Middle East driver wins NHRA Top Fuel
Khalid alBalooshi has taken his second career NHRA Mello Yello Series victory for Al-Anabi Racing at Norwalk in Ohio, whilst his team-mate Shawn Langdon has retaken the Top Fuel points lead after a semi-final appearance.
alBalooshi knocked out heavy hitter Antron Brown – who hasn’t been enjoying the form he would like of late, veteran Chris Karamesinis – who himself claimed the scalp of former points leader Tony Schumacher and Clay Millican in a fairly regulation run to the final round.
There he got by top qualifier Doug Kalitta who defeated Troy Buff, Spencer Massey and Langdon.
Australian team Rapisarda Autosport International qualified 13th however Larry Dixon narrowly missed out on beating Bob Vandergriff in round one despite getting the holeshot. The other Aussie in the field, Dave Grubnic’s troubles continued, being knocked out by Massey in round one – like Dixon he got the holeshot off the line.
Of the four finals he’s made this year Johnny Gray has won every single won, this weekend heading Ron Capps. The pair set an identical 4.103 second run in the final, Gray’s six one-thousandths (0.06) of a second holeshot being the difference. So evenly matched were the pair that just 0.07mph separated their speed at the line!
“We struggled pretty good for about three races,” said Gray. “We were getting a little frustrated because we threw everything but the kitchen sink at the car, and it just wouldn’t respond. Now, it’s going right down the racetrack and doing everything we want it to do. (Crew chief) Rob Wendland just does an awesome job.”
He beat out Alexis DeJoria, Chad Head and Jack Beckman on the way to the decider, whilst Capps defeated Jeff Arend, Matt Hagan and last round winner, Courtney Force.
John Force top qualified but was knocked out in the second round by Beckman.
Matt Hagan maintained his points lead.
Mike Edwards took his fourth win of the year beating out Allen Johnson in Pro Stock car.
He beat Mark Hogan, Rickie Jones and Vincent Nobile on his charge to the final and maintained his Championship lead.
Johnson had a bye in round one before topping Jason Line and Shane Gray. Greg Anderson was a shock first round loser when he red lighted against Line.
PRO STOCK MOTORCYCLE
Matt Smith took his first win since 2011 defeating Scotty Pollachek in the final. It was a big day for the Smith family with his father winning the Pro Mod (Top Doorslammer) category.
Smith got past Hector Arana Sr., Michael Ray and John Hall to the final. Hector Arana Jr. kept the points lead despite red lighting in his opening round matchup.
After three weeks in succession, the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will take a two week hiatus before returning with the Mile High Nationals in Denver July 19-21.