Terry Haddock has always been a do-it-yourself kind of racer. He owns the team, drives the car, tunes the car, works on the car and even drives the transporter from race to race. Now Haddock has taken a huge step in the advancement of his race program by hiring veteran tuner, Wayne Dupuy as full-time crew chief on his Acme Refining Toyota Funny Car.
It was a difficult decision for Haddock to make but he knew the time had come for him to do something. Increased demands on his time, including growing a young business, a very recent marriage to fellow racer, Jenna Reich, and raising two young boys, in addition to handling his Funny Car program in a very competitive class, all led Haddock to taking the big step
“It was super hard for me to decide to hire a crew chief,” explained Haddock, “but I am smart enough to know that I have to step back to go forward. I am only one person and I have only been able to give 75% to any one job and not been very successful at any of them.”
Dupuy was the one that made the first step in starting the dialogue with Haddock.
“Wayne called me and made the suggestion of coming on board with us,” said Haddock. “I really wasn’t looking but the more I thought about it and talked with Wayne, I realized this was the right time. Wayne was the right fit for us because he was willing to come to the shop and start all over from the beginning. He has the work ethic that shows he’s dedicated. He didn’t take my word for anything. We took everything apart and reassembled it all. This has given us confidence in the car, the parts and each other. I think this is a good way to start our relationship.
“I now expect to continue to build on that confidence and look forward to becoming a regular qualifier and to begin going rounds on race day.”
The talented Dupuy brings over 20 years of expertise to the team. He has been successful in both Top Fuel and Funny Car, tuning some of the best in the business, like Joe Amato, Doug Herbert, Cruz Pedregon, Cristen Powell, Johnny Gray and most recently Mike Salinas.
In 2005, Dupuy suffered severe injuries in a single car accident and has been through extensive rehabilitation.
“Because of my accident, I have to start all over,” said Dupuy. “My brother (Jim Dupuy, a popular crew chief in his own right) suggested I call Terry. I find it a challenge working for a smaller team. I’m back where I started and hope to move forward and soon be back on top.
“Terry and I have gone through the car; made some changes and put my set-up in it. I’m getting them more organized. They have more than I expected for a small team and its all good stuff. They just never get to put it together and get organized.”
Dupuy expects to see improvements in the Acme Refining Funny Car but knows that it doesn’t come easily. It will take hard work by everyone involved.
“I expect things to go smoothly when we get out on the track,” said Dupuy. “But I don’t expect to set the world on fire. I want to get the crew and everything on the right track. You know, you can’t buy success. You have to work for it and that’s what we are doing.”
The team tested at Houston Motorsports Park this past weekend before heading to
Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis for the 58th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Auto-Plus, Aug. 29-Sept. 3. It is the 17th of 23 events in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
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