BROWNSBURG, Ind. -- Motorsports Star" Star"
According to ESPN.com, "every year since 1998, ESPN The Magazine has recognized an elite group of emerging athletes to watch in the year ahead -- athletes we call NEXT. They are competitors not only on the cusp of stardom, but on the verge of transcending their sports. NEXT is what happens when the hype is real." AlBalooshi is one of five drivers nominated in the Motorsports category.
A native of Dubai, UAE, alBalooshi made the very difficult transition from driving Pro Mod cars to piloting an 8,000 horse power Top Fuel dragster. He became the first Middle Eastern driver and just the third driver from outside North America to win a race in NHRA's premier series when he won the Parts Plus NHRA Nationals in Reading, Pa. on October 8. He finished 11th in the final season point standings. Prior to 2012, alBalooshi won the 2011 NHRA Pro Mod Championship and Qatar's Arabian Drag Racing League Pro Mod Championship in both 2010 and 'll. In addition, he won the American Drag Racing League Pro Mod championship in 2010. He has 159 career race wins.
Voting for the "Next Great Motorsports Star" continues until 5 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, Dec. 14. Voting is available by visiting http://espn.go.com/espn/next2012/story/_/id/8697434/corey-lajoie-ryan-blaney-khalid- albalooshi-espn-magazine-next-issue.
Al-Anabi Racing operates out of multiple locations in both the United States and Qatar. In the United States, the Brownsburg, Ind.-based operation is a two-car NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series team that is managed by Alan Johnson Racing. Sheikh Khalid's initiative has created increased international awareness of the nation of Qatar while highlighting the nation's international sports outreach. Alan Johnson is a 14-time NHRA champion in various capacities including crew chief, team owner and team manager. For additional information on the Al-Anabi Racing Team, team manager Alan Johnson or drivers Khalid alBalooshi or Shawn Langdon, please visit www.alanabiracing.com.
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