PHOENIX, Arizona: Five days ago, 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, basked in the glow of a season-opening win in California.
Now, in Phoenix, Arizona for the 29th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals, the team is back at work trying to improve on last weekend’s impressive performance.
After two rounds of qualifying, the team has more work to do to prepare for tomorrow’s eliminations. Qualifying resumes today with eliminations set for tomorrow.
Second-year Top Fuel driver Khalid alBalooshi, the former NHRA Pro Mod champion from Dubai, got down the track in both of his qualifying attempts and is currently the No. 10 qualifier.
“Our Al-Anabi team worked very hard to get the car ready for qualifying, but we did not run as well as well hoped,” alBalooshi said.
“This race track is very different from the one we ran in California last week, but I know Jason(crew chief Jason McCulloch) is doing his best and that we he will have our team ready for race day.
“If Sheikh Khalid was with us this weekend, he would be very proud of how hard everyone on our team is working. I am looking forward to race day.”
In a sport where teams battle to make the most power, the silver Al-Anabi car is simply making too much power for the Phoenix race track.
Silver Al-Anabi driver Shawn Langdon made two qualifying attempts, but each time, the Al-Anabi car overpowered the race track and spun the tires. Langdon is currently the No. 16 qualifier with two rounds of qualifying remaining, but the winner of the season’s opening race is not at all concerned about race day.
“When your car makes too much power for the race track, that’s a pretty good problem to have,” Langdon said.
Al-Anabi Racing operates out of multiple locations in both the United States and Qatar.
In the United States, the Brownsburg, Ind.-based operation is a two-car NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series team that is managed by Alan Johnson Racing.
Sheikh Khalid’s initiative has created increased international awareness of the nation of Qatar while highlighting the nation’s international sports outreach.
Alan Johnson is a 14-time NHRA champion in various capacities including crew chief, team owner and team manager.
For additional information on the Al-Anabi Racing Team or their drivers fans can visit www.alanabiracing.com.