Qatar Racing Club
Sunday, February 13, 2011
Another Record, Another Win for Al-Balooshi During Round Seven at QRC
DOHA, Qatar -- Heading into the eighth and final race of the 2010-2011 Arabian Drag Racing League season, Khalid Al-Balooshi made another resounding statement on Friday to finish off a record-breaking Round Seven.
After watching his E.T. record in Pro Nitrous go momentarily to Shannon Jenkins, Al-Balooshi reached yet another stratosphere, going a breathtaking 3.781 at 199.76 miles per hour to beat Burton Auxier in the finals, re-set both ends of the world record and win his fourth race of the season.
“The air just got real good and we just decided to start laying on it and see how fast we could go,” tuner Brandon Switzer said. “The conditions were good and we came out swinging.
“I just can’t say enough about (Al-Balooshi’s) driving. He’s doing an awesome job and his driving today was spectacular.”
The Pro Nitrous final was spectacular all the way around, as Auxier, the 2010 American Drag Racing League (ADRL) PN World Champion, went 3.82 in what ended up as the quickest side-by-side PN race in history.
In Pro Extreme, Frankie Taylor and Matt Smith both went for it all, but it was Taylor who had just enough, winning for the second time in PX this season with a 5.81.
Dan Millen denied Taylor of a double-win Friday with a 3.91 in Extreme 10.5, using a .004 reaction time to pull off a holeshot win against Taylor’s career-best 3.86.
Smith was also denied a win in Pro Extreme Motorcycle, falling to Mohd Borashid (4.14) despite going 4.13 in a holeshot defeat.
After a tumultuous week that included his PX Firebird catching fire, Ellis Vial found some good news, winning the Al-Anabi Dragster class with a 4.84.
But it was Al-Balooshi who once again stole the show, nearing the 200 mph mark to cap off his incredible day. It started with 3.82 in a first-round win against Isaias Rojas and included a 3.789 in a semifinal victory against Khalid Mohamed. That set up a matchup with Auxier, who had a holeshot win against Jenkins after the “Iceman” went a then-record 3.787 in a losing effort.
A round later, Al-Balooshi put his name back in the record books and also ensured a first-round bye in next week’s Battle For The Belts by finishing atop the points standings.
“The team has been doing a great job this week. We started to work with some new stuff and everything worked great,” Al-Balooshi said.
Matt Smith set the PX record with a 3.593 that came in qualifying, but Taylor showed Friday might be his day by going 3.597 in a first-round win against points leader J.R. Todd.
He out-pedaled Joshua Hernandez in the semifinals and then did just enough to top Smith a round later.
“It was pretty cool to go .59 in a different country. We’ve been looking for that since we’ve been here,” Taylor said. “Today, she started running well.
“We’re all pretty happy. We’ve got two fast cars and they’re running, so that’s good. We worked hard all week and we’re pretty excited how it went. Next weekend is going to be big. I hope we can do well.”
Smith and Taylor both tried to dial it up for a memorable and possibly record-breaking final, but it wasn’t meant to be.
Still, Smith is encouraged about his continual improvement behind the wheel of KH Al-Thani’s Al-Anabi Racing Camaro.
“We hyped it up and we were going for it,” said Smith, who went 3.598 in a semifinal victory against Alex Hossler, winner of the previous two races.
“Hats off to Frankie. They went for it and we learned a lot. We’ve made big gains and we’re going to make a run for it.”
Taylor nearly had a double-dip in the winner’s circle, but Millen overcame some serious adversity in Extreme 10.5 for the win and the points lead heading into next week.
After going as quick as 3.79 in qualifying, Millen and his team worked feverishly to get to the line for the finals.
“It was a pretty rough night. A header broke and we had to thrash to get that fixed,” Millen said. “We got it all together and then had some issues on the line. I was a little worried, but I got lucky on the tree, so it was a good race and a good win.”
Vial went 130 mph in the 4.80 Index Class, finding some positive news after the fuel line in his PX car caught fire during testing earlier this week.
“It feels good to win anything over here,” Vial said.
Round Eight, the final race of the season at QRC, starts on Thursday.