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.