NHRA Texas Fall Nationals Preview Notes And Quotes: Al-Anabi Racing

Discussion in 'NHRA Headlines' started by John Kernan, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. The Al-Anabi Racing Team and His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Thani
    27th Annual AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals
    NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series
    Texas Motorplex; Ennis, Texas
    Pre-event Notes and Quotes

    Shawn Langdon, Al-Anabi Racing Top Fuel Dragster (silver):

    Residence: Avon, Ind.
    Hometown: Mira Loma, Calif.
    Date of birth: Sept. 3, 1982
    Crew chief: Brian Husen
    Al-Anabi Racing Team Owner: His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Thani
    Al-Anabi Racing Team Manager: Alan Johnson
    Alan Johnson Racing Owner: Alan Johnson
    2012 wins/final rounds: 1/2 (.500)
    Career wins/final rounds: 1/7 (.143)
    2012 No. 1 qualifiers: 3
    Career No. 1 qualifiers: 4
    Best points finish: 5th (2010)
    Countdown to the Championship NHRA Playoffs appearances: 4 (2009, ’10, ’11, ‘12)
    First start: Pomona 1, 2009
    Career-best elapsed time: 3.740 seconds (Indianapolis, 2012)
    Career-best speed to 1000 feet: 326.71 mph (Charlotte2, 2012)

    ■ Shawn Langdon won his first-career Top Fuel race Sunday night in Charlotte at the rain-delayed O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals. The win came in his second final-round appearance of the season and the seventh of his career. Langdon defeated Chris Karamesines, Bob Vandergriff, Brandon Bernstein and Tony Schumacher on his way to the winner’s circle. Langdon began the Countdown in seventh place in points, but the win moved him up four places to third.

    Langdonenters the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals in third place in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings, his highest points position of the season. He trails second-place place Spencer Massey by nine points and leads fourth-place Antron Brown by nine points. He trails points leader Tony Schumacher by 19 points with five races remaining in the Countdown to the Championship NHRA Playoffs.

    Langdon was the No. 1 qualifier in Charlotte; it was his second consecutive No. 1 qualifier, his third of the season and the fourth of his career. Langdon is the first Top Fuel driver to post back-to-back No. 1 qualifiers this season. Langdon has qualified in the top five at 13 of the 18 races including each of the last five. His average qualifying position this season is 4.78.

    The last four races have been quite impressive for Langdon and the silver Al-Anabi team. In those events, Langdon has a win, a runner-up finish and a semifinal finish in addition to two No. 1 qualifiers. He has advanced to at least the semifinals at six races this season including three of the last four.

    Last year in Dallas, the Al-Anabi team qualified second and fifth but both drivers were upset in the second round. Langdon, driving for Morgan Lucas Racing, was the No. 10 qualifier last year; he lost to Spencer Massey in the first round of eliminations.

    Langdon’s win this past weekend in Charlotte broke the Al-Anabi team’s 17-race winless streak; it was, by far, the longest winless streak in Al-Anabi Racing Team history. The team endured four-race winless streaks twice in 2009 and twice in 2011, but until this year, the team had never gone more than four races without a victory showing the remarkable consistency the Al-Anabi team has exhibited since it was created in 2009.

    ■ Langdon has qualified for the Countdown to the Championship NHRA Playoffs in each of his three previous seasons driving a Top Fuel car. He finished ninth in the final NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings last season after finishing fifth in 2010, his career best. In his rookie season, he finished ninth in the season standings.

    Langdon joined the Al-Anabi Racing team prior to the 2012 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season. He won the 2007 and ’08 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Super Comp championships and the 1997 NHRA Junior Dragster championship in the 14-under division making him a three-time NHRA national series champion.

    Langdon prior to Dallas:
    “It feels great to get the win for Sheikh Khalid, and it feels great to get the win for the Al-Anabi crew. They’ve been working so hard this year and have kept their heads up all season. Nobody on the Al-Anabi crew got discouraged or gave up. Everybody kept going with the plan of attack, and we finally got the win in Charlotte.
    “When I woke up Monday morning, the first thing that popped into my head was ‘wow; I can’t believe I finally did it. We finally got the win and got the monkey off our back.’ It was pretty overwhelming to respond to all of the calls, tweets, texts and e-mails I got Sunday night. The number of friends, family and fans that reached out to me really made me feel good. I didn’t realize how much support was really out there pulling for the Al-Anabi team all year long.
    “With all of the positive responses from the fans out there, it’s clear a lot of people were excited for us. I have some fans who have followed my progress through the years, but there are a lot of Al-Anabi Racing fans out there that want to see another car in the mix for the championship. A lot of people are also Alan Johnson fans, and they like to see him continue to do well and challenge for a third-straight Full Throttle championship.
    “We made a great jump in points, but I really believe this championship battle will come down to Pomona with a couple of different drivers. It’s great to get the first win out of the way at the first Countdown event, but it’s no time to slack off. We have to keep working hard, keep getting stronger and keep getting better. The Al-Anabi team has a great race car, but we know the other guys in the Countdown do, too. He may not be in the Countdown, but alBalooshi’s car is running really well now, too, so alBalooshi can definitely play a role in deciding the championship this year. Those guys could definitely win one of these last five races.
    “It’s very important for us to follow the Charlotte win with a good performance this weekend in Dallas. We’re in third place in points and a round out of the lead, but with only six races in the Countdown, it’s crucial for us to make every race count. If you have a bad race, you can drop down as fast as we jumped up so it’s crucial for us to keep our momentum up.”



    Khalid alBalooshi, Al-Anabi Racing Top Fuel Dragster (gold):

    Residence: Los Angeles, Calif.
    Hometown: Dubai, UAE
    Date of Birth: July 27, 1979
    Crew Chief: Jason McCulloch
    Al-Anabi Racing Team Owner: His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Thani
    Al-Anabi Racing Team Manager: Alan Johnson
    Alan Johnson Racing Owner: Alan Johnson
    2012 wins/final rounds: 0/0 (.000)
    Career wins/final rounds: 0/0 (.000)
    2012 No. 1 Qualifiers: 0
    Career No. 1 qualifiers: 0
    Career-best points finish: 0
    Countdown to the Championship NHRA Playoffs appearances: None
    First professional start: Pomona1, 2012
    Career-best elapsed time: 3.768 seconds (Topeka, 2012)
    Career-best speed: 326.56 mph (Topeka, 2012)


    ■ Khalid alBalooshi enters the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals in 12th place in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings. He trails 11th-place Clay Millican by 20 points and leads 13th-place Terry McMillen by 111 points. Since he did not make the Countdown to the Championship NHRA Playoffs, the best alBalooshi can finish this season is 11th place in points. AlBalooshi is competing for the 2012 Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award which recognizes NHRA’s Rookie of the Year.

    ■ AlBalooshi was the No. 7 qualifier this past weekend in Charlotte, and he defeated points leader Antron Brown in the first round of eliminations. In the second round, the clutch on the gold Al-Anabi dragster failed to activate, and alBalooshi lost to Spencer Massey.

    ■ AlBalooshi has advanced to the second round of eliminations at five of the last six races including each of the last four. That represents significant progress after the rookie driver from Dubai, UAE lost in the first round at the season’s first 12 races.

    ■ Entering this weekend’s race near Dallas, alBalooshi has made 135 passes in the Al-Anabi car including pre-season and in-season testing. For perspective, the driver alBalooshi replaced, 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel world champion Del Worsham, finished last season with approximately 2,639 runs. AlBalooshi is up to 135 total passes - he has a long way to go to catch up with the driver he replaced at Al-Anabi Racing.

    ■ AlBalooshi chose the No. 99 for the Al-Anabi Racing gold dragster as a tribute to Al-Anabi Racing team owner His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Thani because nine is Sheikh Khalid’s favorite number. Since alBalooshi’s teammate, Shawn Langdon, finished ninth in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings last season, the Al-Anabi silver car also runs Sheikh Khalid’s favorite number.

    AlBalooshi joined the Al-Anabi Racing Team as a Pro Mod driver when it was formed in 2009 racing in both Arabian Drag Racing League and American Drag Racing League competition. He is the 2011 NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod champion. Prior to joining the Top Fuel portion of the Al-Anabi Racing Team in 2012, he had 158 career race wins in various classes of competition.

    AlBalooshi prior to Dallas:
    “The Al-Anabi team is getting better and better every week, and I think everyone on the team is excited that we are running better. Our goal for the last five races is to win a race and finish 11th in points. Last week in Charlotte, we had a very good weekend, but there was a problem with the car in the second round and we lost. That is how it goes, but we all feel good about our team; we are getting more confident every race. As long as we keep getting better, everything will be OK.”

    From: Rob Goodman

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