Line did a run in a 6.594 at 210.80 and moved into the top half of the field.
Summit Racing Pro Stock driver Jason Line launched into qualifying for the 27th annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA SpringNationals with hearty intentions, and although he was initially slowed, Line proved resilient and bounced right back to make a raceday start at Royal Purple Raceway and earn the opportunity to defend the title he scored there one year ago.
In the first session of qualifying in the hot and humid Houston weather, Line faced an immediate challenge. Unexpected mechanical issues slowed his progress, and he clocked a disheartening 7.305 at 142.16 mph that placed him dead last in the lineup.
"Yeah, that issue put us behind right away," said Line. "Whenever that happens, you have to start up front the next run and that means you have to be very conservative. We really struggled getting hold of the racetrack, but we certainly got better."
The second session, however, showed marked results. Line raced his blue Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro down the track and clocked an improved 6.605 at 210.70 mph. In the first round on Saturday, Line improved to a 6.594 at 210.80 and moved into the top half of the field.
A 6.636, 210.93 to round out qualifying didn't boost his position in the standings, but Line ultimately finished in the No. 7 position and will race Chris McGaha in the first round of eliminations on Sunday. It will be the first time that the two have met on raceday.
"We've got our work cut out for us, but fortunately we qualified in the top and will have lane choice," said Line, who has been a top-half qualifier at each race so far this season. "This is the first time we've faced this kind of weather and these conditions all year, but our Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro is a car that we believe we can make better for tomorrow. It's going to require a different setup than we had today, and that isn't anything that the KB Racing team can't handle."