Langdon No 1 qualifier in rain-delayed Atlanta race

TRIBUNE NEWS NETWORK

DOHA THE Qatar Al Anabi Racing Top Fuel Team, the twotime NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel World Champions owned by His Excellency Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad asl Thani, is the No. 1 qualifier for the second time in the last three NHRA races, according to reports from Commerce, Georgia.

Last week, persistent rain showers forced National Hot Rod Association officials to postpone the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals until this weekend, and Al the Anabi Racing Top Fuel team has made the most of the rescheduled event so far.

This weekend’s race is the seventh of 24 events making up the United States’ 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

When the race was rained out last weekend, the NHRA re-scheduled the event to this weekend with two qualifying attempts, rather than the usual four, on Friday and eliminations scheduled for Saturday instead of Sunday allowing fans and racers to be together with their families at home for Mother’s Day. The Al Anabi team appears to like abbreviated qualifying.

In the first round of qualifying, silver Al Anabi driver Shawn Langdon was second with a 3.864-second pass in the mid-afternoon heat.

With cooler conditions in the late afternoon, the silver Al Anabi car blasted down the drag strip with a brilliant 3.791-second run at 324.36 mph setting track records for both elapsed time and speed while scoring his second No.

1 qualifier of the season - his second in the last three races and the eighth of his career.

“That was a great run for the Al Anabi team,” Langdon said. “With only two rounds of qualifying this weekend, we were a little conservative on the first run to make sure we got down the racetrack. We accomplished that and found a lot of areas that we could improve on, and I think that showed a little bit on the second run. The Al Anabi team is really running well right now; if we keep working, we know we can win another race for Sheikh Khalid soon.” Dubai driver Khalid al Balooshi was seventh after the first round of qualifying in his gold Al Anabi car. In his second and final qualifying attempt, Balooshi’s dragster was on an excellent run – possibly better than Langdon’s – when the crankshaft on the car broke; the Al Anabi car went silent and coasted to the finish line. Balooshi is the No. 12 qualifier.

Balooshi races No. 12 qualifier David Grubnic in the first round of eliminations.

Langdon races No. 16 qualifier, Morgan Lucas, Langdon’s close friend and former teammate.

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