Line Collects Fifth Consecutive Pole, Qualifies No. 1 in Reading
For an unparalleled fifth race in a row, Jason Line and the Summit Racing team earned the top spot in qualifying, using a track-record 6.513-second elapsed time on Saturday morning to capture the pole for Sunday’s Auto Parts NHRA Nationals in Reading, Pa. Taking full advantage of the cooler conditions at Maple Grove Raceway, Line bettered his time from Friday by almost three hundredths of a second to claim his seventh No. 1 qualifier of the 2011 season, second in the Keystone State, and 24th of his career.
Line then completed his qualifying effort with another impressive 6.517-second, 211.83 mph pass to pace the 20-car Pro Stock field in both of Saturday’s sessions, adding another six bonus points to his total for the weekend. With the first assignment handled, he turned his attention towards duplicating his winning performance from a week ago.
“It’s pretty exciting for this Summit Racing team to qualify No. 1 five races in a row, and when you include Greg’s No. 1 in Seattle, it’s actually six,” said Line. “I’ve never done that before, and am very proud of what everyone on this crew has done. Looking at the time sheets from the last few races you would think we have this car completed sorted out, and we do. It’s just a great hot rod, and I’m lucky to be driving it.
“However, you might not think that if you listened to us analyzing the runs afterwards, because we’re always picking it apart trying to make it better. That’s what makes this team so good – we approach things like we’re the underdog, always looking to improve because we know that’s the only way to stay ahead.
“I’m also proud that we were able to get all three Summit cars in the top four spots, with Ronnie (Humphrey in the Summit/Genuine Hotrod Hardware Pontiac) in second and Greg (in the other Summit Racing Pontiac) in fourth. We’ve done that several times this year, which makes me pretty proud, because it takes a lot to get three cars running that close. It’s just a testament to the hard work by everyone on the team.
“As an engine guy, I was almost as excited when Greg set top speed (at 212.03 mph) as I was when I went to No. 1. Hopefully, we can take this performance and turn it into another win tomorrow. Unfortunately, Greg and I are on the same side of the ladder, but we wouldn’t meet until the semifinals, so we have to do our best to get there and see who gets to go to the final. With just a few races left, every point counts, so we have to make the most of it. Fortunately, we have just the tools and the people to get it done, so now it’s up to us to make it happen.”