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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Top qualifier Khalid al Balooshi raced to a round one victory over Mike Knowles Saturday in J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series action at the NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway.
The 2011 world champ in NHRA’s Pro Mod series claimed his second No. 1 qualifying position of the season and fourth of his career with his Friday best run of 5.859 at 247.70 in his Al-Anabi Racing ’69 Camaro.
In the first round the native of the United Arab Emirates took the automatic victory when Knowles fouled at the start with a red-light in his ’67 Knowles Transportation Ford Mustang.
Defending event winner Troy Coughlin earned a critical first round victory by taking out series points leader Mike Janis, whose supercharged late model Jan-Cen Chevy Camaro suffered mechanical issues on the run.
Other first round winners were Clint Satterfield, Eric Latino, Bill Glidden, Jim Whiteley, Steven Whiteley and Danny Rowe.
There was lots of action in the bottom half of the bracket during the final round of qualifying, as category kingpins Don Walsh, Mike Castellana, two-time world champ and local favorite Rickie Smith and Norwalk winner Kenny Lang all failed to qualify for eliminations.
Second round pairings include al Balooshi vs. Satterfield, Coughlin vs. Latino, Rowe vs. J. Whiteley and Glidden vs. S. Whiteley.
Pro Mod eliminations will continue at approximately 2 p.m. Sunday.