Qatar-based Al-Anabi Racing to enter 2 car team in NHRA
The most decorated Top Fuel crew chief in NHRA history, Alan Johnson, will field a two-car team in 2009 through a partnership with Qatar-based Al-Anabi Racing. A seven-time NHRA Top Fuel champion with 75 professional-level national event victories to his credit, Johnson has tuned Tony Schumacher to the last four Top Fuel titles and the current points lead.
This new alliance will field a Top Fuel dragster and a Funny Car. They will start the 2009 season on Feb. 5-8 with the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Calif. Johnson has not selected drivers for the new cars.
At the forefront of this partnership is His Highness Sheikh Khalid Bin Hamad Al Thani, who has set a goal of promoting the domestic and international awareness of motorsports in the nation of Qatar. As a result of his efforts, Al-Anabi Racing has emerged as one of the leading drag racing teams in the region.
"This is an exciting opportunity for Alan Johnson Racing," Johnson said. "We look forward to our relationship with Al-Anabi Racing and the people of Qatar. It's widely known that my goal for quite some time now has been to become a team owner again, and this is my best opportunity to achieve that goal."
"I have enjoyed a wonderful experience with the U.S. Army race team. I wouldn't change the past five years for anything. My focus for the remainder of the season will be to put forth my best effort to win the fifth consecutive championship for the U.S. Army, Tony Schumacher, and DSR."
Including his Sportsman-level successes with his late brother Blaine Johnson, Alan Johnson has amassed 11 championships in his career, four in Top Alcohol and seven more in Top Fuel. Additionally, Johnson has tuned his drivers to eight national records over the years, including six elapsed time and two top speed marks.
Al-Anabi Racing is nearing completion of a state of the art drag race track in Qatar. Built by U.S. experts the track is expected to host its first race in December 2008. Al-Anabi Racing is also co-owner along with Awesome Motorsports of the recently formed "Awesome Al Anabi," whose drivers are employed by Al-Anabi Racing and race the team's Pro Modified cars in IHRA and NHRA competition. Sheikh Khalid's vision is to build championship-caliber race teams in the United States and Qatar.
Qatar, an Arabian gulf country in the middle east, is fast becoming a global meeting place. In 2004, it established the Qatar Science & Technology Park to attract and serve technology-based companies and entrepreneurs from overseas and within Qatar. The country also established an Education City with numerous international colleges. For the 15th Asian Games in Doha, Qatar established Sports City, consisting of Khalifa Stadium, the Aspire Sports Academy, aquatic centers, exhibition centers, and many other sports-related buildings and centers. Future plans call for an Entertainment City.