Albalooshi puts Toyota in winner’s circle at Winternationals

The victory is the third in a row for an Al-Anabi Racing Toyota dragster at Pomona.

POMONA, Cal. (Feb. 9, 2014) – Khalid alBalooshi defeated Doug Kalitta in the Top Fuel final to win the season-opening Circle K NHRA Winternationals at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, the opening round of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.

Khalid alBalooshi
Khalid alBalooshi

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

The victory is the third in a row for an Al-Anabi Racing Toyota dragster at Pomona and marks the ninth win by a Toyota-sponsored Top Fuel car in the last 10 events at the Southern California track. The Dubai-native becomes the fourth different Al-Anabi driver to win at the track in the last nine races at Pomona.

“I’m so excited,” said alBalooshi. “I really appreciate everything my guys do out here. I felt that after Florida testing that I had a hot rod to start the season with. There’s nothing better than to leave the first race of the season with a trophy.”

He defeated Tony Schumacher, teammate and reigning World Champion Shawn Langdon and Steve Torrence on the way to the final before winning a pedal-fest against Kalitta for the victory.

Langdon and rookie Richie Crampton each registered one round win today, with Langdon beating Troy Buff and Crampton earning his first Top Fuel round win over Brittany Force. Antron Brown was upset in the opening round after qualifying third.

In Funny Cars, Del Worsham advanced to the semi-finals, defeating Chad Head and Gary Densham in the first two rounds before falling to Matt Hagan despite running a career-best 321.42 mph pass. Alexis DeJoria, who made history by becoming the first woman to ever run in the 3.9s in a Funny Car on Saturday, Cruz Pedregon and Head all lost in their opening runs.

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series next heads to the Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Chandler, Ariz., for the CARQUEST Auto Parts Nationals, Feb. 21-23.

Toyota Racing

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Series NHRA
Article type Race reports
Tags khalid albalooshi, nhra, pomona, toyota, winternationals

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