Pontiac's Jason Line Hopes to Capitalize on Recent Win Summit Racing GTO Driver Off to Best Start Heading into Atlanta COMMERCE, Ga., May 2, 2006 - During an impressive performance this past weekend at the O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals in ...
Pontiac's Jason Line Hopes to Capitalize on Recent Win
Summit Racing GTO Driver Off to Best Start Heading into Atlanta
COMMERCE, Ga., May 2, 2006 - During an impressive performance this past weekend at the O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals in Bristol, Tenn., Jason Line became the sixth different winner this year in the NHRA Pro Stock category with a final-round victory over teammate Greg Anderson. In addition to his win at Bristol Dragway, Line turned in a dominating performance with his Summit Racing Pontiac GTO earning No. 1 qualifying honors, running low e.t. of the meet (a track-record 6.708 seconds), posting low e.t. in all four eliminator rounds, and setting a track-record top speed of 205.35 mph.
"We've been working like crazy, both the car guys and the engine guys, trying to figure out how to go faster," said Line. "We've tested quite a bit out at Mooresville (N.C.) and have put a tremendous effort into making our Summit Racing Pontiac even better. The time frame between Las Vegas and Bristol is the longest open stretch where we're not racing until the end of June, and that's enabled us to put in a lot of hours at the track and a lot of hours at the shop. That extra time always helps, and it seems when we do get back to racing, our performance is greatly improved. The cool part is that all of us are pulling on the rope just as hard - it's not just one guy. Everyone's motivated and excited to do better and that's what makes this such a good team.
"I would say we finally got it together (at Bristol), and it was really cool to race Greg in the final. That was the best part about Bristol - especially beating him because not too many people get to say they've done that. He's always tough in the final. I feel less pressure against him - it's actually fun. You don't have to think about it because at that point the team has won, so whatever happens, happens. Greg's gotten the best of me more than I have him, so it's cool to beat him."
After a strong start to this year's campaign (his best ever as a professional), the 36-year-old Line finds himself in second place in the points standings, 51 points behind Anderson, and looking to emulate his Bristol performance when the series heads to Atlanta Dragway for the upcoming Summit Racing Equipment Nationals presented by Pontiac on May 4 - 7. Line has earned No. 1 qualifying honors twice this season and has started raceday in the top half of the field in five of the first six events. At last year's Atlanta race, he qualified second and advanced to the finals before losing to Anderson.
"No one's really taken hold of the championship race yet, so you never know," said Line. "A lot of things can happen, and to be honest, I don't think about that stuff. All in all, the start of the season has gone okay and the spirits are pretty high here at the shop. You're never completely happy with your performance even when you win, but at the same time we're always striving to do better and that's probably the main factor that keeps you motivated. This sport is very humbling and it has a way of bringing you back to reality pretty quickly.
"I always enjoy going to Atlanta. It's a big race for us and it's a big race for our sponsors, Summit Racing and Pontiac. It's also close to home which always makes it easier, and Greg's had a lot of success there over the years, so as a team, we always seem to have a pretty good read on Atlanta Dragway."
Now in the middle of his third full season as an NHRA Pro Stock competitor, Line's nine career victories show that he's adapted quickly to the regimens of being a driver, but he still enjoys the research and development work with the engine program that has contributed to keeping both team cars at the front of the pack.
"There are four of us in the engine shop and everyone has good ideas," said Line. "My involvement mainly focuses on the R & D, work on the dyno and engine testing. Coming up with a better recipe is something I enjoy, and even though it's the hardest part of my job, it's also the most rewarding.
"There's a big drive now to the end of the year, so you never think you're as fully prepared as you'd like to be. There's always something to do or something that needs to get done. But we have a good program put in place that we feel will help us down the stretch."