PHOENIX, Arizona: Qatar’s Al Anabi racing top fuel team, owned by Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Thani, advanced to the semifinals in the second race of the year yesterday in Phoenix, Arizona in the United States.
The Phoenix race was the second of 23 races that make up America’s 2012 National Hot Rod Association Drag Racing season.
UAE native Khalid Al Balooshi was the no. 9 qualifier at the NHRA Arizona Nationals. In the first round of eliminations, rookie driver Al Balooshi faced veteran Morgan Lucas. Despite a valiant effort in which Al Balooshi made his best run yet as a top fuel driver recording a 3.808-second pass, Lucas advanced to the second round by leaving the starting line before Al Balooshi. Al Balooshi leaves Phoenix in 11th place in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings. He trails the drivers tied for 10th place, Doug Kalitta and Brandon Bernstein, by 18 points and leads 12th place David Grubnic by one point.
“In the first round, Morgan Lucas had a very good reaction time, and he won the round,” Al Balooshi said.
“He did a good job, and I did not do a perfect job. I have to do better with the reaction time. I appreciate how hard everybody on our Al Anabi Team is working, and I appreciate Sheikh Khalid for giving me this chance.”
In the silver Al Anabi Racing Top Fuel car, Al Balooshi’s teammate, Shawn Langdon, was the no. 1 qualifier. It was Langdon’s first no. 1 qualifier of the season and the second of his career.
In eliminations, Langdon defeated Troy Buff and Morgan Lucas before losing to eventual race winner Antron Brown in the semifinals when the Al Anabi dragster lost traction early in the run.
Langdon moves up one spot and leaves Phoenix in fifth place in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings. He trails fourth-place Morgan Lucas by four points and leads sixth-place Clay Millican by 13 points.
The Al Anabi Racing team will be back in action on March 9tp 11, 2012 at the 43rd annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway in Florida.