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POMOMA, California: It was the perfect way to open the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing season.
Al-Anabi silver driver Shawn Langdon won the season-opening O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winter nationals while his team-mate, Al-Anabi gold driver Khalid alBalooshi, advanced to the semi-finals.
The Qatar Al-Anabi Racing Top Fuel Team, the two-time World Championship team owned by His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Thani, leaves the first race of the season first and third in the NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel point standings. The Pomona race was the first of 24 races that make up America’s 2013 National Hot Rod Association Drag Racing season.
Langdon, the No. 7 qualifier, defeated Clay Millican, BrandonBernstein, his teammate alBalooshi and seven-time NHRA Top Fuel World Champion Tony Schumacher on his way to the winner’s circle. In the final round, Langdon ran a 3.721-second pass at 322.27 mph to win his second-career Top Fuel race, set the track record elapsed time, record the low elapsed time of the weekend and lead the Top Fuel point standings for the first time in his career.
“To come out the first race of the 2013 season and win with our new series sponsor, Mello Yello, was exactly what we wanted to do,”Langdon said.
“The Al-Anabi car ran flawlessly, and it really made my job as a driver so much easier. Just having the confidence and knowing you have a great car and a consistently fast race car was huge. We struggled a little in qualifying, but on race day, I felt we really had the car to beat.
“What we did this weekend speaks very highly of the direction Alan (Team Manager Alan Johnson) has wanted to take these cars. Our crew chiefs are just doing a phenomenal job with the race car and the new parts and pieces we’ve been using. The Al-Anabi crew gave me a great race car today, and this win was the perfect way to start the season for ourselves but also for Sheikh Khalid and the people of Qatar.”
In the first race of his second Top Fuel season, Dubai driver Khalid alBalooshi had a spectacular weekend.
AlBalooshi’s gold Top Fuel dragster was stellar all weekend consistently making excellent runs.
The Al-Anabi Racing team will be back in action February 22 to 24, at the 29th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals near Phoenix, Arizona. The Peninsula