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GAINESVILLE, Florida: Shawn Langdon is second at the mid-point of qualifying for this weekend’s Amalie Oil NHRA Gatornationals while his team-mate, Khalid alBalooshi is not yet qualified.
The Qatar Al-Anabi Racing Top Fuel team, the two-time NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel World Champions owned by Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Thani, is looking for its second win of the season at the sport’s only Florida stop.
Qualifying resumes today with eliminations set for tomorrow.
In the first round of qualifying, Landon’s silver Al-Anabi dragster overpowered the race track and spun the tires, but in the second round, team manager Alan Johnson and crew chief Brian Husen dialed the power down enough to make a brilliant 3.802-second pass at 324.59mph.
The run was the quickest of the weekend until Doug Kalitta ran slightly faster and snagged the No. 1 spot.
“We were definitely looking for better results after our first run, and we succeeded in the second round,” Langdon said.
“The Al-Anabi dragster was really, really fast, and we pretty much met our expectations. We only missed the No. 1 qualifier spot by one thousandth of a second so that is a good sign for the rest of our weekend. We are looking forward to a great weekend for the Al-Anabi team.”
For alBalooshi and the rest of the gold Al-Anabi team, the car simply had too much power for the race track.
One would rather have too much power than too little, but the key is managing the massive amount of power the engine produces and getting it to the race track without spinning the tires. AlBalooshi’s car lost traction with the race track on both runs, and he is currently 18th in the 22-car field. He has two more chances to make the race tomorrow.
“We did not want to start this race weekend by smoking the tires, but that is what happened to our Al-Anabi car,” alBalooshi said.
“Our car has been good this year, and I know everything will be OK. Everyone on our team is working his hardest and doing his best, but today, our car just had too much power.
“We have two more chances to get our car down the track and be ready to race on Sunday; I am confident in our crew chief (Jason McCulloch) and our team.”
Al-Anabi Racing operates out of multiple locations in both the US and Qatar.