Summit Racing Pro Stock driver Jason Line wasn't thrilled with where he ended the first day of qualifying at the 54th annual Circle K NHRA Winternationals, but day two of the event at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona yielded far better results and put a smile on Line's face. After all was said and done, Line had powered his way up to the No. 3 position with a best time of 6.514-second at a booming 212.63 mph.
In addition to climbing five positions, Line picked up two bonus qualifying points for the pass that was second-quickest of the session.
Line's first run of the weekend was 6.549 at 212.36 and was followed by a 6.571, 211.76. He came close to matching his strong third round numbers and finished qualifying with a 6.520 paired with another 212-mph blast.
Line, the No. 3 qualifier, will square off with Matt Hartford in the first round of eliminations. Line and Hartford last raced in Topeka in 2013, and Hartford was the benefactor when Line ran into a bit of trouble on the starting line. While Line looks to the first round at the season-opener to even the score, he has an ulterior motive in his desire to succeed: with his KB Racing team leader and fellow Summit Racing driver Greg Anderson in the hospital recovering from heart surgery, he hopes to bring home the Wally and put a smile on his teammate's face.
"Obviously, Greg would want me to win tomorrow," said Line. "He's a very competitive person, and this team means a lot to him. There are a lot of reasons we want to win this weekend, but that's a pretty big one.
"I don't know what tomorrow brings, but I know that we have two very good cars. We have a great team, and we've gained some confidence over these four rounds of qualifying. Tomorrow we will each be giving 100% and hopefully everything turns out the best it possibly can for Team Summit."