Del Worsham has made the switch from Funny Car to Top Fuel and will join his teammate, Larry Dixon, in a two-Top Fuel car team. Worsham earned his Top Fuel license during the team's pre-season testing in West Palm Beach. Fla.
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 and "Qatarin 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 "Qatarin silver across the front of his wing.
Worsham's dragster will be No. 99 as a "thank youto Al-Anabi Racing team owner, His Highness Sheik Khalid Al Thani. Some time ago, Worsham learned that the number nine is Sheik Khalid's favorite number. Worsham thought his new car's number should be No. 99 as a tribute to Al Thani.
Worsham will be working with his new crew chief, Brian Husen, who joins Worsham's team after two seasons as the assistant crew chief on Dixon's team with crew chief Jason McCulloch. Husen has worked with McCulloch and team manager Alan Johnson since the 2000 NHRA season.
Worsham won at Pomona in 2001 and '03 in a Funny Car. Last year at this event, he was the No. 2 qualifier; he defeated Jeff Arend before losing to Jack Beckman in the second round of eliminations.
Worsham has 25 wins in his Funny Car career; he is seventh on the NHRA's all-time Funny Car wins list trailing sixth place Cruz Pedregon by three wins.
Worsham prior to Pomona:
"Right now, I'm just excited like I am at the start of every season. Every year, I look forward to getting the season started, but this year, I'm extremely optimistic. After successful test in West Palm Beach last month, everything's possible. I expect this year in Top Fuel to be as competitive as it's ever been. There are a lot of great teams and a lot of great drivers so it'll be strong. I'm sure everyone else will agree with that.
"It'll be nice to have my teammate in the same class. I'm lucky because I've raced with team cars in my category for a lot of my career. For the last 10 years racing with my Dad (Chuck), we always had two cars so I've been through it already. There are a lot of positives; on race day, you hate to say it, but when you have to race your teammate, he becomes just another competitor in the other lane.
"I expect the Top Fuel competition to be the same on race day as it was in Funny Car. It may take a little while to be completely comfortable with everything in Top Fuel, but the object is still to get to the finish line first; it's the same process. Both classes start the engine, do a burnout, back up, stage the car and go on the green light. There could be some other adjustments, but the actual process is the same so that should be just as comfortable as it was in Funny Car.
"I am always ready to get the season started after being off all winter. For me, on this team, a lot of things are new, and I'm excited about racing Top Fuel. I'm looking forward to racing new people like Tony Schumacher, Doug Kalitta and Larry Dixon. We haven't raced since November, and I am just as ready to get started as I was going into my first season in 1991."
-source: al-anabi racing team