Saturday, March 10, 2012


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GAINESVILLE, Florida - - The Qatar Al-Anabi Racing Top Fuel team, owned by His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Thani, got off to a fantastic start at the third race of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing season in Gainesville, Florida in the United States.  At the midway point of qualifying, the silver Al-Anabi Top Fuel team is the No. 1 qualifier at the NHRA Tire Kingdom Gatornationals.  The two-car Al-Anabi Top Fuel team won the last two NHRA Top Fuel world championships.
Shawn Langdon, the driver of the silver Al-Anabi Top Fuel dragster recorded the quickest and fastest run of the weekend so far with a brilliant 3.800-second pass at 322.65 mph.  If the No. 1 qualifier holds through the remaining two rounds of qualifying, it would be Langdon’s second consecutive No. 1 qualifier and the third of his career.
“The Al-Anabi car is awesome, and it’s flying,” Langdon said.  “It’s hard to be the No. 1 qualifier because there are so many good-running cars.  I tried hard for three years, and I got it one time and then a long spell of not getting a No. 1 qualifier.  To start our season with a No. 1 qualifier at the second race and take the provisional No. 1 at the third race is a great feeling that builds a lot of confidence for the driver, and it’s a good way to start the year. The car was straight as an arrow.  It left great, and it left straight; when you’re running 322 mph, it’s a good feeling when it holds.  Thanks to Sheikh Khalid for the opportunity; I hope we can get him a win on Sunday.”
In the Al-Anabi Racing gold Top Fuel car, rookie Top Fuel racer Khalid alBalooshi continued to improve with a very solid 3.852-second pass at 315.64 mph.  He is No. 7 after the first two rounds of qualifying. After the tires on the Al-Anabi dragster lost traction in the first round,  alBalooshi was not qualified for the race on Sunday.  His second pass showed the deft touch of a veteran as the rookie from Dubai successfully guided the 8,000 horse power machine down the track getting the team comfortably in the show.
“The second run was a good run,” alBalooshi said.  “The Al-Anabi team was smart to run a conservative 3.85 to make sure we qualified the car.  It was not the time to look for a big number; we just need to be in the show for Sunday.  Tomorrow, we will try for a better number, but I feel very good.  Everything is good, and I thank Sheikh Khalid for giving me the chance to drive the Al-Anabi car.”
After two additional rounds of qualifying on Saturday, both Al-Anabi teams will compete in eliminations on Sunday.
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, team manager Alan Johnson or drivers Khalid alBalooshi or Shawn Langdon, please visit

Photo 7189: Dubai rookie Top Fuel driver Khalid alBalooshi leaves the starting line with his front tires in the air as the gold AL-Anabi Top Fuel dragster races to the No. 7 qualifier position at the Tire Kingdom NHRA Nationals in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo courtesy Ron Lewis)

Photo 7306: Al-Anabi silver Top Fuel dragster driver Shawn Langdon racesto the provisional No. 1 qualifier during the second qualifying session Friday in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo courtesy: Ron Lewis)