Dina Parise Racing NMCA All American Nationals Recap

‘The heat is on!’ That was certainly the term for the NMCA All American Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway this past weekend. With temperatures well into the 90 degree range and a track temperature of 140 degrees, you could fry Meatballs on the starting line! Temperature aside, the racing and track conditions were phenomenal!

This was the first of the three race deal for Dina Parise Racing and Aerospace Components. The team did not only represent Aerospace on the track, they were a fixture on the manufacturer’s midway as well. “What an exciting way to spend a race weekend!” Said Dina Parise “We were honored that Aerospace and NMCA wanted DPR as representatives on the midway. We had a blast with the fans! We are looking forward to doing it again in Joliet and Norwalk.”

For DPR this 2016 season has been a bit of a struggle, yet it seems things are finally beginning to turn a corner. “Although we were certainly not the fastest this weekend,” Said Andrew Parise “We were consistent. Stella went A to B on all but one pass and she was straight as an arrow. Seems we have found the issues and we can improve from here. I’m happy with that. Now my wife will get off my case.” He laughs.

The team qualified #10 in a 16 car field. In 1st Round Parise ran Richard Holt. Parise ran a 4.120 to Holt’s 4.108 but won the round due to Holt fouling out. Parise then took on Randy Adler in round 2. Adler won the round with a 4.027 over Parise’s 4.157. “All in all, I’m happy with our performance” Said (Andrew) Parise “We went down in the heat. We didn’t break anything. Hallelujah, as I said, the wife is off my case. Somewhat!”

“I cannot thank my team enough!” Said (Dina) Parise “My husband Andrew and Butch worked their tails off this weekend. They always do. Work hard and laugh harder. It’s what keeps us sane, successful and from killing each other!” She laughs.

A bit of a fun side note. Parise is meeting some of her fellow drivers for the first time here at NMCA. Case in point, Richard Holt who hails from Texas. Prior to running 1st round Parise and Holt had a conversation in the staging lanes, to which Holt explained he has given her a nickname. Holt was asked by other drivers who he was running in the 1st round. His answer? “Oh, I have ‘Tiny Dancer’!”. He proceeded to explain this to Parise and informed her this was now how he would (affectionately) refer to her. Seemingly it is sticking, the name was heard quite a bit throughout the pits (and on social Media) for the remainder of the weekend!

The team wants to thank and recognize the NMCA organization for the spot on track prep they maintained throughout the weekend. They also would like to recognize Bangshift.com for the live feed coverage of the race. A top notch job done by all.

The next race on the DPR schedule is the NMCA Super Bowl at Route 66 Raceway, July 28-31. Once again Bangshift.com will be airing their live feed all weekend long. Don’t forget DPR also has a live pit cam as well, featuring a ‘birds eye view’ of the pit and all that goes on! You can find the pit cam on the team’s website http://dinapariseracing.com/ throughout the race weekend.

The DPR team continues to push the envelope in every way. From performance to detail this team acknowledges and does it all. Stella sparkles and looks great because of the products provided by Eastwood and CRC Auto (including the new Smart Washer). She runs well and safely with products from as NGK, Lucas Oil, Speedwire Systems, Hussey Performance, Hoosier and Motorsports Unlimited. The DPR website looks great and runs efficiently thanks to the professionals at Crank It Media. DPR gets where they need to go with assistance from Aerospace Components.

Please visit http://dinapariseracing.com/marketing-partners . There you will find more information regarding the companies listed as well as some *special offers*! The team encourages you to try the products and services these companies offer. The fact remains that they do use them all. That is the best recommendation! The DPR team would like to thank all of their Marketing Partners for their continued support!

**DPR celebrates the 2015 IHRA Crower Pro Mod World Championship win with them all!**

Contact DPR to become a Marketing Partner as well! Let DPR work for you!

Get Social: Be sure to join the DPR team on all their Social Media! Their Website will show you the way! So for all things DPR please visit http://dinapariseracing.com/ .Parise has quite a bit on her plate for the 2016 season on the track and off. Be sure to follow along on Social Media to keep up with it all!

Photo Courtesy Dragzine/PTEN

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

Andrew’s 2015 DPR Season Recap

A 2015 season recap and beyond!

We started this Pro Modified journey a long time ago. Our good friend Dave Tomasino brought me on to crew for him on his Nitro Coupe Camaro and opened the door for us by introducing us to so many people. Another good friend Carl Speiring then began the process by putting our two (his and hers) Pro Mod Corvettes together with his crew. I went on to win numerous races and set an NHRA record. Dina while winning a few, seemed to struggle with her car. Mine could be driven down a dirt road and hers as she would say was “like wrestling an alligator with epilepsy.” Yet she seemed to like the challenge. Gotta love a girl with guts.

 We like many people went through some financial and personal issues and had to revaluate our racing program. After struggling to stay out of living in a cardboard box we are again moving in the right direction. You can either just walk away from your dream or fight the fight and keep it alive. I am not one to give up; although sometimes I wish I new how to.

 We committed to IHRA Crower Pro Mod series as soon as it was announced at the PRI show. Crower even used Stella the Cadillac to announce the comeback! I remember watching 60 cars compete for a 16 car field in IHRA back in the 90’s. Will this ever happen again? I don’t know. But I am sure this class will grow in the coming years. We attended every race, even the one at Grand Bend Motorplex in Canada. At the banquet, Scott Gardner made the comment referencing wondering ‘how I got into in Canada’. Well, I still don’t know how I did it. Must be my good looks.

Each race we attended in the beginning of the year we had issues. We broke a wheel stud in Bradenton. Stella drifted to the wall in West Palm in eliminations causing a loss. Those are just the issues that scratch the surface…

Frustrated, I then brought the car to Quain Stott to have him go over the suspension after West Palm. I drove 15 hours 8 of them in a ice storm in the Carolinas. Lets just say they don’t know what ice is or how to deal with it properly. After Quain setup the car we had other issues. We decided to bring Quain on for the weekend to figure out our Engine program. After two runs, the car goes a .977 60 foot. I was like a little kid in the candy store. But we were still not without our issues. The crank had a couple cracks in it and let loose during the test session. We put our spare motor in and off we went to Cordova. I was so jacked and confident that we could finally run a number. I put the tune up in it that we just ran in testing and…… it was a pig. Well, we made it to the finals at Cordova but lost. The pig wouldn’t run. I was ready to turn her into bacon! Back to the Dr.Stott we go for another test session. Move this, change that. Bam, 60 foot is back and car is running again. But now we have another issue. The driver forgot to show up! She was physically in the car, but mentality she was wasn’t there. Now SHE was behind the car. Not good.

 Now, during testing it took Dina a while to back up (after the burnout). Me being the calm and cool guy asked oh so politely, “what the hell is taking you so long to back up?” She was moving in the car. That led to a little ‘ Italian meatball flinging’ fight. She was just not comfortable which led to changing the seat position a couple of times with numerous seat pours. Next,  we had a problem with the chute button (and lever) not working when going down the track. Again, the meatball flinging ensued and that led to a flying tripod (ok, don’t ask…). So, as you can see I am not meant to crew. I am a driver plain and simple.

 So, we still have our backup motor in and finally have the car running well. We attended the race at Maryland International Raceway, this was Dina’s first time back to the track after she crashed there a couple years ago. Tums (antacid) were my friend that day. Dina went from ‘A’ to ‘B’ and I was happy as could be. The car ran well. Dina won 1st round taking out Ruben T. who was the points leader at the time. But yet again, the weather turned on us and the race was postponed. We had to Run Billy Harper at US 131 in the finals. We went to US 131 with some new parts and pieces thinking it will help us. But it bit us instead. We missed the test session that we needed and thrashed all day. Not what I had planed on. This race was Quain’s first race our Tuner. Billy and his team are one of the best and have a killer race car. We knew we would need a miracle to beat him but no miracle happened. We lost the MIR race at US 131. Dina then had a chute malfunction racing Steve Matusek in the first round of eliminations and went into the sand. It could have been a lot worse, but she did a good job and the car had minimal damage. The cleanup was not fun we are still finding rocks in Stella.She is thick headed anyway.

We  went home,quickly regrouped and got her ready again for Canada. This was a race that we didn’t plan on attending until the last minute. At 12:30am we entered Canada. Quain put a hell of tune up in the car against Bill Lutz and we lost. We lost at the tree then Bill had issues and she drove around him only to pull the chutes early. She asks over the radio “who won?”…  I said, “not you.” As I picked up her to tow the car back she said, ” Sorry.Damn, I’m just not coming around to this car.” Now me being the loving and caring husband I only had nice things to say. Well, that was my intentions at first, but that didn’t happen. You see, we are both competitive people. But, we are two different drivers. I get in the car and go nuts. Rock the car, talk loud to it, I get very excited. My Crew guys don’t like putting me in the beams because I don’t blink and I have a death stare. Dina has more of the easy eyes, they will burn you but is very focused in a different way. She doesn’t get excited like me. It drives me crazy at times.

 So, now we going into the Finals we were only 31 points ahead of Bill Lutz. Well, I decided to make things real interesting and build a new engine combo for the finals. Ya, this should be great and it should run awesome. That was the thought process. So we ordered heads, pistions, rings, crank etc. The game plan was to put the engine together and go dyno it. Right. I was better off winning the lotto. We had pieces showing up every other day finally we got all the pieces and Burnie was able to it all together for us. But you know it isn’t a simple bolt together. Overnight parts… Wednesday finish up the engine…Saturday install it….Get it running Monday. Oh, ya… one week prior to the finals.

So, now it is off to test. Now comes the fun part. Of course we have weather moving in. Some storm named ‘Joe Quin’ (Joaquin).Damn you Mother Nature! We drive from Pa to Virginia on Thursday and park at the track only to see rain. Go to dinner with friends and head out Friday morning for South Georgia to test Saturday. I wake up Saturday morning with a Stomach virus. Cant get out of bed all day except to visit the bathroom. Okay, we will have to test Sunday. Of Course it is raining Sunday morning and I look like a Marvin the  Martian, but the boss says Suck it up Buttercup! Rain stops but track is cold. Three hits and guess what? The car is a toilet….again. I went from green to greener . I just spent all this money to go slower? Well, “The Doctor” goes home Sunday night and Monday guess who has Stomach virus? The Boss!!!! So we stay at the track all day Monday. I am stuck watching TV. All I can say is “REALLY?” What is with these reality shows? Orange County Housewives? Naked People in the forest? Who watches this crap? Oh, ya….my wife!

 So, we finally get on the road Tuesday and head to Memphis. With the Marvin the Martian at the wheel and the White Shadow in the back we arrive Tuesday night. Thankfully the Doctor did find the remedy for the sick motor.

In the 1st round of Eliminations, Dina Had to race Robert Patrick and it was a pedal fest! Bill had to Race Rubin T and Bill shook and Rubin won the round securing the Championship win for DPR. We had to race Billy in the Round 2, and the dew cam in fast. Dina Lost at the tree, as she couldn’t see the tree. I was very good and didn’t say a word, I have a huge hole in my cheek from biting it too. Billy Harper is Dina’s monkey(on her back). She is 2 for 2 with Billy. I used to have to Race Tim O’hare and he was my monkey. A hell of a driver, but if I lost to him I hated it.

I have never worked as hard as I did this year in getting things done. I do not think I have ever had to deal with such crazy issues in my career until now. No matter how many times I went over things, they just did not seem to work out properly. But in the end DPR got the win and that is what matters. 2015 IHRA Pro Mod World Champion! That has a nice ring to it!

 I have to thank our marketing partners for standing behind this Dina Parise Racing team and providing us with great products and services. NGK, CRC, LAT Oil, DJ Safety, USA Auto Supply, SpeedWire, Hoosier,Stainless Works,Motorsports Unlimited , Browell, Hussey Performance.

 I dragged Quain Stott out of semi-retirement and I am sure he wants revenge. But this guy is amazing. He is the most humble guy you will ever meet. He has so much knowledge that I think he scares himself at times. Not many people can drive, tune, wrench, weld and everything else. It is a great honor to have him part of our racing family. Like they say every man needs a great lady, well Cynthia is amazing. Quain is not allowed at the race track without her. She keeps him in line, don’t let that sweet southern niceness fool you. I know she can out tune most people in this sport. Having people like this in your life can only bring better days and we look forward to it.

 My brother (from another mother) Butch Branzelle. We met Butch when he worked at VMP during a Super Chevy Event 15 years ago. I have watched his son Corey grow up and we had some fun times. He is always on the positive side of things. I wanted this championship so badly but thought I blew it with the new engine combo. He said, “We’ve got this,” and we did. Thank you brother for always going above and beyond.

Thank you to Charlie Saccoccio AKA ‘Uncle Mel’ for not only making us laugh…but for his constant support of DPR!

 The Boss, Dina Parise. You finally beat me. You are the IHRA World Champion in Pro Mod and you have joined the list of so many others. I am so proud of you. Sometimes I am right. Not often, but some times I am. DPR works. You fought the good fight. Being the loving, caring and calm husband I am this is why you did so good this year. LOL… If we had a reality TV show it would be a ½ hour of BEEEEEEPPPPPPPS. Yes, I drove the car from behind and on the radio. Yes, I was a thorn in your side. No, you wouldn’t have it any other way. Well maybe one other way…. a second car to shut me up! Well, you’re the champ so get to work and find us that money tree so I can get back in the seat OR deal with me next year. EEKKKKK !!!

 I cant thank enough the people behind the scenes as well. To all that I have annoyed at all times of the night to help us, thank you.

 Life is funny, you never know what it brings and somehow it has brought this team together. To everyone that helped us……Thank you.

 Mother Nature must have had soggy cereal this year, she was not a happy girl. The staff at IHRA broke their butts to give us a great track and safe place to race. It wasn’t easy for them at times dealing with us, the weather and everything else on their plates. But they provided the best surface to race on. The IHRA safety crew goes above and beyond to make sure we are all safe at all times. Oh Ya, the M word….. Management. What can you say about them. Oh be nice people. Seriously, Scott Gardner is the new president and he has hands full. Making sure everybody smiles and keeps the operation flowing. Royce Miller is the COO and everybody knows this man never stops. Sharon, Russel , Ken ,Steve , Howie, Dan, Chris……. I hope I did not leave anyone out! Thank you all for what you do and for the long hours you put in!

 Crower Stepped up and helped with Pro Mod coming back to IHRA. A big hug to them for doing this. As we all know Bill Lutz has been the voice of Pro Mod for IHRA. Love him or disagree with him he still worked hard for this deal with IHRA. He gave us (DPR) hell  at the last couple races. Rubin T, (Touchie Feelie) I owe you for taking out Lutz. Check is in the mail. If you don’t know Rubin he is kinda like the Nutty professor , owner of Prolite Batteries and one hell of a driver. D-B-R the three amigos. But If I have my way I will be the spoiler for 2016.

 A big Congrats and Thank you to our DPR fans. We couldn’t do this without all the support and love we receive. So, my promise to all of you is that I will try my hardest to be back in a car next year. Trust me it will be very exciting. Get ready for a crazy 2016 !

See you at the Races!

Andrew ‘BamBam’ Parise

Dina Parise Racing Runners up, runs long to points leader!

 

The term ‘from hero to zero’ may just apply to the wild weekend the Dina Parise Racing team endured at US 131 Motorsports Park for the IHRA Northern Nationals. If it could happen it did. But frankly this hard working ‘grass roots’ team has seen and been through quite a bit in the past few years. They tend to be like a Timex… ‘Take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’!

Upon arrival the DPR team began working on Stella to prepare her for a quick test session on Friday. As small as this team is, they take their maintenance program very seriously. Andrew Parise is a stickler for everything being race ready before arrival at an event. Of course, anyone familiar with drag racing knows; always expect the unexpected. On that day, there was a plethora of unexpected issues that needed attention. The frustration being compounded by the fact that the Parise’s were having issues by no fault of their own. By 6PM Friday the team was able to make a test it. One is always better than none.

Rain has certainly been a mitigating factor in the 2015 IHRA Crower Pro Mod series. The President’s Cup Nationals fueled by Sunoco was concluded at US 131 Motorsports Park during the Northern Nationals presented by Aeromotive. Competition had been postponed due to Tropical Storm Bill back in June.

Once again (you may guess what’s coming next) it rained on Friday and there were only 2 (of 3) qualifying rounds completed for this event. The first of the two came very late on Friday evening. Again Saturday morning, rain. Apparently Mother Nature is at a point in her life where she is needing some mood altering drugs or perhaps just a nice bottle of vino and some chocolate. Either way, her moods are wreaking havoc on our racing schedule!

In round 2 of qualifying Dina Parise ran Billy Harper in the Presidents Cup Final. Harper took the win with a 5.963 at 245.50 mph over Parise’s 6.244 pass at 197.98 mph. “It was surely a tough loss.” Stated Dina Parise. “Twice a bridesmaid, and never a bride. My second final this season and I did not do my job. I for sure was not on my ‘A’ game with Stella. I was holding back a bit. But in the scheme of things we are certainly making progress, much due to our work with Quain (Stott). I have a kick butt hard working team. I can’t thank them enough for all they do.”

With Parise’s 6.24 pass it was enough to get her into the field. She was to face #1 qualifier Steve Matusek in round 1 of eliminations. Parise knew she needed to be on her game for this run. Quain Stott had been stepping up on the tune up bit by bit. Stella left the line well. She was on a good pass. For sure headed in the right direction tuning wise. Matusek took the win with a 5.937 at 245.50 mph over Parise’s 6.136 at 230.41 mph.

This race did not end at the stripe however. Parise engaged in her normal ‘shutdown’ procedure but all did not go as planned. Her chutes did not deploy as they should and getting Stella to come to a full stop was more of a task than she bargained for. “Well, let’s just say I took a trip to the beach and no bikini’s were required!” Stated Dina. “Wow, certainly not how I wanted to end this weekend. I pulled the chutes but I could not feel them at all. I knew it was going to be rough getting her slowed down. The pit kept getting closer. Before you knew it I was playing in the sandbox! Crap! I knew it was going to leave a mark on my beautiful Stella. But frankly it beats the alternative! On a positive note, she was picking up all weekend. That Quain, he’s a keeper!” She smiles.

In true racer fashion, Parise exited her Cadillac Pro Mod and asked Mark Kinton (IHRA Safety Crew member) “What did I run? How’s Stella?” to which he replied, “Be quiet and listen to me. I’m your boss right now. Hush up and listen. Helmet off! Let’s go!” She complied. Not that she was given a choice.

The DPR team would like to thank IHRA Safety Crew for their quick response and care taken with both Dina AND Stella. Taking such care in the removal of Stella from her trip to the ‘beach’ has kept costs down for DPR to get her turned back around and back to racing form as quick as possible. The team also would like to thank everyone from the other drivers, announcers to the fans for their support and positive words.

“I realized she was going in (to the beach).” Stated Andrew Parise. “As long as I knew the shiny side was up, we were all good. I knew she was in good hands. Butch (Branzelle) and I got up there and she waved to me (from inside the ambulance) to let me know she was ok. She was cracking jokes in the ambulance. Ya, that’s my wife. She will be here all week, be sure to tip your waitress.” He shakes his head.

This DPR team is coming together. The changes made are purely positive and regardless of the slight mishap this team is on an upward slope. Dina Parise has just taken over the IHRA Crower Pro Mod Points Lead! She is currently 52 points ahead of Bill Lutz and 53 points ahead of Ruben Tetsoshvili. So yes, for a moment, it is back to hero! But if you know anything about Dina Parise you know this; she is a fierce competitor and she will not take anything for granted. She is well aware that this will be a fight to the finish.

“I cannot thank my crew enough” Stated Dina “My husband Andrew, Butch Branzelle and of course Quain Stott. We are a good team together. I am learning a lot from Quain. Trying to take it all in. A big thank you to Cynthia as well. She does not even realize how helpful she is!”

The DPR team continues to push the envelope in every way. From performance to detail this team acknowledges and does it all. Stella sparkles because of the products provided by USA Auto Supply and CRC Auto. She runs well and safely due to products such as DJ Safety, NGK, Speedwire Systems, Hoosier, Motorsports Unlimited and LAT Racing Oils. The DPR website looks great and runs efficiently thanks to the professionals at Crank It Media .A special thank you to ‘Uncle Mel’s Mystery Appitizers’. Please visit http://dinapariseracing.com/marketing-partners . There you will find more information regarding the companies listed. The team encourages you to try the products and services these companies offer. The fact remains that they do use them all. That is the best recommendation! The DPR team would like to thank all of their Marketing Partners for their continued support!

Contact DPR to become a Marketing Partner as well! Let DPR work for you!

Get Social: Be sure to join the DPR team on all their Social Media! Their Website will show you the way! So for all things DPR please visit http://dinapariseracing.com/

Story Courtesy: Dina Parise Racing

Photos Courtesy : Dragstory.com

To race or to crew and everything in between!

Two races down and more to go. We started out in PA, went to VA and picked up Butch B. our crew Dina Parise Racing member, then drove to Atlanta to pick up Dave J (another DPR Crew member). We then we headed to South Georgia Motorsports Park to get some testing in. Mother Nature had continued with her wrath of crappy weather and ee got rained out. We decided to leave and head straight to Bradenton Motorsports Park (the first IHRA ,Crower Pro mod event).

 

But as with this DPR team, there is NEVER a dull moment. So, on the way to Bradenton, I figured let’s get the rig washed and shiny for the race. I spent 130 bucks (much to the boss’ dismay) at the Blue Beacon Truck wash. They did a great job. We looked good, for a whole 10 minutes! Then, looking up the road, I see headlights (in mid-afternoon). Next thing you know, it down pours for 10 minutes straight! Seemed we were following the cloud too! I wasn’t very happy to say the least.

 

Bradenton (IHRA), was not a good debut for Stella. We loaded everything in the trailer including the kitchen sink. Ultimately, a $22 part broke and caused us to bow down. We had the part over-nighted and stayed to test on Tuesday. Thank fully that went well. So, we loaded up and were off to Palm Beach International Raceway.

 

We enjoyed some much needed R&R while we were in Palm Beach. It was nice to get away and just relax. But we know better than to get used to it! The R&R ended quickly.

 IMG_0037

Stella (the Cadillac ) seems to be standing up to her Italian name! She can be a real Biotch. After much hard work and A LOT of sweat, we finally got the car down the track. Unfortunately, Stella was anything but Stellar. Certainly not the numbers we wanted, but we will take it. She is coming around and we know she can’t stay biotchy forever. In the end, we didn’t want to leave Florida. We decided to stay an extra day and enjoy the weather.

 

It is great to be back competing with IHRA, where Pro Mod began. From the racers to the safety crew to the fans it is an amazing place to race! We got to hang out with our friends as well as making some new ones. We even played some football. It was like old times again. Right now the Pro Mod car count is down, but it will certainly improve as time goes on. As I said, IHRA is a great place to race.Palm Beach 4

 

We went back to PA to regroup. Since we can never seem to stay put for too long,we decided to go out and test at Virginia Motorsports Park. We tested with the assistance of with none other than Quain Stott. Truthfully, Stella must like Southerners ! She ran great! She 60ft’d in thr .980’s all day. Needless to say we ran a 3.99 to the 1/8 right off the trailer on a green track (and Dina lifted a bit early).We backed it up with a bunch of 4.0’s. It was a great day of testing. I was good to see Stella and Dina going down the track and at a good pace!

 

I’m finding it hard to go from being a Driver to being a full time crew member. I do miss the seat and hauling butt down the track. But this is the year we need to get the boss in the winners circle. I can’t give too much away but we will be making some changes real soon. I don’t like being stagnant with our program. We will keep you posted on the changes.

 

Changing gears: The other day I was listening to NASCAR on SiriusXM radio as I was driving. Yes I said the “N” word. I was listening as a couple of fans called in and started to complain about the format, the tracks, and more. It was very sad to hear. Taking the time to answer was Jeff Gordon. He then said to the fans; with all this complaining and unhappiness maybe NASCAR should just shut down all together and cancel races. After listening to more, it made me think about our sport of Drag Racing. The IHRA, NHRA, PDRA and other series’. Well guess what? We are really in the same boat as NASCAR. I came to the upsetting realization: It seems there is a tendency to pick apart the different (drag racing) series rather than promoting and supporting them individually. I can say, I have been guilty of this as well. The various series’ compliment the teams (and their Marketing Partners) that run them. If we continue bashing any series, we run the risk of less companies wanting to invest or be involved. The result? Even more teams will be forced to sit out. As most know, drag racing costs money, lots of money. The faster you go the more funds you need. So, regardless of what series anyone is racing (or a fan of) please help promote it even if you don’t like it.

 

We have a great race schedule for the rest of 2015. I wish we could hit the lotto so we can race every weekend, but ’til that happens we will have to keep working. Well one of us has to work….

Truth be Told, and It Ain’t Pretty…

Well, the boss said “Hey you haven’t written anything in a while”. My answer? “ I will write you a poem.” Well, that wasn’t what she meant.

I’m not going to bore you with details of my 30K worth of miles in road trips in the last 3 months. But I can warn you not to go on a diet and sit in traffic. You will be a bit edgy, Holly mother! I have been on a cleanser for 10 days then every other day. It works, but it is the consistency of sand. It is green powder and some other unidentifiable stuff. You don’t want to be in traffic after having your ‘sand’ drink.

I know everyone (Dina Parise Racing included) is waiting for the new Cadillac (CTSV Pro Mod) to debut. But right now it is under wraps being painted (by Paint by Bruce Mullins). It is coming out amazing. Perfection takes time and everybody involved in this project wants it perfect. For years I have had the better car, making it look easy to get down the track. I was told many years ago a bad car will make a good driver look bad. Well, I know my wife can drive better then me. I don’t like to admit it, but she can pedal much better then me and beats me off the starting line every time. It pisses me off so bad, yet I love racing her. I have beaten her many times and have the Wally and the AA/PM record to prove it (Yes, I love rubbing that in). This new car is going to be just like a real Cadillac except for the couple things. Engine, Seats, Rug okay more then a couple. But outwardly, there is no mistaking, it’s a Cadillac. You will all have to wait and see it for yourselves.

Have you seen the new DPR Logo? Everyday she is coming up with something new for us to do. Driving around the world, finding a shop getting things in motion and on top of it all, the boss decides it rebranding time. Sure, we have a huge employee list to take that on (uh, not) but really, we just need to hit the lotto. But seriously, when she is right she is right. I just don’t tell her that she is.

Rob Matheis (Matheis Race Cars Inc.) built the Cadillac and is one of the best in chassis building and fabrication. He builds everything from motorcycles to cars.Did you know he fabricated a lipstick holder in Dina’s new Cadillac? Yes. Seriously, who puts a lipstick holder in a Pro Mod? Well, my wife for one, but Rob provides such attention to detail that giving the customer what they request is key (as long as safety is not compromised). That seems hard to find today. We are a team that doesn’t play games, and Rob and his team are the same way. At the end of the day it is a business.

So, it has been a tough year. We haven’t been able to secure a shop so no racing for us yet. We are close to closing a deal but ’till I have the keys in hand I wont believe it. We have a lot of things going on as always but they are big things. I promise to let you know as soon as possible as it is going to be huge.

I rarely get personal, but I can’t help myself. In life we work, live, pay bills and try to be the best we can be. We have family and friends who don’t believe in our goals or our choices in life. How many people told John Force he should quit, or How about Bunny Burkett or Don Garltis. All of these people had a dream and worked to make a difference. How about Steve Jobs, or Bill Gates. These people not only had dreams but they had passion for what they believe in. They found people to support them and believe in their passion. The ones that didn’t well let’s say they are looking from the sidelines.

I always dreamed of driving for a team, but I had no family support. Growing up I was the baby. I have two older brothers. One is 6’ 5” weighing 300 pounds and the other 6’1” weighing 200 pounds. Me, I’m only 5’6, I was out sized and weight was not on my side. But I was a smart ass and kept things exciting. Plus I couldn’t do anything wrong in my mothers eyes (oddly still not to my Mother-in-law either!). My Mom got cancer and I had to take care of her for a while when I was 18, she died when I was 20 yrs old. It was a tough time for me, but I never lost that want to drive. My point to this story is here it is 25 years later and I still have that desire to drive inside me. Regardless of the people in life telling me to quit and walk away. Don’t let anyone and I mean anyone take away your passion or dreams. My mom was my life; she would do anything for her family. Not only was she a fighter but only wanted the best for her kids. Fight for what you want.

Well, lately we have heard a lot on the future of NHRA from many influential people. Now we all Know Larry Morgan is a very laid back quiet guy. So, here is my take on some things. Okay, forget NHRA for a second. Drag Racing on a whole I feel has so much more to offer marketing partners. NASCAR is good, but we (Drag Racing) are better. You can’t get within a ½ mile of a NASCAR driver unless you are the sponsor or you have a ‘golden ticket’ so to speak. The fans are what make the show. The look on there faces, hanging out with the kids and signing autographs. I was asked once by a gentleman, how I drive by both cars. I pointed to Dina and said my wife drives that car. He said have a nice day, sir and ran over to talk to Dina. That to me is priceless. Dina cooks Italian food in our pits and sometimes we feed 30 people. The fans at times become your family. We have the Best show in the world. Now, I know a lot of people dislike the man Former President of ADRL. Kenny Knowling. But one thing for sure, he knew how to keep you entertained. He had pre parties, race day parties and fan interaction; Something lacking now.

So, I am going to get myself into some hot water here (nothing new, frankly).Don’t take this as bashing, take this as TRUTH. Everyone walks on eggshells and is afraid to say what needs to be said. NHRA is a not-for profit but their upper management team makes high Six figure incomes. The cost to race at NHRA is ridiculous for teams and ticket prices are way too high for the average family. To race at an NHRA event you have to pay for a license AND your magazine subscription and of course your entry fee. Oh if you don’t have enough points you have to spend a ton of money on divisional races (Pro Mod). The payouts are a joke, but nobody is doing this for the money, we do it because we are crazy and we love it. NHRA will never change until you change management. I worked in Corporate America for 20 years, if you didn’t produce results you were gone. If sales went down, upper management was let go. The Indians listen to the Chiefs but if the Chiefs are lost then what happens? What would happen if Don Schumacher decided he is done racing? John Force cant drive forever, he will try. What is the answer for NHRA? It starts at the top of the chain. You can only sit in your Air conditioned office for so long till they close the doors. When a Reality racing TV show comes along and has more viewers then NHRA you know things have to change. I don’t think this is what Wally Parks had in mind when he said make racing affordable to keep racing off the streets.

Okay, now I am really going to shake things up. A major CEO just announced that they are sponsoring the IHRA but they want all classes to be pro classes. From Stock to Nitro. Everybody is equal and everybody is Pro. Racers would have to pay $200.00 per event to enter a race, fans would pay $25.00 to enter the race or weekend passes for $30.00. MAVTV will be airing all events. You think NHRA would be in trouble then? The point of this is (for now) NHRA the only sand box in town for the Nitro teams. For me, I hope IHRA brings it AND brings back Pro Mod . That is where Pro mod started and this is where it belongs.

Is our sport in trouble, no not necessarily. Is NHRA in trouble Absolutely YES. When you try and control too much and lose sight of the big picture it is time to cut the fat and make changes. IHRA, PDRA and other series are doing very well and it wont be too long before NHRA puts their nose into the PDRA. At the end of the day it isn’t a perfect world, you have to roll with the punches, but you can only get up some many times before you have to retire from the ring and close the lights for good.

Somehow I will be in trouble. But Hey that why they call me BamBam. We do have the best show in the world, the best fans in the world and the best racers in the world. What NHRA does or doesn’t do really doesn’t matter in the big picture. As fans, racers, team owners we need to fight for what we believe in.