DOHA, QATAR --
After losing on a holeshot during the semifinals of Round One in Pro Nitrous, Al-Balooshi's car broke after qualifying first during the opening round.
This time, though, Al-Balooshi and his talented team overcame the adversity, turning two weeks of disappointment into a resounding celebration. A popped manifold got fixed in time, and Al-Balooshi ended up with a 3.83 at 195.14 miles per hour, which not only gave him the Round Two title, but also set both records in the process.
In the winner's circle, a thankful Al-Balooshi was thrilled to deliver the win to a team that worked unbelievably hard just to get his car fixed in time for eliminations.
"I just want to thank all the talented guys back at Speedtech and I am sending the first trophy to them," Al-Balooshi said. "Brandon (Switzer) has given me such a consistent car and all the guys at Speedtech have provided us with the best products to get the job done."
Through two of the eight races in Qatar, Al-Balooshi has been arguably the top car in PN, but he hasn't always had the best of luck.
Eventual Round One winner Khaled Mohammed beat Al-Balooshi on a holeshot in the semifinals, ending what seemed like a certain matchup with Shannon Jenkins in the finals.
A week later, Al-Balooshi was back to his usual quick self, going 3.87 in the first qualifying session of Round Two.
But they popped a manifold at the finish line and they were unable to run in the second and third qualifying sessions.
They somehow got it fixed in time for the fourth qualifying round, staying at No. 2 with a 3.86 at 195.14 mph.
Al-Balooshi went 3.90 in a first-round win, improving to a 3.86 to beat Mahana Al-Naimi in the semifinals.
But that was just an appetizer leading up to the finals, where Al-Balooshi, the 2009 American Drag Racing League (ADRL) PN World Champion, delivered a sterling Arabian Series record run that wasn't far off of Jenkins' ADRL world E.T. record.
"I just want to thank David Reher, Brad Morgan and all the guys at Reher-Morrison for doing what they do, manufacturing horsepower that is second to none," Switzer said. "I want to thank all my guys at Speedtech for enabling me to be in this position, to test and develop our new products. "I also want to thank Sheikh Khalid Al-Thani and the country of Qatar for providing us with a state of the art facility to race at over here, as well as the ADRL staff for providing the best racing surface possible. Without all of these people, my team and I would not be in this position."
Al-Balooshi and his team were motivated after the Round One loss, which may have pushed them that much more to get the car fixed in time for eliminations.
"We were the low for the Round One race, but we watched Bahrain Racing end up with the win," Al-Balooshi said. "We were hungry for our first win here in Qatar."
Al-Balooshi has posted the most eye-catching times throughout the two rounds and the win added another measure to his strong performance through two weeks.
Crediting a talented team, Al-Balooshi was excited about the victory, his first during the 2010 calendar year in either the ADRL or Arabian Series.
"We were ready to make up for (Round One)," Al-Balooshi said. "The car has been very consistent and my team has given me all the confidence I need."
Round Three racing at Qatar Racing Club begins on Thursday in Qatar, with eliminations set for Friday.
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