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!

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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.)

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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.

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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

If you promote it , they will come

Well Hello 2016…… 2015 was overall a good year. The downside was that we lost too many family and friends. I don’t go to church much; it would probably burn down if I did go. I do believe when you pass away, you really aren’t gone. I believe that for those who have passed, their spirit lives on in many ways. When I lost my mom at 20 years old, I did some very stupid stuff. Trust me, I look back and wonder how did I make this long? I know the answer to that is that my mother was watching over me. The signs are there that they are watching and giving us direction. With so many gone I feel I have to fight to keep their legacy alive and do what I love to make them proud.

2016.It just has a different ring to it. For me, I am looking forward to the New Year and a new start. We won the 2015 IHRA Pro Mod Championship but not the way we wanted to win it. We have been busy working on our program and at the same time adding new partners. Just like many others we aren’t highly funded, we aren’t millionaires so we watch our budget closely. It’s a tough sport but where else can you go to be part of the biggest family of people around.

So many things are going on in the world of racing today. NHRA has a new President, new TV package, ‘New’ Pro Stock cars, New TV announcers, Pro Mod on TV….. I know, I know I’m talking NHRA, not the sanctioning body we currently run. But you have to give the new guy credit for making changes. Some changes may not be liked by all, but this change is bringing a new direction for the sport. We still need a lot more to attract new marketing partners and fans. Time will tell.

IHRA has made many changes as well. A new President coming in soon. A new CEO and CFO for IRG are in place. They have a lot of work to do in a short period of time and like NHRA the changes are going to affect many. Will you see full fields this year? Personally, I don’t think you will. They certainly have some big plans for the 2017 season. The new CEO is going to rebrand the IHRA for the better. We all have to give him the support in doing this, including myself. I just hope it all works out for everyone.

PDRA has a new Marketing team as well for 2016 and hopefully the fans will be in the seats this year. I went to the PDRA world finals. I’m sorry to say, but it took entirely too long to run just one round of qualifying. I hope they can shorten this show up as it really has one of the best car counts as series go, and the racing is highly competitive. You know this year is going to be even faster and more exciting!

As for us, we are working hard on Stella. Dina named her after her grandmother, a stubborn Red Headed Italian. Sorry Stella but this car needs to eat some pasta, have a glass of Vino and start being cooperative. We struggled so much last year that we wanted to walk away. But we don’t quit. Dina and I built this team together from the ground up, we cannot see walking away even at the toughest point. Our long range plans are still to return to being a two car team in the future. Who knows maybe we will change it up all together. Time will tell.

This winter we pulled everything apart (with Stella) and found the issues that had been plaguing us. It was a breath of fresh air but also a kick in the teeth, but at least we found them. We also sent Stella to Chris Cline Race Cars for a ‘Spa Treatment’ and they did an amazing job.

As ‘The Rumors Turn’:

It seems the ‘Kitchen Bitch’ session has already begun this year. Being an Ex-Corporate Monkey I know how big companies work. (Dina loves Corporate America, LOL.. not so much) We love IHRA. But truth be told, IHRA has been a mess for years. When you have a limited budget, minimal sponsors, your expense is higher than your income, among other issues it is time to sell and move on or make changes. That is what so many owners have done in the past. Have you ever attended a ‘Monster Jam show? It’s packed with people of all ages. Dina and I went to one and holy crap It was fun. Even when the trucks stopped running they had ENTERTAINMENT. Not just shooting shirts into the crowd or trivia time. This show makes a ton of money and keeps the fans happy. They cater to the fans. IHRA needs to take notes from Monster Jam. Great racing CAN be incorporated with a show atmosphere. Are they going to turn this around? If they put the right people in place and have a plan of action with dollars behind them, it can be done. How do they fill the stands and bring in the fans? The same way other sports do; provide an ENTERTAINING show. Not every fan wants to see a race car, some like motorcycles some dragsters. You get the picture. Wally Parks had a mission and I am sure he isn’t happy with what he sees. Ok, I am getting off course here. My damn Italian-ness is getting the best of me. So back to the ‘Kitchen Bitch’ Session. In 2015 IHRA had been ‘re-named’ It Has Rained Again. (IHRA) due to mother nature’s wrath. Then came the management changes, and even more management changes. At the PRI show back in 2014 racers were excited. Excited that Pro Mod was back and were wanting to make plans to attend. But the payout to win was not what teams had expected, ultimately nor was the exposure. Many teams decided not to attend. I have learned there were other reasons, but those seem to be at the top. The teams that did attend, all raced hard and put on a great show for the fans.

If you are a Corporate CFO and CEO you look at bottom line. Is the income in the Red or Black? All Corporations do this. You can’t run in the negative for ever, so changes are required. From what we have all been told, in 2016 very few if any changes will be implemented but 2017 will be like a grand re-opening (for IHRA). Now, here is where I put my Corporate Hat on.I am sure I will get into trouble for this; but you can’t wait to bail the water from the ship when the ship is already sinking. If you have the funds to improve staff, infrastructure, marketing, sales and sponsors do it NOW. I worked for a Fortune 100 company and was hired to redesign their failing Global IT department. I had 120 Days to put a project in place, present it to the board and act on it after it was signed off on. It was a $19 million dollar project that initiated on my 5th month of employment with that company. And yes, that project was successful. If a company has a problems and has the funds to fix the problem, they need to fix it now. Not wait until it’s too late. I am sure the boss will put me on notice for writing this but it needs to be said. What IHRA needs to do is a create publicly written plan of action for all of the members to review. These members support them by paying their membership every year, not to mention the investment made by participating therefore members should be entitled to disclosure. Wouldn’t it be nice to see financial statements, action plans, new ideas, from IHRA? Wouldn’t it create a feeling of security and trust in the organization? I could go on and on, but I have said enough. Time will tell what will happen with this organization. I for one DO want to see it succeed.

Whew! That was long! Another topic that really gets my Italian up and the only sports venue really doing this correctly is… NASCAR. Yep.Driver Promotion. Who drives the 24 car? I bet you know! Most the teams in NASCAR have the same looking car, of course with different sponsors. They are referred to by their number, yet you know their name. Why? Because they are promoted correctly as a driver. Ya Ya They are on TV. Big deal.The biggest deal? The fans are in the stands AND NASCAR is promoting the drivers outside of the race itself. Go look at their Web Page and then look at any racing web site. NASCAR’s has apps where you can listen to the drivers and crews talk. The disadvantage? The fans can’t go into the pit area. The venues (and series) need to promote our drivers (not specific drivers) all of our drivers. The only way we can grow our sport is through marketing and promoting our drivers and personalizing it for the fans. NASCAR relates drivers to car numbers. You know who they are. The drivers are the stars. Drag racing relates drivers to what? When you watch NASCAR the winner drives into the winner’s circle and has a great celebration. The fans are involved. The teams are involved. The winner in Drag Racing is at top end with 3 camera people receiving the championship trophy with a bit of pyro. WOW. Alert the media. How exciting. Makes me want to go out and buy a ticket. NOT!! Look, I know what everyone has to say about Kenny Knowling, but the man knew how to market the sport. We attended ADRL and the stands were packed and payouts were great. Why? He marketed the drivers as well as the event. He utilized local stores, radio and the internet. I learned a lot from watching him over the years about how to market. Who is the most famous Soccer player you can name besides Pele? David Beckham right? He has 55 Million people on his FB. Why is he so popular? He is a good soccer player, but not the best. He was marketed geniusly. That is the world we live in. In today’s times it is hard to have fans come to a race and keep them entertained. We do know that fans will come to a race to support their favorite driver. Both the series sponsor and the sports venue have to do a better job at marketing and entertaining as well as promoting drivers. We have the best sport at our fingertips, with fans of all ages and we are not capitalizing on it. In Drag Racing, fans are entitled to come into the pit area to talk with drivers and the crew and see the cars up close. Each driver is a potential ‘David Beckham’, the crews are the refs and line guys. Beckham scoring a goal is like a racer winning the round. Our winning dollars suck but we love the sport more than we love money. I don’t care if you race a Junior Dragster or a Top Fuel we need the series and the venues to assist in promoting the drivers. Drivers ARE the sport and they bring the fans.

Well, I best get back to work. The boss will be checking my progress and once she sees I didn’t do much I will be promoting my resume to the job boards. Enjoy the 2016 season.

See you all at the track!

Andrew ‘Bam Bam’ Parise

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