- Published on Sunday, 07 July 2013 14:52
NORWALK Ohio -- Khalid alBalooshi's win today in Top Fuel was special, but not just because it was his first Mello Yello series win of the season. He won it for his special guest for the weekend, Jacob Delling.
When alBalooshi edged out Doug Kalitta in the final round with a 3.935-second, 271.30 mph pass to Kalitta's 4.215 at 268.54, it capped a weekend where Delling, a blind nine year old cancer survivor from Clio, Mich., was a guest of Al-Anabi Racing.
The Al-Anabi team met Jacob at last week's ADRL race at US 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Mich., and there was an instant connection. Jacob was with Steve Jackson, an ADRL Pro Nitrous racer, and they both got invited to come to Norwalk as guests of the Al-Anabi team for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals.
"We met (Jacob), and he broke our hearts," said alBalooshi, "so we invited him down to Norwalk with us."
Earlier this week, alBalooshi put Jacob in his car and seeing him sitting at the controls, he "just knew he had to do something special for him."
Winning the race for Jacob was that something special.
In the Winner's Circle after the race, alBalooshi had Jacob accept the Top Fuel 'Wally' trophy with him and had Jacob hoist it over his head. A few minutes earlier, alBalooshi also received one of the new ice cream scoop trophies unique to Summit Motorsports Park, from track president Bill Bader, Jr.
After the Winner's Circle ceremonies, alBalooshi brought Jacob to the media center for the post-race interviews. When asked if Jacob was coming to Denver for next week's Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, he didn't know yet but Jacob replied with an enthusiastic "Yes!"
The win puts alBalooshi sixth in Top Fuel points in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Runner-up Kalitta is fourth.