Line Returns to Top of Pro Stock Ladder With First-Day No. 1 Qualifier at Bristol Wilkerson Surprises Funny Car Field With Provisional Pole in his Chevy Impala SS BRISTOL, Tenn., July 6, 2007 - It has been awhile, but defending NHRA POWERade...
Line Returns to Top of Pro Stock Ladder With First-Day No. 1 Qualifier at
Wilkerson Surprises Funny Car Field With Provisional Pole in his Chevy Impala SS
BRISTOL, Tenn., July 6, 2007 - It has been awhile, but defending NHRA POWERade Pro Stock champ Jason Line returned to the top of the Pro Stock field with the provisional No. 1 qualifier after today's first-day qualifying for this weekend's O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway. Line claimed his only No. 1 qualifier this season in the second race in February at Phoenix, and today he drove his Summit Racing Pontiac GTO to an elapsed time of 6.789 seconds at 203.86 mph to edge the Chevy Cobalt driven by Dave Connolly for the provisional top spot of the 16-car Pro Stock field. Line is also the event's defending class champion.
"I love Bristol!" said an excited Line. "The track on the first run was definitely a little bit iffy, and it was way better on the second pass for us. I'm excited. I'm happy to be up here. First time in a long time to have pole for a session, so maybe we're getting a handle on this car. (The air was corrected) pretty close to 4,000 feet, so this is definitely, by far, the worst air we've been in all season. You can't get much worse than that, so to be on the pole I guess is a really good thing.
Last week's event winner at Norwalk, Dave Connolly, continues to run strong and was right behind Line in his Torco Racing Fuels Chevy Cobalt with an elapsed time of 6.795 seconds at 202.88 mph, and Line's teammate Greg Anderson was qualified third in a Pontiac at 6.797 seconds at 202.97 mph. Anderson comes into this weekend's event with six consecutive No. 1 qualifiers and eight on the season.
"The good news is we know how to make one car go that fast, so hopefully we can tune on the other one. Hopefully we can learn something that will apply to (next week's race at) the Denver track also. It's hard to say. Every week it's a chess match with the racetrack, and not even every week but every run it's something different. I guess I'm just going to enjoy the moment and be glad we're on the pole for now, and hopefully we can stay there through tomorrow, but we'll see."
Veteran Chevy driver Tim Wilkerson surprised the Funny Car field with a charge to the front of the field in first-day qualifying with an elapsed time of 4.819 seconds at 321.42 mph in his Levi, Ray & Shoup Chevy Impala SS to best the Dodge of Jack Beckman.
"We greatly underestimated the track the first session, to be real truthful with you," Wilkerson said. "We went up there with all the intention of running a mid-to-high 4.90 and the track got a hold of us and explained that we were dumber than we thought. After that, we came back and tuned it a little bit for the night run.
"Whenever you see these kind of conditions, and I really did it the first run, you don't ever tune the thing up enough. The second run I went back and told the guys we're not going to go back there with our tails between our legs. It's either going to smoke the tires or it's going to go faster, and it was still way safe. I beat us out of a hundredth or two pretty simple there, but I'm pretty happy with the run and can't say enough about the crew and the car. That Impala is really working well."
Qualifying for Sunday's eliminations continues tomorrow with third- and fourth-round sessions at 12:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Eastern, respectively.
-credit: gm racing