Fortune 52: Dina Parise Co-Owner/Driver, Parise Racing By Beverly Fortune

The co-owner of Parise Racing based in Oakdale is a professional drag racer who drives a 1963 Corvette Pro Mod that can go 240 MPH and reach a quarter mile in 6 seconds and was licensed and trained by the Frank Hawley Racing School in Florida. The Hawley website says the only comparable sensation to drag racing would be taking off in the Space Shuttle or being catapulted from the deck of an aircraft carrier. While the speed at which these cars travel is amazing enough, what may surprise you is the driver of this car is a 5 foot tall former skater in the Ice Capades from Bellmore named Dina.

Dina’s husband, Andrew, who grew up in Massapequa, was into cars all his life and began racing in 2000. After watching Andrew drag race for the first time, Dina saw the speed that he achieved so quickly and her fate was sealed.

She recalls how she felt watching Andrew’s first race. “I said, ‘What’s better than that?’ I knew from that second on that I was going to race.”

Together they formed Parise Racing and joined the competitive world of drag racing, competing about two to three times a month from the spring through the fall. Dina explains you can either get your dragster [open cockpit] or door car license in two days. Dina drives a door car. She prefers to race the Super Gas class where you can reach a quarter mile in less than 10 seconds, with two people in the race. Even though there are no drag racing tracks on Long Island, Dina is committed to the area, and raising awareness not only for the sport but for various fundraising efforts.

The Parises are now full-fledged members of the professional drag racing circuit. “The first year we had a lot of mechanical problems, but that made me a better driver,” says Dina. “I think [this year] we will be a force to be reckoned with.” Dina is very gracious when asked about the obvious comparison between her and nationally known Indy racecar driver Danica Patrick. “I only go in straight lines, no curves!” she says.

Dina and Andrew formed the Parise Racing Pro Modified Drag Racing Team to have a positive impact on the motorsport industry. Unfortunately, they have to travel off-island to compete, with Englishtown, NJ as the closest track. “There are no drag racing facilities left on Long Island, and that is a shame,” Dina explains. “In the past Long Island was very rich with motorsports and it no longer is. The last track was in the Hamptons.”

More than just a professional hurdle, Dina sees another downside to not having a local track. “The backlash from that is I see a lot of young people being hurt or killed because they are choosing to race on the street. Other places give out helmets, fire jackets and other safety equipment and they allow racing to get it out of their system,” she explains. “I’m not going to say it’s not going to make them race at all, but it does change the proportion of kids who do get killed. And, I don’t want to be the other person on the road when these kids are racing.” Dina says she doesn’t speed when she’s driving around town, and the Volkswagen Bug that is parked on her driveway is almost contradictory to the muscle cars that are housed in her garage.

There is also some friendly competition between Andrew and Dina who are celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary on April 1st. “It’s very hard to watch your partner in a car that goes that fast, but once the helmet goes on, all bets are off,” Dina says. “I shut everything out. It’s you and her [The Beast]. You can’t take anything for granted. It’s like getting shot out of a cannon. Your parachute opens and you feel the G’s as you slow down. It’s instant gratification.”

A big part of Parise Racing’s mission is the donations they collect for charity during their travels. “Our friend was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2004 and we help raise awareness, hand out literature and collect donations for MS at every track we go to,” Dina says.

Andrew is a Navy veteran and the Parises also support Vettes for Vets, as part of the non-profit Wounded Warriors. “This country has a short attention span,” Dina says. “We forget that we have these soldiers coming back who are no longer serving and they help them in their rehabilitation and reincorporate them back into society. We bring veterans to the track and we host them for the day. These causes are most important to us. We like to give back to the community.” Even Bella, their adorable pug dog, helps the Parises raise money for charity. Bella is outfitted with a stroller that has wheelie bars and an umbrella/parachute just like the bar on Dina’s car. “It works really well,” she laughs.

Both Dina and Andrew also have full time jobs, Dina is a hairdresser and Andrew is the director of Enterprise Communications for Henry Schein.

“I would love to make racing a full-time job. A lot of it comes down to sponsors and backing,” Dina says. “I would love to go to businesses on Long Island and say, ‘We would love to have your name on our car.’ I’ve been trying to contact a lot of women’s companies also. I don’t think people realize how many women watch racing. The market is here, it just needs to be tapped into.”

For more information go to www.PariseRacing.com, visit Parise Racing on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PariseRacing, e-mail info@PariseRacing.com or call 516-882-7311.

PARISE RACING IS GETTING THE 2010 SEASON STARTED!

In the Northeast, this winter proved to be one of the longest and toughest ever. With the trailer being buried under feet of snow, racing season seemed a distant memory as well just a dream. But finally, the snow has melted, the temperature is rising and the season is starting. Well, sort of.

“As all of us say, we need more time in the day to complete our projects,” stated Andrew Parise. “We have been real busy putting the race cars back together, revamping our trailer and everything else. It is amazing when you say to yourself; I have time to get to that, and the next thing you know, you are scrambling to get it done. Our goal was to have both cars race ready for Valdosta test session; even though we knew Dina will not be driving the car due to her (longer than expected) recovery from hand surgery. This has been a trying time for my wife and I have to say she is as tough as they come. As many of you know we call her “The Chef”, but for the last couple of months we have changed that to ‘WWE…’ “Where we eatin’?”.

“Being a driver and sitting on the side is extremely hard to do, but we are a team and that is what I had to do, but frankly, I do not do well as a spectator,” states Dina Parise. “The ‘damage’ was more severe than we expected and recovery is taking longer then I want it to. I will be out in April to test, and for the Super Chevy Show in Virginia Motorsports Park for some shake down passes. You may even see the first 2010 ‘Heads up’ Parise vs. Parise race at VMP. Let the betting begin!”

Parise Racing made quite a bit of progress in 2009 and Andrew has gotten off to a great start in 2010.The team went to Valdosta and Andrew put some great numbers on the board. Andrew ran a 6.086 @ 236.17 MPH. “I am happy with those numbers for our first day out,” stated Andrew. “Those are really good numbers for a converter car. I know we can improve on that.” Although it was not all as easy as it sounds, in the end the team found the answers they needed. Parise Racing has a great team supporting them to achieve their goals. Their crew chief Dave Jordan did a great job with the help of Jody Lupton and Bob Sweatland. The team also wanted to mention Nick Montana, Chris Montana and James Montana (Montana Pro Chassis Design). With a special thanks to Bill Barrett. All mentioned were a great help in Valdosta and it was greatly appreciated!

Valdosta is also where the team introduced a new ‘race day’ feature! A live feed featuring the Parise Racing pit area. You can view the live feed on the www.PariseRacing.com home page any time the team is at the track. Want to know when the feed goes live? Join Parise Racing on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/PariseRacing , and on Twitter http://twitter.com/PariseRacing for the latest updates.

The 2010 schedule is going to be a busy one. For one the team has committed to the Northeast Outlaw Pro Mod Association races. In addition the team will be attending Pinks All Out, Super Chevy and NHRA Unleashed (in association with NEOPMA). Also on the schedule is the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, for the team to earn points toward running the Get Screened America Pro Mod Challenge.

At each event, Parise Racing will be actively involved with America’s Veterans through their ‘Vettes for Vets’ program. As proud supporters of the Wounded Warrior Project, the Parise’s will be raising donations at each event for WWP, as well as hosting Veterans for the day. If you see a Veteran at the track, please remember to thank them. Also, please stop by the Parise pit and make a donation to this great cause, or donate on line (securely and quickly): http://www.pariseracing.com/causes.php .

www.pariseracing.com

Parise Racing would like to thank our sponsors:
Consultedge http://www.consultedge.com/
NGK http://www.ngksparkplugs.com/
Good Year http://www.racegoodyear.com/

PARISE RACING and WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT Team Up in 2010

For Parise Racing it is not just about the numbers on the board and the incredible paint schemes. For Andrew and Dina Parise, it’s also about honoring our Nation’s Veterans and currently serving Military personnel.

“We feel as if we have created a well rounded program to honor our Veterans,” Stated Dina Parise. “We began with the paint schemes on the cars (that translated to the crew shirts). I am excited to announce that we will now be working with the Wounded Warrior Project. Along with raising donations, we will be running some other great programs for our Veterans throughout the season. We have a vision to create an environment where the Veterans can enjoy a great day at the races, and the public can let them know how much they appreciate their service to our country. It’s what they deserve.”

“We got the ball rolling last year,” stated Andrew Parise. “Working along with Wounded Warrior Project, I believe we will fully achieve our vision. All donations we receive will go directly to the Wounded Warrior Project, and will support a full range of programs and services for severely injured service members and their families. Not only are we looking forward to a fantastic season of racing, we are also looking forward to the opportunity to thank our Nation’s Veterans!”

Wounded Warrior Project is a non-profit organization whose mission is to honor and empower wounded warriors. Thousands of troops have been wounded in recent conflicts, many of them suffering traumatic brain injuries, amputations and severe burns which may retire them from service.

WWP serves to raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women, to help severely injured service members aid and assist each other and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs.

“On behalf of the thousands of severely injured service members we aim to assist, we want to thank Parise Racing for its dedication to our nation’s heroes. Its commitment is helping ensure the tremendous personal sacrifices service men and women have made for our country are not forgotten,” said Wounded Warrior Project CEO Steve Nardizzi.

For more information, please visit the Parise Racing website: www.pariseracing.com. Click on the ‘our causes’ tab. After you have read all about the great things WWP has done and will be doing for our wounded heroes, feel free to click on the ‘Donate Now’ button, and make a donation! It’s quick, it’s easy and you can do it right from http://www.pariseracing.com/causes.php ! Your donation is greatly appreciated!

As this is a new venture for the team, please keep checking back for updates.

Parise Racing would like to thank the following for their continued support:

NGK – http://www.ngksparkplugs.com/

GoodYear – http://www.racegoodyear.com/

Parise Racing 2009 Recap; Look at 2010

“For 2009, the plan was R&D until we felt that we (as drivers), the cars and the team were able to perform in competition.”, stated Dina Parise. “We stayed with this plan throughout the year, and our effort paid off. Although there is always more work to do, all in all it was a great year for us. There were issues with my Blown 63’ Tim McAmis Corvette powered by ERD, Carl Spiering, but we finally got them ironed out. I am really looking forward to the 2010 season.”

At his second NorthEast Outlaw Pro Mod Association race at MIR, Andrew Parise won the event with his 53’ Blown Montana Bros. Corvette powered by ERD, Carl Spiering. “We worked very hard all year on our setups. It proved that our plan we put together worked, and the team works together as well.” , stated Andrew Parise. “Just like any new team, we struggled in the beginning but then realized what works and what doesn’t. “

“Overall, we are extremely satisfied with our progress in 2009. We had a lot of goals to achieve and we have done what we set out to do.”, stated Andrew. “To watch Dina go down the track at 6.19, then a 6.14 is just wild. A year ago she was bracket racing (at 9.00) and now she is driving a Pro Mod, it is just awesome!” stated Andrew.

Both cars are having the paint schemes updated by Barney Squires at Performance Auto Crafters. Once the cars are back from paint, it is all hands on deck to get them back together and ready for some early testing in 2010. We are working on some changes for 2010 that are going to work out extremely well. So, keep watching for the updates.

The Parise Racing team has satisfied their expectations for 2009. With two new cars and two new drivers, they had more challenges than the average team. They stayed focused, they worked hard and it paid off.

With 2009 now a distant memory, it is time to focus attention to 2010. Looking toward the 2010 season the Parise Racing team is eager to get going. “We finished the 2009 season on a high note and we are ready to get back out there”, stated Andrew. “2010 will be a good season.”

Parise Racing would like to say a special Thanks to:

Thank you for a great 2009 season, we look forward to 2010!

For more information about Parise Racing please visit www.pariseracing.com .

HELP PARISE RACING SPREAD HOLIDAY CHEER TO WOUNDED SOLDIERS!

It is that time of year once again. The holidays are upon us. Most of us associate the holidays with family and friends gathering at one another’s homes for food, drinks and gift exchanging. We at Parise Racing would like to remind everyone about our nation’s wounded Military personnel who are not fortunate enough to be home for the holidays.

It has been Parise Racing’s mission, in part with The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund, to raise awareness for our nation’s Military, past and present through our ‘Vettes for Vets’ program. From raising donations, to having veterans spend a day at the track, the ‘Vettes for Vets’ program has many facets.

With the holiday season approaching, Parise Racing is asking for everyone to remember our nation’s wounded Military personnel, and get involved to make this holiday a brighter one.

Perhaps this year, rather than participating in your office ‘grab bag’ , you would choose to send a small gift to a member of our nation’s Military , who was wounded in the line of duty and is spending the Holidays in Brooke Army Medical Center.

There are many options of things to send. Feel free to send just a card. If you would like to do more, here is a list of a few things that would be useful and greatly appreciated:

Toiletries, Gift Cards to: Wal-Mart, Burger King, Applebee’s and Olive Garden.

Please be assured that we at Parise Racing have had one on one contact with the Gift Coordinator and she has assured us that all cards and gifts will be handled appropriately.

Please send any card or gift to:

Brooke Army Medical Center
Attn: Gift Coordinator (Parise Racing)
3851 Roger Brooke Drive
San Antonio, TX 78234

On behalf of our wounded Military personnel, Parise Racing would like to thank you in advance for your generosity.

Wishing you all a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season and a prosperous 2010!

Dina and Andrew Parise

Parise Racing

www.pariseracing.com

HAPPY THANKSGIVING FROM THE PARISE RACING FAMILY TO YOURS!

As we gather around our tables for our Thanksgiving meals, surrounded by family and friends, it is for certain we will share with each other what we are all thankful for. Usually, being thankful for being together is a starter for any Thanksgiving meal. On this Thanksgiving, please remember our nation’s military personnel, for they are not fortunate enough to spend this holiday with their families. So, Thanksgiving is not only about giving thanks, but remembering as well.

Whether we agree with war or not, we all need to appreciate what we have, and to give thanks to our service members for the sacrifice they make every day. We should be thankful for our veterans who have served, some who never made it home at all.

Thank you, for leaving your families behind and going to a foreign land, whether you wanted to leave or not. Thank you for risking your life, for our freedom, our rights and our safety. Because of all of the service men and woman (past and present) we are able to celebrate Thanksgiving without fear.

Thanksgiving is also about REMEMBERING. Remembering all we have, Remembering our loved ones, Remembering what each of these individuals have provided us with and Remembering what our service men and woman do for us each day, and have done for us in the past..

We at Parise Racing wish EVERYONE a “Happy Thanksgiving”.

And to our Nations Military where ever you may be as you read this:
Though it is not the same as being with the ones you love or eating a home cooked meal, please know that you are NOT Forgotten!! We salute each and every one of you for serving our nation, and we THANK YOU! Stay safe……….

Dina and Andrew Parise

REMEMBER THE MEANING OF VETERANS DAY

Though Veterans Day falls on November 11 every year, it seems to have lost meaning along the way. Veterans Day is to honor Veterans. Have we as Americans become so desensitized to everything that we have forgotten those who have endured the horrors of war to fight for our freedom? It seems we have.

Please do not think of Veterans Day as just another ‘day off’. Take this day to remember the fallen as well as those who are still serving this country. They deserve our time and respect, considering what they have given to us.

Consider these activities on Veterans Day:

Take your children to a Veterans facility in your area. Let them speak to a Veteran in person. What better history lesson, then from someone who was there.

Observe a moment of silence in their honor.

Be sure to fly your flag. If you do not have one, get one.

We as a country can in no way repay our Veterans, but as citizens it is OUR duty to recognize their bravery and sacrifice that has made this country what it is today. We are all free to do as we wish due to our Veterans and currently serving Military’s service and sacrifice.

So please always remember: ~FREEDOM IS NOT FREE~

On November 11th (and everyday) ~ THANK A VETERAN~

Dina and Andrew Parise
Parise Racing

Parise Racing at IHRA World Finals

Andrew and Dina Parise , the husband and wife Pro Modified team drivers, hit the IHRA world Finals at the Rock this past weekend. Though this season has not been a lengthy one as far as competition for the team, the Parise’s feel they have made quite a bit of progress in that time, regardless of the outcome.

It seemed for everyone the weather was the fiercest competitor this weekend. Friday allowed for only one qualifying shot. Dina Parise ran a 6.466/ 225.45 mph to qualify in the 5th spot. Andrew Parise ran a 6.387/ 226.20 mph to qualify in the 4th spot. The rain and the cold prevailed from that point on.

IHRA officials made the decision on Sunday to run 1/8 mile rather than 1/4 mile due to track conditions. The weather had taken its toll on the track, and safety had become an issue. So, the team hit the staging lanes ready for battle. Unfortunately, both drivers went out first round.

“I was up before Andrew”, stated Dina. “I could feel my ERD powered, ’63 Tim McAmis Corvette move a bit in the burnout. I staged, and once I left she spun and chattered the tires. I let off and hit it again. I was not going to give up that easy. When I hit it again she went right and by then, I saw Benny go by me. Then, I gave up. Game over. “

Andrew was the next car up. “Once I made sure Dina was o.k., I could concentrate on my job “, stated Andrew. “ As I let off the trans-brake on my ERD powered, ’53 Montana Bros. Corvette, she just shook. The tire shake was severe. There was no saving it. “

This was the first National event for the team. Although the outcome was not what they would have liked, the Parise’s could not have been happier with how IHRA handled the event.

“From start to finish we were treated well by the IHRA staff and crew.” stated Dina. “We really had a good experience from the time we pulled in. The biggest thing for us is that we felt our safety was first and foremost taken into account. We appreciate that as drivers.”

The Parise’s would like to extend a special thank you to Nick and Chris Montana of Montana Bros. Their efforts to help the Parise Racing team do not go un-noticed.

The Parise’s would like to thank Randy Haywood , Andy Peeterson and Brandon Page for their assistance this weekend.

As the season winds down Dina and Andrew Parise would like to extend their appreciation to Crew Chief Dave Jordan. Dave‘s tireless efforts and dedication to the team are truly remarkable. The Parise’s know racing is a dangerous business, but they feel confident knowing Dave is at the helm. “We know we would not have made this much progress in so short a time without Dave”, stated Andrew. “Dina and I appreciate everything he does and we thank him very much!”

http://www.pariseracing.com/

Thank you to:

NGK http://www.ngksparkplugs.com/

Good Year http://www.racegoodyear.com/

Parise Racing headed for the Shakedown at E-Town

This season has been quite a beginning for the Parise Racing team. After coming out of R&D late into the season, the Parise Racing team is beginning to pick up steam.

Next stop for the husband and wife duo is the 7th annual Shakedown at E-Town, October 17th and 18th.

“This is an event we have been coming to watch since its beginning”, stated Andrew. “This time, we are not here as spectators. Dina and I are ready to take on our competitors as well as each other. ”

Andrew will be racing his ’53 Montana Bros. Corvette and Dina, her ’63 Tim McAmis Corvette. Both cars powered by ERD (Carl Spiering) supercharged Hemi motors.

They will compete among a who’s who in the Pro Mod arena, in the Lend America Pro Mod Blown Class. Be assured that this team can hold their own among the many veterans of the sport that will be on hand in Englishtown, a fact that Andrew has proven with his win at the Northeast Outlaw Pro Mod Association event at MIR in August.

“This is just about the closest we get to home”, stated Dina. “We are going to have some friends and family here to cheer us on. I am a hairdresser, and some of my clients are coming to watch as well. We are both excited to race. We are super competitive, and one of us is looking for bragging rights!”

As always the Parise Racing team will be raising donations as well as awareness for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Please stop by the team pit area and make a donation! It will be greatly appreciated!

Thank you to:

NGK http://www.ngksparkplugs.com/

Good Year http://www.racegoodyear.com/