If racing were easy, everyone would do it

Well here it is, September already. Seems like just yesterday we were in summer. Let me start with the Pity Party….

It has been yet another year of  Dina Parise Racing fighting with Stella the Cadillac Pro Mod. Some people would look at us and say, “ok it’s enough, already, throw in the towel and sell it all”. Trust me, we have thought about this. The pain of quitting will last forever. We owe the companies and fans that support us more than that. I want to thank our marketing partners for staying with us, and our fans for all the love they show us. Without the support and love we couldn’t continue. So, enough of the Pity Party…..

We swapped everything out the beginning of the year and were bitten with electrical issues. We chased them like a cat chasing his tail. So, we changed everything once again. Stella was doing a bit better till we lost the fuel timers. It’s been a real fight. We had taken my engine package from the 53 Corvette and put it in Stella. Well, Stella just seems pissed off because she won’t cooperate and trust me it’s not like we aren’t trying. Between buying new parts and lack of funding we might be moving into a cardboard box soon! But like they say, if it was easy everyone would be doing it!

When we had two cars we ran very well. Now running one car is a struggle. Hero to zero as they say! Sadly, it seems some like to see us down in the ditches. What I focus on is how many people really want us to be back on top. That is what keeps us going. I think it’s time for me to go to church; maybe take a shower in some holly water. That’s the ‘Altar boy’ in me talking (yes, I was an altar boy).

As many of you may know, in November we lost our Bella girl at 15 years old. It was so hard and painful to see her go. Truth be told, she had a better life then me. I want to come back as her. I still can’t believe that 15 years passed so quickly. To get another dog was so hard because our hearts were still hurting. In April, Dina found Pickles, and we drove to Tennessee to see her. Well, Pickles was a cute little thing and we took her. We had the Vet check her and give her shots as needed. She brought joy and fun back into our lives. It was as if Bella sent her to us. She had such an amazing personality and was a great companion. The “Triple P” (Pickles Petunia Parise), was doing tricks, sleeping on my pillow as soon as I got out of bed, just funny things. We brought her in for a ‘basic procedure’ but she never woke up in recovery. We found out she was a very sick little girl. Her organs were compromised and it went undetected. Some people will say it’s ‘only a dog’ or ‘she had issues before you got her’, move on. For us She was Pickles Petunia Parise. She was part of this family. So, the guilt we feel for not finding this sooner eats at us. I wish we could have done more for her. 7-month-old PPP will be missed dearly. Thank you to everyone for all the comments. She seemed to make an impression on so many! Dina has created The Pickles Project. It is going to be a new web site for Pet owners, with tons of information. Everything you can think of. So, keep an eye out for ThePicklesProject.com! You know Dina when she is on a mission you best watch out! You can already find the Pickles Project on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

As I said before, if this racing thing were easy, everyone would be doing it. Not many really know just how we roll, so here goes….. Let’s talk crew. At the shop, it’s me and myself. Yes, both of us work on the car, load the car, entire trailer and take care of everything. We have got it down to a science. We get all the parts ready, wash the rig and even put the food in the motorhome. Not every trip is ‘load and go’. Take our trip to Huntsville Dragway for example. As we go to leave for the Huntsville Match race, I begin to pull out of the shop and BAM; a flat tire on the trailer. Well, that would have been an ugly one so I am glad it happened in the shop. We change the tire (our friend Russell was with us to help crew) and must go find a spare. That took 3 hours because it seems everything in Georgia that is considered ‘just down the road’ is in actuality, an hour away. As we go to leave for the second time, the EGR decides to say, “sorry I am not going to work.” Oh, did I mention? It’s brand new. So, Russell and I pull it apart and fix it while Dina does a Live Video and annoys us. Finally, we get on the road. In the end, Dina did win 2 out of 3 races, and the crowd was amazing. So, a negative became a positive!

 

Unfortunately, now our Motorhome has been in and out of the Freightliner shop for weeks. Once again, we are told it is all fixed. While driving down Route 24, (in the Tennessee mountains) we encounter a huge downhill slope (not uncommon). When suddenly, the engine light comes on and panic sets in. It only gets worse when the big light comes on saying ‘Shutting Down’ as we see the sign coming up that says Sharpe curve 45mph. I am holding the override button till my finger turns blue, but the truck says, “sorry that won’t help you.” Luckily, we made it to the bottom of the hill. I thought Dina was going to need to be resuscitated though. My guess is it was Stella (the Grandmother, not the car) was playing games with the truck. On the way back home from the race I noticed the brakes were not working properly on the trailer. Which is odd, considering, I maintain them properly. This trip just gets better and better. So, we pull into Pilot and we had no brake fluid in the reservoir. No big deal, right? Fill it up, right? Well, we come to find out that we broke a brake line on the trailer. As I said, I’m crazy with maintenance, so I have spares. Although, I don’t know why I would even have this? But, easy fix. Being it was 98 degrees outside, and I couldn’t get the line off easily, made for a miserable hour and half. Finally got back on the road.

 

Next, we head out to the NMCA race at Route 66 Raceway. Again, we are told the truck has been ‘fixed’. We also had the generator in the truck serviced (professionally). All maintenance done (again) and we are off and running (so we think).Suddenly, the truck is smoking like a chimney (from the exhaust), so much so that it appears to be on fire! Yes, you read that correctly. Other motorists are beeping at us, while pointing and waiving. Just embarrassing. We get about 5 miles out from the track and BAM, the truck begins to go into shutdown mode. Did I mention, it’s pouring down rain so hard, that we couldn’t even see 5 feet in front of us. Again, I hit the override button (until my finger turns blue) for the next five miles, and thankfully, we arrive safely. We do owe a big thank you to Gino Cavallo of Chicago Intermodal Trucking for swinging by to assist us as well as he could.

 

Now it’s time to relax a bit and turn the (just fresh from service) generator on to cool off. It ran for 10 minutes and BAM, it shuts off. Really? Is this a test in life? Well, let’s just say, MacGyver has nothing on me. I hooked up a battery charger to the fuel pump in the generator and it ran for 3 days with no issues. Stella on the other hand fought back a bit, but we kept moving forward. We qualified #13 out of 28 cars. Not too bad even after struggling, although, we went out first round. But, we made progress.

 

After a weekend of racing, we begin the journey home. We were a few hours into the trip and as I started to pull off the road for fuel, BOOM! A rear tire blew out in the truck. Not only did the tire blow, but the tire takes out the radiator on the generator as well. The hits keep coming! Unfortunately, more added, unexpected expenses. 3 hours waiting for a new tire, (in 100-degree heat) did I mention that the air conditioning in the truck does not work at idle? Ya, there’s that (but the truck is fixed, right?). Finally, back on the road again. An hour from the shop the truck decides to say, ‘you can’t go home just yet’, and goes into shutdown mode yet again. We FINALLY arrived at the shop and unloaded at 430am. We went home to have some pizza and refreshments at 5:30am. Was this dinner or breakfast? We were not sure. We took the truck back to the dealer, again the next day. Oh, well actually, that day!

 

It was not long after that, we lost Pickles. It just seemed as if things were going from bad to worse. So much happening at once, and not too much of it in the positive column.

 

For me, the nickname T.O.G. (the other guy) is well earned! As you can see, this life may not seem so glamorous  at times, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Maybe it would be a bit better with a couple million in the bank and me driving again, but it’s amazing just the same. That couple million sure would help though. About me driving again, well, that’s on hold. As a team, we have decided to focus on getting Stella back to winning again, work on ROI for our current marketing partners, as well as acquiring new partners. Trust me, I want to race more than anything, but this is a team decision. I don’t know who has it harder me watching or Dina having to deal with me driving from behind the car (and in her ear). Probably, Dina. That is why I think my crew radio is now on a different channel, so she can’t hear me anymore. But for now, I am just happy to be part of the team and drive Dina CRAZY. It’s what I live for!

 

My craziness is what keeps me going. It’s what keeps us going! We have had hardships in our life as of late, but I put it in perspective. So many are suffering due to Mother Nature’s wrath. We have a roof over our head. Although, I am hunting for outside employment, we are making it work.

 

T.O.G. Out!    

Rev Up Hurricane Relief

Mother nature has shown us how powerful she can be too many times. Unfortunately, the Parise’s have experience dealing with her in a Hurricane situation. They still lived on Long Island when Superstorm Sandy hit in 2012. It was the most horrifying experience of their lives. They watched family and friends lose their homes and much of what they owned. They know some that are still not back in their homes today. It’s an ongoing process to rebuild.

Post Sandy, they did quite a bit of fundraising and collection of items for their fellow residents. The campaign was called ‘Rev Up Sandy Relief’. Feel free to read about it by clicking the links provided. http://dinapariseracing.com/dprs-rev-up-sandy-releif-campaign/ http://dinapariseracing.com/dina-parise-racing-rev-up-and-bounce-back-after-sandy/ http://dinapariseracing.com/dina-parise-racing-rev-up-sandy-relief-where-are-we-now/

The time has arisen again, with the unfortunate task of having to ‘fundraise’ by collecting items to assist those affected by recent Hurricane activity (with Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma). This is a time when we all need to work together to help our fellow Americans. It’s about the people and the pets, never forget the pets! Imagine you lost everything. Where do you start to rebuild? It’s a frightening thought for all of us.

To try to help ease the pain of the loss residents have endured, Dina Parise Racing has teamed up with Carolina NT Small Tire Racing. Andrew and Dina along with Lance Stanford and Travis Harvey will be on hand collecting items at the Carolina NT Small Tire Racing event on September 16th at Galot Motorsports Park. The Parise’s will have their trailer on hand to load up items, and will leave the week following the race to drop off items. The location is yet to be determined and will of course be announced.

 Items being collected are listed here.Please adhere to the list, thank you.

To kick off the ‘Rev Up Hurricane Relief’ campaign, Dina Parise Racing will be accepting donations here in Georgia until (no later than) September 20th! If you would like to drop off items, here’s the address:

Rev Up Harvey Relief (Dina Parise Racing)

19 Venture Lane

Cleveland, Ga 30528

We encourage you all to donate items AND take in some great drag racing, be sure to get to Galot Motorsports Park on September 16th for the Carolina NT Small Tire Racing event! Load up the car and bring the family! Gates open at 12PM for spectators (9AM for Racers)! When donating you will receive a FREE 50/50 ticket!

So, get together with your friends and neighbors! Collect those items and choose the way you would like us to receive them! Either way, we appreciate your help and thank you in advance!

For more information please visit:

   Dina Parise Racing: http://dinapariseracing.com/

                                   AND

   Carolina NT Small Tire Racing Production: https://www.facebook.com/Carolina-NT-Small-Tire-Racing-Production-

Choosing Politics over Promotion, makes Racing a Drag

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you at the races and beyond!

Dina Parise

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

Dina Parise Racing Welcomes new and returning marketing partners for 2017

During the winter months Dina Parise is often asked “What do you do in the off season?”. Her response is, “We have an off season?” Usually followed by laughter.

The Dina Parise Racing team as many know consists of Dina and her husband Andrew. Each playing specific roles on and off the track. “We are a team in every sense of the word,” Said Parise “It can be difficult having to work together, live together and race together. But we make it work, for us and especially for our marketing partners.”

The most important piece to the DPR team puzzle is the marketing partners. DPR is proud to announce the marketing partners that are again returning as part of the DPR team. The products (and services) offered by the following companies, are truly the best in the business: NGK Spark Plugs, Lucas Oil, CRC Auto, Hussey Performance, Crank It Media, DJ safety, Speedwire Systems and Hoosier Tire. . DPR is honored, once again be chosen to represent each company listed. The team encourages all of you to utilize one or all of them.

DPR would also like to announce the addition of *Wiseco Performance Products to the team, as well as *Endotech LLC in an Associate Sponsorship role.

 

 

Connect with the Marketing Partners: DPR is proud to have each marketing partner on board. The team looks forward to representing each company during the 2017 season.

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 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! For all things DPR please visit http://dinapariseracing.com/   Parise has quite a bit on her plate for the upcoming season on the track and off. Be sure to follow along on Social Media to keep up with it all!

*Endotech: With ever increasing fuel and energy costs hitting all of us across our nation each day, Endotech finds itself uniquely positioned to help the entrepreneur control their costs. Endotech LLC is a Virginia Based company that creates and distributes cutting edge energy saving products aimed at reducing energy usage and demand. Please contact DPR for more information regarding this energy (and money) saving product!

*Wiseco: After nearly 70 years in the business, the name Wiseco has become synonymous with pistons, especially pistons for off-road racing and riding. Wiseco has attained that instant brand recognition by being one of the few manufacturers of forged pistons within the USA.

Story By: DPR

Photo Credit: Killer Instinct Photos

Into 2017 and Beyond

When I was just 20 years old my mother was suffering from cancer. She died in my arms. It was the hardest thing I ever had to deal with in my life and has forever changed me. It was then, that I told myself ‘I will live every day to the fullest’, and I have. Although, I must say, some days I may have pushed the envelope a bit.

After my Mom passed I got married some years later to only get divorced within 9 months. I wasn’t the perfect husband nor the easiest to get along with at that point in my life. We both moved on. I then met and got remarried (to Dina) and we have built a life together. When we bought our first house, we closed on a Thursday and me and the entire house was gutted by Friday. Dina wasn’t very happy with me when she walked into an empty house, but that’s the way I roll. Ya, well that was then anyway. Now, she’s on to me.

A short time later, Dina bought home our new child …our fur child. She brought home Bella. The Wonder Pug. Dina had gotten Bella for me, but that as you may realize is not how things turned out. Bella was no Daddy’s girl.

At that time, I traveled quite a bit for work, so Dina and Bella were like Mom and daughter. Dina had trained her from day one. She was not only trained to always be on her best behavior, but she was also trained as a ‘Pet Therapy Dog’. Dina would take her to Nursing Homes to visit with the patients. She also was a ham. As soon as a camera came out Bella would stop what she was doing and pose for the picture. She traveled across the US to every race track we raced at, and she had her own fans. There were many times that fans requested to see Bella after walking right past the race cars! She has brought so much happiness to so many people. She sucks you in with those googly eyes. She was fun and goofy too. Like a kid. At our old house, we had a Koi pond. We had one fish whose name was Dude. He was bigger than Bella. These two would play fight! Bella would sit by the edge of the pond and wait for Dude to come up on a rock. Bella would tap him on the head with her paw and Dude would flip water on her with his tail. It was so amazing to watch. That is just one of so many stories about her.

Bella was put to rest on Monday November 7th. I can’t tell you the empty feeling we have. She was with us for 15 amazing years and has been through so much with us. She drove me nuts at times, but now I miss it. As I said I traveled a lot with my old job, and wasn’t home often, so Dina and Bella did everything together. There are people who say ‘they are just dogs’, but we disagree. She was our kid, our family. It has been a rough road for all of us, since we left NY. Especially for Bella, the last couple of years have been tough. She slowed down, and her health declined, yet she was always a good girl.

I owe Bella a lot, you see I was a Corporate guy who got caught up in the world of all work and no play. Climbing the Corporate ladder and not seeing my family. Well, when they ‘downsized’ and I was home a bit more often. I got to spend a lot of time with my family and realized that Bella had the best life. She was keeping Dina sane while I wasn’t home, (which is not an easy job) kept an eye out on my family and was always there. I know we all have to work to get ahead in life but at what price? I heard this once and will never forget it; ‘Where is the richest place on earth? The Cemetery it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled.’ Think about it.

Make the best of life while you are here. I don’t want to be all doom and gloom, but it’s true. So, let me say this. We have been very fortunate in our life to be able to do a lot of cool things we have set out to do. We had the best fur kid ever. She is now in a better place, probably hanging with some cool people.  

Something I have struggled with growing up and even recently is believing in myself. Growing up my father wasn’t very supportive of me. As he put it, I was the garbage that was put out to the curb. So, you can imagine our relationship, like oil and water. So, I did things to drive him nuts on purpose. Oh, hell ya! My older brother gave me a chemistry set at the age of 13 but made me promise not to tell my parents he gave it to me. My father just had the stucco house painted (yes, it’s an Italian thing) and my bedroom was on the second floor. One day, I made invisible ink with that chemistry set. As I did, I had heard my father screaming my name for something I must have done. So, I poured the ink out the window. OK, I kinda poured it on the house. Well, my father left for work and saw a blue line (out my bedroom window) then it would disappear. This went on for a week. I came home day to see the painters were back. I said this can’t be good. Let’s just say, I got busted, and boy was I in trouble! Anyway, growing up was difficult, and losing my only support system (my Mom) made it that much harder. When you hear your entire life that you are useless, you begin to believe it. Going through tough times is when you really seem to buy into it. Lack of confidence is such a terrible thing to live with, especially when it is brought on by a parent and not necessarily my own doing or my own ‘fault’. But it is my fault. I let my own father put this fear in me and I believed it. Dina gets very mad at me when I doubt myself. If you don’t have someone that supports you in life, your dreams, your accomplishments, move on from that person. Going to the race track and seeing families racing together and watching the kids out with their parents makes me so proud to be part of this sport. I was reminded today, you have to believe in yourself, you are smart, own it.

Well, 2017 is just about here. Man, are we looking forward to a new start! Stella is undergoing a full makeover from the ground up. We have changed almost everything in the car and each day another part gets ordered. 2017 just has a great ring to it. A redemption year for DPR. Between Stella’s makeover, Dina and I are going thru a full body and mind transformation as well. Not that I need a transformation, because Dina is older than me anyway. We are waiting for a few things to fall into place. It looks as if we will be running NMCA in 2017, but we will have an official announcement after the new year. Of course, that will be followed by updates to the website as well.

I think we are going see some great racing this year. NMCA, PDRA, ADRL and NHRA will have a lot of fast and exciting teams competing for a championship. Donald Longs race in February is going to be another crazy race. I don’t see a lack of anywhere to race this year in fact, there may be too many choices. I’m sure you will see many teams stepping up their programs, including us.

2016 is almost over and It was a bumpy ride for sure. We don’t know what the future holds but we do know what the past has taught us. Life is short, go out and enjoy it while you can. Do something crazy once and while! Jump in the snow naked, drive a race car, go on a roller coaster ride after drinking tequila. The holidays are a tough time for many people who don’t have family, so if you know someone who is going thru tough times, grab them and tell them you are there for them, even if it is not physically. Open your home, invite them to dinner. This time of the year is very hard for so many, trust me I know firsthand. Being around positive, loving, caring, supportive people is so important. Remember, pay it forward.

Uh, oh! I am starting to hear voices from the Boss lady. Might have to make some fake snow and bury her in it! Anyway, have a great Holiday season! Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous New Year!

Keep on believing in yourself and live life to the fullest. Next up 2017 and beyond. Time to plug high gear and let’s go!

See you all soon.

Andrew ‘Bam Bam’ Parise

Dina Parise Racing to appear at Brake-Fest

FREE: without cost or payment. That best describes the festivities of the event Dina Parise will be appearing at as a special guest this Saturday October 1st! (Free to spectators only)

The Brake-Fest Car Show presented by Master Power Brakes is no ordinary Car Show. Brake-Fest is a Car Show benefiting both Classroom Central and the Martin Truex Jr Foundation.

“We love getting to do events like this.” Stated Parise. “The core of this DPR team has always been connecting with not only the fans but giving back to the community.” Parise is referring to not only having Stella (the 3,000HP Pro Mod Cadillac) on display for the fans to see, she is also referring to the initiative the team has taken to assist Classroom Central in collecting School supplies for needy children. “My father was an educator in New York.” Stated Parise. “Harlem to be exact. I understand the plight of those in need of the bare essentials. Andrew and I also spearheaded a collection of School Supplies post ‘Superstorm Sandy’ for hard hit communities on Long Island. Education is key. Everyone deserves a good education and needs the proper tools to obtain one. We will do our best to try to help them along.”

How you can help: When coming to the show, be sure to bring along one (or more) of the School Supply items (listed below). Head to the Dina Parise Racing display where you will find a Classroom Central bin and drop the item(s) in! The student that receive the supplies thank you! Be sure to get a Dina Parise signed autograph card as a thank you! After you have made your donation, met the DPR team, taken a look at Stella, as a special treat, you can stop and get your free sample of Sub Zero Ice Cream too! Looking to make your next event even more memorable? Let Sub Zero Ice Cream and Yogurt cater your event. They will provide a culinary experience your guests will never forget. Their event catering takes care of the set up and clean up, so you can enjoy your party without worrying about feeding your guests. Be sure to ask for information at the Sub Zero Ice Cream display located along with DPR!

classroom-central

DPR will have their area set up almost as if it were race day! That is because DPR wants you to experience the thrill of Drag Racing right at the Brake-Fest Show! Spectators will be Thrilled by sights and sounds of 3,000HP up close and personal twice during the show! The team will be firing Stella up at 11AM and 1PM!

“We are super excited to have Dina Parise and her crew support this year’s event.” Stated Eric Waters of Master Power Brakes “She is a very influential and accomplished figure in the word of drag racing having taken home the IHRA Championship in last year’s Nitro Jam Series. She will be taking photos and signing autographs through-out the day as well as firing-up her 3000HP Pro-Mod to let all the NASCAR shops in the area know what REAL horsepower sounds like!” Now, we don’t know about you, but that sounds like fighting words!

If you are headed to the Brake-Fest Care Show, be sure to bring the family! There will be lots to do! The Car Show is just a start! There will be; a silent auction, a 50/50 raffle, door prizes, racing simulators, multiple race car start-ups and much more!

Don’t forget the Meet and Greet with Dina Parise and Willie B of MAV TV’s Two Guys Garage!

brake-fest-autograph

When: Saturday October 1st – Show begins 9AM Awards presented at 2PM

Where: Hwy 77 Exit 36 in Mooresville, NC 28117 (110 Crosslake Park Dr.)

brake-fest-back

Can’t get to the show? DPR will be going LIVE via https://www.facebook.com/DPariseRacing/ and https://www.periscope.tv/DPariseRacing at various times during the day! Be sure to sign up for alerts so you don’t miss the action! If you know DPR, then you know…… you NEVER know what is in store! So be sure to tune in!

 

Classroom Central: Classroom Central equips students living in poverty to effectively learn by collecting and distributing free school supplies. Classroom Central supports over 100,000 students in poverty in over 200 schools in 6 school districts: Charlotte Mecklenburg, Gaston, Iredell/Statesville, Union, the City of Kannapolis, and Lancaster, SC). https://www.classroomcentral.org/

**Items Needed: K-12 reading books (gently used okay), composition books, child scissors, stickers, crayons, markers, glue sticks, hand sanitizer, folders, pencils, pens, tape, tissues, paper (costruction and lined), hats and scarves.**

Martin Truex Jr Foundation: In August 2014, Sherry Pollex, Martin’s longtime girlfriend, was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. Through their experiences, Martin and Sherry found purpose and focus in their mission to raise awareness, boost advocacy, and generate financial support for underfunded cancer research initiatives specific to ovarian and childhood cancers. Together, we have the power to improve lives, inspire smiles and realize dreams. We will Never Give Up. https://martintruexjrfoundation.org/

*Be advised* Cover children’s ears during engine start up, as they can be sensitive to the noise*

Thank you to: Eastwood, CRC Auto ( Smart Washer), NGK, Lucas Oil, Speedwire Systems, Hussey Performance, Hoosier, Motorsports Unlimited, Crank It Media and DJ Safety.

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! 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/ Be sure to follow along on Social Media to keep up with all things DPR!

 

Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk, Dream the Dream…

 

 

Well here we are. August has come and gone, we are winless and I am I frustrated…. All I can say is, “WOW”. We have put our hearts and soul into this program and Stella is just being stubborn. It’s not a car issue or driver issue at all. It is ‘little’ things that just keep biting us.

 

The NMCA is an amazing series to race. Great tracks, awesome fans and they had some of the best racers in attendance. Unfortunately, success was not to be for us. On a positive note, we did find the issue(s) and are addressing it.

 

The NMCA staff do a great job putting on their show. As racers we take a lot for granted when attending events. It takes a lot to put one of these events on. From ticket sales to parking to track prep. The staff at the NMCA are amazing group of people and do an outstanding job. No matter how experienced of a driver she is, it is still difficult to watch your wife motoring down the track. Your stomach gets butterflies and there is always a slight bit of uneasiness. Having the staff at NCMA certainly gives you a sense confidence and security. Thank you to the entire NCMA staff for that.

 

It has been one crazy season. I feel the need to apologize to our marketing partners, fans, crew and Dina for the lackluster performance this season. Being the man in charge of it all, I feel I have not done my part. I will not quit nor lay down, that is not my style. The fact is our performance has not been up to par, and I am working diligently to rectify that. I can promise you this, changes are happening. We don’t have a huge budget which makes it hard to have the latest and greatest but DPR is not willing to give up. We will be back; stronger and performing better than ever in 2017.

 

It has been a wild 2016 for so many off the track as well. Our friend and fellow racer Bill Lutz, had a procedure a few months ago then all hell broke loose for him with his health. Bill was instrumental in helping to bring Pro Mods back to IHRA by working hard behind the scenes. I met Bill many years ago in the Winners circle at the NHRA Unleashed race. He is great guy with an amazing family (he just became a Grandfather!). Here is a guy who beat cancer, then went in for a simple operation and nearly loses his life. Life changes in an instant. Don’t take it for granted. I know Bill is fighting the fight, because I text him every day giving him hell, telling him to keep fighting. I know he is probably tired of me but he needs to hear it. He has a long road to recovery. Please keep him and his family in your thoughts.

 

Keeping in the ‘theme’ of family, our home track is Virginia Motorsports Park. Yes, we live Georgia, but VMP is our track. The track manager Allen, is a pain but we still like him. Being so in touch with that area we learned about a young woman named Katy Daniel. Katy was working on her farm with her uncle, using an Auger. While working, her hair was caught in the Auger and in turn she lost her scalp, both ears and one eye brow. When we heard this story we felt like it was one of our own and had to do something (full story here http://dinapariseracing.com/67219-2/ ) . With the help of the racing community, our friends and fans we raised donations for Katy’s family to put towards expenses. Now, think of this for a moment. All of that happened in a split second. I don’t even want to think of the pain this girl felt. She has such a long road ahead of her yet, she is so determined and positive. Katie is a determined and strong young lady who is an inspiration to so many. The road to recovery is going to be long for her but she is #KatyStrong.

 

Many of you may know Ian Tocher, photographer for Drag Illustrated. You may also be aware he is recuperating from an incident at Rockingham Dragway a while back. I am happy to say he is improving daily! Determination is key to success.

 

Different people, different injuries but one common factor. FIGHT. Never give up attitude. Determination. My point to all of this is; regardless of your situation, playing the pitty party won’t get you ahead in life. Stop saying why me and start saying why not me. Ask, “How can I help others?” Take Cale Aronson for example. That crazy nut does not understand the words, ‘NO’, or ‘CANT’. I thought I was high maintenance and drove Dina nuts, but Poor Tinzy. That girl should get a Purple Heart. I kid…I kid…Cale continues to fight every day. The people I mentioned are not Actors, not fictitious characters. They are hardworking people like you and me and have basically stared death in the face. They fight not only for themselves but for their families and to do what they love to do again. We all at one point in our lives battle something, we can either lay down and let it beat us or kick its butt. The people I just mentioned are butt kickers. I am inspired by all of them.

 

So, people ask me, “If you are struggling so much right now, why not just quit?” My answer to them is ‘quitting would be too easy.’ If we (Dina and I) were not following this crazy dream, we could; go on vacation, have money in the bank again, sleep more than 3 hours a night and stay in one place for an extended period of time. I know if I quit, I would be letting down not just myself, but the many others that have helped us along the way and up to this point. Besides, if the people I mentioned previously are fighting for their lives, how can I not keep fighting for what I want? We all have different goals and dreams. My biggest dream right now is to once again race my wife and kick her butt. For now, I will just be the guy to blame… I mean crew chief.  

 

Right now in our sport, there is big talk about ADRL coming back. That ‘talk’ spurs more ‘talk’ regarding the ‘health’ of PDRA. That’s not my opinion, it’s merely an observation of the chatter. Then we have reality stars entering Pro Mod at NHRA and IHRA rebranding for 2017. I look at all this and say, “WOW!”. Really, you can say what you want about Kenny Knowling (ADRL if you are unaware), but the man is a marketing genius. He has put more butts in the seats in a Pro Mod/Doorslammer series race than anyone (of late). Our first ADRL race he had to ‘pick names out of hat’ for the run order. Guess what? Dina and I were ‘chosen’ to race each other! Coincidence? Of course not! It was for the fans. What is being forgotten in our sport currently is that racing is entertainment. Racing IS a show and it IS for the fans. Our job as a racer is twofold; to be competitive and to entertain. Kenny knew his job was put fans in the stands and make it exciting and he did just that. Every series should be looking Kenny to see what he is going to be doing. Personally, if I were heading up any other series I would be hiring Kenny. We currently do not race the PDRA series. They do have some fast cars and good car counts. On the flip side, they have a lot of work to do with marketing and getting fans in the stands (for the most part). There has been much talk regarding a reality star entering the NHRA ranks. Honestly, a lot of racers ‘started out’ racing on the streets. The difference? That (version of) street racing was never glorified on a TV show. In the beginning, NHRA seemingly wanted to put the screws to many of them by taking their licenses, a move I myself did find counterproductive. Now, NHRA sees the popularity of the Street Outlaws show  so they choose to have the reality star shoot a PSA about street racing. Which would be a great idea if he were not continuing to street race. So, ‘do as I say, not as I do?’ Of course this is my opinion. I do not have a dog in the fight here, but I am a bit confused by NHRA and the direction of all of this. He is still racing on the street and on a TV show that promotes street racing, yet makes a PSA warning against the dangers of street racing? I guess I need a Doctorate in Oxymoronism to figure this one out. It’s kinda like the Marlboro man doing a non-smoking campaign. Again, this is my take on the situation, certainly not a personal attack on the reality star himself. Frankly, he’s the lucky one. He was given a platform and he took it. Kudos to him.  

 

IHRA has crowned their 2016 Pro Mod Champion, Billy Harper. Unfortunately, we only attended one race with them this year. IHRA is rebranding its program and we have been told Pro Mod is coming back in 2017. IHRA has a lot of work to do as well. It is said, Top Fuel is coming back to IHRA. I think at this point TF is going to be very hard to sell to teams that are competing in NHRA, but for those that can’t afford to run NHRA this may be an option. We will see how it all pans out.

 

The one thing I see lacking in Drag Racing is branding and promotion of drivers. But not in NASCAR. NASCAR is killing it in their broadcast and beyond. But, NHRA? The TV program is just blah,a bit lackluster. Although I will say, FS1 is better than ESPN it still needs to step it up a bit. One car goes down the track, another one then another. It’s repetitive and not appealing to a new fan that may not understand what is happening. Yes, I know, its Drag Racing is a straight line, and NASCAR turns left. Regardless of that, people like to see who is under the helmet. Why is John Force on the TV all the time? He has a personality and doesn’t care how or what he says be it right or wrong. In one interview (well more than once) he forgot his sponsors name, then mispronounced it. But, he made fun of himself and still drew attention to the sponsor anyway! Your car can break every record in the world but if nobody knows who the driver is, or the sponsors associated with them, it really doesn’t matter.

 

The last race (and every race) of NMCA we had a lot of fun and got to hang out with a ton of people. I made a side bet with Dina, and I lost. Losing that bet, resulted in me (and Butch) wearing Tutu’s to the starting line. I do not like losing, and I certainly do not like losing when paying the vig means wearing a TuTu in public! I can tell you this, that is the last time I will be wearing a TuTu. I am sure Dina will be putting a nice slideshow together of the Bam Bam and Butch ballet. I have to say I am so smooth and fly very well. I think I am going to try out for Dancing with the Stars.

dsc_5195_pe

 

Well it’s time to get Stella apart and start looking toward the future. Dina and I are working on new marketing partners for 2017. We will keep you all posted on our progress!

 

See you all at the Track!

 

Andrew Bam Bam Parise

Click,Click, Boom…..

Well, Stella is being a real Bitch. She keeps fighting us in every way possible. Just when you think you have her figured out; BAM she says “HA!HA! You know who you are dealing with.” We have not struggled this hard in a long time. I have some very great and amazing friends behind the scenes working with us. I am very confident we are going to get Stella back on track and competitive very soon.

 

We attended our first NMCA race at Atlanta Dragway and have to say it was a lot of fun. We fought the cold weather and some incidents but overall it was a lot of fun. The fans were amazing! They came out in the wind and cold to watch racing, and stayed all day. The track crew did an amazing job keeping a tight surface and the NMCA staff were extremely accommodating. As for our crew, Butch Branzelle drove from Virginia to Georgia to crew. A seven hour ride all for being paid in Lasagna. Thank you to Jody Lupton for offering to crew as well. Also joining the DPR crew for the weekend was Ellen E. and Damon S. of E3xtreme.Be sure to check out the photos of Stella as well as other NMCA racers. They are amazing! Ellen did an awesome job crewing with us. We certainly had a lot of laughs this weekend which was needed. We can’t thank them enough for all their help.

 

2016 has already been a tough year for our sport. The latest being the wreck of Ronnie Davis that claimed his life. In drag racing, it is not just about the racing but the comradery. When we were moving to Georgia and looking for a building people told me to reach out to Ronnie Davis. He knows everyone. I was not close with Ronnie, but talked to him at the track numerous times. I talked to Ronnie about finding a building and he was so accommodating. Right away he was calling everyone, asking who has a building for a NY race team. He was the King for a reason. Forget the racing, he was just that guy willing to help you and a straight shooter. He didn’t know me that well to help me, but he did. Then there is Ian (Tocher) of Drag Illustrated. Ian was doing what he did best. Covering the races. He was unfortunately injured during the incident. But so far things are looking somewhat positive for him. We became friends with Ian a long time ago. He always has that smile on his face. Keep him in your thoughts for a speedy recovery. Our friend Pat Musi had major heart surgery. I love to joke with Pat about how he needs to eat more salad. Needless to say, he does not seem to be a fan of ‘that’ green stuff! LOL! Dan Stevenson had a major fire and thankfully he is okay and has unveiled a new ride. A ton of crashes this year already and we are only into two months of racing. Further rocking the drag racing word was Bob Vandergriff deciding to retire. My point to all of this is as racers, we have a bit of wall up and everything seems a bit secretive. Racers protect their info regarding tune ups and combos, but at the end of the day we are all a big family. We don’t do this for the money, we do this because we are all nuts and love not just the sport but the people in the sport. Hearing about Ronnie and Ian made me sit back and analyze my own life and what really matters. I hate the statement ‘Gone in 60 seconds’ but it makes you really think about life and how quickly someone can be taken. Appreciate them while they are here.

 

Truth be told, I have to get back behind the wheel of a car and soon. If I’m not careful, I will be divorced by the end of the year because I am driving Dina nuts. I don’t mind crewing but I miss the thrill of driving, I miss the rush. Besides, I want a championship under my belt. I can’t let her have all the glory, although I do look good in TUTU. Life isn’t about finding yourself (because you are not lost) life is about developing yourself and creating your own path. A motivational speaker once said “You only get one ticket in life, use it until it expires”, that speaker was my wife. When I worked for corporate America, I was married to my work. I worked extremely long hours and traveled sometimes 3 weeks a month. For 10 years I rarely saw Dina. Maybe that part was not so bad….Well truthfully it was. The worst part? The fact that I lost who I was. I became the corporate guy that I swore I would never become. I learned a lot but wasn’t happy. You can make all the money in the world but it won’t make you rich in happiness just rich in the bank. Do what you love to do and keep doing it. For example… I don’t know Keith Haney well. But he became a business guru at a young age. Just look at the man. He is always smiling, having fun and has an amazing family behind him. He is full of life. People around him are having fun because it’s contagious! John Montecalvo and his lovely wife Lois Anne have become close friends of ours. Both of them (each) have amazing businesses and they are some of the most caring people you will meet. Like they say you surround yourself with good people. Positive people.That positivity will be returned to you.

 

So, we have been asked so many times about racing in IHRA as well as other sanctions. Right now we are focused on a couple things, one being to get Stella running well. The car itself is working great. Matheis Race Cars built an outstanding piece. I couldn’t ask for a better car. We have amazing Marketing Partners for this year and beyond. (Be sure to visit http://dinapariseracing.com/marketing-partners/ for Special offers from them! ) Our plan is to build a second car and continue to build our team. We will continuously strive to make our team bigger and better.

 

At the NMCA race we were under a lot of pressure, well I was. I have been working on this race car for two weeks trying to figure out her issues. A lot of people behind the scenes have helped and I can’t thank them enough. When your stress level is pouring out your eyeballs, I can cause you to lose your mind. Yes, I lost my mind. Stella and her issues got the best of me and I just exploded. I went off. I was screaming at Stella but I was in the boss’ face. The only thing that saved me was the fact that she (Dina) was still strapped in the car. You can give a great driver a great car but when it lacks power the car just doesn’t like it nor does the driver. Think about this, you come home touch a light switch and get an electric shock. The Electrician tells you it’s fixed but it happens again and again. After a while you are hesitant to touch that switch. It’s the same thing with race car. I’m the electrician but she is the one that has to touch the switch. I can’t believe I am going to write this but I have to apologize to D..Di…. Dina for exploding. Oh, I am never going to live this down.

 

I have to get back to the shop and go have a long talk with Stella. Maybe we have to give her some wine and cheese to make her happy?

 

Remember…..GO live life….It’s the only one you get.

 

See you at the races,

Andrew ‘Bam Bam’ Parise

Photo Courtesy E3Xtreme

Dina Parise appears at NY International Auto Show

 The 2016 New York International Auto Show at the Jacob Javitz Center will showcase the latest automotive trends and of course an incredible collection of cutting-edge design and extraordinary innovation. Nestled within that plethora of innovation will be Dina Parise along with ‘Stella’ the 3,000HP Pro Mod Cadillac of Dina Parise Racing. She is appearing at Lincoln Technical Institute booth.Parise is the owner/driver for DPR and this former professional figure skater (for the famed Ice Capades) is 2015 IHRA Pro Mod World Champion and the first woman to hold that coveted title.

Lincoln Tech’s accelerated career training programs take the guesswork out of trying to figure out what you want to do with your future. Lincoln Tech offers programs that speak to your passion. Lincoln Educational Services proudly offers education and training programs covering a large variety of fields in six disciplines: Automotive, Skilled Trades, Business and IT, Cosmetology, Health Sciences, and Culinary. The careers that exist in these fields are the ‘Careers That Build America’, and Lincoln Tech is training the workforce that leads them. Lincoln Tech’s commitment to its students is a lifelong partnership that goes beyond their enrollment, beyond the classroom, beyond graduation. It truly is “the Lincoln Edge.”

“I am thrilled to be appearing at the New York Auto show along with Lincoln Tech for many reasons. Their career training programs are second to none.” Said Parise “They believe in pushing people to following their dreams. Lincoln Tech speaks to what people are passionate about, and encourages them to expand on it. That is surely a recipe for success in my book!”

Parise’s appearance will be on Wednesday March 30th from 10AM to 12PM, in the Lincoln Tech booth (1E Hall). She will be signing autographs and available for photos (with Stella the Cadillac) as well. Be sure to follow along on all of DPR’s social media for updates, photos and video! Parise will to come to you via ‘live’ Facebook Mentions video from the NYIAS.

Lincoln Tech is an exhibitor at the 2016 Automotive Career & Education Fair at the New York International Auto Show. The New York International Auto Show’s Career Fair brings carmakers, suppliers, and advanced automotive training programs together so candidates can learn about careers in the automotive industry. Tuesday March 29th to Wednesday March 30th  will be the national finals of the National Automotive Technology Competition. The competition is a is a test of skill, a measure of knowledge, and a race against the clock-all rolled into one. Regional and state contests were held across the country to determine the nation’s best automotive students. The winning student teams will be at the NYIAS to represent their state at the national finals. Parise encourages you all to stop by 1E Hall throughout the finals of the National Automotive Technology Competition to cheer on the students as they vie for the title of The Nation’s Best Automotive Technician.

Once the competition concludes, the National Awards Banquet will immediately follow. Parise will be a speaker at the banquet as well. “I am honored to have been asked to address these talented students at the Awards Banquet.” Said Parise “I’m looking forward to giving them some insight into my life and how I made my way into the automotive industry. I will convey to them that it was not always an easy road but in the end it was completely worth it! I don’t ever want them to give up.”

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. 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. 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 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!

https://www.facebook.com/DPariseRacing/

https://twitter.com/dpariseracing

Instagram @DPariseRacing

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dinapariseracing

 

Or, let their Website will show you the way! So for all things DPR please visit http://dinapariseracing.com/

Photo/Poster credit to : Killer Instincts Photos/Lincoln Tech

It’s the journey, not the final destination

 

2016, it has a nice ring to it but it hasn’t been nice so far. We moved to Georgia and it was a nightmare. The first moving company we hired had all the wrong paperwork and didn’t have a clue of what our move entailed. They also hit us with paperwork containing fees that were not in the original binder. The workers also did not have proper I.D. to prove they worked with the company. We were not about to trust the contents of our home to them, so we had to delay our move and find another moving company. That was a daunting task to say the least. But a friend found us a great local company in Pa. They handled it! Moving the shop was not fun, but thanks to good friends we did it all. The timing of moving couldn’t be any better, NOT! Moving right at the start of race season, so that meant no testing. I am all about testing prior to getting the season started. Gives you time to work out the bugs and issues.

 

So the move is done, and one week later we load up and head to Orlando for the IHRA season opener. We arrive a few days early so we can test. Well, you know it isn’t going to be a good weekend when you get to the track and slide into the mud. Yes, the mud. I got the motorhome stuck in the mud. Lets just say, my vocabulary consisted of some words I will refrain from repeating. My wife was no help reciting lines from ‘My Cousin Vinny’ as we attempted to get the motorhome out of the mud. A big thank you to Orlando Speedworld and the staff who pulled me out of the mud. I then had the task of cleaning 100 pounds off mud off the truck and out from under the wheel wells. The best part ? Was the generator exhaust pipe was so clogged with mud that when I started it, it shot mud balls 10 feet!

 

We tested on Thursday, but we unfortunately got stuck behind the eight ball with issues, giving us only two test hits. I am organized. My lists have lists and I check my lists to have everything ready and prepared. But apparently between moving the house and the shop things are still bound to happen. Still, no excuses.

 

Quain Stott, Butch Branzille, did an amazing job. We broke our butts to give Dina a good car. On the first qualifier Dina lifted right away. Not sure if she had a brain fart about mud in the tires but we gave that one away. We did notice we had some extremely high Bruno pressure. We pulled everything apart the following day (since we don’t run till 8pm.) I debated changing the unit but did not (my wife always tells me to go with my 1st instinct). In Q2 it shook. Quain and I agreed to ‘let her eat’. Let’s see what it does. Well, it got worse. Now some of you may know some may not, but tuning a car is hard enough, but when there is an underlying problem it’s almost impossible. Quain did his best to get that car down the track but when you have a converter locked when the car leaves the line it is extremely hard to tune. I unfortunately made a bad call and caused us not to qualify. I need to just follow my 1st instinct, go with my gut.

 

We are regrouping, and making changes. I know we have a fast car and we will be testing every part before we go to another race. We want to defend that #`1 title but we need to be running strong. Do I know everything? Hell no. But I am willing to learn and ask questions. Winning isn’t everything but when you have one hand tied behind your back you don’t have a chance. We struggled all last year with part failures, I refuse to do that again. If you drive by the shop you will find a dumpster full of new parts that just plain don’t work. I wouldn’t give this junk away.

 

This is a very tough sport; you can go from hero to zero in a minute, well seconds really. Some people think it’s easy to run a race car both tuning and driving. So, I would like to clear up a couple things for the record.

           *The car doesn’t know if a male or female is driving and it doesn’t care.

           *We here at DPR have a maintenance program that some people think is nuts, but that’s what we have created and live by. Check and re-check then check again.

               ** A typical race week preparation program. Motorhome – fill water tank, empty waste tanks, check all tires, check all fluids, cook all food, make sure we have drinks, snacks, blankets, clothes etc. Don’t forget Bella’s food, medication, treats and poop bags! Basically take your house and put it on wheels. Then the Trailer- check all your inventory- check generator, compressor, brakes, tires, fill fluids, CRC Brakekleen, rags, towels etc. So now you have taken your garage and put it on wheels. Stella the Cadillac- check every nut and bolt, air bottles are full, check bearings, rings, springs, brakes, tires. Take your car to the dealership and ask them to rebuild it but you need it in a week (oh, for no charge! LOL!). Oh ya , and do all this in between your daily job so you can pay the bills. Sounds easy right?

 

Then there is social media. Mostly a great place to interact. But some of the negative, insulting comments. Really? I know you are going to have hatters out there, but come on. How about we all grow up and use social media to actually BE social. In racing we work very hard to obtain marketing partners (please visit ours here: http://dinapariseracing.com/marketing-partners/ ) , (they are essentially our bosses) to get to the next level in our careers. That is our choice, we sacrifice a lot in our lives to race (also our choice). I haven’t been on a vacation in 8 years. But that’s what we choose to do. So, next time you (or someone you know) posts a negative comment (especially one that could have negative ramifications) think about it this way…..How would you feel if I went to your job and told your boss negative things about you? Because frankly, that is what is being done. I say that on behalf of all those who have to endure the negativity.

 

I want the #1 on the car next year for DPR and our partners. If it happens great, but if it doesn’t we understand the need to work harder. Dina always says ‘It’s not getting to the stripe first, but the journey you took to get there’. For the longest time I didn’t really get what she meant. Over the years I have learned to appreciate that statement through what we do off the track. Although we did not make the show, we did roll Stella out of the trailer on Sunday at the IHRA event at Orlando Speedworld. Lots of fans did come by, but we had a very special guest in our pit that day. His name is Jesse. Jesse has Down Syndrome. Dina and Jesse’s Mom Erin have been friends on Social Media for 5 years and this was their first meeting in person! This kid made our day! The expression on his face when he sat in the car was priceless. He and Bella also became fast friends as well. A great moment like this makes you realize a lot about life. I want to win and be competitive, but I love kids like Jesse and the fans. The fans make the show not us. We have the easy job. Make the car run and drive it. The fans endure the heat, rain, long food lines, lots of walking etc. So, it drives me nuts is when teams have attitudes if they don’t make show pack up and leave on Elimination day (although sometimes it may be unavoidable, I admit). These fans paid to see us. All they want is a picture and autograph and a few minutes of our time. I watched Jesse during the day he is a great kid. He may be a ‘special needs’ kid, but maybe it is all of us that are actually ‘special needs’ in the way that we maybe do not appreciate certain things in life.

 

This brings me back to a childhood friend I had. When I was 8 years old, my neighbor Jimmy was told he would never walk. What 8-year-old believes he will never walk? Well certainly not this kid. I hung out with him and put him on the swing set every day. He fell off, but got up every time. A year later we were riding bikes together. He and his family moved away, I never heard from him again but he remains a big part of my childhood memories. By the time he moved, he was able to walk. He was lucky for sure! My point is that we need to stop and remember that not everyone is as fortunate as most, and I do not mean financially.

 

Well, it’s that time again to get my butt going. Let’s do this!

 

See you at the track!

Andrew ‘Bam Bam’ Parise