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.

 

Andrew Parise- Calling all personalities

As I sit in the office and work on proposals, the racecar, life and figuring out 2016 and our future, life still goes on. Erica Enders won her 2nd championship which is an amazing accomplishment. Back to back Championships. One hell of a driver. Antron Brown wins the Top Fuel Championship for 2015, give it up for Antron. He rode a Motorcycle in NHRA and now drives for Top Fuel and is amazing. He is a funny guy too. I saw his act in person with telling John Force he could have been his father in law. It was priceless.

 

Not to be Debbie downer but Dina and I lost some friends in the last couple of months. George Barris was an amazing man, he built so many cars for the movies. For me to meet and hang out with such an icon was amazing. A close friend of ours passed away, Joan she was 82. She was such a spitfire, always on the go and full of life. She was one in a million.

 

So, I got to thinking about all the people I have met in my life and what they have accomplished. Then I looked at my own life. The questions would not stop in my head, yes I do have some sort of a Brian ….oh, I mean Brain. But seriously, what legacy am I going to leave behind. I have no kids that I know of. My Ex-wife wouldn’t run me over and my current wife only wants to go to Aruba. Okay, I will have to explain this one then get back to thought. We were at a race and people were talking about vacations, I said “you have to go to Aruba you will love it. Right Dina? You love Aruba!” She shook her head side to side…(No). I then said “ya remember when we went there? It was awesome.” Well the fourth shake she said, “No dumba** …wrong Wife,” Well, she knows how to kill a party, right?

Anyway, many of the people I have met have left a legacy. Scotty Canon, George Barris, Butch Patrick( Eddie Munster) Sonny Shroyer, Sonny Leonard and so many others. What I am leaving behind besides dirty underwear and bills? How about you? Ya, you the one reading this. Dina was in the Ice Capades, IHRA Champ and other ‘crap’ (LOL) and here is me. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be remembered as the Pro Mod Driver with a bad background AKA Bam Bam. Do I want to be some movie star or music professional? No. I have to admit people singing your song during the World Series is cool. I suck at acting and my voice will only get me in gangster flicks anyway. I guess I have to find my legacy and make my mark. The same goes to all of us. Anyone can become a Trump, you just have to find out what your great at and do it better than anyone else.

 

I did not come from a racing background. No big name or big dollar family behind me (or Dina). We have fought very hard to have what we have and we will continue to fight for it. It amazes me that (in life, especially in sports) people find it ok to label. People do not know you (even some who do), are willing to assume what they come up with in their heads is correct. Worse than that, they will pass along false information without a thought.

 

For those not aware, we have been running Pro Mod for over 10 years. Amazingly, we still are treated as if it is our rookie year. Many times unfortunately from the media outlets (that are well aware of our history). Ask yourself these questions: would John Force be as big if he didn’t win one championship? Would Pro Mod be anything in NHRA without Roger Burgess? The answer is of course…no. For some it is out of sight out of mind. You may be reading this saying to yourself, who is Roger Burgess? Roger put a lot money and effort into the sport of Pro Mod (in NHRA). In my opinion, he was dumped on. He made a difference and revived Pro Mod. My point of all of this is I am so tired of the same people in the same magazines and media sites and the ‘Hero to Zero’ theory. Every magazine wants to be the next big thing, yet they are too afraid to think out of the box. Especially in Drag Racing.

 

Unfortunately, drag racing has lost something along the way. It has become stagnant. I watch these top end interviews in our sport and I want to jump through the TV and smack some of these people! Where did the personality go? We need the old loud and crazy John Force back. Bring back Scelzi for Scelzi says. Many have lost touch with being funny, having a personality and showing emotions.I will admit; Dina is all personality in an interview. She’s a ham and knows how to ‘sell it’. I have to say, if I lost as Greg Anderson did, I would not have been so blahhhh, about it. Really, that is not him. Not the Greg we all know. Come on, where is the urge to scream aloud? Bring some the attitudes back. For example, one of the biggest and ‘baddest’ moves of the year was Jimmy Prock going to DSR. It was ‘mentioned’ as a 5-minute conversation between JFR and DSR. What? No hype? That was the perfect opportunity to engage fans in and outside the sport. We need Steve Austin vs the Rock attitude to bring back the hype. Talk crap again. It has been said that the corporate ‘shirts’ won’t like it. What B.S. Did anyone listen to Ron Capps in his interview at Vegas? He was the only one with a personality when explaining about having his corporate ‘shirts’ at the racetrack. Where is the excitement in the pits? On the starting line? In the staging lanes? I do not personally know Stevie Fast, but he is a funny bastard. In his article, he said he would be as loud as he is in PM even if he went to a TF or FC class. As racers, we need to have rivalries. We have to call them out. Think about it. Think about the rivalries from the past. Pat Mussi had Tony Christian, Garlits and Muldowney, Ford vs Chevy I can go on. Even Dina and I have had a great rivalry! There’s none today. Yes, it is amazing to watch our sport and the speeds we run. We lost the human factor of the sport and I have to blame on the drivers. This season, at an IHRA race Quain Stott and Jimmy Rector were in the staging lanes ‘trash talking’. It was awesome to hear this and see it again and the fans loved it.

 

The sport has changed in the last couple of years from actually driving the cars to essentially being a monkey in the seat. Be advised, this is going to piss a lot of people off, but TOO BAD!!!! In many cases, driving a racecar has become merely point and shoot. (I am speaking of PM here). It has become a matter of no shifting, leaving off a button, traction control, self-deploying chutes, automatic power and fuel shut-off. Now, don’t get me wrong, I believe in safety 100% but it seems that soon it will be a remote control racing. I encourage promoters to put on a race where the rules are: no auto shifters, leaving off a clutch pedal only (regardless if it is a converter car). Hey, If Erica Enders cuts .000 to Vincent Nobile’s .015 (they leave off a clutch pedal) why do so many need to leave off a damn button in a PM? Oh, many will tell you because PM is faster class. That too is B.S. Unfortunately; drivers have become robots and a bit lazy. Many seem afraid of the actual ‘competitive nature’ the sport is known for. Just for example, Dina leaves off a clutch pedal (the Cadillac is converter driven) and she shifts. Just as Tommy D’Aprile shift his PX car and he runs 3.50’s in the eighth. As I said earlier, Pro Stock drivers do still drive their cars. We need to take the ‘robot’ out of the car and get back to driving. Bring back the excitement! Put a fire under your asses.

 

The sport of drag racing needs a facelift. Bring back the excitement. Sponsors are going to other sports because (as I said) drag racing has become stagnant. Look at soccer games. The fans scream and are a part of the game. How about 40,000 baseball fans singing in unison to a Billy Joel song? Fans want to be involved. Oil downs can be long and boring. Do we really think that free t-shirts are the answer to keeping fans excited and involved? Utilize that time to engage the fans. Do something different. Think out of the box. We have all the technology in the world. From mobile devices to apps to find the closest restroom but yet we have no idea how entertain fans.

 

Since winning the IHRA Pro Mod World Championship, things have been busy. We are already working on our combo and getting some new things worked out for Stella. At this point, it is still undetermined as to what series DPR will run. IHRA race schedule is very tough (as far as travel) this year. With our personal goals in mind, I am not sure if we are going to be able to commit to that or not. PDRA has some of the fastest cars and great competition in our class. Stella can be very competitive there. NHRA RPM has had a great year with high car counts and outstanding teams. We hope to know more after the PRI show (in December).

 

Well, the boss has me on the run again. Stay tuned for an exciting 2016! Thank you all for the continued support.

 

See you at the races!

Andrew ‘Bam Bam’ Parise

Dina Parise Racing welcomes Hussey Performance!

The Dina Parise Racing team would like to welcome Hussey Performance as a marketing partner for the 2016 season.

“Hussey actually joined us just before the final IHRA Crower Pro Mod race in Memphis,” Said Dina Parise. “We are excited for this new partnership with them and foresee a bright future!”

Did you know that with Hussey Performance you can receive your product within days? Learn more and receive a *special offer* from Hussey Performance and DPR by visiting : http://dinapariseracing.com/marketing-partners

‘Hussey Performance, located outside Pittsburgh, PA specializes in manufacturing quality copper gaskets to your exacting specs.

We are carefully equipped and capable of creating or customizing any copper gasket. We have the capability, the experience and the know-how to solve even your most complex gasket problems. And we stand behind the services we offer by guaranteeing your satisfaction.’

The team would like to thank Hussey Performance for their support.

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, Hussey Performance, Hoosier, Motorsports Unlimited, Impact Mouthguards 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 Delicious Mystery Appetizers’. 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!

**The team celebrates this 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/

Dina Parise-2015 IHRA Pro Mod World Champion: Anatomy of a Championship

They say ‘seasons change’. For the Dina Parise Racing team, that term could not ring more true at this moment!

The nuts and bolts of it:

This past weekend at the IHRA World Final (at Memphis International Raceway) was the culmination of a wild season for DPR. The 2015 season was not only challenging and eventful (sometimes not in a good way) it was at times downright frustrating. The team never relented and it paid off. In the end it was all worth it. Dina Parise clinched the championship and is now the 2015 IHRA, Crower Pro Mod World Champion!

“The nuts and bolts of it is that we are a small team,” Stated Parise. “We are thankful for everything we have and for the support we receive. But in reality, we ran on not a ‘shoestring’ budget, but an ‘aglet’ budget! Regardless of budget we accomplished what we set out to do and we are proud of that. Proud for our accomplishments and proud for the marketing partners that have supported us and believed in us!”

 

The good, the bad and the ugly:

Fielding a new car is not always as easy as it would seem. DPR debuted Stella the Cadillac CTS-V Pro Mod at IHRA Nitro Jam (Bradenton Motorsports Park) back in April. As prepared as they thought they were, they seemed to be plagued with issues. From minor to major and everything in-between. One of the major issues for Dina was comfortability. “I was having a hard time becoming one with the Stella,” Said Parise. “You can sit in a shop to make adjustments until you are blue in the face. Until you are actually in the car and running it, you really cannot get a feel for certain things.” The team made several changes to the inner ‘cockpit’ until she became comfortable.

In May, the team detonated their ‘#1’ motor. Although they did have a spare (from Andrew’s 53 Pro Mod) it was not nearly up to the standards of the #1 motor, yet the team had to utilize it. Upon sending the #1 motor out for repair, it was subsequently damaged further due to mishandling by the shipping company. Insult to injury. On a side note, the team was left paying for the additional damage as well, because the shipping company is refusing to take responsibility.

In August the IHRA Nitro Jam event at US 131 began with the addition of Quain Stott to the team! It also began with bits of unexpected issues and the issues did not cease. The culmination of the ‘Murpy’s Law’ factor was Dina running long to the ‘beach’ (sand pit). (more about it here: http://dinapariseracing.com/dina-parise-racing-runners-up-runs-long-to-points-leader )In true racer fashion, Parise exited her Cadillac Pro Mod and asked Marc 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. Thankfully for the most part Stella was really none the worse for wear. The team returned to Pennsylvania thinking they would not make the race the following week at Grand Motorplex. Andrew refused to give up. He thrashed all week knowing they needed to hang on to the points lead. In the 11th hour, the team (Dina and Andrew) loaded up and headed to Canada.

DPR was shorthanded at the Grand Bend event. Andrew was the lone crew member left to do it all. Quain (Stott) was there tuning and had his own job to attend to. Stella was running well. Quain was masterful at getting the tune-up where it needed to be. The most unfortunate piece to this puzzle was driver error. “I dropped the ball.” Said Parise. “I made costly errors that cost us the win light. I cannot run from it, all I can do is take it in and learn from it and move forward.”

Before the finals in Memphis, the team made a stop at (IHRA sanctioned) South Georgia Motorsports Park for a quick test session the Saturday. Yet again… there it was … ‘Murphy’s Law’ lurking in the shadow of the DPR pit area. Saturday morning they awoke to begin the test session but it was not to be. Andrew became violently ill with the flu. “Normally, I would just shake it off.” Stated Andrew Parise. “That day I could not move. It was as if I was run over by my rig.” The team stayed over to test Sunday. Andrew was still ill but did what he could to have Dina get a few passes in. Dina and Andrew planned on heading to Memphis on Monday. That was not to be either. Dina became the next victim of the raging flu overtaking DPR. Thankfully racing in Memphis was not to begin until Friday. It gave them both a chance to recuperate.

Lastly comes IHRA World Finals at Memphis International Raceway. As had happened all year, Mother Nature was the thorn in everyone’s side. Rain. Due to the rain, the racers were left with only two qualifying shots on Saturday. All teams seemed to take it in stride.

The championship came down to a 31 point difference between Dina Parise and Bill Lutz. Dina took the win light in the first round of eliminations via a peddle fest against Robert Patrick. Next up was Bill Lutz and Ruben T. The DPR team waited anxiously at the top end of the track to observe the outcome. Ruben pulled his chutes, Bill had not. Bill did not get the win light. It was over. That was the moment Dina learned she did clinch the IHRA Crower Pro Mod World Championship. “The first thing Quain said to me was ‘Welcome to the (champion) club’,” Said Parise “What an honor to have those words spoken.”

 

“It was a tough year,” Said (Andrew) Parise. “From engine changes to just crazy issues we really did not perform as well as we wanted to or should have. But with lady luck on our side we pulled off the Championship. Was it pretty? Nope! But like many others in the past that won in a similar fashion to how we did, it feels pretty damn good. I am very proud of this team not only for winning but for never giving up. I made some bad calls this year that cost us not to win a couple races but everybody still supported me. I can tell you for 2016, Stella will be running 150% for another championship.”

“Never give up. If you dream it, give it a shot.” Said Parise. “We came close to walking away on a few occasions. But the support of our marketing partners, our fans, friends, family and fellow racers was what kept us going. It was quite a journey. What an unbelievable outcome. We could not ask for anything better. Well, maybe just to repeat it next year? We will certainly work toward that!”

 

Thank you, Thank you very much:

DPR would like to thank Quain Stott (and Cynthia) for assisting the team. His capabilities as a tuner are second to none. Cynthia’s attention to detail keeps things organized. His expertise and assistance pushed the team to win this championship. Next thank you goes to Butch Branzelle for his efforts as crew member all year. His dedication to the team was just another piece to that championship puzzle. In addition, a thank you goes out to Charlie Saccoccio and Jody Lupton for pitching in as crew members!

Real men wear TuTu’s:

On a side note, a new tradition was born during the championship process. Quain, Butch and Andrew showed off their best dance moves while wearing TuTu’s to the line! Some things you just cannot un-see! Even Louis Floquet of Crower joined in the fun!

 

The companies that help to make it happen:

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, Hussey Performance, Hoosier, Motorsports Unlimited, Impact Mouthguards 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 Delicious Mystery Appetizers’. 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! The team celebrates this 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/

Story by : DPR

Photos courtesy : Chris Simmons Photography/Hang ‘em High Photography/IHRA

Next Stop the IHRA World Finals!

It has been a different year of racing for me and I think everybody around me. Stepping out of the seat and being a full time crew member for this Dina Parise Racing team is harder to do than it looks. Like Dina says, I am driving the car from standing behind her and that is hard on everyone, but especially hard on her. We are both very competitive people, and we are two different drivers. All I know is I have to get back in the car next year or I will strapping myself to the parachutes. I am sure Dina will love to pull that handle knowing it would send me sailing!

 

Drag racing is a great sport, but like so many other sports it has its Pros and Cons. What I find very aggravating  is if you don’t have the ‘Big Name’ some companies just do not care about you. Pro Mod racing is still (to some)not considered the ‘big leagues’ . Let me tell you, it isn’t cheap to run these machines. We (DPR) do not look for special treatment from anyone. But it is irritating and insulting when companies just plain do not call you back or respond it inquiries regarding product. Better yet, when a company makes a mistake and never acknowledges it or gives you ridiculous time line for a product delivery when you know others are receiving theirs in a timely fashion. Frankly, it just burns my ass.

I formerly worked for a fortune 100 company in New York. We worked with Doctors, dentists and other companies that we acquired and we were held to strict time lines. Yes, you will always have an exception to the rules but at a cost. It’s not rocket science it’s called expediting. My point is that everyone’s money is the same color, GREEN. No matter how much they have or do not have it’s still green. Every sale should be treated the same way with the same amount of respect. This is one more reason more and more teams are now making their own parts rather than purchasing them. This in turn will cause companies to close or at the least cut jobs. Those who can not make parts will miss races due to the fact that they can not receive parts in a ‘timely manner’ due to the fact that their team ‘status’ is not ‘outstanding’ enough to require prompt service. That needs to change.

 

Next stop for this DPR team is the IHRA world finals ! They are coming up next month October 9th-10th at  Memphis International Raceway and it has come down to the wire. It has been a tough year for all of us. Dina has been struggling with this new car. From getting comfortable to just driving it. Like I say all the time a bad car will make a good driver bad. Not that the car is ‘bad’ but you get the picture. But, we have got our driver back now! We started off in Florida, at Bradenton we had to bow down due to a broken wheel stud. In West Palm, Stella (the Cadillac Pro mod) kept going left, Dina was trying to reel it in but couldn’t get it worked out. We then went to a back-up motor and found out in Cordova it was just a pig. We made some changes and in Budds Creek it finally started coming around. At US 131 Martin I changed a couple things that back fired causing us not to be able to test. To top that off, we had issues with the chutes and Dina went into the sand. In Canada we had the car working very well, but Dina was not on her game. This is the first year I can say that it has been a real struggle of just stupid stuff coupled with  rough driving. Quain Stott has been a huge help to this team, from tuning to helping Dina regain her confidence. I am no way near the tuner/driver that Quain is. He is just a scary man. Not scary looking just tuning wise. He has taken a car that wasn’t working to going .977 60ft and hasn’t even touched much. Behind every man is a great woman, well in my case not so much (LOL). Yup I hear the ‘Fired’ word again. Actually, Cynthia is behind scenes for Quain and let me just say she is probably a better tuner then most of us out here. They make a great team and for us we are honored to have them part of our family even though Dina sucked all year. Oh boy ,I feel a war coming on!

I lost my mother when I was 20 years old and I became a bit bitter from it. I did things that most would never dream of and have seen things most shouldn’t. Now, I don’t believe in mediums or palm readers, things like that. But, this year someone came to me and told me things about my mother nobody would ever know. The one thing that was said was she doesn’t want you angry anymore. For me, it took a couple days to register. I never got along with my father and after my mother died it was worse. Anyway, I get short and angry with Dina very quickly. Like I said we are two different drivers and me riding her ass is not helping her. Really, I am surprised I don’t have a black eye by now. But truth be told….I am glad she doesn’t think like Lorena Bobbitt either.

 

It is going to be a great final race. I have been hard on Dina all year and I want this race to be fun. Everybody will be throwing the kitchen sink at their tune-ups trying to win this championship. We are in number one in points. According to some, if we win we will be ‘paper champions’ only because we haven’t won a race….Yet. Well, being in 2 finals and attending every race, fighting and digging to earn points makes champions too. For me this race is going to be about having fun. Let the trash talking begin, but we as a team will enjoy ourselves. I am sure the Crower Cams (thanks to them for bringing Pro Mod back to IHRA!) Party is going to be crazy as always. We are very fortunate to be able to race and have the team we do with the BEST fans and Marketing Partners in the world. We appreciate everyone’s support! So, we want to see everyone at the World Finals. It is going to be a crazy and exciting event.

You might even see one (or 3)of us in a TUTU….?

See you in Memphis!

Andrew ~Bam Bam~ Parise

Dina Parise Racing- It’s ‘Down to the Wire’

 

‘Down to the wire’- used to denote a situation whose outcome is not decided until the very last minute. Well, that is certainly the scenario Dina Parise is facing right now when it comes to the fight for the IHRA Crower Pro Mod Championship. Dina is known for being blatantly honest (usually with a side of humor) and is surely willing to admit that this scenario should be a whole lot different right now, and at this point she will only blame herself for that. They say there is no ‘I’ in team but there certainly is an ‘I’ in driver.

The fact is that the hardest working people on a drag racing team are the crew. They are up and at it early to set up and begin performing maintenance. Before you know it, you are rolling into the round by round action as the day progresses. All the while, never guaranteed a break and they surely will never consume a meal without grease as a condiment. When that racecar hits the strip and the performance is stellar, who gets the kudos? The driver. When the racecar hits the strip and the performance is not up to par, who gets the blame? The crew. Of course there are variables here but you get the picture.

When putting the pieces of a successful racing operation together at times it seems the stars need to align. But in reality you need hard work, dedication and most of all good chemistry. The Dina Parise Racing team has all of those components. The importance of these components will especially come into play when a team has few members, such as DPR. Andrew Parise is the backbone of the DPR team taking care of everything from transporting , set up, prepping Stella (the Cadillac Pro Mod) ,turning wrenches at events (along with crew member Butch Branzelle) and most importantly taking care of the ‘up-keep’ (of everything) including Stella’s maintenance program. “At times I can be a one man band.” States Andrew Parise. “Back in the shop, I handle the maintenance myself. I am ok with that. We do what we have to, to keep going. I like to be hands on anyway. I prefer to see and feel what is happening with Stella, this way I know things are done. I’m not really a fan of trusting someone else to hold my wife’s safety in their hands.”

“As many of you know, Quain Stott recently joined forces with DPR.” Stated Dina Parise. “He has certainly been a welcomed addition to the team. His tuning has been spot on and he is getting Stella right where we need her to be. The issues of late have been with me as a driver. I have to take responsibility for that. I’m not a runner. I face issues head on. We have certainly made changes over the season, some due to the fact I have battled with comfortability in this car. But now it’s time for this Buttercup to suck it up and do her job. My team is busting their asses, I owe it to them to perform.”

Parise is not a rookie when it comes to the Pro Mod ranks. She understands what it takes to wheel these cars .She has a great passion for driving and for the sport of drag racing in general. Her competitive fire will not let these issues get the best of her. In fact, if you know her you know that she lets nothing stand in her way. “I prefer to take negatives of any sort and change them to positives.” States Dina. “Life is too short to let any negativity rent space in your brain. I would rather let it fuel me. I’m not one for wasted energy!” She smiles.

One race remains in the series. Parise has a 31 point lead over Bill Lutz. The run for IHRA Crower Pro Mod champion will surely come ‘down to the wire.’ It should be a spectacular finish. The finals will be held at Memphis International Raceway on October 9th and 10th. Cannot attend the race? Watch it LIVE here: http://www.ihra.com/livefeed/nitrojam presented by http://motormaniatv.com/ . It’s almost as good as being there!

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 Delicious Mystery Appetizers’. 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: Drag Race Canada/BCS Photography  

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

Dina Parise leaves IHRA Presidents Cup on a High Note

 

For those who have been following the Pro Mod career of Dina Parise, you are most likely well aware of her ‘relationship’ with Maryland International Raceway. Beginning in the days back when Dina Parise Racing was a two car husband and wife Pro Mod team leading to now, there is a rich history both good and miserably bad at MDIR. For Dina, the last time she left there it was on bad terms. She was determined to change that and for all intents and purposes, she did. Although the events leading into the race week made it seem as if her history may have been setting a precedent for her upcoming week.

This DPR team is no stranger to adversity as of late. Seemingly, someone has not been owning up to the fact that they are giving food and water to the ‘Gremlins’ after midnight and yes for a moment they took control. Picture it if you will. Arriving home early on a Monday morning fresh off a testing session with Stella the Cadillac Pro Mod. No ‘crew’ on hand at this point. It was just Andrew and Dina ready to unload (the trailer contents) in order to get maintenance and prep done to head to MDIR on Wednesday evening (for IHRA Presidents cup Crower Pro Mod). Do not forget the ‘regular’ shop work being accomplished as well. When lo and behold, the lift gate fails to work. And with no manual override, all of the contents were captive in their enclosure. Stella became a hostage in her own environment. The fix? Drive the rig the Renegade/Kibbi in Indianapolis immediately. So Andrew did.

None of this was in the ‘plan’, but in the scheme of things it could always be worse, right? In the end, the team made it to the track race ready. Sort of. “Well, we arrived.” Stated Andrew Parise. “Next step was to give Stella some air and get her ready. Poor girl was cooped up in that trailer in need of some TLC. It was a nutty week. Only us!” He laughs.

The team went up for the first qualifier on Friday and had to back out at the line due to an oil pressure issue that plagued them all weekend. The second qualifier was called due to rain. The third and final qualifier left Dina in the 6th spot with a 6.416 @ 196.64. She would face Ruben Tetsoshvili in round 1 of eliminations. It would be a re-run of the Cordova final! With Ruben having won Cordova and being the point’s leader, Dina was feeling the pressure. Compounding that, the team was battling an oil pressure issue with Stella and she was just not running up to par.

Ruben had a slight advantage at the tree with a .114 over Dina’s .173 light. Dina had the advantage rest of the way. She got the win light. A round win, taking out the point’s leader and gaining peace mind. Both she and her team needed, worked hard for and wanted this and they achieved it. To many this may seem a minor accomplishment, to DPR it was moving a mountain. “Coming into this IHRA Presidents Cup weekend I had a lot to prove.” Stated Dina Parise. “A lot to prove to myself. I needed to know I was not letting anything negative rent space in my brain. I actually do love this facility. It’s a great place to race. From the track surface to the fans. I love it. But in the last couple of outings, we did not see eye to eye. I needed to change that. We were not the fastest this weekend, but I slayed the dragon all while taking out the points leader! My team rocked it out. Thank you to Andrew, Butch, Charlie(AKA Uncle Mel), Jody and Toni! Change is good! I’m a happy girl!”

Unfortunately, the remainder event was cancelled (due to inclement weather) and will conclude at the Northern Nationals at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Michigan on August 7 – 8. The DPR team will be there to finish off the final elimination rounds! This coming week the IHRA nitro Jam Mopar Nationals will be at Grand Bend Motorplex. The team will not be attending this event due to budget constraints.

At this point, Dina Parise is standing at #2 in IHRA Crower Pro Mod, only 6 points behind Ruben Tetsoshvili. 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. She runs well and safely due to products such as DJ Safety, NGK, Speedwire Systems, Hoosier, Motorsports Unlimited and LAT. 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 of these companies. 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/

 

Photos Courtesy ~ BlackRock Photography/Holloway Photos

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!

 

http://dinapariseracing.com/

 

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