Less than a month after clinching Al-Anabi Racing’s third NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel World Championship in the last four years, key team personnel attended this week’s Doha Goals Forum in Qatar. The Doha Goals Forum is the world’s premier platform for world leaders to advance initiatives for global progress through sport.
Team owner Sheikh Khalid Bin Hamad Al Thani, team manager Alan Johnson, Dubai driver Khalid alBalooshi, and 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel champion Shawn Langdon were all in attendance. New general manager Brandon Bernstein was also in Qatar but did not have a role in the Goals Forum. The team presented the 2013 NHRA Mello Yello Top Fuel World Championship Trophy to the Qatari Government while in Doha.
The Doha Goals vision statement begins with: “Sport unifies us across borders, cultures, and beliefs. Sport is universal, an international language transcending language, race and religion. Sport offers a level playing field on which everyone is an equal participant. It is inclusive by nature and its fundamental principles make it highly effective in addressing problems of global concern. Doha GOALS (Gathering of All Leaders in Sports) is the world’s premier platform for world leaders to create social initiatives through sport.”
Sheikh Khalid and Johnson participated in Monday’s think tank on the role of private equity in sport. Among the other members of this panel were Christophe Charlier, the director of the Barclays Center and chairman of the Brooklyn Nets NBA team, Patrick Thompson, the head of partnerships for the Dallas Cowboys and Nasser bin Thaloub, the director of the UAE Football Federation as well as several others.
AlBalooshi served as an ambassador for some 400 students in attendance at the Doha Goals Forum while Langdon participated in yesterday’s session focusing on extreme sports and their future – are they about to enter the mainstream and what is their projected growth? The other panelists in Langdon’s session were Sheikh Hassan bin Jabor Al-Thani, the president of the Qatar Marine Sports Federation who oversees Qatar’s entries in the United States-based H1 Unlimited Hydroplane Series named the Spirit of Qatar; Tony Hawk, 12-time world champion skateboarder; Taig Khris, a professional vert skater from Algeria; James Leitz, senior vice president of IMG Worldwide and Chris Sharma, the No. 1 rock climber in the world.
“It was really neat to be on stage with the other guys yesterday,” Langdon said. “To be able to hear their stories about how they got where they are and to hear their versions of what they think about extreme sports was interesting. They all attended Doha Goals for different reasons, so that was interesting, too. “It was a really neat experience to be a part of the whole thing. Doha Goals is a neat program that they’ve put together to help future generations build their lives through sports. They are providing future generations the opportunity to set their goals and dreams, and it was great to be a part of it.
“Qatar reminded me a little of Las Vegas; it’s in the dessert, and the buildings are beautiful and have their own characteristics; everything is first class. It was a great experience all around. It was my first trip outside the United States, and to learn about the Qatari culture and to interact with the Qatari people was a great learning experience. A lot of people in Qatar know about NHRA Drag Racing; we definitely have a following over there. A lot of it is through their racing in Qatar, but they knew everything about the Al-Anabi team. They knew about our championship, and they were very excited for us to win another world championship for them.”
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, the Emir of Qatar, the Doha Goals gathering of all leaders in sport, was founded in January 2012. Each year, global leaders gather in Doha with top stakeholders – CEOs, government officials, athletes, NGOs, federation heads, urban developers, coaches, managers, and medical experts – to create partnerships and initiatives to tackle the most pressing social issues through plenary sessions, debates and focused taskforces that enable constructive brainstorming and focused collaboration.
Doha Goals will conclude by outlining a roadmap of initiatives capable of addressing issues like economic development through sport, the welfare of athletes, federation governance, sport as a tool for education of youth, integration of women and minorities through sport, and cross-culture cooperation. For additional information on the Doha Goals Forum, please visit www.dohagoals.com
John and Courtney Force with Ford Group Vice President Raj Nair, Parnelli Jones, Ford President of the Americas Joe Hinrichs, and the new Mustang.
The Forces with Henry Ford III
Newly crowned NHRA Mello Yello Funny Car champ John Force and rising NHRA Funny Car star Courtney Force were on hand to watch Ford executives Joe Hinrichs, Ford President of the Americas and Raj Nair, Ford Group Vice President, Product Development unveil the new 2015 Ford Mustang Dec. 5 outside the world-famous TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood.
“It was incredible to be invited by Ford for this unveiling event. Seeing Joe Hinrichs and Raj Nair unveil the new Mustang was great. After they unveiled the Mustang we were invited up on stage for some photos with Joe, Raj, Henry Ford III, and Parnelli Jones,” said Force. “The 2015 Mustang looks awesome. The aero is amazing. The crowd really loved it and I think it looks really cool.”
To celebrate the upcoming 50th anniversary for the iconic Mustang the all-new Mustang was unveiled in six cities around the world today, in addition to Los Angeles, New York, Shanghai, Sydney, Barcelona and its hometown of Dearborn all hosted special events. The 2015 Mustang goes on sale next fall in North America and is the first full redesign since 2005.
John Force Racing begin defense of their record 18th NHRA Funny Car title on February 6-9, 2014 at the historic NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, California with Force piloting his Castrol GTX High Mileage Ford Mustang in pursuit of his personal 17th Mello Yello Funny Car championship. He will have to hold off strong pursuit from daughter Courtney Force in the Traxxas Ford Mustang and son-in-law Robert Hight, driver of the Auto Club Ford Mustang and the 2009 Funny Car champion.
For the second year NHRA Top Fuel driver Antron Brown and sponsor Matco Tools teamed up to increase breast cancer awareness through the "Tools for the Cause" campaign and raise funds for Susan G. Komen.
The 2012 NHRA Top Fuel champion's Don Schumacher Racing dragster supported the cause at two NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events in October. Brown was runner-up at the early-October event in Reading, Pa., before getting the pink Matco Tools "Tools for the Cause" dragster in the winner's circle on Oct. 27 in Las Vegas.
The pink firesuit and helmet worn by Brown, crew shirts worn by the Matco Tools team and a diecast of the 2013 pink Tools for the Cause dragster will be auctioned off on eBay.com beginning on Nov. 25. All proceeds go directly to Susan G. Komen®.
Items auctioned off last year raised more than $10,000 for the Komen organization.
"For the second year I was truly honored to be a part of the special campaign through Matco Tools," said Brown. "NHRA fans really showed their support for the campaign this year and it's great that they can continue to show their support and bid on these items and continue to help raise funds for breast cancer research."
According to Susan G. Komen®, in 2013, it is estimated that among U.S. women there will be 232,340 new cases of invasive breast cancer and 39,620 women will lose their battles. Susan G. Komen® is the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world, and has invested almost $2 billion in fulfilling its promise to end breast cancer.
For more information on the Tools for the Cause campaign, including a full list of available products from Matco Tools, visit ToolsForTheCause.matcotools.com.
To view or bid on the eBay auction items visit http://goo.gl/gnB8vz.
In 1961, the NHRA Winternationals arrived at Pomona’s Fairplex to begin its long and continuing run as the historic traditional NHRA season opener. A year later, more history began a long tenure at the home of the LA County Fair when Big Boy 4014, the last of the giant freight locomotives, arrived in Southern California and became part of the year-round Rail Giants Train Museum.
And though the Winternationals again will launch the season in Pomona in 2014, Big Boy 4014 won’t be there because the historic train is being moved to Cheyenne, Wyo., where the Union Pacific Heritage Fleet Operations Team will try to get the historic iron running again.
The locomotive and its tender weigh more than 1.2 million pounds, making movement quite a task, but crews have been inching their way at 300 feet per day across the fairgrounds and ultimately through what is the pit area for the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series events, continually leapfrogging a small section of track ahead of the towed behemoth, a trip that will end at the railroad tracks that line the northern part of the facility.
Built in 1941, Big Boy No. 4014 logged 1,031,205 miles hauling freight until its retirement July 21, 1959. It arrived in Pomona in January 1962.