Al-Anabi Racing Team Atlanta preview

Al-Anabi Racing Team Atlanta preview

Atlanta Dragway

■ Del Worsham enters the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals in first place in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings; he leads his teammate, second-place Larry Dixon, by 95 points. With his 505-point total, Worsham is the first NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series driver to reach the 500-point level this season.

... the reason we’re in the position we’re in is the consistency this team has every week.

Del Worsham

■ Worsham won the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals in Baytown, Texas on May 1; it was his third win of the season. He was the No. 6 qualifier; he defeated Bob Vandergriff, David Grubnic, Doug Kalitta, and for the second time in as many races, he defeated teammate Larry Dixon in the finals. With his win, Worsham became just the second driver in Royal Purple Raceway history to win races at the suburban Houston track in both Top Fuel and Funny Car. The other is ESPN broadcaster, Mike Dunn.

Worsham prior to Atlanta Dragway: “The one thing that made all of this feel real, more than anything else, is when someone came up to me and compared the way our season has started to what Gary Scelzi did with Alan (Al-Anabi team manager Alan Johnson) in 1997 and what Tony Schumacher did with him in 2008. When our season is on par with those two years, it kind of clicked for me that something special is going on with our Al-Anabi team. I’m not sure, but I think we’re a round ahead of both of those seasons so that shows that our season has gotten off to an amazing start.

“I think that’s the biggest reality check so far. Because we’re just doing what we do; we’re having fun and winning some races, but when those comparisons were mentioned to me, I realized how special these first five races have been.

“The entire Al-Anabi performance including Larry’s team, the reason we’re in the position we’re in is the consistency this team has every week. It’s also because of the work Alan, Brian (crew chief Brian Husen), Jason (Dixon crew chief Jason McCulloch) and the team have been doing for months to get ready. The car’s performance is unreal and amazing. That we’ve been in 17 rounds and only smoked the tires twice because of mechanical issues each time shows the kind of work this team has done, and I’m just lucky to be the guy driving the car.”

“Atlanta has been special to me since I started racing because of that first win. I always think back to that time in 1991 when I crossed the finish line. I thought then, that if I never did anything else in racing, I’d always have that win. But now here we are 20 years later with this amazing season happening and leading the Top Fuel points; it’s kind of hard to believe how it’s all worked out.”

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■ 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon enters the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals in second place in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings. He trails his teammate, first-place Del Worsham, by 95 points and leads third-place Antron Brown by 47 points.

Larry Dixon in his Al-Annabi Racing Top Fuel Dragster
Larry Dixon in his Al-Annabi Racing Top Fuel Dragster

Photo by: Ted Rossino

■ Despite being winless this season, Dixon’s car is actually out-performing points leader Del Worsham’s car. Dixon set the national elapsed time record earlier this season when his silver Al-Anabi Racing dragster covered 1000 feet in 3.770 seconds at Pomona, Calif. in February. Dixon leads the Full Throttle Series with 28 qualifying bonus points while Worsham is tied for third in Top Fuel with 11.

Dixon prior to Atlanta Dragway: “Our Al-Anabi team is having an awesome year. Obviously we don’t have any trophies on our side of the shop to show for it, but I think for a two-car team, we’ve done as well as we possibly could so far.

“Frustrated would be a strong word. The last couple of races, we’ve lost to our Al-Anabi teammate. When you’re doing up against your own team, it’s a different dynamic. You lose, but your team wins. So I’m not frustrated; we just don’t have any trophies to show for our season yet. But if you compare last year to this year, we’ve scored as many points as we had this time last year, and we’re at the same points position we were this time last year. So as a whole, we’re doing great.

“It’s always nice to return to a race track as the defending champion, but as a competitor, what I get the most out of is that we have a lot of successful data from running at these race tracks. You hope the conditions are similar to what we’ve had last year or the year before some of that experience will apply to this year.”

-source: al-anabi racing team

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Larry Dixon , Mike Dunn , Del Worsham , Tony Schumacher , Gary Scelzi , Doug Kalitta , David Grubnic , Bob Vandergriff
Tags del worsham, full throttle, larry dixon, southern nationals, top fuel