Al-Anabi Racing Team preview

Houston

Del Worsham celebrates his victory
Del Worsham celebrates his victory

Photo by: Ted Rossino

■ Del Worsham enters the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals in first place in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings; he leads his teammate, second-place Larry Dixon, by 77 points. Worsham is one of only five drivers in NHRA history to lead the point standings in both Top Fuel and Funny Car. The others are Kenny Bernstein, Don Prudhomme, Ed “The Ace” McCulloch and Gary Scelzi.

■ In the season’s first four races, Worsham has two wins and two semifinal appearances making him 11-2 in eliminations this year. Two weeks ago at the Visitmyrtlebeach.com NHRA 4-wide Nationals, Worsham claimed the first Top Fuel No. 1 qualifier of his career. He went on to win his second race of the season defeating Morgan Lucas and David Grubnic in the first round and Antron Brown and Doug Kalitta in the semifinals. In the final round, Worsham defeated teammate Larry Dixon, Spencer Massey and Shawn Langdon for his second Top Fuel win and first ever win at zMax Dragway.

■ With Worsham’s No. 1 qualifier at Charlotte, the Al-Anabi Racing team has been the No. 1 qualifier at three of the season’s first four races. Worsham’s teammate, Larry Dixon, was the No. 1 qualifier at Pomona, Calif. and Las Vegas. Worsham’s No. 1 qualifier run in the final round of Charlotte qualifying, 3.780 seconds at 325.77 mph, was the quickest and fastest run of his career. His speed on that pass was the second fastest run ever to 1000 feet.

■ Worsham won at Royal Purple Raceway in a Funny Car in 2001 and ‘08. Last year at this event, he was the No. 7 qualifier; he defeated Bob Tasca and Ashley Force Hood before losing to Jeff Arend in the Funny Car semifinals.

■ The two Al-Anabi Toyota dragsters sport similar paint schemes with different Al-Anabi logos and numbers. Worsham’s car has a gold Al-Anabi logo on each side of the car, a gold No. 99 on the wing and “Qatar” in gold across the front of the wing. Dixon’s car has a silver No. 1, a silver Al-Anabi logo on each side of the car and “Qatar” in silver across the front of his wing.

■ Worsham joined the Al-Anabi Racing team when it was founded in 2009 after driving for his family-owned Funny Car team since 1990. In 2009 and ’10, Worsham drove the Al-Anabi Racing Toyota Funny Car but joined his teammate in Top Fuel prior to the 2011 season. He competed in 22 races as a Top Fuel driver between 1993 and ’95.

Having the points lead hasn’t really set in because we’re only four races into the season...

Del Worsham

■ Worsham has 27 wins in his career with two in Top Fuel and 25 in Funny Car; he is one of only 15 drivers in NHRA history to win races in both Top Fuel and Funny Car. Worsham is seventh on the NHRA’s all-time Funny Car wins list.

Worsham prior to Royal Purple Raceway:

“It’s really been a great start to the season, and we’ll do everything we can to keep the Al-Anabi team where it is right now at the top of the point standings. There’s a lot of competition in Top Fuel, and to come out and have the kind of success we’ve had in these first four races really shows the kind of team we have at Al-Anabi Racing. It shows the level of excellence that (team owner) Sheik Khalid and (team manager) Alan Johnson require and expect. They expect perfection, and that’s what we all want to deliver.

‘Having the points lead hasn’t really set in because we’re only four races into the season, but now we’ve actually built a little points lead. We could certainly lose it, though if we don’t keep working as hard as we can. If we have a bad day, someone else can catch up to us in one race so we have to stay focused and continue to improve our race team. We’re just trying to build the Al-Anabi team to be ready for the beginning of the Countdown (Countdown to 1 NHRA Playoffs) in September. It’s all about being ready for those last six races because they determine the Full Throttle championship.

“The level of competition in Top Fuel is unreal. The number of fast cars and great teams is amazing. Three of our round wins have been by margin of less than eight thousandths of a second. That’s tight racing. Top Fuel competition this year is just extremely, extremely close. The Top Fuel drivers are very focused drivers, not that Funny Car drivers aren’t, but on every single qualifying run, these Top Fuel guys are trying to kill the tree and do the best they can do…it’s fun to be a part of it.”

***

Reigning Top Fuel Champion Larry Dixon
Reigning Top Fuel Champion Larry Dixon

Photo by: Ted Rossino

■ 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon enters the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals in second place in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings. He trails his teammate, first-place Del Worsham, by 77 points and leads third-place Antron Brown by three points.

■ Dixon is the defending champion of the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals. Last year, Dixon was the No. 1 qualifier; he defeated Del Cox, David Grubnic, Cory McClenathan and Antron Brown on his way to the winner’s circle. Dixon has three wins at Royal Purple Raceway, more than any other active driver.

■ One race ago at the Visitmyrtlebeach.com NHRA 4-Wide Nationals, Dixon was the No. 3 qualifier; he defeated Dominick Lagana and Terry McMillen in the first round and Steve Torrence and Tony Schumacher in the semifinals. In the final round, Dixon defeated Spencer Massey and Shawn Langdon but finished second to teammate Del Worsham.

■ When he advanced to the second round of the Visitmyrtlebeach.com NHRA 4-Wide Nationals, Dixon competed in his 900th career round of competition. He has 604 wins in his 901 rounds of national event completion.

■ Dixon earned eight bonus points in qualifying at Charlotte giving him a season total of 25 bonus points, more than any other Full Throttle Series driver. Last year, the Al-Anabi driver earned 130 qualifying bonus points, more than any other Top Fuel driver and 43 more than the next-highest competitor.

■ Dixon won 12 races last season, more than any other year in his career. He is the first professional driver in NHRA history to win 12 races in 12 final rounds in a season. His 12-win total was also more than any other driver in the four NHRA Full Throttle classes this year. His 12 wins happened at Pomona, Calif., Baytown, Texas, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Joliet, Ill., Englishtown, N.J., Norwalk, Ohio, Sonoma, Calif., Brainerd, Minn., Indianapolis, Charlotte and Reading, Pa.

■ Dixon leads the NHRA’s all-time Top Fuel final-round appearances list with 105 final rounds. Tony Schumacher is second with 104 final-round appearances.

■ Dixon’s average qualifying position so far this season is 2.25, better than any other Top Fuel driver. He has been the No. 1 qualifier 50 times in his career placing him ninth on the NHRA’s all-time No. 1 qualifier list for all classes. He trails eighth-place Don Prudhomme by two No. 1s; Warren Johnson heads the list with 138.

■ Dixon is one of the only four NHRA Full Throttle Series drivers with 600-career round wins. The others are John Force, Kenny Bernstein and Warren Johnson. Dixon is fourth on the NHRA’s career round-wins list with 604 round wins; Bernstein is third with 681 round wins. Dixon won 62 rounds last season which is his career best and second most ever in Top Fuel; Tony Schumacher won 76 rounds in 2008.

You just try to make the best run you can with the given conditions whether it’s qualifying or race day.

Larry Dixon

■ Dixon won the NHRA Top Fuel championship in 2002, ’03 and ‘10. He is second on the NHRA’s all-time Top Fuel winner’s list with 60 victories; Tony Schumacher tops the list with 67 wins. Dixon is seventh on the NHRA’s all-time career victories list for all professional categories; Greg Anderson is in sixth place with 66 wins. Dixon was the 1995 NHRA Rookie of the Year.

Dixon prior to Royal Purple Raceway:

“After four races, we’re definitely going the right way with the two Al-Anabi cars. Del has two wins, we have one final round. Being 1-2 in the points, I’d say things are going pretty well so far. Add to that the national ET record we set in Pomona, and I’d say the season is off to a pretty good start.

“You hope that, eventually, the qualifying performances will carry over to race day. You just try to make the best run you can with the given conditions whether it’s qualifying or race day. So far, we’ve done well and been able to help our effort with qualifying bonus points. That has certainly helped our cause, but we continue to try to do the best we can on each run and hope it’s enough.

“Running well at Houston is dependent on the weather conditions. If the air is cool, you can see national-record conditions there, which we’ve had in the past. If the weather is warm, the track gets hot, and it ends up being one of the looser tracks on the Full Throttle tour. That puts a premium on the tuners. Jason (Dixon crew chief Jason McCulloch), Brian (Worsham crew chief Brian Husen) and Alan (team manager Alan Johnson) will work on the power level of the engines, the clutch and timing mapping to make the best run you can for the given conditions.”

-source: al-anabi racing team

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Larry Dixon , Kenny Bernstein , Warren Johnson , Del Worsham , John Force , Tony Schumacher , Gary Scelzi , Doug Kalitta , Greg Anderson , David Grubnic , Cory McClenathan , Don Prudhomme , Ashley Force , Morgan Lucas , Jeff Arend , Steve Torrence , Shawn Langdon , Dominick Lagana , Spencer Massey , Terry McMillen
Tags full throttle, larry dixon, spring nationals, top fuel, toyota, worsham