Jenna Haddock (Photo courtesy NHRA)

Jenna Haddock, wife of veteran NHRA Funny Car racer Terry Haddock, to make Top Fuel debut next weekend in Denver

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It should get very interesting in the Haddock family household in the coming days.

Veteran Funny Car driver Terry Haddock’s days of having all the fun on a drag strip are about to end, as wife Jenna will make her debut in a Top Fuel dragster at next weekend’s 35th Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in suburban Denver.

Backed by sponsorship from Patriot Grading and Engineering of Fontana, California, Jenna Haddock will also race two weeks later at Seattle (Aug. 1-3) and in the season-ending 50th Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona, California (Nov. 13-16).

“I am beyond ecstatic to get to do this,” Jenna Haddock said in an NHRA media release. “I have been going to the races since I was a little girl and now getting to be part of the show is an honor.

“I want to thank Terry, my team and my sponsors for supporting me and believing in me enough to give me the opportunity to do this. They have worked so hard to make this happen for me. I know that we have our work cut out for us but I so badly want to make everyone proud.”

Her NHRA debut has been a long time coming. She originally earned her Super Comp license at Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School in 2008, ironically enough at Bandimere Speedway.

“I am so excited to go back to Bandimere,” Jenna Haddock said in an NHRA media release. “Now I’m returning to the mountain as a Top Fuel driver and I couldn’t have done it without him (husband Terry). It also means a lot to me to be back in Colorado, because one of my very best friends lives there and I am excited that we will continue to share our lives even now.”

Jenna Haddock’s path to Top Fuel has been a three-year progression, culminating with earning her top-of-the-line series license earlier this year at Baytown, Texas.

Mrs. Haddock will drive a dragster formerly piloted by Antron Brown and previously owned by one of the biggest powerhouses in the sport, Don Schumacher Racing.

“I just can’t thank Don Schumacher Racing enough,” Haddock said. “Everyone on the Matco team and in the fabrication shop at DSR worked hard to help us make the transition to the new car. It is a blessing to get to race and we couldn’t have done it without all of their help.”

Jenna Haddock said that while she’s looking forward to pursuing her own drag racing dreams and aspirations, she’ll continue serving on husband Terry’s pit crew.

“I will build all the racks of pistons for both cars at the shop,” Jenna Haddock said. “At the track I will continue to work on the left side of Terry’s engine. I’m not going to take on any responsibilities on my car, so I won’t be spreading myself too thin. I still want to back Terry up and you’ll probably see me out there in my firesuit.”

Patriot Grading’s president, Bascom Mellon, is looking forward to being with Jenna Haddock when she makes her debut next weekend.

“When I look at them, I see family,” Mellon said. “They represent the grass roots of drag racing; the way I remember it growing up.

“They are together at every step; working so hard and making everyone feel welcome. There is beauty in their struggle and there will be success in their fight. I respect them greatly and how hard they work. They are the kind of people I want to be around.”

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Sainz airlifted to hospital following practice crash

xxxx during final practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on October 10, 2015 in Sochi, Russia.
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Carlos Sainz Jr. has been airlifted to hospital after a big crash during the final free practice session for the Russian Grand Prix on Saturday morning.

Under braking at turn 13, Sainz lost the backend of his Toro Rosso car, causing him to hit the left-hand wall before slamming into the TecPro barrier at the end of the run-off area.

The session was immediately red flagged as medical crews tended to Sainz, taking 20 minutes to extricate him from the Toro Rosso car due to how it had pitched under the barrier.

FIA media delegate Matteo Bonciani told reporters: “The driver is conscious and is still in the process of being extricated. When we know something, we will let you know.”

After being extricated from the car, Sainz was taken away on a stretcher before being placed in an ambulance, giving a thumbs up to let fans know that he was okay. He is also reported to have been talking to doctors in the medical centre after the crash.

Sainz has now been airlifted to hospital for further checks, and is set to miss qualifying later today, with Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost telling BBC Sport: “To sit him in the car immediately seems a bit risky, but we will wait and see.”

The damage caused to the TecPro barrier has also caused the planned GP3 race to be cancelled, giving the track workers time to carry out repairs ahead of the F1 qualifying session later today.

Qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 8am ET on Saturday.

Rosberg tops shortened FP3 in Russia after Sainz crash

SOCHI, RUSSIA - OCTOBER 09:  Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP drives during practice for the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on October 9, 2015 in Sochi, Russia.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
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Nico Rosberg set the pace in final practice for the Russian Grand Prix on Saturday morning as the session was called early following a heavy crash for Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz Jr.

With 25 minutes remaining, the session was stopped when Sainz slammed into the wall at turn 13, pitching in under the TecPro barrier at the fastest point of the circuit.

A loss of power on the car meant that Toro Rosso could not make contact with its driver, causing concern as the medical crew was sent to the crash site to tend to Sainz.

Replays showed that Spaniard lost the back-end of his car under braking coming into turn 13, causing him to hit the wall on the left-hand side of the track before travelling down the track and into the wall at the end of the high-speed straight.

After being extricated from the car, Sainz was shown on TV cameras to be moving around on a stretcher, giving a thumbs up before being placed into an ambulance.

“The driver is conscious and is still in the process of being extricated,” FIA media chief Matteo Bonciani told reporters. “When we know something, we will let you know.”

Toro Rosso team boss Franz Tost added: “As far as I am informed, he is conscious. He is now with the doctor. I think that he is so far okay.”

With qualifying for the Russian Grand Prix due to start in just two hours’ time, it is unlikely that Sainz will be able to take part in the session, with Tost believing it to be “too risky”.

The amount of damage caused to the barrier could also result in delays across the course of Saturday’s running, with GP3 scheduled to race before the F1 qualifying session. The early sunset in Sochi could also cause problems towards the end of the day.