will know at what moment something may be disrespectful or off. Every case is different yet the passion remains the same.

Get out there. Follow your dreams, or sit on the couch and eat Cheetos. The choice is yours.

See you at the Track!

Dina Parise

Veterans Day- Salute the Sacrifice not the Sales Tactics

We have become a nation where pop-culture rules the airwaves. It seems that a movie or ‘reality’ star having a stint in rehab or dying of a drug overdose puts the nation into a state of mourning. Where are the stories about actual ‘reality’? About the men and women who have put their lives on the line to secure the very freedom we all enjoy? The freedom for me to write this piece. The freedom for you to read it? Have we as a society become that superficial and desensitized?

According to the Department of Defense (DOD) the number of military casualties (KIA) from October 7, 2001 to July 28, 2015 are 6,825.The number of wounded (WIA) 52,351. The number of diagnosed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Cases (PTSD) is a staggering 138,197. What is missing from here is the number of suicide deaths. Did you know that 22 veterans take their own life each day? (If you need help: Suicide Hotline Phone: (800) 273-TALK (8255) http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ ) How often do you see that on the cover of the newspaper? How often do you see members of our Military on the front page of the newspaper or on a TV show for doing what they do? For putting their lives on the line. Sadly, not often enough. It seems having a limb blown off by an IED is not sensational enough to rival such heroic duties as overdosing in a brothel. But who am I to make that distinction?

One of the days of the year you will hopefully see our nation’s Military gracing the cover of newspapers and magazines is Veterans Day. Veterans Day originated as Armistice Day and marked the end of hostilities of World War I. This occurred at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month. The day is always recognized on November 11th, regardless of the day of the week the 11th falls on. It is a day Americans are encouraged to say thank you to those who serve and have served our country to maintain the freedoms we all enjoy. Yet again, Americans have turned an important holiday of recognition into merely a sales tactic.

Now I ask you, what does the sale of a mattress have to do with the Veterans Day holiday? Still thinking? Absolutely nothing. If some of these sales involved ‘giving back’ by donating to a military charity or something of that nature, I could certainly understand the correlation. Unfortunately, most only utilize the ‘term’ Veterans Day for their own profit. Our Veterans deserve so much more.

Please remember our Veterans on this Veterans Day and every day. Let’s show our Veterans how thankful we are for their sacrifice on behalf of  this country, and what it stands for. Get involved! Take your children to a VA center to cheer up our Veterans. Fly your flags proudly. Head to a participating restaurant (listed below), purchase a ‘gift card’ and leave it behind to be given to a Veteran! Let us all give the respect to our Veterans that they so truly deserve. Every little bit makes a difference! Our Dina Parise Racing team has always believed that!

Thankfully there are companies out there that do pass along the gratitude that our Veterans deserve! There are many companies that will provide Veterans with discounts or a free meal. I have included the list of restaurants below.

Andrew and I are off to spend the evening with some amazing Veterans and their families!

Thank you to ALL our Veterans and to those currently serving our country! We appreciate your sacrifice!

See you at the Races~

Dina Parise


Below is the list of restaurants offering discounts or a free meal for our Veterans.

You will find more discounts by visiting: http://themilitarywallet.com/veterans-day-free-meals-and-discounts/ . We thank them for this list!

Two notes before heading out:

  • Proof of Military Service. Most companies require some form of military ID. These include: a Military ID Card (active/reserve/retired), VA ID card, Current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), Drivers License with Veterans Designation, Photograph in uniform, wearing your uniform (if your service permits), Veterans Organization Card (e.g., American Legion and VFW), DD214, discharge paperwork, or other form of identification. Note, there is a New Federal Veterans ID Card coming soon. Other restaurants and companies may go by the honor system.
  • Participation. Second, always call ahead to verify locations, times, and participation. Many of the listed companies are franchises and may have different policies. We will do our best to keep this page updated as we find new info.

2015 Free Veterans Day Meals

Note: We are frequently updating this page with 2015 offers as they become available. Please verify dates, participation, and availability.

Applebees , free meal, Nov. 11, 2015: Last year, Applebee’s served over one million free meals to military veterans and active service members. Applebee’s is again offering a free meal to military veterans and active-duty service members on Veterans Day, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2015. There will be 7 entrées to choose from, beverage and gratuity not included. Military ID or proof of service required. More.

Bar Louie America , Free meal on Nov. 10th and 11th, 2015. From open to close November 10th and 11th every Bar Louie location across the country will offer veterans and military personnel a free meal up to a $12 value. Available at participating locations, military ID or proof of service is required. Locations.

BJs Restaurant and Brewery, Nov. 11, 2015. Free entree, up to $12.95 value. Offer valid to all active duty military and veterans, with proof of service. More info. Locations.

Bob Evans, Nov. 11, 2015. Free All you can eat hotcakes. For active duty military and veterans with ID or proof of service. More Info. Locations.

Bonanza Steakhouse, Nov. 11, 2015. Free Veterans Day buffet at participating locations. More info. Locations.

Brann’s Steakhouse and Grille. Free 6 oz Sirloin and two sides. Locations.

Buehler’s Grocery, Nov. 11, 2015. Free breakfast menu meal for veterans and active duty military. From 7:00 am until 11:00 am at participating locations. Locations.

Buffalo’s Cafe, Nov. 11, 2015. Free meal at participating locations. Locations.

Calhoun’s Restaurant, Nov. 11, 2015. Free meal, choice of Hickory Smoked Bar-B-Que Half Slab of Ribs, Hickory Smoked Bar-B-Que Pork Plate, “Ale” Steak, Fresh Chicken Calhoun, and Southern Fried Catfish. Proof of Service required. Locations.

California Pizza Kitchen, Nov. 11, 2015. Choose a pizza, full size salad, or pasta from the special Veterans Day Menu. Dine-in only. Please come in uniform or bring your military I.D. or other proof of service. Find a location near you.

Carraba’s, Monday Nov. 9 – Sunday Nov. 15, 2015. Free appetizer of your choice for active duty service members and veterans. Military ID or proof of service required. Locations.

Cattlemens Steakhouse, Nov. 11, 2015. Free 8 oz Sirloin Steak Dinner on Veterans Day. Includes all-you-can-eat salad, sourdough bread, baked potato, and ranch style beans. Proof of service required. Locations.

CentraArchy Restaurants, Nov. 11, 2015. Free meal for veterans and 25% off meals for accompanying guests at Fiesta del Burro Loco, all California Dreaming restaurants, Carolina Roadhouse, all Chophouse 47 restaurants, Gulfstream Cafe, Joey D’s Oakroom all New York Prime restaurants, and The Tavern at Phipps. Locations.

Cheeseburger in Paradise, Nov. 11 2015. Free All-American Burger with fries with purchase of beverage and military ID or proof of service. Available to active military or veterans. Beverages and gratuity not included, dine-in only, and participating locations only. More info. Find a location near you.

Chilis Restaurant – Free meal, Nov. 11 2015. Chili’s is offering all military veterans past and present their choice of any lunch combo, or your choice of a dinner meal from a select menu, including any full-size flatbread. Offer only available at participating Chili’s in the U.S. only. Dine-in from limited menu only; beverages and gratuity not included. Veterans and active duty military simply show proof of military service. Visit their website to find locations.

City Barbeque, Nov. 11, 2015. Free sandwich platter at participating locations. Proof of service required. Locations.

Claim Jumper, Nov. 9, 2015. Free entrée from select menu, with official proof of service. Dine-in only. Locations.

Cotton Patch Café, Nov. 11, 2015. Free meal for current and former military members. Choices include full-size chicken fried steak, or chicken fried chicken. Proof of service required. Locations.

Country Cookin, Nov. 10, 2015. Free meal for current and former military. Proof of service required. Please note the date – this is valid the day before Veterans Day! Locations.

Denny’s, Nov. 11, 2015. Free Build Your Own Grand Slam® on Nov. 11, from 5 a.m. to noon for all active, inactive, and retired military personnel. Participating locations only. Please call ahead. Locations.

Fatz Eatz & Drinkz, Nov. 11, 2015. Free World Famous Calabash Chicken® meal for current and former military members, 11am until close. Proof of service required. Locations.

Fox and Hound Bar and Grille and Bailey’s Sports Grille, Nov. 11, 2015. Free Sandwich or Entree (up to $10) for active duty military and veterans with ID or proof of service. Dine-in only and at only at participating locations. Locations.

Friendly’s, Nov. 11, 2015. Free breakfast, lunch, or dinner with ID. Dine-in only. Limited to one per person. Offer available for active military and veterans with ID or discharge papers. Participating locations only. Locations.

Glory Days, Nov. 11, 2015. Free appetizer or an order or boneless wings. Dine-in only and at only at participating locations. Locations.


Golden Corral free veterans day meal Golden Corral – Free meal, Nov. 11, 2015 (5pm – 9pm): The 15th annual Golden Corral Military Appreciation dinner will is available to any person who has ever served in the United States Military. If you are a veteran, retired, currently serving, in the National Guard or Reserves, you are invited to participate in Golden Corral’s Military Appreciation dinner. For more information visit http://www.goldencorral.com/military/.

*Special thanks to Golden Corral: To date, Golden Corral restaurants have provided over 4.4 million free meals and contributed over $10.2 million to the Disabled American Veterans organization. Amazing!*

Green Mill, Nov. 11, 2015. Free menu item for lunch or dinner. Offer includes any single item from our menu. Pizza restricted to a small one-topping Deep Dish. Proof of military service required. More Info. Locations.

Grub Burger Bar, Nov. 11, 2015. 50% off of meal, and a free Caramel Apple shake. Proof of military service required. More Info. Locations.

Hooters, Nov. 11, 2015. Hooters invites all veterans and current servicemen and women to enjoy a free meal from a select menu. Requires drink purchase. Only valid at participating locations. Locations.

Hoss’s Family Steak & Sea House, Nov. 11, 2015. Free meal form the American Values Menu, Nov. 11 from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Dine-in only, valid ID or proof of service required. Valid at participating restaurants only. Locations.

Hurricane Grill & Wings, Nov. 11, 2015. Free meal from special menu at participating locations. Proof of service required. Locations.

Hy-Vee , Nov. 11, 2015. Free Veterans Day breakfast from 7am – 11am at all participating Hy-Vee supermarkets with in-store dining. More info.

IHOP, Nov. 11, 2015, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Free Red, White and Blue pancakes, or Red, White and Blue pancakes combo plate including eggs, bacon and hashed browns. Participating locations only. Please call ahead to verify participation. More info. Locations.

Little Caesars Pizza , Nov. 11, 2015. Free pizza or $5 HOT-N-READY Lunch Combo to all US Armed Forces veterans and active military members between 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM. With proof of military service, at participating stores nationwide. Call ahead to verify participation. Locations.

Longhorn Steakhouse , Nov. 11, 2015. Complimentary Texas Tonion and non-alcoholic beverage. Offer good for Veterans and active-duty military members. Proof of service required. Visit their site to find a location near you.

Max & Erma’s , November 11, 2015. Participating Max & Erma’s locations are offering military members and veterans a free Best Cheeseburger in America Combo, which includes tortilla soup or side Caesar salad, seasoned fries, and chocolate chip cookies. Dine-in only. Call ahead to verify participation. ID or proof of service required. More info. Locations.

McCormick and Schmick’s Seafood Restaurants – free lunch or dinner, Sunday Nov 8, 2015: McCormick & Schmick’s is celebrating their 17th annual Veteran’s Appreciation Event on Sunday, November 8th. Veterans will be able to choose a complimentary lunch or dinner entrée from a special menu. Veterans must provide proof of military service. Be sure to contact your local McCormick & Schmick’s as this is valid at participating restaurants only. Also, space is limited and reservations are highly recommended. For more information visit: McCormick and Schmick’s Veterans Appreciation Event.

Menchie’s, Nov. 11, 2015. All veterans and current servicemembers will receive a free 6 oz. frozen yogurt on Veterans Day. Locations.

Misison BBQ, Nov. 11, 2015. Free sandwiches to active duty military members and veterans at participating locations. Locations.

MOD Pizza, Nov. 11, 2015. free pizza or salad to for active duty military and veterans with ID or proof of service. Dine-in only and at only at participating locations. Locations.

O’Charley’s, Nov. 9, 2015. Free entree from the $9.99’er menu for all active military and veterans with proof of service. Find a location near you.

The Olive Garden, Free entrée, Nov. 11, 2015. Offer good for veterans and active duty military; proof of service required. Guests that dine with a Veteran also receive 10% off of their bill as well! Locations.

On the Border, Nov. 11, 2015. Veterans and current servicemembers will receive a free choose 2 or choose 3 “Create Your Own Combo”. Dine-in only, proof of service required. Find a location near you.

Orange Leaf, Nov. 11, 2015. Free frozen yogurt (up to 11 0z.). Proof of service required. Locations.

Outback Steakhouse, Nov. 11, 2015. Outback Steakhouse is honoring America’s military veterans by offering active duty military and veterans a free Bloomin’ Onion and a non-alcoholic beverage. This offer is available to Military Personnel and veterans with ID. Also receive 15% off your purchase from Nov. 12-Dec 31, 2015. Locations.

PDQ Tenders, Nov. 11, 2015. PDQ Free 3 piece Tenders or Sandwich with a military ID or uniform. PDQ also offers 50% off the entire order for all active/retired military personnel on the first Monday every month. Locations.

Pinnacle Entertainment (Casino Chain), Nov. 11, 2015. Select locations are offering a free buffet meal for current military members and veterans. Some locations include Ameristar Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk, Colorado, L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles, Louisiana, Cactus Petes Resort Casino, Jackpot, Nevada, and Retama Park, Selma, Texas. Please call ahead to verify times and participation. ID or proof of service required. More info and locations.

Ponderosa Steakhouse, Nov. 11, 2015. Free Veterans Day buffet at participating locations only. More info. Locations.

Primanti Bros, Nov. 11, 2015.. Free Sandwich for veterans and active duty military. From 4pm to close at participating locations. More info. Locations.

Red Lobster – Monday, November 9 through Thursday, November 12, 2015. Free Appetizer or Dessert during the week of Veterans Day with military ID or proof of service. Vets may choose from a select list of appetizers and desserts. Find a location near you.

Red Robin, Nov. 11, 2015. Free Red’s Tavern Double and Bottomless Steak Fries for all Red Robin guests with a military ID or proof of service. Locations.

Rock & Brews, Nov. 11, 2015. Complimentary pulled pork sandwich with a side choice of natural fries, house potato salad, pasta salad or coleslaw. Proof of military service required. More Info. Locations.

Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza & Grill, Nov. 11, 2015. Free garlic cheese bread or hummus with grilled herb flatbread for active duty military and veterans with ID or proof of service. Dine-in only and at only at participating locations. Locations.

Sheetz, Nov. 11, 2015. Free lunch at participating locations. Free car wash also available at participating locations, Proof of service required. Locations.

Shoney’s, Nov. 11, 2015. Free All-American Burger to veterans and active duty servicemembers. Dine-in only, Proof of Service required. Shoney’s also offers a 15% everyday hometown heroes discount (military, fire, Police, EMT). Locations.

Sizzler Restaurants, Nov. 11, 2015. Free lunch served until 4pm. Choice of 3 entrees, and a free coffee, tea, or fountain drink. Not valid for salad bar or gratuity. Valid with proof of military service. Dine-in only at participating locations. Locations.

Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill, Nov. 11, 2015. Free meal from special Veterans Day menu at participating locations only. Locations.

The Spaghetti Warehouse, Mon Nov. 9th through Wed Nov. 11th, 2015. Buy one entrée, get one free. Coupon Required (available on their website and FaceBook page on Nov. 3). Choose any of 11 Original Recipe Spaghetti entrées and receive a second entrée free. Friends and relatives are encouraged to treat a veteran to a meal. More Info. Locations.

Starbucks, Nov. 11, 2015. Free tall brewed coffee for active duty, veterans, and their spouses. Participating stores only. Please call ahead.

Tap House Grill, Nov. 11, 2015. Free meal for service members and veterans with proof of service. Dine-in only. Locations.

Texas Roadhouse, Nov. 11, 2015. Free lunch event to honor the men and women of our armed forces. Choose from one of 10 free meals, plus sides and a soft drink, coffee, or tea. Offer good for All veterans – including all active, retired or former U.S. military. ID Required. Dine-in only. Call ahead to verify times and locations. Find locations.

T.G.I.-Fridays, Nov. 11, 2015. Free lunch for all current military members and veterans from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Valid ID or proof of service required. Dine-on only at participating locations. Be sure to contact your local T.G.I Friday’s for details. Locations.

Tijuana Flats, Nov. 11, 2015. Free lunch at participating locations. Locations.

Tony Roma’s , Nov. 11, 2015. Free half rack Baby Back Ribs at select Florida locations. For current and former military members with valid proof of service. Valid at select locations only. Please call ahead to verify participation. Locations.

Tubby’s Sub Shops, Nov. 11, 2015. Free small Grilled Steak N’ Cheese or Tubby’s Famous Sub at participating Tubby’s locations. Take out only. Locations.

Twin Peaks Restaurants, Nov. 11, 2015. Free menu item at participating locations. Please call ahead to verify participation. Locations.

UNO’s pizza Chicago Grill, Nov. 11, 2015. Free individual pizza or entrée with the purchase of a pizza or entrée of equal or greater value. Available for all active duty and veterans. No coupon necessary; proof of service required. Don’t forget to tell the staff you are there that day to support Wounded

Warrior Project, and a portion of your party’s check will go to benefit the Wounded

Warrior Project, an awesome military charity. Find a location near you.

Village Inn, Nov. 11, 2015. Free breakfast any time of day (choice of buttermilk pancakes, French toast, or a Belgian waffle). Wednesday is also Free Pie day, and veterans will be able to receive a free slice of pie. Veterans who visit on Veterans Day will also receive a “Thank You for Your Service Card” valid for 20% off their total bill on their next visit. Participating locations only. Please call ahead. Locations.

Wienerschnitzel, Nov. 11, 2015. Free hot dog and small soft drink at participating locations. Locations.

54th Street Grill, Nov. 11, 2015. Free meal, up to $12 value, valid for current and former service members. Proof of service required. Locations.


In drag racing diversity is the norm


If you ‘cruise’ the pits at a drag race the sights and sounds can be mind-numbing. There is the distinct smell of alcohol in the air. Exhaust becomes a cheap cologne that is essentially a ‘gift with ticket purchase’. The constant hum of motors revving has an almost musical tone to it. From classical to hard rock, it’s your choice. You will notice the diversity in vehicle choices. Probably one of the coolest features about drag racing cars IS their diversity! At the dragstrip one will encounter a staggering number of cars that range in age, make and model as well as material. Some boast original bodies while others are reproductions. None the less, the racers will race them, talk about them and show them proudly.

Vehicles and motors aside. What is the most important component to the drag racing equation? The people of course! As you know I have spent a day or two at the drag strip. If I am there to race or to spectate, there is always something I take away from it; how diverse our sport actually is.

Drag racing is and has almost always been ahead of the curve as far as diversity is concerned. That in and of itself is an accomplishment that has quite frankly gone un-noticed. Look, no disrespect to NASCAR, but we (drag racing) do not need a Diversity Program to bring female and multicultural athletes in. We are there. We have been there for quite some time. Black, White, Male, Female and pick a cultural background. Don’t forget our Import racers! Many are of Puerto Rican decent. I could go on… Let’s just say, drag racing has it and more!

Even when I’m racing, I do like to cruise the pits when we have some downtime. This past weekend I met up with two great ladies that inspired me to write this blog reinforcing why I love this sport so much. They are the epitome of why this sport is diverse. Not just because they are female. There is more to it than that!

As many of you may know, I was formerly a skater for the famed Ice Capades. Yes. I was a ‘Show Girl’. They say you can take the girl out of the show but you can’t take the show out of the girl. There is quite a bit of truth to that! I was also a licensed hairdresser for many years. That was what I did during the week and proceeded to race a Pro Mod on the weekends. At one point someone deemed me Claire Kent. Oddly, I thought it fit! My background certainly lends itself to the diversity factor in our sport.

Cruising the pits this past weekend, I passed a bright pink Pinto that read ‘Teacher’s Pet’ and I had to stop. Who does not like a Pink Pinto? The driver’s name is Jessica. She proceeded to tell me she had been a 4th grade teacher and was now a librarian. A librarian by day, a racer on the weekend. Yes, too cool. I bet the kids love it too!


Then I met Jenna. We bonded over our fur babies. Bella and Dixie did meet although Dixie seemed a bit put off by Bella’s smushed Pug face! As for her racing, she was running her Mustang in 4 classes (yes 4) along with her Dad. She and her Dad race together quite often. Another fact about her that I found so fun and impressive! They did manage to bring home 6 trophies between the two of them when all was said and done! As you can see in the photo, she was loaded to go. Reason being, she had work on Monday. You see, she’s a payroll clerk. she will head to work Monday but you can bet you will see her out here again next Saturday!

As for other racers I know of with various backgrounds; one transports Koi fish and my husband worked in the IT field for many years……. Diversity.

There is diversity everywhere in our sport. Fans included. I love the fans! Recently in Palm Beach I met two gentlemen that stopped in our pit because they were aware that Stella was going to be making her way down the track. You see, they were both Cadillac CTS-V owners. To boot they owned the only two manual versions in Palm Beach! Since I do shift Stella, I became an honorary member of their little ‘club’!

It is rare to have a negative fan experience. Rare but not non-existent. I have to say that I cannot let this mixed bag of metal and mortals fool me. There is always a leftover Neanderthal creeping around with his knuckles still dragging and a sideways comment. Frankly I am always up for that type of challenge. It keeps me sharp. Let me entertain you with the exchange that took place in the staging lanes this past weekend. Here goes. “Well girl, don’t you think that’s just too much motor for you?” states the Neanderthal as he circles Stella as if stalking his prey. “Since it’s the second one I’ve driven and owned,” I said “I would say no. And the addition of power is more fun for me.” At that point his friends began to give him the ‘choke’ sign. He then tried to speak to me as if I had no idea what I was driving. To be honest, this is rare. So is what I am about to tell you my response was. But, it did the trick. He begins to throw out numbers regarding Horsepower with no apparent knowledge of what he was referencing. He then tried to make a point about the Supercharger unfortunately confusing it with a Pro Charger. All the while speaking to me in a demeaning tone. I listened politely. More politely than he deserved. I needed to put a stop to it. Not because I wanted to ‘one up ‘ him, but because he needed to know that it was unacceptable to treat anyone that way. No matter their gender. I decided to quash it. In my own way I did with a bit of cheeky humor and a slight left jab. In a conversational voice and with a smile I said,  “You know, if I sat you in there and gave one wop to that throttle it would send you running home to your Mamma.” As I said. I never go there. But every once and a while we need to show that our girlie muscles are bigger than their big boy bully muscles. It’s rare but it happens. With that it ended. His friends dispersed but not without bursting into fits of laughter. He licked his wounds, put his tail between his legs and went on his way. I can bet he will just politely ask questions next time at the least that is my hope.

Back to my original point. The next time you attend a race, don’t just watch and listen to the cars. Watch and listen to the drivers themselves. Ask them what they do beyond the 1320. It may surprise you, fool you and or impress you! You will enjoy the sights and sounds even more!

See you at the races!

Dina Parise in MOR-TV Drive Like a Pro PSA

In an effort to encourage everyone to drive safely, I was honored to be asked to be part of the MOR- TV Tampa Drive Like a Pro PSA.


‪Safety is first and foremost when it comes to racing and it is very important to me. Of course we know what we do is dangerous and we are constantly making changes to improve safety. But in the scheme of things I believe being racers and constantly facing inherent danger gives us better perspective regarding what can happen in day to day circumstance as well.


Let me give you an example. I myself have ‘wadded up’ (as we say) a race car. When you can crash at speeds exceeding 100-200MPH and get out of your vehicle and make lunch….. it’s a good day. The difference being our RACE cars are made to withstand that type of blunt force. A street car, not so much. Let us not forget that in a street car we all are not wearing a 5-7 point harness (the equivalent of an octopus wrapping his arms around you using those suction cups to keep you stuck in that seat) along with a fire suit, neck protection and gloves.


So many of these rules (mentioned in the PSA shown below) are common sense and apply to all of us. If you have teen drivers PLEASE talk to them . Not at them… to them. It’s important. Did you know that the days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are the ‘100 deadliest crash days’ for teens in autos? Yes. Talk to them. Educate them.


I will leave you with this :

  1. Put on your seatbelts- Yes, they may wrinkle your shirt a bit, but just think of the alternative if you crash not wearing one. Besides, blood stains and glass chards are tough to get out.
  2. Turn off you phone- An LOL, YEA or a SMH can mean the difference between LIVE or DEAD.
  3. Put down your sammich . Looking down at that drip of mustard on your tie or blouse can cost you.

Lastly…..Just pay attention to the road and your surroundings.

We want to see you at the next race!

Here is the PSA…. Please do not hesitate to share!




For more information: http://www.flhsmv.gov/


Keeping the ‘Memorial’ in Memorial Day

Memorial Day: a holiday observed on the last Monday in May that is meant to honor and remember those who died in the military while serving their country.

There you have it. Honor and Remember. It seems to me that holidays meant to Honor our Nation’s Military members for their service have been essentially turned into a retail shopping and BBQ bonanza rather than embracing the meaning of the day. Since our Dina Parise Racing team has a vast background in honoring our Nation’s Military members, we have experienced this phenomena first hand. If you take one thing from this blog, it is my hopes that as families gather for the holiday everyone will remember (and teach) the importance of why WE have the privilege to enjoy the day never forgetting those who sacrificed so much for that privilege. Memorial Day Intrepid

One moment that stands out in my mind was a conversation I had with someone as we displayed our ’63 and ’53 Corvette Pro Mods at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space museum in 2012. A young (Swedish) tourist came over to us to ask “can you please explain this ‘Memorial Day’ Holiday to me? I see all the stores with red, white and blue in the windows and sale signs but I do not understand what the holiday is.” That was when it really hit me. Retailers utilize the term Memorial Day for their own benefit and most seem not to care or understand the meaning. Not to say that sales and picnics should not occur on this day, but we as citizens need to keep the meaning in the day.

In the past our DPR team has run programs on race days to honor the Military. We have met Active duty as well as Veterans and wounded Veterans of all ages. Having had the honor to work so closely with them makes me (us) want to create awareness for who they are and what they have accomplished. Everything WE do, everything WE accomplish leads back to those who have fought for our freedom. The term ‘Freedom is Not Free’ is not to be taken lightly. We need not feel a sense of entitlement but rather appreciate how unbelievably lucky we are.Memorial Day 4

On this day I ask that you all fly your flag high. When gathering together please take a moment to remember those who sacrificed for our freedom. Maybe take a quick trip to a military cemetery and lay a wreath to commemorate those we have lost. Let your children understand and respect what they have done. No matter where you are , at 3 p.m. local time, all Americans are asked to pause wherever they are for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation.

Enjoy your day with your families.

Photos and Blog – Dina Parise Racing


Keyboard Crew Chiefs …No wrench necessary

It has been said that opinions are like butt holes. Everyone has one but you may not necessarily want to see (or hear) them. Again, I find myself expressing my love/hate relationship with social media, especially the ‘anonymity’ and ‘beer muscle’ mentality of it.

RIGHT on TARGET: The climate of the world today seems to be; build them up just to tear them down. From ‘hero to zero’ in an instant. Those driving (or playing) from the preverbal ‘couch’ no longer see the human on the racetrack (or playing field). What they now seem to see, is a target. A target for their hateful words and play by play descriptions of how ‘they’ would have been better equipped to play out whatever (unfortunate) scenario just unfolded before them.

Recently I observed the ‘ Keyboard Crew Chief ‘ mentality in all its splendor. It seems racing (Drag Racing in particular) is a sport that can be performed from behind the keyboard as well as from behind the wheel. Yes, you read that correctly. Of course…. I will explain.

INSULT WITH or WITHOUT INJURY: As we all know racing is a dangerous and at times unpredictable sport. In the blink of an eye, a car can be wadded up like an old newspaper. Thankfully recent events although horrific were a testament to the safety of these race cars because drivers were able to walk away unharmed, well physically anyway. I say that because they may walk away without a scratch but they better not dare to go on Social Media one second after their said incident because that is where the injury ensues. It’s not bad enough that a driver has just seen his or her life flash before their eyes, they are now being schooled as to what caused their situation as well as what they should and shouldn’t have done. Couple that with being called horrible names as if they are in the schoolyard at recess facing the class bully. I’m guessing that is all in a day’s work for  ‘ Keyboard Crew Chiefs ‘? Perfection must be exhausting.

RESPECT: Now look. I am not saying that while watching a game, I never said, “Oh, why did he do that” or gave my ‘version’ of what I thought the play should have been. Yes, I have been a coach in the spur of the moment in my living room, not going to lie. I’m sure we all do it! What I believe needs to stop is publicly berating and humiliating those whose performance is deemed less than satisfactory. That determination is being made by the likes of those with little or no experience in the very subject matter they are critiquing. If you are not driving that car or making the play, it is very difficult to begin to understand what transpired at that very moment. We need to begin to respect one another for who they are and what they do. If we do not treat one another with respect as adults, what is that teaching the younger generation?

ACCENTUATE the POSITIVE: Respect and sportsmanship go hand in hand. If children read and are influenced by the awful posts that are so readily available to them, it is just the beginning of a lifetime of thinking that behavior is acceptable. If you think they are not reading it, you are wrong. Not to say we can be an ‘Ozzy and Harriet’ society, but we can surely be more respectful. Social Media while a great place to make friends and build fan bases can be a very dark place full of negativity. Somehow this is me in my futile effort to ‘accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative’. Well, a girl can dream can’t she?

STEP 1. ADMITTING the PROBLEM: If while reading this piece you have taken the first step and recognize the signs of yourself as being a ‘Keyboard Crew Chief’, you can get help. It is a treatable disorder. The treatment is to the point, and will get you on the road to recovery quickly! No meetings needed here. You can accomplish this in the privacy of your own home. All you will need is to go out and purchase a Bug Zapper. To begin your recovery, while watching the next Drag Race be sure to have the zapper plugged in. If an unfortunate incident occurs you may have the urge to post an idiotic comment on Social Media. Here’s where the Bug Zapper comes in. When the idiotic comment urge arises, just lean into the Bug Zapper and stick your tongue out. ZAP it! After a couple of rounds with the Zapper, problem solved! The world is now a happier place!

Disclaimer: Do NOT try this at home. This is merely my attempt at humor and NOT a diagnosis or treatment regimen.

Dina Parise ; Float Like a Cadillac, Sting like a ‘V’ !

Depending on your taste…. You may choose a luxury vehicle or maybe something sporty right? What if you could have both ? Sort of….

High Performance Luxury: High performance luxury can be defined as space, comfort and presence but yet, is ultimately defined by the ‘feel’ of the overall vehicle. Emotion begins to distinguish the difference between a ‘luxury’ and a ‘mainstream’ car. Ah, it just became emotional!

In the spirit of taking high performance luxury to the next level, the Dina Parise Racing team would like to present and welcome ‘Stella’, the NEW 3,000HP Cadillac CTS-V Pro Mod built by none other than Matheis Race Cars Inc (Paint by Bruce Mullins).

It is said that perfection takes time. Building Stella had taken a bit longer than first anticipated. Seeing her in all her glory and as the stunner that she is made it well worth the wait! It seems the DPR fans also agree. The response has been overwhelmingly positive!

Debuting a car such a Stella is no small undertaking. Especially when the team doing it is a husband and wife, family run organization. This DPR team has some incredible Marketing Partners (http://dinapariseracing.com/marketing-partners ) that have assisted in making Stella the ‘reality’ as opposed to just the ‘dream’. Unfortunately DPR does still lack the extensive backing this team needs to compete on a full time basis. We will continue to work as hard as we have been to make that happen!

We recently had the honor of again being part of the Nassau Count Cruise to the Show (on Long Island) for Stella’s debut! Getting to show Stella along with Movie and TV Car Design and build icon, Mr. George Barris ‘King of the Kustomizers’ is purely an honor for us! To top it off, we also won ‘Favorite Car’ picked by none other than one of Long Island’s largest Cadillac dealer Sarant Cadillac! That for sure is a testament to the stunning beauty of Stella.Nassau cruise8

Andrew and I have so much going on at one time; it’s mind-numbing but no complaints of course! Not only do we have Stella making her debut, but we also have embarked on a new chapter in our lives. We are opening Andi-Con Performance in New Freedom, Pennsylvania very shortly! We recently participated in the New Freedom Heritage Fest with Stella and met so many great people including the Mayor of New Freedom Jeff Halopin. I say ‘we’ when it comes to Andi-Con Performance and DPR…. But here is the deal. I am the owner and President of both Andi-Con and DPR. Ah, yes my husband Andrew answers to me in many more ways than one! Poor guy, right?Andi_Con FB

Now for the ‘shameless plug’; From Street Rods to Pro Mods as well as Show cars Andi-Con Performance can assist you with all your performance needs. From Bolt-On performance to all important Safety equipment (DJ Safety and Bell Helmets) through to tuning at the Drag Strip; Andi-Con Performance respects you and your vehicle no matter the level of racing competition or even if for show! That’s it in a nutshell. We are currently working on our website, but please like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for information; https://www.facebook.com/AndiConPerformance and https://twitter.com/AndiConPerform . We look forward to being your go-to performance shop! Performance shop aside, we have much more in store for the community as well. Stay tuned for more information regarding what we will be doing!

So here’s to new beginnings on many fronts! Stella has made her stationary debut and is awaiting her moving one! Andi-Con Performance is due to open shortly and we look forward to much success in New Freedom, Pennsylvania not only business wise but through the community endeavors we have planned as well!

Dina in Smoke

Lastly, I think you get that I am quite competitive right? Well, I am entered in a ‘Calendar Competition’ (on FaceBook) with the organization Car Chix. If you are a member of FaceBook, please take a moment to vote for me! All you need to do is LIKE the photo on the Car Chix original post, no app required! Here is the direct link; https://www.facebook.com/CarChix/photos/a.10152711667167442.1073741835.286190607441/10152760960207442/?type=1&theater Rock that vote people!

I cannot wait to be back here with more updates! With so much going on there are bound to be stories to tell! Thank you all for reading, following and showing the DPR love! Stay tuned for updates on our progress!

People always ask how our DPR team can get out there to do what we do. Our Marketing Partners are the key to DPR’s success! This team works hard to keep our Advertisers happy! Check out the Advertisers and go ahead and try their products and services! DPR uses them all! Thank you to NGK, LAT Racing Oils, Bell Helmets, DJ Safety, Stainless Works, Speedwire Systems, USA Auto Supply, Matheis Race Cars Inc., Hoosier Racing Tire, CRC Industries, Coast 2 Coast Cuisine TV and Axcel Sports for their support throughout the season and beyond! Visit here: http://dinapariseracing.com/marketing-partners for all their websites and details! Contact DPR to become a Marketing Partner as well! Let DPR work for you!

Get Social: Be sure to join me and my DPR team on all our Social Media! Our Website will show you the way! So please visit http://dinapariseracing.com/ to learn more about the DPR team! Then join the team on: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and don’t forget Bella the Wonder Pug too https://twitter.com/ProModBella !

Thank for reading!

See you at the races!

Dina Parise~DPR

Dina Parise; Putting the Human Back in the Being


In light of recent ‘events’ I have decided to pen what I am about to…. But, of course I will not react the way you may think. If you have been following me, you know I think out of the box and I don’t hold back. So put your DJ Safety Belts on tight and your Bell Helmet on (yes, shameless plugs)… this will be a wild ride!

You know that I do not only write about my Dina Parise Racing team. Sometimes, I feel the need to address other subjects and issues. This would be one of those moments.* Before I begin, let me say that our thoughts are with all involved and our sincerest condolences go out to the Ward family.*

Unless you have been living under a rock, I am sure you are aware of the incident at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park on August 9th that involved Tony Stewart and resulted in the death of Kevin Ward Jr. As in any situation there are variables just as in what happened here. I cannot give you any particulars, you know why? Because I (just like many of those commenting) was not there. I could very well give you an ‘opinion’ just as every ‘Tom, Dick and Harriet’ did regarding what happened, but you know what, I will not. You know why? Because I actually cannot make a clear opinion on what happened because……..Again I (like most) was not there. I did not witness what happened first hand.

Millions of now ‘self-proclaimed’ experts have viewed an amateur video shot at night from a distance and come to their own conclusions. I get having an opinion, but in this day of Social Media and ‘Keyboard Cowboys’ it goes far beyond that. Being behind a computer screen really does bring out the ‘beer muscles’. This has not only become a witch hunt of sorts, but on the flip side the deceased driver has been disrespected as well. Apparently the viewing public now deems the CSI show as educational and they have all become graduates! Forgive me, but even as a driver, I do not feel I can make a determination as to what went on during that incident. The only determination that can be made is that a driver exited his car on a ‘hot’ track, and a tragedy ensued.

We cannot as a society be judge, jury and executioner via our computer terminals. Many on Social Media (as well as some news outlets) have become the ‘Judge Judy’s’ of cyberspace and beyond. Not just regarding this issue, either. Computers have taken the ‘ human’ out of the ‘beings’. The lack of human interaction is creating a less sympathetic and compassionate society. At times, I find myself having to just shut down my computer when a big news story hits. My shutdown is due to people no longer finding it in their vocabulary (or hearts) to speak/write with any compassion or manners and obviously feeling no guilt in doing so. Look, I am going to be very frank here. We all know the saying…. Opinions are like Buttholes, everyone has them…. Hence, they don’t necessarily need to be seen, right? Are you getting my point?

In the end (ah, no pun intended) we can only hope that this tragedy will bring about changes that will keep drivers (of all motorsports) safe in the future. In the motorsports community especially, I believe that we need not have knee jerk reactions, but some change is needed. From here on out let’s be pro-active rather than re-active to avoid future tragedies. I witness ‘procedures’ within my own sport of Drag Racing that I deem to be dangerous. For example; crewmembers standing next to a 2,600LB.(give or take) door car, and feeling the need to assist the vehicle during the burnout process. By that I refer to crewmembers holding and pushing the rear of the car on either side. I for one will not allow my crewmembers to do that. With tires spinning at that velocity, what if a pant leg was to get caught, a mechanical malfunction, a blown tire? Anything can happen in our sport at any time. And, it has. My belief is that this is something those in our industry should no longer be doing in the name of safety, but that’s just me.

We are looking forward to the long awaited debut of the DPR Cadillac CTSV Pro Mod. She is just about completed so stay tuned for that! Thank you to Paint by Bruce Mullins for making her look so good! *Here is a Sneak Peek!

People always ask how our DPR team can get out there to do what we do. Our Marketing Partners are the key to DPR’s success! This team works hard to keep our Advertisers happy! Check out the Advertisers and go ahead and try their products and services! DPR uses them all! Thank you to NGK, LAT Racing Oils, CRC Industries, Bell Helmets, DJ Safety, Stainless Works, Speedwire Systems, USA Auto Supply, Matheis Race Cars Inc., Hoosier Racing Tire and Coast 2 Coast Cuisine TV for their support throughout the season and beyond! Visit here: http://dinapariseracing.com/marketing-partners for all their websites and details! Contact DPR to become a Marketing Partner as well! Let DPR work for you!

Get Social: Be sure to join me and my DPR team on all our Social Media! Our Website will show you the way! So please visit http://dinapariseracing.com/   to learn more about the DPR team! Then join the team on: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and don’t forget Bella the Wonder Pug too https://twitter.com/ProModBella !

Thank for reading!

See you at the races!

Dina Parise~DPR