Line Ready to Reach New Heights in Denver
This weekend competitors in the NHRA’s Full Throttle Drag Racing Series will be taking on one of the greatest challenges of the entire season, racing in the thin air at the Mile-High Nationals in Denver, Colo. The conditions are particularly debilitating for the Pro Stock category, where their carbureted engines are robbed of horsepower-producing oxygen, requiring major changes to the entire package. As such, this race will test current championship points leader Jason Line both as a driver and the Summit Racing team’s primary engine builder.
“Our Summit Racing Pontiac will require a ton of changes to run fast in Denver, starting with the motor, where we’ll lose about 30% of our horsepower in the thin air,” said Line. “Ideally, you’d build one specifically for those conditions, but considering we only race there once a year, it really isn’t cost-effective, so we’ll be concentrating on making changes to the tune-up, adapting to the conditions as best as possible.
“The one thing that does remain the same as the other 21 races on the schedule is that we’re going there to win. It’s a matter of being smarter than everyone else, figuring out what your car wants to be quicker than your competition, and we’re going to do whatever it takes to get the job done.”
Nestled in the side of the mountain, Bandimere Speedway offers a tremendous view of the city of Denver and the entire South Platte River Valley. Line and his KB Racing crew will have little time to admire the scenery, however, as they will be working to get a handle on the challenging conditions. Fortunately, thanks to the continuous efforts of the Bandimere family, racers will have no issues with either the facility or the racing surface, which features a unique cooling system designed to minimize any heat-related issues with traction on the starting line. It is just one of the extra touches that the 2006 champion appreciates as he looks to score his first win at the Centennial State quarter-mile.
“I have always enjoyed going to Bandimere Speedway, primarily because of the hard work the Bandimeres and their staff have put into the facility,” said Line. “They are justifiably proud of their track, and are constantly striving to make sure everything is taken care of for both the racers and the fans. Simply put, their approach to running their racetrack mirrors our approach to racing, and it’s fun to go somewhere where the people have the same mindset.
“Having said that, I would really like to get my first win on the mountain this year. I’ve been close a couple times, making it to the final, but have yet to seal the deal on Sunday. It’s been too long since we were last in the winner’s circle (Line’s last national event win was five races ago in Atlanta), and there would be no better time or place to make a return visit than this weekend in Denver. The competition has never been tougher in Pro Stock, so it will be far from easy. Over the last few races, we’ve been creeping on my Summit Racing Pontiac, making steady gains, so maybe this will be our weekend.”
... we’ll lose about 30% of our horsepower in the thin air ...
This race also marks the start of the NHRA’s traditional “Western Swing” featuring three consecutive weekends of racing at three distinct tracks. With only five races remaining before the start of the Countdown to One championship playoffs, the quiet-spoken Minnesotan knows this handful of events could prove to be crucial towards securing a high seeding. Fortunately, with prior wins at the other two tracks, adding a Bandimere Speedway “Wally” could go far to keeping him atop the points standings.
“I’m fortunate in that the Western Swing is held on three tracks where I’ve had decent success in the past, with Denver being the only one where I have yet to win, something I hope to take care of this weekend,” said Line. “It’s certainly a demanding time with three races in as many weeks spread far apart, but this Summit Racing team has never been afraid of a challenge, and, as I said, our entire program seems to be making progress. My family will be making the trip with me, so it should be a lot of fun, but my primary focus will be on making the most of these next three weeks, starting with the Mile-Highs. As well as we’ve been running, we’re over due for a win.”
By: kb racing