CONCORD, N.C -- The Al-Anabi Racing Team will have some new crew members at this weekend's Dollar General NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, but they won't be the standard nitro engine experts. No, these two gentlemen have special skills - they are United States Marines, and they will be serving as honorary crew members with the Al-Anabi team this Sunday, it was announced today. The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series visits zMAX Dragway near Charlotte this weekend for the fifth of 24 races making up the 2013 season.
Mark Lunsford joined the military when he was 18. He spent four years in the United States Marine Corps and now serves on Inactive Ready Reserve should the Marine Corps need him. He was stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C. for the entire time he was a fulltime Marine and was deployed to the Helmand Province in Afghanistan in 2012. He recently moved back home to Pennsylvania where he is attending college. He expects to graduate this spring with a degree in business management and automotive technology
Ryan Duggan joined the Marine Corps in 2009 and graduated as a diesel mechanic in 2010. He has been stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C. with the 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion since then. Last year, he deployed with a platoon of light armored vehicles in the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit and traveled on a U.S. Navy ship. He trained in such countries as Kuwait, Jordan and Morocco among others. He returned to the United States in December and will soon return home to South Dakota to enroll in the Southeast Technical Institute to study automotive and diesel technology. He hopes to one day re-start his late father's drag racing team.
The silver and gold Al-Anabi Racing Top Fuel dragster teams will each host one of the honorary crew members. Lunsford and Duggan will help Al-Anabi drivers Shawn Langdon and Khalid alBalooshi pack their parachutes after runs, help clean parts and will perform any other tasks deemed appropriate by crew chiefs Jason McCulloch and Brian Husen.
The Al-Anabi Racing Team 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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