Jason Line and the Summit Racing team continued their season-long qualifying excellence, capturing the No. 1 qualifying position for Sunday’s final eliminations of the NHRA SuperNationals in Englishtown, N.J. Taking advantage of the cooler temperatures on Friday evening at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, Line raced through the quarter-mile in 6.518-seconds, best among the 18 cars attempting to qualify.
Although rival Allen Johnson was able to match his elapsed time on his final attempt on Saturday afternoon, the reigning Full Throttle Pro Stock champion earned the top spot on the basis of the top speed tiebreaker, with his Pontiac’s 212.09 mph effort besting Johnson’s 211.76 mark. This was Line’s fifth No. 1 qualifying performance of the season, 29th of his career and second consecutive at the venerable Englishtown quarter-mile.
Having posted one of the top two elapsed times in each of the four qualifying sessions, Line was cautiously optimistic heading into his first-round meeting with No. 16 qualifier Grace Howell, targeting his fourth New Jersey win in what will most likely be his final race in his current race car before switching to the new Camaro. However, he was equally concerned with making sure his teammate Greg Anderson had a successful debut this weekend in his own Chevrolet.
“Obviously it feels good to hold on to the No. 1 position,” said Line. “We had a little bit of a tense moment when AJ matched our time in the final session, but we were able to get him on speed and hold on to the pole, which is a really big deal. This Summit Racing Pontiac has been a great car, and the guys are doing a tremendous job of working on it.
“We were also able to make some positive strides with Greg’s Camaro, which is more important than anything else to us right now. We have to run it at different tracks under all sorts of conditions so we can learn how to tune it. We’re really pretty happy with it – it’s come a long way in a very few runs, so we’re hoping to have two good race cars for tomorrow. This is our last race with this particular car, and I’d certainly like to send it out a winner.”