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Bellmore Native Lives Life in the Fast Lane

(Credit: Robert Grice)
(Credit: Robert Grice)
Editor's Note: This article was written and submitted by Chris Boyle.

While Dina Parise was growing up in Bellmore, she never imagined that one day she would be burning down the tarmac at well over 200 miles per hour while wearing a fireproof suit.

But, given the fact that she has always chased excitement, this new career should come as little surprise. For example, after graduating Kennedy High School, she attended BOCES and became a hairdresser, but soon decided to chase a childhood dream instead.

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“I left Bellmore when I went to skate for the Ice Capades in the early 90’s,” Parise said. “I skated for the for four years. I used to do all the crazy stunts, like getting thrown up in the air and caught, things like that.”

After the the Ice Capades, Parise returned home and eventually married her boyfriend Andrew and moved to Oakdale, and it was through him that she found herself introduced into the world of auto racing.

“My husband raced a lot of his life,” Parise said. “From the time we were dating, he was building a car, and when it was finally coming together he said that he wanted to race it. So, he would race in that car, but when I started to watch him go down the track. Being the competitive person that I am, I got bored. I wanted to be behind the wheel.”

With the support of her husband, Parise attended the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School in Florida, taking a two-day course to get her racing license.

“I grew up with three brothers, and Freeport Raceway wasn’t far from the house,” Parisi said. “When we were kids we went there every Saturday night. I was a tomboy growing up, so racing didn’t really seem all that far-fetched for me.”

Parise and her husband began a race team around 2004, eventually naming the organization Dina Parise Racing.

“There aren’t many female owners/drivers,” she pointed out. “I own the team and drive on the team with my teammates.”

The team competes in quarter-mile drag racing events, and so far they have attended multiple races up and down the East Coast and in the Mid-West. Parise is hoping to expand the scope of her team in the near future.

“We’re hoping to get financial backing to be able to go to the West Coast,” she said. “We’re always looking for marketing partners...marketing with motor sports is a great way to get positive visibility your company.”

Parise races in a 1963 Corvette Pro Mod and her husband in a 1953 Corvette Pro Mod. Both cars sport massive 526 HEMI engines running at 3,000 horsepower, and sometimes circumstances will find the couple having to unleash that power against one another when paired up in a race.

“My husband is my teammate, and my fiercest rival,” Parise said.

Parise’s parents still reside in Bellmore. However, for the past few months, her folks have been forced to shack up with her and Andrew in their Oakdale residence due the damage their home sustained during Hurricane Sandy in November of last year.

“They had a couple of feet of water in their home, as did most of the people on their block,” Parisi said. “They’re currently repairing their home, so they’ve been hanging out with us ever since. They’re making due until they can get back in. I think they have a few more weeks until they can go back.”

Parise and her team often participates in charity events that benefit U.S. Veterans and Hurricane Sandy victims, which she says is very important to her. But in the end, it’s the pure adrenaline rush and purity of racing that keeps her firmly planted in the driver’s seat.

“I enjoy it...it’s a lot of fun,” she said. “The car that I race in runs the quarter-mile in six seconds at 240 miles per hour. What’s not to like?”

If you wish to contact Dina Parise Racing regarding marketing possibilities, or just want to find out more about the team, check out their website at http://dinapariseracing.com.

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