Hey everyone! So we went to Houston and while the weather was not the best I can’t say I feel bad about qualifying. We have been on the good and the bad of the weather so I can only say that this time it fell in our favor. We had a great time. We had a new sponsor on the car for that race. All Floors & More from Tomball, TX was on the hood. For any of your flooring or countertop needs please call 281-857-1557 or visit their website at www.allfloorstore.com.
So back to the race… Sunday morning came, and it was beautiful. Unfortunately, it seems like all the rain the day before affected the track. We heard most of the dragsters smoke the tires. Then we watched the two pairs in front of smoke. I started thinking that the odds were in our favor. As I watched the run, Cruz and Terry smoked around the same place, and Terry caught that one super-fast…We started getting a lead, then it smoked them again, and it got pretty sideways. They were both on and off, and then our car shut off. Terry said he didn’t see him and thought we had it and then he heard him on and off and there was nothing he could do. For those of you who don’t know, we put a pan pressure sensor on our car at the beginning of the year, and because of all the pedaling #4 piston got mad and created pressure and it shut the car off, then the chutes came out, which slowed him down even more. We are not disappointed because other than the one piston and one sleeve there was nothing hurt!
Then on Monday we were able to test the dragster! I was sooooo excited! It’s always fun when we get to do that. I feel like I did a really good job and Terry is super proud of me and the car so it was a great weekend all together. We made it home and unloaded the cars. While I feel bad for all the people who went to Atlanta and got rained out I was glad to see they were making it up. We were supposed to have a match race the second weekend of May, and unfortunately for us this time the weather was against us! So we drove over and dropped off our car at our sponsors in New Jersey. Then Terry flew to see McKailen, and B and I flew home! A few days later Terry came home, and then he was on the gas trying to get customers blocks out. He has been working so hard to catch up and it’s like it doesn’t stop long enough for him to breath.
Oh and on a side note… McKailen came to Texas for his spring break, and we had so much fun! We went to the Great Wolf Lodge in Dallas for Braiden’s birthday celebration. Kailen and I got to spend some much needed quality time together! We went and saw a movie and hung out while B was in school and Terry was working on the cars. Really bummed that I didn’t get to see him for Mother’s Day.
So after that Terry and I went to London. We have been trying to put together a deal to take one of our cars over to Europe for two races this year. They are also looking at next year for us to run all the races. They have five… It seems like so few, but the weather doesn’t seem to want to cooperate them. We were told that for the Easter event there was still snow everywhere… that of course sounds off the walls here in the USA. Terry and I have both been there but this time I’m an adult and have the best husband who even though he is not fond of heights took me on The London Eye… It is so beautiful there. When I went the first time Big Ben and the parliament buildings were my favorite. They still are. I believe I got more photos there than I did anywhere else. It was really great to meet all the people over there that are Terry’s friends. People that use to work with Terry and some new ones who just wanted to learn. We had such a great time, but it was really hard to be away from our boys for that long and because of the time change we were limited when we could talk to them. More limited with McKailen than B… It’s really hard and you take advantage of always being able to call them.
photo by Roger Richards
So when we came home, we were literally home for 10 hours and Terry worked in the shop until I was practically dragging him out so that we could get to the airport to get to New Jersey. Dipinto International was our sponsor again for this race. We always look forward to going to Jersey and seeing people that were part of Terry’s life. It seemed like less people came out this year than years past. One of Terry’s friends Wayne normally works on another team and even he didn’t come out. We usually stay on Monday and either go to the city or go to his hometown and see how things have changed. This year we didn’t get to do that. We had to get home to get back to work. It seems like there is never enough time in the day, week or month to do things when we are home.
While we were in Jersey we were super happy with the car. The first run it went down there but put a cylinder out. We were 10th after the first session. Then on the second session I pulled the pig tail, but when I did that the pins stayed in and didn’t let the MSD go into retard (which helps slow it down through the shake zone) so it ripped the tires right off… So we were ready for Q3 it went out and went 4.51. While we know it was slow we knew we could tune from that. So we were hoping that we would make it a little better and get in the show, but it went out and ran 4.52. When we brought it back we realized that we were off a little on the primary weight on the clutch, which made it much slower to the 60 foot which in turn didn’t help it further out. So while we were disappointed that we didn’t qualify at Terry’s “original” home track, we are super proud of the car and we can’t wait to go racing again.
We have a match race in Salt Lake City, Utah, the same weekend as Epping, NH, so we will be there. The great thing about this match race is that it is with both cars! Yes both cars! We are really excited to do it. We are having the guys come in for a BBQ on Friday and then we are going to work hard on Saturday. After that we are hoping to go to Chicago! We really enjoy that race, so I am hoping all goes well and we can attend. While the car count is getting higher on it we believe that if we take a step forward at the match race we will be able to make great strides forward for Chicago!
We are still hoping to run the dragster at Seattle with me driving. We have been working really hard to make sure that I have a sponsor for that race and that the car is ready to go. Terry will not let me run until it’s right. I too have been practicing and am getting excited. Of course there is always the chance that all of our ducks will not be in a row and then Terry will drive the dragster or the Funny Car.
Well now that you are caught up on what we are doing and how things have been going I should get back to work. One more note… we are going to see McKailen for Father’s Day, and we are all so excited because Kailen and I have been working so hard to make it special for Terry! I believe that mothers, fathers and grandparents day are so important because these people love you and I hope that all of the people in my life know how important they are and how much I appreciate them and we are trying to instill the same qualities in our kids! Oh and school is almost out, so it’s time for Kailen to come home … WOOHOO!
This blog started right after Pomona, and I am just getting to finish it… Sorry! Seeing that we have just completed the first event of the season I felt it was necessary to sit down and write about what happened. Well, Terry and I left as close to on time as we have ever, so we arrived in Pomona late Monday evening, and we just parked the truck at a sponsor’s and went to the hotel, then on Tuesday we went and got the vinyl put on the car. Gatorwraps in Ontario did such a great job. Thank you to Rod and Keith for all their hard work. Then Terry and I went and set up the pit. After we got everything set up we decided that we would leave and go to dinner for Valentine’s Day. We knew there was no way we would be going out on Thursday.
Wednesday we got started, and I felt like most of the day I spent at airports. I made three different runs to three different airports. Needless to say I was over driving in California right then. One of our guys was running late, so we didn’t see him until early Thursday morning. Well we thought that Thursday was going to be the start of an amazing weekend. We were mistaken. We started by having problems with our clutch and the spacing of things. Then as we worked through all of that the computer started having problems. We could have rushed to make the session, but we decided that we would wait until Friday. We wanted to have the best chance to do well.
So we called it an early night and then came out super early Friday to make sure we were ready. We went up to make a run, and we made it about 150 feet. While I know this is not what everyone wanted it’s not as bad as you think. It did the same thing on Q3, but I can now tell you what happened. I know it showed on the television coverage that the burst panel came out and they said we “banged the blower.” This however is untrue! Yes, the burst panel came out both times, but we didn’t hurt the blower. One of our problems is that our blower is just so much better than what we have ever had. Our initial thoughts were varied. Those two run we hurt the #7 piston. This year we put a pan pressure sensor on our car. We are tired of being called names and giving NHRA money, so with this sensor a couple of things happen. If the car sees a certain number of pan pressure it shuts the car off. So it left well on both runs, and then it saw some pressure and shut it off. This may seem extreme, but we have our reasons. It’s not mandatory, but we don’t want to be those people. As we serviced the car, we saw what was happening and had a few questions. First, it blew the ring land out of that piston, which we found that one of the rings was an odd size. Seeing that everything that went in the car was new we weren’t sure why. So we continued on.... on the last run we smoked the tires.
That was the end of our weekend. We were all kind of bummed, but it didn’t go as badly as most people thought. We then decided that while we were out here we might as well go to Phoenix to try and get some more runs under our belt. You see over the winter we made a lot of changes… new systems in the clutch and made some changes in the motor and a new management box.
So in Phoenix we started our weekend by trying to back the car down. We have been slowly backing it down to figure out where we are supposed to be. In Pomona we worked with another team, and they showed us how the blowers that go on these cars are much better than they ever have been. When Terry started racing he was given a formula to go by to tune the car. He has always used that formula, and in recent years we have been getting better equipment, which has made his chart further and further off. So we acquired three different programs to compare, and it all shows that we have been about 6% over in tune up. With that it will make for some problems… to say the least. So now we are trying to get use to using these and trusting the numbers. It is very hard to do. In Phoenix the car was really trying to run… by the last run it left the line hard, and we were all so excited. It put a cylinder out and pushed Terry towards the wall. He continued to move closer to the wall because the front end was in the air. When it does that you can’t steer it. To settle it down he pedaled it and it moved a little but then was still to close so he had to lift. So he coasted through with a 4.58, which is better than our times the last two weekends. The car is really trying to run.
So after that we came home and got to work. We pulled the motor out to check the crankshaft and service everything. We fully intended on going to Las Vegas… we worked until there were no more options. There just wasn’t enough of the logistical money to get it done. So we are here at the shop today and super bummed because starting tomorrow everyone gets to do big smoky burnouts and we are not there! However, while everyone is out their running I can say I am super excited because the dragster is going back together. We are building a motor for it now and everything will start going back together over the weekend. We have a match race May 10 in Martin, Mich., so we are getting it back together for that and because I am finally going to work on my license again! We are trying to test it after Houston, but we have to make sure all the funding is there. It’s funny how Terry is pickier about my car and money than his.
In other news, I turned 29 on Monday. Everyone I have ever known has said “29 and holding”… I don’t feel that way. I am looking forward to being 30 and moving on! I think it’s more because I still look like I am 15 and get told that all the time. So I think my holding number will be 35! Terry gets to bring McKailen home for Spring Break in a week and a half. We are so excited! Braiden turns four on the 8th, but we are waiting to celebrate until McKailen is here. That is the only thing Braiden wanted! Oh and to go to the wolf lodge! Braiden is also starting to play T-ball… his first practice was supposed to be today, but it was rained out so we will try for Saturday. I think he is going to be really good, but I am a biased mom for sure! I wish McKailen could be here to play too or at least get to play in Seattle. I think he would like sports if he could. I do know he is looking forward to a Jr. Dragster!
Have a great weekend, and I will start working on another blog quickly. However, you can check out our “On the Run” story that just came out this week. Or keep up with us on Facebook and Twitter!
I have sat down to write this blog several times. I wrote one that I am holding onto for the right time. Since the last time I wrote many things have happened. It was Terry’s birthday, and we were alone for the weekend, so we went to San Antonio and had a great weekend on the Riverwalk. We had Christmas and New Year’s. Christmas was a great time, but it really stunk that we only got to have Kailen until Christmas Eve and then we had to take him back. Then Terry flew all night and didn’t get into Dallas until 5 a.m., then drove home 3 hours. Needless to say he didn’t want to be up and open presents! Now it’s time to get ready for the season. While we thought we were going to get to go testing, we decided that we would forego South Florida because of the expenses.
We are very excited about this year. While we are still finalizing our schedule; it has been a mad house. We have had more customers call for blocks than ever before. So many in fact that I have started helping Terry full time in the shop in order to keep up with the demand. I will say our greatest downfall is our time. Sometimes because we want everything to be perfect we take extra time. However, I can say that this time last year we were so far behind and more just kept coming in that we ended up 3 months behind. Our usual turnaround is 4 weeks, and we are still so busy. Since we don’t advertise, we keep asking each other is it ever going to stop? … and then the phone rings. Our customers are amazing. One of our customers gave us a new body for the race car. So we are currently getting it ready for paint. Which is another miracle story. Another one of our customers owns a paint shop and is willing to paint both of our bodies for free. This is amazing because anyone who knows paint knows it’s not cheap to paint one of these let alone two.
So we are down to 25 days before Pomona and we are working our tails off trying to get all of our lists of stuff done for the car and the shop! Many people know that Terry and I have been trying to get me a driving job. Well correction... Terry has been trying to get me a driving job. While none have worked out, we have an iron in the fire and are really looking forward to moving forward with this. Along with our normal NHRA races, we have come across some match races for the dragster, so it looks like my car will finally get put back together and then we get to go testing to finish my license and get the car ready for those! So exciting!
Now that I am working with Terry in the shop all the time I needed to be able to do something with Braiden. So we decided it was time for pre-school. While it is a semester early we really needed to be able to get the work done to be prepared. So this week he started his first full week. While most of you know he is usually attached at my hip it, this has been a real adjustment. It’s not only for him but for me. I find myself looking for him, and I want to go pick him up early, but I don’t. They say this first week is very important because he is learning that even though he is away from us we will get to pick him up at the end of the day. I only wanted him to go two or three days a week, but they said to start him off at the full time so he could get used to it. We have been lucky enough to not have to put him in daycare, and I know many moms that wish they could stay home with their kids. Braiden is doing really well.
We are also super excited because National DRAGSTER has offered us 3 “On the Run” stories, which is more than this last year. These stories are really fun to write, and Terry and I have a great time working on them together. Our first one is due right before Las Vegas, so be looking for our story!
Well have a great week and I am hoping to post my other blog soon... Keep up with us every day on Twitter and Facebook or at www.terryhaddockracing.com
As I sit down to write this blog, I am unsure of a title. There are so many things that have been and are going on. There are two parts of this blog. I wrote right after St. Louis but then it got so crazy trying to get ready for the last two that I got side-tracked from sending it. So grab some popcorn... this is a long one! :)
As most of you know we did not have the weekend we wanted in St. Louis. We lost the first run to the fuel shut off cable. Then we were just trying to get a baseline for Q2... it smoked the tires which we kind of thought that was going to happen. Then we thought we had changed enough for Q3 that it wouldn’t, but we were wrong. So we slowed everything down enough that it would have to make it. Unfortunately the risk you take when you do that is that it’s possible to drop a cylinder because there wasn’t enough load out in the middle. That’s exactly what it did. It dropped a cylinder and then Boom... the body was soaring into the air and all I could think was.... where did that come from? Is he ok? Then I noticed he was still going straight so I figured he was fine.
I know on Terry’s interview he said it could put us out of business and if we were easily discouraged it could have. However, I have never in my entire life met someone like Terry who is so willing to keep trying. He is the most incredible person in the world. So other than trying to get the race car back together we have been crazy busy in the shop. Terry has been working so hard and I am just starting to be able to help him. Then we had another problem pop up... Braiden has been seeing a surgeon about some issues. We decided that we would have his surgery this week. Terry went to see Kailen over the weekend and then flew home all night so that he could be there. Braiden had surgery and is doing well.
So then we move on to Vegas and Pomona. While many people think we failed at both of those races we don’t. In Vegas we missed the first run because we weren’t ready and we weren’t leaving the pit unless it was perfect. Then we went to start the car and while it started it just didn’t sound right. So we found that when we ordered our new cams they gave us a 4 7 swap which changes the firing order. So when we found it we could have made the second run but didn’t want to risk it not being right. So we double check everything and got ready for Saturday. It smoked the tires both runs, but we learned from each run. So then it was onto Pomona... What an exciting race that was for the fans! On the first run it went out and shook, but the one great thing is we finally got it to 60 foot the way we wanted! It was #1 with a .885, then on the second run it was again in the top 5 60-foot times and shook again. With all the changes that had been made, we were needing to keep adjusting the clutch. So finally on the Q3 it made it to half-track and the belt came off. We had great numbers at the 330, again the best we had all year. We ran 2.35 and Alexis ran 2.33 and she went on to run a 4.10. So I would say we are on the right track. On Q4 we thought it was finally going to go, but because of some oilsdowns the air continued to get better and better and Terry was already strapped in the car so he couldn’t make any adjustments. So it went out again with a great 60 foot and then shook... HARD!
That is the end of our season, but next season is looking up. We went to the banquet and had a great time with some great people! Then we headed home. We were only home a few days and we headed to Seattle to see Kailen and that was the best part of my week! I planned a surprise birthday party at Chuck e Cheese (which he loves)... some of his friends from school came! It was a great time. Also while we were there he got to practice on his skateboard, which he was so excited!
We came home and worked for a few weeks, then Terry went and spent 3 more days with Kailen and went to his first Parent Teacher Conference. McKailen is of course doing great in school and we are so proud of him. Then on Wednesday they flew home for Thanksgiving. While he was here we decorated our tree, went to a light show, had family pictures done and then went and saw Santa. He played like a maniac which was great to see. The last night he was here we went bowling! It was the funniest thing i have ever seen! But he tried so hard. Then he tried Chicken wings! Anyone who knows this kid it was a miracle! But he loved them... We had a great time.
Now it’s back to work! Sorry for the delay, and I promise to write more over the off-season! Getting ready for Kailen to come home for Christmas, even though we have him for the first half of Christmas break again it will be fine because he loves being here and we love having him. Have a great week!