DOHA, QATAR -- After coming up just short of a win in Pro Nitrous during Round One of the Arabian Drag Racing League at Qatar Racing Club, Shannon "Iceman" Jenkins had very high expectations heading into Round 2.
Instead, Jenkins and his team took a disappointing step backwards. Jenkins qualified No. 1 with a 3.85, but the final outcome took away any of those good feelings, as he fell in the first round of eliminations in Qatar.
To put it mildly, Jenkins wasn't exactly excited with the results.
"I'm really unhappy with the way this car has been acting lately. We have changed everything on this race car, and it just refuses to give the results that it should be giving," Jenkins said.
"Qualifying ended on a good note but our main goal is always to put our Al-Anabi Racing Camaro in the winner's circle, and we just didn't get the job done."
The team worked diligently to find the problem in testing and seemed to have rectified it all with the 3.85, but inconsistency once again plagued Jenkins' Camaro.
"We tested all week long, and just couldn't get the car dialed in. We changed everything, but no matter what changes we made, the car didn't respond properly to them," Jenkins said. "The 3.85 was a great run, however, the consistency is just not there."
There was one bright spot, as Jenkins' teammate, Mahanna Al-Naimi, advanced to the semifinals after an opening round win via a .033 reaction time against another Al-Anabi teammate, Burton Auxier.
Jenkins remains impressed with Al-Naimi's development.
"Mahanna is becoming more and more comfortable in the car and has done an outstanding job driving, especially coming back after his crash during last week's race," Jenkins said. "We just have to establish more consistency amongst our two car team."
As Jenkins and his six crew members all work together to get on track, there is one very important team member they are missing this year in Qatar, which is Mike Castellana. The talented PN driver is in New York, where he continues to take chemotherapy treatments for cancer.
"We all miss Mike over here in Qatar. He is the backbone of our team, and we just wish he was here with us," Jenkins said. "But Mike just needs to take care of himself and get through these remaining treatments he has left, so that he will get back to 100 percent.
"If I know Mike, and I do know Mike, he is working hard to get better, and he is looking forward to getting back in the drivers' seat for next season and competing for the American Drag Racing League (ADRL) Pro Nitrous World Championship."
Jenkins is also ready to put last week behind him and end this three-race stretch on a good note, starting on Thursday. Round 3 of the eight race schedule starts then at QRC, with eliminations set to take place on Friday.
"We didn't gain the points we were hoping to gain this past weekend, which was disappointing for us," Jenkins said. "However, we will have these two race cars turned around this upcoming weekend, and hopefully we will be on top at the conclusion of the event."
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