DOHA, QATAR (December 7, 2010) - Shannon Jenkins will take a second-place finish for now, so long as the end result is different.
The Pro Nitrous standout has had enough of runner-up finishes in 2010 after taking second in the American Drag Racing League (ADRL) World Championships to Al-Anabi Racing teammate Burton Auxier.
That was enough motivation for Jenkins to come prepared to Doha, Qatar for Round One of the Arabian Drag Racing League, which took place last weekend at Qatar Race Club. He had his '68 Camaro ready for the first of the eight-race series, earning the top qualifying spot and posting the best E.T. of the weekend in the class.
But in the finals, Jenkins fell to Khalid Mohamad of Bahrain Racing, leaving Jenkins and his team with some work to do to meet the end goal of winning the PN title in the Arabian Series.
"We were pretty confident for the final round, after having qualified No. 1 with a 3.89 and running a 3.87 during the second round of eliminations, but we shook in the final round and just didn't get the job done like we had hoped to do," Jenkins said.
It was far from a total loss, as Jenkins' runner-up finish was the result of many long, hard hours due to testing and preparing his '68 Camaro for competition.
"We tested all week to make sure this race car was 100 percent going into this first race," Jenkins said. "Our week of testing was decent. We struggled a little bit in the beginning, but we were able to learn a few things and begin to turn this hot rod around and make good, solid runs down the race track.
"I just owe all the credit to my team; Jimmy Kane, Heath Jenkins, Jerry Elliott, Donnie Price, Steve Helkin, and Patrick Noland. Also to Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Thani and the people of Qatar for allowing us to be apart of the Al-Anabi Racing team and the opportunity to come over here and race."
Not only will Jenkins and his team be trying to get his car into the winner's circle for Round 2, but also an Al-Anabi car driven by Mahana Al-Naimi.
He was driving a '70.5 Camaro during qualifying when it went into severe tire shake and broke an axle halfway down the track. It resulted in a nasty crash, but Al-Naimi avoided any serious injuries.
"Mahana was taken to the hospital to be checked out, but he is going to be just fine," Jenkins said. "He is adjusting to this car very well, but just had a little bit of bad luck."
As for the second race this weekend, Al-Naimi will be back behind the wheel of a Pro Nitrous car, though it won't be the same one. For this upcoming race, he will be driving a '68 Camaro formerly driven by the 2009 ADRL PN World Champion, Khalid Al-Balooshi.
There were a few other new faces on the Jenkins and Al-Anabi team this year as well. Although many familiar faces returned to Qatar for the Arabian Series, several new ones, included David Reher, have proved to be valuable resources for Jenkins.
"This was the first time David Reher has come over here and he is a very important part of our team and we were very thrilled to have him over here," Jenkins said. "He very much enjoyed himself."
When asked what was expected in the remaining seven races, Jenkins was quick to respond. As expected, Jenkins aimed high.
"Gain as many points as possible, as quick as we can, so that we are on top after the eight and final race. Every round is crucial for us, but we just have to take it one round at a time," Jenkins said. "I have high expectations of our team going into the second race of the ADRL at QRC next weekend, so we will see what happens and hopefully we will get our first win of the season."
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