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

Dina Parise Racing Welcomes Eastwood

“Ever notice how you come across somebody once in a while you shouldn’t have messed with? That’s me.” Wait, that’s not right….. “Go ahead. Make my day.” Wait, that’s not right either. Oh, wait that’s CLINT Eastwood! Let’s just say right sentiment wrong Eastwood!

What we were trying to say is that the Dina Parise Racing team is proud to have the Eastwood Company joining the team for the 2016 season as a marketing partner! Whew! Glad we finally got that right!

“Having Eastwood join our team is like a dream come true!” Stated Dina Parise “If you have never shopped in an Eastwood store or on line you need to. What an amazing array of tools and other products along with how to videos and articles as well. It’s like a DIY paradise!”

Are you an Eastwood DIYer? A Real Eastwood DIYer takes pride not only in a job well done but also the tools used to do the job right. Eastwood has been supplying products to DIYers since 1978 – including welders, plasma cutters, paint, soda and abrasive media, powder coating supplies, metal fab equipment, rust solutions, specialty tools and more! Are you crafty? If you are, be sure to check out the vast array of products Eastwood offers to take your crafting to the next level!

If you take pride in a job well done, Eastwood has everything you need to do the job right. Be sure to visit: http://dinapariseracing.com/marketing-partners for special offers and discounts from Eastwood!

The Eastwood name will be making its debut on ‘Stella’, Parise’s 2015 IHRA Pro Mod World Champion Cadillac CTS-V on an upcoming episode of Power Nation TV! Stay tuned for details regarding airtimes and dates! Power Nation TV Airs on Spike, NBC Sports Network and CBS Sports Network.

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, USA Auto Supply 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!

**Don’t forget! There is STILL time to become a marketing partner for DPR’s Power Nation TV appearance! Email info@dinapariseracing.com for details!

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

Dina Parise Racing Welcomes Lucas Oil

‘Your one stop shop for staying on top’. It’s simple and it says it!

Dina Parise Racing is proud to announce the addition of Lucas Oil to the team for the 2016 season!

“We are excited to be representing the Lucas Oil name in 2016.” Stated Dina Parise “We cannot thank them enough for having DPR as part of the Lucas Oil team as well.”

The Lucas Oil name may be synonymous with motorsports but they reach far beyond that scope. If you drive it, ride it, shoot with it, cast it, race it, need to shine it up or head out on the water with it Lucas Oil has a product for you! ‘Lucas Oil is Made in America and sold to the world!’

The Lucas Oil name will be making its debut on ‘Stella’, Parise’s 2015 IHRA Pro Mod World Champion Cadillac CTS-V on an upcoming episode of Power Nation TV! Stay tuned for details regarding airtimes and dates! Power Nation TV Airs on Spike, NBC Sports Network and CBS Sports Network.

For more information or to purchase a Lucas Oil product please visit: http://dinapariseracing.com/marketing-partners

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, USA Auto Supply 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!

**Don’t forget! There is STILL time to become a marketing partner for DPR’s Power Nation TV appearance! Email info@dinapariseracing.com for details!

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

Dina Parise Racing welcomes Hussey Performance!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

**The team celebrates this IHRA Crower Pro Mod World Championship win with them all!**

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

 

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

Andrew’s 2015 DPR Season Recap

A 2015 season recap and beyond!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See you at the Races!

Andrew ‘BamBam’ Parise

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

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

The nuts and bolts of it:

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

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

 

The good, the bad and the ugly:

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

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

In August the IHRA Nitro Jam event at US 131 began with the addition of Quain Stott to the team! It also began with bits of unexpected issues and the issues did not cease. The culmination of the ‘Murpy’s Law’ factor was Dina running long to the ‘beach’ (sand pit). (more about it here: http://dinapariseracing.com/dina-parise-racing-runners-up-runs-long-to-points-leader )In true racer fashion, Parise exited her Cadillac Pro Mod and asked Marc Kinton (IHRA Safety Crew member) “What did I run? How’s Stella?” to which he replied, “Be quiet and listen to me. I’m your boss right now. Hush up and listen. Helmet off! Let’s go!” She complied. Not that she was given a choice. Thankfully for the most part Stella was really none the worse for wear. The team returned to Pennsylvania thinking they would not make the race the following week at Grand Motorplex. Andrew refused to give up. He thrashed all week knowing they needed to hang on to the points lead. In the 11th hour, the team (Dina and Andrew) loaded up and headed to Canada.

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

Thank you, Thank you very much:

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

Real men wear TuTu’s:

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

 

The companies that help to make it happen:

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

 

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

 

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

Story by : DPR

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