:What race was after Rockingham?

KN: Norwalk. The Rockingham race, incidentally, was canceled per the Sheikh’s instructions. Understand at that point that I worked for him. I was an employee of Al-Anabi Racing USA as was everybody who worked for the American Drag Racing League. He was the boss.

When it started to rain a little bit – not enough to cancel the race – his crew chief, Frank Manzo, wasn’t there that weekend, he had another commitment. I believe he was racing a Division race somewhere else. But Tim and Kim Richards were there. There had been an altercation on the starting line where Tim Richards was kind of in the way and just about got run over by the Sheikh, which video would document. By the time the Sheikh got back to the trailer, [Tim’s wife] Kim Richards was so incensed that she physically put hands on him and was screaming, “You could have killed my husband!” and on and on and on. He [the Sheikh] wasn’t qualified at that time and it looked like he wasn’t going to do very well at that race if he were qualified.

I was instructed to cancel the race. I refused. I told Steve Earwood [Rockingham track owner] that I wasn’t comfortable with it, but at the end of the day Sheikh Khalid made the decision the race was canceled.

The pits were rumbling like crazy. There were a lot of racers who were smart enough to read between the lines and knew exactly what was going on, but we all had to swallow the bitter pill and head to Norwalk where we would finish up the Rockingham race and run the Norwalk race.

I was promised at that point that not only would my money be brought, but Dave Hance, who had a separate agreement for his Shakedown at E-town event, I was told that his money would be brought by Mr. Greenbaum to Norwalk to get the ADRL whole and pay the Shakedown at E-town sponsorship.

Dave came there [Norwalk], his money wasn’t there, our money wasn’t there. The wheels were falling off the proverbial train.

After that event I was promised all that next week and the week after that the money would come. The problem was some checks had been picked up [by racers] at the event, which was normal. Subsequently a few of those checks didn’t clear, so we had to jostle and not make payroll to get these racers paid. It was the first time in my life as a promoter, going back to 2002 with the AMS NHRA Pro Mod Challenge, that I did not have the money to pay the racers as agreed. It was a very stressful, very trying time.

At that point, although I was raised to always keep my commitments, many nights I wanted to throw my hands up and say, “F*ck it. I’m done. I can’t take it anymore.”

DRO:  So what did you do then to try and resolve the money issue?

KN: I was once again, as travel records would indicate, summoned back out to California but never got the money. Came back from the trip to California and at some point while I was promoting the next event in Ennis, Texas, I called Tim McAmis after not being able to reach the Sheikh, Kay, or Greenbaum. It’s important to note here that the ADRL policy at that time was no testing at the national event track the week of [a race]. Against my advice – I don’t want to say instructions because he’s the boss – but I implored him not to do this because word would get out. They did, in fact, rent Ennis and they did test there for a couple of days. My phone was burning up with calls from racers: “I thought you weren’t allowed to test.” Things were starting to unravel at a pretty rapid point.

DRO: So what did you do next?

KN: I called Tim McAmis – Tim had been a pretty good friend at that point, a confidant about some of the things that had gone on with the Sheikh that year because Tim was also very involved in building cars and buying parts and sending things overseas, so he was very involved in the Sheikh’s business. And I basically told Tim that we can’t make payroll, we can’t pay the purse for Norwalk or the remaining purse for Rockingham. I’m canceling the Ennis event; you guys do whatever you want. If it means me resigning… whatever.