TOPEKA, Kansas: Both teams that comprise the Qatar Al-Anabi Racing Top Fuel team, the three-time and defending NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel World Champions owned by H E, Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Thani, made impressive runs during qualifying for the NHRA Kansas Nationals, the eighth of 24 events that make up the United States’ 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.
Reigning NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel World Champion Shawn Langdon, the defending champion of the NHRA Kansas Nationals, made a very strong qualifying attempt and is fourth with a 3.802-second run at more than 317 mph. The Al-Anabi car was certainly capable of running quicker and faster, but the threat of bad weather made it imperative to be a bit conservative on the first run to be sure the car went down the race track without smoking the tires.
Shortly after the first qualifying run, heavy rain began falling at Heartland Park Topeka, and the evening’s second qualifying run was cancelled.
Additional rain is forecast yesterday.
“Today’s run was good start for the Al-Anabi team,” Langdon said. “With the threat of bad weather tonight and possibly tomorrow, too, it was important to get both Al-Anabi cars down the track to be sure we had solid qualifying positions. We are solid at fourth and fifth (Khalid alBalooshi) for now. Depending on weather, if we’re able to make a run, we’ll definitely attack the track a bit more because it was really good,” he commented.
“So if we get another run in, we hope to move up a couple of spots to improve our position for race day on Sunday,” he added.
Khalid alBalooshi also made an excellent run yesterday as his 3.821-second run at nearly 320 mph put him in the fifth position after the first day of qualifying.
Crew chief Jason McCulloch and the rest of the gold Al-Anabi team made a somewhat conservative run to be sure alBalooshi’s dragster made a successful run and claimed a good qualifying position.
“Our team was very smart today,” alBalooshi said.
“We have a very good hot rod that could have been at the top of the show, but with bad weather, Jason wanted to be sure we qualified. We made a conservative run, and we are fifth,” he stated after the stage.THE PENINSULA