Jason Line Rides National Record Runs to Reading Win
READING, Pa., October 3, 2011 – For the second consecutive weekend, Jason Line and the Summit Racing team scored a national event win in dominating fashion, resetting the Pro Stock national elapsed time record en route to the win at Monday’s rain-delayed Auto Parts Nationals in Reading, Pennsylvania. Starting from the No. 1 position, Line defeated Bob Benza, Erica Enders and teammate Greg Anderson in the early rounds before squaring off against first-time finalist Ronnie Humphrey in the championship round.
Although Humphrey, whose Summit/Genuine Hotrod Hardware Pontiac is campaigned in conjunction with the KB Racing entries, had come close to matching the 2006 champion’s pace in the semifinals, the current Pro Stock points leader took full advantage of the situation in the final, gaining a slight edge at the start and recording the third quickest time in Pro Stock history at 6.484-seconds with a top speed of 212.79 mph to gain the victory. It was Line’s sixth win of the 2011 season, a personal single-season best, 27th of his career and second at Maple Grove Raceway.
“This was probably the best day I have ever had racing, and it feels great,” said Line. “My Summit Racing Pontiac was absolutely phenomenal all weekend, just as it has for quite some time. Believe it or not, as well as it ran, I think there actually might have even been some left in it. It’s the same Rick Jones chassis we’ve been running for some time, and this weekend we took full advantage of it. To make four runs like that under those conditions was just incredible.
“Normally, when you have a car that good, it puts extra pressure on the driver. However, at the start of the day, my brother Lance (who works on Humphrey’s car) came over and gave me some great advice. He told me that as long as I had .30 lights (reaction times) I couldn’t lose. The way he said it, I realized he was right. It put me in the right frame of mind for the rest of the day, and I ended up with the Wally.
“It was also great to race Ronnie in the final. I know he’s been working hard on his program, and we were excited for both he and his guys to make it to their first final today. He did a really good job all weekend long, and we were all happy for him. It was just a great day all around.”
After capturing his fifth consecutive No. 1 qualifying position on Saturday, Line used the four rounds of eliminations to personally rewrite the NHRA’s Pro Stock record book. In the opening round against No. 16 qualifier Bob Benza, he shaved a hundredth off the previous record, tripping the finish line timers in 6.483-seconds, before rain put a halt to the proceedings in the second round.
Once action resumed on Monday, Line returned to the attack, blistering the quarter-mile in 6.477-seconds to defeat Erica Enders and better his own mark. It was a similar story in the semifinals against teammate Greg Anderson, where he used the second-quickest Pro Stock pass ever at 6.482-seconds to advance to his eighth final round of the season and 56th of his career against Humphrey.
Having recorded the four quickest passes in the category’s history, Line will leave Maple Grove Raceway with the win, the national elapsed time record (and the twenty bonus points that go with it), and a massive 181-point lead over his teammate Greg Anderson in the championship standings. Acknowledging the team effort required to produce such results, he was quick to share the credit for the tremendous showing with the entire team, as well as to caution that with three races remaining in the season, plenty of work still remains to be done.
“What’s really important about this win is that it was a total team effort,” said Line. “The credit for today goes to all of them. I’m just the lucky guy who gets to drive this Summit Racing Pontiac. I’m grateful for all their hard work, and for they’re being the best at what they do. We have a really good group of guys right now on this KB Racing team, and even though we’re working really hard, we’re having a lot of fun, enjoying this run we’ve been on.
“Before the final, Greg came over to my door and told me what a good job I had done, and to go and finish it. That showed me he was happy for me, which means a lot. As I have often said, he is one of the best racers out here, and that’s why I always try to race him so hard. If you want to be the best, you have to beat the best, and he certainly is. That attitude shows the kind of team that we have here starting at the very top with Ken Black.
“It was great to show off for Ken and Judy, and to have them with us during such a tremendous weekend. They may not realize it, but their presence has such a positive effect on all of us. When they’re with us, it’s all good.
“Of course, I have to thank all the people who support us and make this all possible, from Summit Racing Equipment, Red Line Oil, Cometic Gaskets, Mac Tools, PAC Valve Springs, Wilson Manifolds, Diamond Pistons, K&N Filters, to Wiley X and everyone else. They are as much a part of this success as anything else.
“Although things look good for us in the championship, it’s not over ‘til it’s over. There are still three races left and a lot of racing and work to be done. Just as I’ve never won six races in a season before, there’s no reason we can’t go for seven or more. Still, I certainly don’t want to forget just how good today felt – it was just a great day.”