Brainerd: GM Racing Saturday notes

Line Puts Pontiac in Top Spot After Four Rounds of Pro Stock Qualifying at Brainerd Connolly Has Chevy Close Behind as No. 2 Qualifier For Eliminations BRAINERD, Minn., August 11, 2007 - Defending NHRA POWERade Pro Stock champ Jason Line...

Line Puts Pontiac in Top Spot After Four Rounds of Pro Stock Qualifying at Brainerd

Connolly Has Chevy Close Behind as No. 2 Qualifier For Eliminations

BRAINERD, Minn., August 11, 2007 - Defending NHRA POWERade Pro Stock champ Jason Line ended a long qualifying drought by placing his Summit Racing Pontiac GTO in the No. 1 qualifying spot for tomorrow's eliminations at the 26th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway. It was his second No. 1 qualifier of the season but the first since his claiming the top qualifying position 14 races ago at Phoenix in the season's second race. Line had an elapsed time of 6.740 seconds at 204.66 mph to better the Chevy of Dave Connolly with a 6.750 e.t. at 203.86 mph.

"I'm not going to say that last run was a great run, it was just a better run," Line said after today's qualifying was over. "It's great to qualify No. 1, but I think that there is a lot of room for improvement by not just us but a lot of cars. Again, like I said yesterday, we're not smart enough to touch the engine, so we are working on the car to make things better. We're struggling a little bit with the racetrack. The changes we made paid off somewhat that last run. Actually, I think that was a pretty good run. I think the left side (lane) will be lane of choice. Lane choice will definitely be somewhat of an advantage tomorrow. The cooler weather that is predicted for Sunday will help too."

Line, a Minnesota native, would like nothing better than to match his second No. 1 qualifier of the season with a second win. His first step in matching his march to the winner's circle at Houston in April will be in tomorrow's first round of eliminations against fellow Pontiac driver Justin Humphreys.

"After the weekend is over I'll head up to my parents in Wright (Minn.) and spend a day with them," Line said. "Hopefully, we'll be celebrating a win."

Dave Connolly and crew chief Tommy Utt didn't like the way their Chevy Cobalt performed in yesterday's first round of qualifying, so they changed motors for last night's second round and fine-tuned it for Rounds 3 and 4 today, and it looks like they made the right choice and have the Torco Racing Fuels/Seelye Wright Chevy Cobalt heading in the right direction.

"We didn't like the way the motor ran on the first run (a 6.825-second time at 202.27 mph that left him 10th), so we put in a new motor that had never been down the track," Connolly said after the first day of qualifying.

The Ohio native is the defending Pro Stock champ here at Brainerd and will begin his quest for two in a row against fellow Chevy driver and former Minnesota Timberwolves NBA standout Tom Hammonds in Round 1. The 24-year-old Connolly also claimed the first of his 12 career wins here at Brainerd in 2004.

Ron Krisher in the Valvoline Chevy Cobalt and Kurt Johnson in the ACDelco Chevy Cobalt also turned in strong qualifying performances for Team Chevy by claiming top-five qualifying positions. Krisher qualified No. 3 with a 6.753 e.t. at 203.80 mph and Johnson qualified No. 5 with an elapsed time of 6.758 seconds at 203.77 mph. Sandwiched in between their two Chevys is six-time NHRA Pro Stock champion Warren Johnson who is also a native of Minnesota now living in Sugar Hill, Ga. Johnson drove his GM Performance Parts Pontiac GTO to a 6.757 e.t. and the top speed of qualifying at 204.98 mph to qualify No. 4.

-credit: gm racing

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Ron Krisher , Tom Hammonds , Jason Line , Justin Humphreys , Dave Connolly