Khalid alBalooshi won the season-opening NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event at historic Auto Club Raceway at Pomona near Los Angeles. alBalooshi claimed his third career victory by holding off event top qualifier and fellow Red Line equipped competitor Doug Kalitta in the Mac Tools dragster in the final round. The Dubai native who now lives in Los Angeles finished in 3.974 at 324.36 in his Al-Anabi Racing Top Fuel dragster, while Kalitta’s Mac Tools dragster lost traction at mid-track and slowed to a 5.368 at 143.40.
To take the victory, alBalooshi also raced past Tony Schumacher, teammate Shawn Langdon and Steve Torrence in earlier rounds.
Earlier in the weekend, Doug Kalitta, driver of the “Big Red” Mac Tools Top Fuel dragster, parlayed the third quickest run in NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series history into the No. 1 qualifying spot for the Winternationals. Kalitta’s jaw-dropping 3.713-second pass was also a track record and a career best for the 17-year drag racing veteran. It is Kalitta’s 37th No. 1 qualifying spot in Top Fuel.
“We had a strong day today,” said alBalooshi. “It's a good win, especially when you have Tony Schumacher first round, Shawn Langdon second round, and 'Steve-O' (Torrence), who's been doing a good job. Doug's car was the best car all weekend, so it made it a very big day for us to take him down in the final and get the trophy.”
Another Red Line driver, Patron Spirits-sponsored Toyota-powered Funny Car pilot Alexis DeJoria, became the first woman in NHRA drag-racing history to make a pass of under four seconds in a funny car. During round three of qualifying for the in Pomona, DeJoria made an incredible pass of 3.997 seconds at 318.32 mph. That was the quickest time for a woman driving funny cars since the National Hot Rod Assn. in mid-2008 went to 1,000-foot races for funny cars and top-fuel dragsters, the other 300-mph class in its premier Mello Yello Series. Check out her latest video to learn more about the rush of driving a funny car.