x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Motorsport: Khalid Al Balooshi to forget all about Tennessee drag races

Dubai drag racer Khalid Al Balooshi is left disappointed after early elimination from the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tennessee.

Qatar Al Anabi Racing Top Fuel driver Khalid Al Balooshi leaves the starting line at NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals last weekend. Photo courtesy of Gary Nastase
Qatar Al Anabi Racing Top Fuel driver Khalid Al Balooshi leaves the starting line at NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals last weekend. Photo courtesy of Gary Nastase

After finishing first and second two weekends ago in New Jersey, the Qatar Al Anabi Racing Top Fuel drag-racing team were brought back to Earth this past weekend in Bristol, Tennessee.

Dubai's Khalid Al Balooshi qualified sixth but lost in the first round of eliminations, and teammate Shawn Langdon was the No 7 qualifier but went out in the quarter-finals.

Al Balooshi, who raced in a new dragster, was upbeat about the team's performance in the 10th of 24 races that make up America's 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing season.

"This week in Bristol was not our week," said Al Balooshi, who remains fifth in the championship table.

"We tried hard and did our best, but it was not a good weekend for our team. I need to do a better job leaving the starting line, and I know that I will get better as I get more experience.

"We are leaving what happened this weekend in Tennessee and going to New Hampshire for a better race next weekend. I thank everyone on our team for his hard work, and I know next week will be better for our team."

The Emirati is in his second full season in the world's top drag racing competition.

With the quarter-final loss, Langdon dropped one spot to second place in the Top Fuel points standings. He trails first-place Tony Schumacher by one point and leads third-place Spencer Massey by 85 points.

"We made some good runs in the Al Anabi car this weekend, but we struggled a little bit in the heat today and smoked the tires," Langdon said. "We were trying to make another great run like we have been making in the last few races, but it just didn't work out this weekend. As hard as we try … we know we can't win every race.We've had some really good success lately winning some races and plugging away at it so we hope things will be better for us next week."

The will be back in action from Friday to Sunday at the inaugural Auto Plus NHRA New England Nationals in Epping, New Hampshire.

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