It was a long, tough and exciting year for Parise Racing. “One word that can sum up the season would be ‘Numbness’ ” , stated Dina Parise. “You look back on the season and wonder where did the time go? Then you ask, what can we do to improve and why did certain things happen or not happen? Your brain just does not stop processing all of these items, until you feel that your head will literally explode. Thankfully, it did not….”
So, come on……. Get belted in…..The Parise Racing year in review is about to begin, and it’s going to be a wild ride! So let’s get to the high and not so high…lights!
This was the first full season of competition for both Dina ‘The Chef’ and Andrew ‘Bam Bam’ Parise . As a team (and a couple) they always feel the need to support one another .As individuals (and competitors), they more so feel the need to beat the other to the stripe. Once the helmets go on, the wedding bands come off….well figuratively anyway…..
A weekend of firsts…….The team began the first race of the season back in May with the North East Outlaw Pro Mod Association at Virginia Motorsports Park. For Dina it was her first time back in her NGK sponsored ’63 Tim McAmis Corvette since having had hand surgery in January. Unfortunately for Andrew Parise, he made an early exit that race. After a series of mechanical difficulties and regardless of the fact that she had just stepped back into the car, Dina managed to take the win! “It was the first race of the year.” Stated Dina. “It also was my first day back, the first of May, and I am the first female in the Association. It’s a good first win for me!”
Just dial 0…….“As you know, in Drag Racing you can go from hero to zero real fast” Stated Dina . “And I did!” She is referring to the following NEOPMA race at Maryland International Raceway. Andrew unfortunately met a similar fate. Moving on….
It’s all legal…….The Parise’s then became the first husband and wife team to run Pro Extreme in ADRL in the Speedtech U.S Drags at VMP. Dina’s car was not running at full power all weekend. But Andrew’s NGK sponsored ’53 MBRC Pro Chassis Design Corvette made a good showing that weekend. He ran a 3.933 @ 188.17. “Being that I am running an NHRA legal car with a converter, I am very pleased with what this car has been running.”
Ladies first…….Being a two car team can pose many problems. One issue that came up during this season was that there was an opportunity to go to the NHRA Supernationals at Raceway Park in Englishtown NJ to run the Get Screened America Pro Mod Challenge. But, there was only one spot open. With one spot, who goes? Well, ladies first! Dina took the spot. She unfortunately did not qualify. “We did have issues with my car. She has the nickname of ‘the Beast’, and that is for good reason”, Stated Dina. “I was glad to be running at this level. It’s what I have been working for; I just wish the outcome was better. ”
Earn it………..In order to run the NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Challenge the Parise’s needed to earn points. To earn points, the team headed to NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series (Division 1)and competed in Competition Eliminator in AA/PM . “With the points system in place, we needed to work hard to earn our way into the GSA races. The way to do that was to run Divisional races. Something we began doing at the onset of the season.” Stated Dina. “We had a great time doing too!”
It’s in the books………It was at an NHRA Division 1 race in Lebanon Valley that Andrew set a National Record in AA/PM , with a 6.030 @ 234.53 MPH. “I never expected to set a record.” Stated Andrew. “We had a great time that weekend, and I set a record! My ’53 MBRC Pro Chassis Design really came through! What a blast!”
Left at the light……..Now again the team was at a NEOPMA race .This time with the Super Chevy Show at Maple Grove Raceway. Remember that hero to zero thing we mentioned earlier? Now, it was Andrew’s turn. First he sets a record, now he fails to qualify. In actuality, he was dealing with a medical issue that kept him out of the seat. Dina on the other hand was the # 1 qualifier, and stayed that way for all three rounds of qualifying. She made it to the finals, but lost to Jim Barker. Jim won with a 6.461 @ 216.41 to Dina’s 6.471 @ 220.26. “I had a major problem at the tree.” Stated Dina. “ I should have had him. That one still hurts.”
Scotty Cannon, enough said……….Soon after Parise Racing established a working relationship with 6 time IHRA World Champion Scotty Cannon (Cannonball Racing) and 2007 IHRA Word Champion Scott Cannon Jr. For the remainder of the season, Scotty consulted with the team. “We were very pleased with having Scotty and Scott work with the team.” Stated Andrew. “ Having Scotty work with us gave us better perspective from another driver. I think we needed that.”
Are Pro Mods supposed to fly?…….The NEOPMA makes another trip to MIR. This was an important race. Andrew needed to move up in the points, and Dina stood in the # 2 spot. With Andrew qualified in the # 2 spot with a 6.126 @ 234.45, Dina was set to make her first qualifying run of the day. It was a solo shot. At about 150 feet out in the left lane, her car gets out on her. First right, then hard left into the jersey wall and up! About 5 feet worth of up! She was able to safely bring her in for a landing, and without sustaining any injury. “Well, thankfully, no injuries, well except for the car and my point position.” Stated Dina “ I got checked out, changed my clothes and made lunch. It was still a race day. Andrew was still going rounds, and we needed to focus on that.” Yes, it was still a race day! Andrew went on to the Semi-Finals that day, but broke during the run. Dina missed the next few races.
Unleash the Beasts…….We fast forward you to NHRA Unleashed at National Trail Raceway. The NEOPMA ran within this event. Andrew qualified #2 and Dina qualified #3. Of course this was all not without incident! Andrew broke the shifter (and the brand new welder to fix it) on one run and had a parachute deploy on another. With all that behind them, they got down to some racing. For Dina, it was her first time back in the car since her crash. “The car feels better than ever. Nick Montana did a great job. She runs so straight, like she is on a string!” Stated Dina. “A big thank you also goes out to Hairy Glass , Spin Werkes, Strange and The Shop. They were instrumental in getting the car fixed quickly and affordably.” The husband and wife duo met in the Semi-Finals. “She treed me!” Stated Andrew. “I busted on her , and she treed me! She got loose at about half track and I drove around her. Serves her right for leaving on me!” He laughs. To see a preview of the Parise’s on NHRA Unleashed : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZwh9uQiGZs&feature=player_embedded Andrew went on to win the event by edging out Harold Martin.
Do you Get Screened?…….The team headed to Z-Max Dragway to participate in the NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Challenge. This is where the ‘low’ comes in…… Unfortunately, both drivers failed to qualify. “Needles to say, we were not happy with that outcome.” Stated Andrew. “We plan to be back next season in GSA and we plan to be more competitive. ”
All shook up……..The Parise’s were thrilled to be a part of the ADRL.us Shakedown at E-Town! Andrew was on the outside looking in at #17, but came in as an alternate. Dina qualified at # 8 with a 6.11 @ 232.07MPH.Andrew took out Chris Russo in first round, but shook second round and lost power to end the day. Dina had massive engine failure during her run during first round ending her day, and her season.
Are you Converted?…… Andrew decided he wanted to take one more test run with his car. He ran a 6.004 @ 237.17 MPH. Although not an event, this is (from what we are being told) the fastest run for a ‘legal trim’ converter car to date.
Thank you, thank you very much……The Parise’s would like to than their crew for all for their hard work all season. Crew Chief Dave Jordan, and Crew members James Montana, Nick Montana (MBRC Pro Chassis Design), Charlie Saccoccio , Brandon Page, Jody Lupton, Ralphie Pupa , Rocco Micciolo and so many others who helped when needed.
They also would like to thank Scotty Cannon and Scott Cannon Jr. for their assistance this season, as well as the assistance of Bill Barrett; via the ‘Bat Phone’!
You have to be in it to win it…..The Parise team has been successful on a limited budget. They are actively looking for sponsors for the 2011 season. For more information on the Parise Racing team, or the individual drivers please visit : http://www.pariseracing.com/ . Be part of the excitement!
Parise Racing would like to thank NGK http://www.ngksparkplugs.com/ for their continued support.
Parise Racing would like to acknowledge the following:
MBRC Pro Chassis Design http://www.montanabros.com/
The Shop http://www.theshopmd.com/
Speed Scene Live! http://www.speedsceneracing.com/
Hairy Glass http://www.hairyglass.com/
Spin Werkes http://www.spinwerkes.com/
Strange Engineering http://www.strangeengineering.net/
Northast Outlaw Pro Mod Association http://www.neoutlawpromods.com/
NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Challenge http://www.promodchallenge.com/