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!!!
First day of school for McKailen (above) and Braiden (right)
What a great month it has been. I am going to skip right over the rough parts of the month when we had to work on our parenting plan again. We have been working ridiculous hours, but it has been such a busy month. McKailen has started second grade and is really enjoying it. He started at a new school, so the new schedule has been an adjustment. He is also riding the bus! Which is crazy… he is becoming a little man faster than we want… Braiden is also in pre-k and loving it!
We went to Rogersville, Mo., and did a match race with both of our cars and had a great time! We are super excited that the dragster is so happy. The track we went to is Scott Palmer’s home track, and we had such a good time we are hoping we can return next year.
So then we went to Dallas, which had its good parts and its bad parts! The bad parts included rain on Friday and not qualifying on Saturday. This bums me out really bad because it has always been home for me and I so badly want to do well there. The good part however was on MONDAY when I was able to stay and test the dragster! My guys were so supportive, and we all really wanted to finish my license. I have made a total of 12 runs, and I am so close I can taste it. On my first run of the morning I only went to the 330… Terry was very happy with it. He wanted me to go further, but I wanted to make sure that I was doing the procedure correctly. So then on the second run Terry told me go as far as I was comfortable with… I made it to the 660 and then stepped off and pulled my chutes. (That was supposed to be my first run). Terry wanted to make sure that I made my pass and could find all the switches and felt the pull of the chutes. Then on my third pass of the day I was finally ready to make a full pull. I was on the gas and so excited and then just past half-track the car stopped pulling and I knew I was still on the gas. So I got to the end and turned off. When I got out of the car I turned around and saw that there was no more of a belt! Super bummed! So now we are going to hopefully finish my license in a week or two. Since Dallas and Houston are close to us I have some options. I will tell you, it was the best feeling when Del Worsham came over and wanted to know all about it. His daughters love Braiden so it’s nice that we all talk. Scott Palmer signed off on my half-track pass. I am beyond excited and so proud of my guys! Jeremy Bates, Jeremy Ozga, Ray Williamson, Jim Merlino, and Braiden Reich… I am also super proud of Terry. I am sure that it’s not easy for him to stand outside the car and make sure everyone is doing their jobs. Thank you so much Babe for letting me be part of the team and making me a better person!
After testing we came home and Terry went straight to work. He has been working a lot! He did take three days to see Kailen and then Sunday we went and saw the last home Texas Rangers game! The stadium was so loud! It was amazing! We can’t wait until next year.
Well it looks like the season is coming to a close, which means we are going to be busy! We will be attending Las Vegas and Pomona unless something catastrophic happens. We are also working on a deal for next year so hopefully we will have new and exciting news within the next month or so!
Have a great week!
Good evening to all. As I sit down to write this blog many things have crossed my mind. The main thing is how many ups and downs there are in this sport. It doesn’t just apply to the small teams but to the large teams too.
Denver... oh Denver, how great you were to us! When we arrived at Denver, it was a little different than normal. Usually when we get there me and Terry get everything set up and ready for tech. This time the truck arrived and got parked and then Terry flew to Seattle to see McKailen. The way our plan is laid out we can only leave the state for 10 days at a time, so in order to get as much time as possible we have to roll our visits together. So he took an in-state visit for a few days and rolled it with our out of state. So Friday morning Terry and McKailen got on an airplane and came to Denver! Everyone else, including myself, arrived on Thursday, so we all did as much as we could to be prepared without our fearless leader there to make sure we all were doing what we were supposed to. Denver also was the first race that the new latching and tethering systems were required. It is hard to handle a technical problem when Terry isn’t there, but luckily it was pretty easy because we followed all the directions that the NHRA had given us.
Our weekend in Denver went pretty well. We progressed every lap, and we qualified. Most people don't realize how important it is to a small team to qualify. On our final lap of qualifying, we went 4.43, which wasn’t too bad, and it made us #15. So we had to face our friend Jack Beckman first round. Jack is always so funny. He makes everyone laugh but always tries to do right by the small teams. We lost to him first round but it was a great race. He went 4.24, and we went 4.37. That was our best pass of the weekend. It is said that the “mountain” is worth 2 tenths of a second. Needless to say we were really looking forward to Seattle.
But before Seattle could happen we came home with the boys and let them be crazy! We did so much stuff in that short amount of time. We went and saw the movie Turbo, which they both loved! We went to the beach for the day. The boys played so hard that they crashed out in the car on the way home. We went to my parents, and the boys played there while Terry and I went on a date! Most importantly, we spent time together every day! As the boys are getting bigger they are getting braver... as all little boys do. I think it’s hard for them to only get to be together short periods of time because they just start to figure out their places and then they have to separate again. McKailen is getting ridiculously good at reading. He reads every day and enjoys it. Braiden tries to copy him but isn’t quite there yet!
After our time at home we took a road trip and picked up the truck and then continued on to Seattle. We, of course, run Seattle because of McKailen. I don't think we would have gone up there if it wasn’t for him. So we went to the Great Wolf Lodge while we were there before we were allowed to set up on Wednesday. It really bummed us out we had to return McKailen on Wednesday and then we weren’t allowed to see him the whole week we were there. His mother got married on Thursday (Congrats to Bambee and Ed), and we were glad that he got to be part of that, but it really stunk the rest of the weekend that he was there and we never got to see him. But it’s all good because we get to bring him home next week for another 10 days! How awesome is that!
So many people have asked us what happened. The car has been running so well and then this national event seemed to work against us. Usually we are ok with a rainout on one of the days, but this time it worked against us. Since we didn’t get to run Friday, we only got the two chances on Saturday, and by the time we figured out the problem, it was too late. The clutch is the heart of these cars, and there were a couple of problems. It was more of a communication error than anything. One person that it was being done one way and a change was made and none of us thought it would be that critical. We have been getting some help from one of the larger teams, and they are trying to teach us to run fast. We can run 4.30 and some 4.2s, but they want to skip right over that and go for a teen or a 4.0... unfortunately they don't know how to back up, and we aren’t there yet, but it's going in the right direction. In the same breath I must say that this sport has so many ups and downs... you could be like Ron Capps, who won in Sonoma and then didn’t qualify in Seattle. I am sure that is harder than what we go through! When this car finally decides to make a full pass under power it’s going to be fast. I think she (the car) is being temperamental. (Like most women, myself included)....We are giving it the attention it wants and needs, and she is going to pay us back...we know it! Oh and one more amazing bit of information: Congrats to Shawn and Taylor Cowie! Their story is amazing, and it is so great that he was able to come back and do it big for his first national event back. I don't know them but Terry does and he was so excited to hear that Shawn had won. His story is unbelievable! Congrats again!
So after the race, Braiden flew home with my mom so that he could spend a few weeks with his dad. (Speaking of, I had someone ask me if Braiden was Terry’s son this weekend, and I would have thought that after this long everyone knew.... Braiden is from my previous marriage just as McKailen is from Terry’s. However, Terry treats both boys the same and would do anything for either of them.) McKailen was, of course, staying there, so it was just me and Terry. We decided that we would swing through Vegas on our way home because it was only 100 miles out of the way. Our first anniversary was on the 11th, so we thought it would be a good couple of days just us. Of course, our trips never really go as planned. So on the way down to Vegas the big truck blew a water hose, and it added a nice 6 hours on to our trip. So we arrived in Vegas late. After the first day of catching up on some much-needed rest we took to the strip. Terry and I are not very big gamblers, but I will say that they have the Deal or No Deal games and I really enjoyed those! We always picked a case with little to nothing in it, so it was short lived! We also won tickets to see the Blue Man group show, and it was pretty cool! On our last night there Terry finally agreed to go on the NY NY roller coaster. Now let me explain Terry is deathly afraid of heights, and I am not! I love coasters... I would go on them every day if I could. This was a big step for him, and I appreciate his willingness to go with me! He even said he would do it again. Woot! Woot!
So now we are home, and we are on the gas like there is no tomorrow! We are working on engines all day every day. We need to get caught up for our customers and that’s what we are doing. We will not be racing again until Dallas. As many of you have figured out I still don't have a license and we thought that Dallas was going to be the big debut, but we are going to again push it back. However, it is already set that all of our guys will be staying after the Dallas event so that I can complete my license. Super excited! There will be another female Top Fuel driver… Woohoo! Really looking forward to competing with Leah she is a great friend of mine. Go buy her shirts in the NitroMall!
On the last note of this blog I would just like to say thank you to my husband, Terry, for being the person he is. If it wasn’t for him I don't think life would be as great as it is. Looking forward to the next 50 years — I love you babe! Happy one year wedding anniversary!