Well hello! Hope everyone is having as great of a month as I have been having. We have been really busy in the shop and things are really starting to look up for us. We are still working on finalizing our sponsor, and that is why it has not been announced just yet. We are hoping in the coming weeks everything will finally be done and when it is it’s going to be big! (Or at least its how we feel)
For the weeks leading up to Houston, we all worked our tails off, and it feels like we have been running at full speed. No down time… We added a new member to our team: Scott French. He is helping with the consistency in our clutch program. It seems like we have a very good engine program, and our clutch has been where we have been lacking. He has a lot of experience and is very meticulous, which is something we need. We feel like we are moving forward in every direction and are really looking forward to the future.
Let’s talk about Houston… We worked right up until it was time to leave. Luckily this race is close to us, and we left a little later than we would have liked, but it’s so close it didn’t matter. Friday Q1 we thought we were ready, and the car shook. It shook hard! Then on Q2 it went down there… not fast but it went. I believe we went 4.47… When we got back to the pit, we knew something was wrong, and unfortunately, it had a parts failure and hurt our new block. We weren’t in the top 12, but we knew we were heading in the right direction. Q3 it went out and ran 4.38 It wasn’t the fastest, but it put us in the #14 spot. Then on Q4, it decided to carry the front, which made it very hard to drive. It got out of the groove and was all over the place. However, our 4.38 kept us in the show. We even got an interview with Jamie at the top end. Super excited and proud of our guys. Going into eliminations we knew we needed to stand on it. We had Beckman first round. After we stripped the blower before round one, we thought it was going to be our day to win a round. The car was on a run and doing great and then the blower snout broke. Unfortunately because we are not highly funded the harder we run the car the more it shows which pieces are the weakest links. It wasn’t our day, but we were happy with our performance at home.
We can’t thank the people enough that keep us going. We are really looking forward to the future with the new sponsor, but the people who have been with us when it’s good and when its bad are what keep us going. There were some concerns from our sponsors that when Terry announces this deal that they would lose their spot, and that will never happen. Not only will they stay on the car, but they will also be added to my car at its first race.
Speaking of first races… I am so excited to finally say that I am a licensed Top Fuel driver. It has been a long time coming. I was ecstatic when Brad Littlefield called and wanted to speak to me. Terry stood next to me to make sure I said everything I was supposed to. For those who don’t know, Monday after the race we stayed and made three runs to complete my license. It was amazing. I have the greatest group of guys working on my car. They really want to do well and keep me safe. It is looking more and more every day that my first event will be the Denver race. I also plan on running Seattle. If all goes well we will run Pomona at the end, but that one is still up in the air. Many people have asked if Terry is going to lose his driving job, and I ensure you that he will not. He is why we do this, and even if it never becomes full time for me, I want him to have the chance at doing it the right way. He has waited a very long time I feel like he has paid his dues, and it’s important that he gets to do this. For many people they have the passion for racing but not always the determination to keep going. I am always proud of him for fighting for the things he loves most. Between racing and making the time to see Kailen I couldn’t ask for a more determined person.
As the years go on they seem to be going faster and faster. Kailen is getting ready for a concert at school. They are singing songs from The Sound of Music. One of the days he was playing the triangle, but I am not sure he gets to play it at the concert. Terry can’t wait to see him. Along with his concert he has told us he is training for a 5K, which I think is awesome for him. He says it’s not his favorite activity, but he gets to do it with his mom, which makes her happy. As far as running is concerned, Kailen and I have been working out my costume for the Avengers half marathon that I am doing in November, and I think we have agreed to green, black and silver with a tutu and a cape. I am sure there will be many interesting costumes, and I can only be glad that both of our boys are trying to add input on what they think it should be. Braiden has been so busy with t-ball. He is on the Yankees, and the coach says he is a star player. I think at 5 if they learn the basics we are doing well. We are now getting ready for his pre-kindergarten graduation. It is so cute, they have caps and gowns and will be in an auditorium. It’s a big deal around here. Braiden is also getting ready to welcome his new sister. She will be here in June. His dad and step mom are super excited, and they are trying to keep B involved, which I think is great. He is very protective over her already and she is not even here yet.
We also welcomed a new member to our family. My brother and sister-in-law have a happy and healthy baby girl. It is all very exciting. We couldn’t be happier for them and everyone else we know that is having a baby. Just the other morning the announcement came that Eric (Hopsing) and Kelly Lane have welcomed a baby girl into their family. This is important to us seeing that our full-time guy is Kelly’s brother and we are really good friends with them. A lot of babies coming into this world….
Our next race will be Englishtown. As most of you know that is Terry’s home track and where he grew up. We are looking forward to going there and doing well. Terry and I always laugh because I love when we go back there. His voice changes and all his hometown people come by and say hello. I am not sure if we are going to NYC or to the shore, but I think the shore may be the option for this year. We always stay a day to hang out.
This weekend is Mother’s Day. I wish we would have both boys, but Kailen will be with his mom. He did tell Terry that he is working on a gift for me, which means a lot. Terry said I will love it. I got one from Braiden this afternoon. It’s his favorite color (green)… My mom and I are going to the ballet, which is something we always do as a mother-daughter outing. This year we are adding my sister-in-law and her mother. Then I believe Terry has something up his sleeve, but he won’t tell me. That is the worst… So Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there and I hope you have a great day!
I have been having such a great month I figured I would sit down and write my blog. So the last time I wrote I was just arriving to the Phoenix race. That race didn’t go the way we were hoping but it is a learning process. When my dad had his heart attack we weren’t as focused on the car as we should have been and we just kept having problems. It was like no matter what we did we just kept having mistakes. Since then it has been crazy busy. All of our guys try so hard and if one guy isn’t there or at full capacity the team suffers.
We were originally going to be announcing a major sponsor prior to the Houston race. However, because we couldn’t get everything completed to be at the level with Schumacher and the other high profile teams we have chosen to hold off. You can’t imagine how hard it is to get all of the items completed and hire people.
We have officially hired one of our guys as a full-time employee. This is a big step for us. We are ready to move forward and we felt what better way than taking one of the guys who has been with us for three seasons and give him the opportunity. Jeremy has been there for us when things were bad and now that they are good so we are happy to have him. Now it’s just time management. We are not use to having people in our shop and we want to make sure we utilize him to the fullest. I believe that our team will be able to be more consistent and do a better job.
So in the last few weeks I have been busy personally. I turned 30 on the first of the month and while most people run from getting older I am embracing it. I am sure that will stop at some point. Terry and I went to see Kailen that week and had a great time. We went roller skating which he is learning so well. He still falls but so does everyone else. We also went to this place called Elevated Sports and jumped on all these trampolines. We miss him so much when we are not altogether. We will be going to see him for Easter. We are looking forward to that so we can all be together. Because of the distance and the expense it is not all that often that we all get to go.
Since I turned 30 I figured it was time to start getting in shape. There is a group of NHRA women including wives, mothers, sisters that are going to run a half marathon at Disneyland at the Pomona Finals weekend. I have never run long distances and it would not be something I would normally pick. However, Terry and I talked about it and we decided that it’s time for us to make a change. We have been eating better for 6 months and while we feel better we know we need to do more. Now along with this half marathon there is a chance I will have a sponsor for that event. It will make for a long weekend but I am excited to do this with an amazing group of women including my mother. Side note we are dressing up as superheroes because it is the Disney Avengers race. Braiden wants me to have a cape and I believe I will have a tutu too! It will be fun!
Speaking of Braiden he turned 5!!!! That is just crazy to me. I can’t believe I have been a mom for 5 years and how he has changed from when he was born to how he is now. He has such an amazing personality and is very athletic. I feel like he is a bull in a china shop most of the time and then he will come over and cuddle on the couch! He is playing t-ball again and is just getting started for the season. I can’t believe how often they practice! He is doing really well. They have him on the pitcher’s mound which is funny since they hit off a T.
In the shop we have been putting out blocks left and right. Needless to say the shop is moving forward. We have also been working very hard on our car. We have purchased a Toyota body. We are hoping it will help us be more competitive. Our Dodge is very heavy and when I say very heavy I mean it weighs 325 pounds. It is said that for every 100 pounds taken off the car it helps by a tenth of a second. So our 4.21 in Pomona could have been a mid to high teen depending on what the weight comes in at on the new body. It will be painted black for the Houston event and hopefully will be full of color by the next race! Well see everyone in less than two weeks! We are finally finishing my license the Monday after the Houston event… WOOHOO! Have a great week and see you soon!
So it has been forever since I wrote a blog, and I am finally finishing one before we leave for Phoenix. I am determined to get this finished. I have written this blog a total of 5 times now, and I think maybe just maybe I will finish it up.
Because I am sure you want to hear about the racing over what we did with our off season, I will start with Pomona. It was FANTASTIC… while many may say that it wasn’t successful because we ended up 17th, I will have to disagree with you. For Pomona they implemented a new format for qualifying, which makes it the same as all of the other races. I thought for sure since we are a part-time team and we had been off for three months this would make it harder for us to make the turn around. I felt like we went to Pomona very prepared and we were ready to move forward even though we had many different problems. This weekend was our best run in many years! And we are only getting started. I know that this year is going to push to a whole new level, and I can’t wait to see what will come of it.
On Friday we broke a rocker arm, which could have been really bad. but luckily someone was looking out for us and it threw the belt off. too. Then on Saturday Q3 at the hit of the throttle the parachutes deployed. From what we could see somehow the chute pack bounced out of the holder on the body, and it just pulled it out. We have been recording our runs, and that’s what it looked like. So we were flying a little blind into the last qualifying session. So on Q4 we thought we were ready and the car looked amazing! We run 4.21! Woohoo… we thought it was going to be a teen, and it should have been. When we went back to the pit we saw that it had popped the burst panel. Then we looked at the computer data, and it showed it stopped early. From what we can see, it was going to be a 4.14 or 4.15. We know we didn’t qualify, but we were still on top of the world! I believe that our team is moving forward, and they are ready to show what we really have.
So now we are getting ready for Phoenix. It’s going to be a great weekend! Well I know that there are some rumors buzzing that we have a new sponsor, and while some people have made some assumptions, we want you to know that it is true. We will be announcing a new sponsor in the coming weeks. We are so excited. We know that it has taken a lot longer than I thought, and I am sorry for keeping you guys in the dark. This is the first deal that Terry and I have done together, and we are looking forward to announcing it. It will be amazing to be able to race like the other teams. We feel we owe it to the people who have kept us going for so long to give them the first two races. Now these people aren’t going anywhere and you may even see them end up on my car later this season. We can’t thank Patriot Grading, NYT trucking, Dipinto International, Miller welders, Acme Refining, Clevite, DJ Safety and Sanders for helping us and keeping our dreams alive. We can’t wait to do them all proud.
It looks like our next race will be the Houston event. We are looking at skipping Vegas. I know that sounds really weird. We have only missed one Vegas in all the time Terry and I have been together. So it looks like we will have to do something else for my birthday. Although I think we may still end up going to Vegas just as spectators. However, when we have done that in the past it always ends up bad. But at least if we are in Vegas there is more to do then just be at the track.
Now let’s backtrack over the last three months. So there have been some good things happening and there have been some bad. We ended the season we ended on a positive note, and we worked really hard to make sure that we didn’t go backwards. We did a lot of maintenance to the car, and I feel like it really showed in our performance and appearance at Pomona. This year we didn’t have either of the kids for Thanksgiving, so Terry and I decided that we would use these vouchers for a cruise that I had won. This was not the best trip we have ever been on, but we did get to spend quality time together just us. When we got back we focused on our business and tried really hard to catch up on all of our customers’ work so that we could start fresh this year with no one mad at us. It is hard to balance the business and the racing, and they go hand in hand. I think it would be easier if it was just the racing and the business, but as most of you know, Terry’s son lives in Seattle, and we are still going there two times a month to get our time with him. Then there is my son, who goes and sees his dad every other weekend. It’s like there are four separate schedules that we are trying to balance along with times for ourselves. Most of the time we do a pretty good job at keeping it all straight, but there are times that I could pull my hair out trying to mesh everyone’s requests.
Moving on… for Christmas we were able to have McKailen from the day after he got out of school until the day before school started. We had so much fun. It was the first time that he was there for Christmas Eve and was able to wake up in his bed and didn’t have to be on a plane all night. It was so awesome! I feel like we never really get in a pattern when we have him and this time was so different. My relationship has evolved with him, so it made it more fun and we are getting so close I feel like he finally understands that we are a family. I would do anything for that kid just like I know Terry would do the same for Braiden. We went to Nature and Lights the first day we had them together. We go every year. This year will stink because we won’t get to have him in Texas at all. The boys received so much for Christmas that we made sure that we donated all the toys they didn’t play with anymore to charities for kids who would be happy to have them. Braiden calls them “his baby toys.” I am glad they are learning to give to others. While Kailen was here, we went to San Antonio and went to Sea World. The shows are always the best part, and because it was winter, there were less people there.
While we had a great time with the boys we also had some very sad things happen. My grandmother fell and broke her hip. The problem with all of it is of course she is older. She had fallen in November and broke the first one. They went in and did surgery, and she did well. However, this time the break was in a worse place, and they didn’t think it was wise to operate. They wanted to wait a few weeks and see how she was feeling, and unfortunately she didn’t make the couple of weeks. She passed on January 2. I never thought it would happen as quickly as it did. She was 94 almost 95 and had a great life and now she has moved on. We are glad that she isn’t in pain anymore. Most people don’t know that both my grandparents were in the military and served for a long time. When my grandfather passed away in 2001 he was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. This is a great honor. My grandmother will also be buried there with him. We have been organizing it, and we finally have a date and will be the Monday after this race. Terry and I will fly out on Sunday in order to make the funeral Monday morning. We were really hoping that McKailen would be able to come with us because we are going to spend a couple of days in D.C. and he would learn so much. We were told no, so we will just have to wait and teach him all of it at a later date. It is amazing how many people are being buried there on a daily basis. I am proud to say that both my grandparents served and are heroes in my mind.
Now that I am past that topic. We also had a scare in Pomona. My dad came to the races with us, and Sunday night after the race he had a heart attack. We went to Pomona Valley Hospital, and they put a stent in. This, of course, was not in the plan of my Pomona week. We are glad he is doing better, but we will be missing him this weekend as my mom has put him on house arrest. With the race this weekend I have to miss my sister-in-law’s baby shower and that’s a bummer, but my mom is going with all my gifts. What can I say, it is the first girl granddaughter in our family, so we spoiled her a little. It seems like everyone is having babies right now, and a lot of them are girls. It’s so exciting!
Well the only thing left to talk about is this coming weekend. As I sit on the plane heading to Phoenix, I can’t contain my excitement, and the people around me probably think I’m weird. LOL Tomorrow (Wednesday) we are displaying our Patriot Grading Funny Car at the Air Force Base, and then we get to play in the flight simulators. I know it’s not the same as some of the other drivers who have been in the actual F16, but at least I don’t have to worry about passing out or throwing up. Or at least so I am told. One of the guys at the base is married to one of my best friends, and he wants me to beat Terry and shoot him down. Somehow I think I will lose, but we will see. After this weekend, my friends are moving to Japan for three years. I know they will have a great experience, but I still don’t want them to go. Hopefully when they come home they will get stationed back in Texas and I will be able to see my goddaughter more often. Her name is Payton, and she is 7 already. It’s crazy how fast all of our kids are growing up. Even fans who bring their kids year after year, it is amazing to see how much they are growing and are still interested in racing. Sorry this blog is so long I just wanted to make sure I didn’t miss anything! Have a great week!
Well until I write again…follow us on twitter at @T_Haddockracing or on Facebook Terry Haddock Racing.
In the last few months life has been crazy. I am sorry for the delay. I feel like I say that a lot, but I always start my blogs and then get sidetracked with another item and then I pull up NHRA.com and realize that I never posted it! Oops!
So in October we had a lot going on. We did a match race in Tulsa, OK. It was so much fun. We wanted to get some runs in with the Funny Car and of course try to work on my experience. I was able to make one run in the dragster… I learned so much from that run. At first we were going to decide against it because Terry was worried about it being at night, and he didn’t want me make any mistakes. I don’t have any experience at night, and he wanted us to be able to do a good job. We went up to make my run, and it was a little rushed, which is not part of our normal routine, so it took me a minute to adjust. Then I couldn’t find my ear buds, so I had to use a different set, and they of course didn’t fit my ears, so it was a little uncomfortable. We strapped me in, and it was time to have some fun. I did my burnout, backed up, and here we go. As I am waiting for the signal to pull forward, Terry pushed my visor and instantly it started to fog up. I lifted it a bit to see if it would fix it. I realized that I was more focused on that visor and I should have just put it out of my mind but because I wasn’t expecting it, it flustered me a bit. I rolled into the beams and realized that I laid my foot on the gas pedal just a tad… I heard it and fixed it and the lights came down and there I went. It made it about 300 feet and would have kept going, but it still had the front end in the air so I couldn’t steer it, so I lifted! I was so mad! I got down to the other end and got off the track and I am waiting for the team to come pick me up and I was so mad because I felt like I did an awful job! Then everyone got down there and they were all happy because of the times. It went .840 on the rear tire and 2.19 to the 330, and I was off the gas at 1.85 seconds. I was still mad because I felt like I made mistakes. It was definitely a learning run. I know it will get better but I wanted to do a good job.
After testing we came home and got ready for Vegas. We worked so hard to make sure that we were ready because we fully intended on finishing my last runs at Vegas. Vegas was so much fun! We attended the Fanfest and had a great time. This time we sat next to Erica Enders-Stevens, and she was very friendly. Sometimes we go to those type of events and don’t feel like we belong because we are not one of the heroes, but we had a great time. Some of my hometown friends who live in Arizona came up for the weekend, and we got to spend some time with them. The car did a great job. We went 4.39 then 4.29 then it smoked the tires out by the 660 because we got out of the groove. Then it was time for the final session and it’s us and Densham. Gary had struggled during the weekend, which was very uncharacteristic of his car, and neither of us were in. We went 4.34, and Densham went 4.31, and we were both in. There was only one car left to bump us out and Tasca did it! Dang it! We wanted it so bad, but the car did really well and was responding to everything we had been doing to it.
Between Vegas and Pomona was McKailen’s b-day, so we all went up to Seattle to celebrate with him. He is hilarious! His birthday and Halloween are only a day apart, so we knew it was going to be a great trip. We went trick or treating with our friends up there. This year was interesting because Braiden doesn’t like the scary houses but he loves candy so I would go up there with them and he would hide but then would run like crazy once he had the candy. We decided that we would go to the Great Wolf Lodge because that is the one thing that Kailen loves to do. After school we headed down there and enjoyed the day. We got him a Nook for his birthday, which he loves! He is such a good reader. We had our parent teacher conference while we were there, and she told us he is reading on a middle of the year 3rd grade level, which is amazing! We are so proud of him. The boys have come a long way, and I feel bad when they don’t get to be together. We are really looking forward to Christmas this year!
After our time with Kailen we came home and worked a bit. Unfortunately, when we were visiting with him we found out that Terry’s dad had passed away. We knew it was coming we just didn’t think it would be so soon. Terry and I are planning a trip up that way so that he can pay his respects. He loved his dad, and I feel awful that we weren’t able to get there. We decided that in honor of his dad Terry would do a longer burnout at Pomona.
When we got to Pomona it was on the gas! Our flights had been delayed so we arrived later than we would have liked and then Wednesday I spent a lot of the day at the airports picking up our guys. Thursday came and we were so excited… we were hoping to pick up where we left off. We made some good runs. On Q3 we ran 4.25, which was our best of the year. We were so excited! We thought for sure we were going to dip into the teens. Unfortunately when we took it apart Terry didn’t like the way the heads looked so he changed them. With that we missed the tune up because we forgot to account for the difference in the cc’s. It made the tune up too low and we ran 4.32
We are so proud of our team and the progress that is coming along! Also, all year we had NO OILDOWNS! That was so great for us!
Now that the season is over it’s time to get to work on our customer’s projects and we sure do have a lot of them. Usually we wait until the first of January to get the cars done, but because we are so excited about the coming year, we are unloading and starting on all of it this weekend! Next year is going to be a great year! We can’t wait. Terry is already trying to figure out how to go testing and get more laps. We have been working on a sponsorship deal since April, and it looks like it might actually be coming around. If it does that means “Christmas in the shop” will be arriving earlier than normal. We will have announcements coming by the middle of December, so look out for them!
Hope everyone has a great offseason! Less than 90 days until the season starts again… Woohoo!!!