DOHA AL ANABI RACING silver Top Fuel driver Shawn Langdon is fifth and his teammate Khalid al Balooshi is sixth at the mid-point of qualifying for the 12th annual Big O Tires NHRA Nationals on The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The two-time, defending NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel World Championship team, owned by His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad al Thani, is in the fifth of six races that make up the countdown to the Championship NHRA Playoffs.
Langdon entered the event 140 points off the first place in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings.
Eliminations are set for Sunday after the qualifying on Saturday.
Langdon and his silver Al Anabi team still have slim hopes of winning the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel World Championship, but an excellent performance this weekend in Las Vegas is must to get the team back into position to win the team’s thirdconsecutive World Championship when the season ends in two weeks at Pomona, California.
Langdon is currently the No 5 qualifier; the team made an excellent pass in Friday’s first session with a 3.815-second effort at 323.19 mph to claim the No. 3 position, but in the evening session, the silver Al Anabi car had a stellar start before smoking the tires, allowing two drivers to move past Langdon in the standings relegating him to No 5
“The Al Anabi car made a great pass in the first round,” Langdon said. “In the second round, that car was on a really fast pass before it smoked the tires. If it had held on, we might have been No 1, but that’s OK.
“We are solidly in the show for Sunday, and we have two more rounds to improve our position and be ready for a great day on Sunday. We really want to win this World Championship for Sheikh Khalid, and we’re doing everything we can to get that done.” On the other side of the Al Anabi pit area, Dubai rookie driver Khalid al Balooshi had some engine problems yet still made a very solid run in the first round with a 3.897-second pass and was seventh. Several drivers moved around him early in the second round, but when Balooshi ran, it was his best pass of the weekend so far, a 3.839-second pass at 308.14 mph to move up to the No. 6 position.
“Our team made two good runs in qualifying, and we are in a good position,” Balooshi said. “It is good to follow our first race win with a good qualifying effort. We have two more qualifying runs improve our position, but we want to be ready to race on Sunday and try to get our second win of the season.”