Both Qatar Al Anabi Racing Top Fuel Team drivers went out in the first round of eliminations at the Carolina Nationals on the weekend, a rare failure for the team.
Shawn Langdon and Khalid Al Balooshi both fell flat in the first of six races that comprise the Countdown to the NHRA Championship play-offs and the 19th of 24 races that make up the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing season in the United States.
With the loss, Langdon dropped one spot to second place in the points standings. He trails new points leader Spencer Massey by 24 and leads third-place Morgan Lucas, Sunday’s race winner, by six with five races remaining in the NHRA play-offs. It is the first time since July 7 that someone other than Langdon has led the standings.
“The car really was great this weekend,” Langdon said. “We qualified well and made another excellent run in the first round, but we just got caught a little bit on the starting line and lost by two thousandths of a second. You need that race day luck and it just really wasn’t on our side today.”
Al Balooshi dropped two spots to seventh in the standings. He trails sixth-placed Clay Millican by 17 points.
“A lot of the teams in the Countdown, including ours, lost in the first round,” Al Balooshi said. “I don’t know why. The crew chiefs put in the tune-up, changed it, put in the tune-up and changed it again. I don’t know exactly what happened, but I think the weather was very tricky with the sun coming out and going back in. I think it was very hard on the crew chiefs.
“The good news is, five countdown teams lost in the first round, [so] we are still OK.
“I hope next week, at Dallas, our team will have a better race.”