Qatar’s Al Anabi eye repeat show in Norwalk challenge

July 03, 2014 - 1:04:55 am
Khalid AlBalooshi begins a qualifying run on Saturday in Joliet, Illinois.  AlBalooshi is the defending champion of this weekend’s NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event near Cleveland, Ohio.  

NORWALK, Ohio: When things are going as planned, sometimes returning to a place of great success can help get things back on track.  

For the Qatar Al Anabi Racing Top Fuel team, the three-time and defending World Championship team owned by Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Thani, the team hopes that returning to a race track on which it has won four of the last five races will be just what the doctor ordered. 

Khalid AlBalooshi is the defending champion of this weekend’s 8th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, the 13th of 24 races making up the United States’ 2014 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.  

Qualifying is set for tomorrow and the day after with eliminations scheduled for Sunday. 

For AlBalooshi, going back to the place where he won last year just feels good.

“I am very excited to back to Norwalk this week,” AlBalooshi said.  

“From last year when I won the race there, I have been thinking about when I go back there. I think it will feel good to get back to Norwalk because I know I have done this before. I will not have any thoughts about not being able to win there because I won there last year, and that will give me an advantage,” he sadi.  “Norwalk is also a very good race track for our team so that is good, too.” 

Yes it is.  Seldom does a team dominate a race track the way the Al-Anabi Racing Team has dominated in Norwalk, Ohio.  

As the United States celebrates is birthday this weekend, fans will enjoy fireworks at the race track just an hour southwest of Cleveland, but AlBalooshi and his team are hoping to celebrate another victory.  

They hope the return to Norwalk will help them solve the mechanical issues the team has dealt with in the last several races.  

Recent performance may not show it, but the team is fixing its problems one by one and slowly gaining on the return to form for which everyone strives. 

“With Jason (crew chief Jason McCulloch) and the rest of our Al Anabi team, I am always confident,” AlBalooshi said.  

“I know we are still finding out a lot of things about the car, but everyone is doing their job to get our car back where it needs to be,” he said.

“The Al Anabi team is putting everything together to give me the best car it can, especially now that we found a big problem in New Hampshire.