Reading: Jason Line preview

Line focuses on winning rounds at Maple Grove Raceway MOHNTON, Penn. (September 28, 2006) -- Jason Line may not be the most flamboyant driver on the NHRA circuit. He may not have a driving style that ranks his stats at the top of the list. ...

Line focuses on winning rounds at Maple Grove Raceway

MOHNTON, Penn. (September 28, 2006) -- Jason Line may not be the most flamboyant driver on the NHRA circuit. He may not have a driving style that ranks his stats at the top of the list. But he does have one thing going for him -- he is at the top of the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Pro Stock point standings.

Two weekends ago, relentless rains in Pennsylvania forced the postponement of the NHRA national event scheduled at Maple Grove Raceway, near Reading, Penn. This weekend, Sept. 29-Oct. 1, Line, who along with teammate Greg Anderson drive identical KB Racing LLC/Summit Racing Equipment Pro Stock Pontiac GTOs, returns to rerun the rain-delayed NHRA Toyo Tires Nationals.

While this weekend may be like any other race, Line doesn't mind the repeat trip to Reading. "I have relatives in that area, so it's fun for me to go to the race twice," said Line. "The weather looks like it might cooperate this time. Greg and I have had the two best cars out there most of the season, so I would like to take advantage of that fact and go some rounds."

Coming into the NHRA Toyo Tires Nationals this weekend, Line, who has led the NHRA POWERade Pro Stock point standings since Denver, continues to pursue his first championship.

With 16 rounds of racing (eliminations) remaining in 2006, Line leads second place Anderson by almost four rounds of racing and third place Dave Connolly by seven rounds. Translating that to numbers and points, Line leads Anderson by 78 points and Connolly by 140 points. Fourth place Kurt Johnson is 279 behind Line or nearly 14 rounds of racing and fifth place Mike Edwards is almost out of the hunt, 306 points behind (over 15 rounds).

The advance weather forecast for this weekend calls for cool temperatures, with daytime highs in the 60s, and cloudy skies. A slight chance of rain (20 to 40 percent) is mentioned on all three days.

Since 1985 (when the NHRA first visited this venue for a national event), the national elapsed time record in Pro Stock has been set at Maple Grove Raceway five times and the speed record once - the most recent for both was in October 2001. The 20 points earned for setting a national elapsed time record might help one of the five drivers that still have a chance at the Pro Stock POWERade championship.

"The weather could help one of us, who knows," added Line, a Minnesota native, who now lives in Terrell, N.C. "If the weather is right, I think that we have a car capable of record runs. It certainly would be nice to grab 20 extra points. But our focus will be on winning rounds and if a record comes along great."

Line holds the Maple Grove Raceway elapsed time track record at 6.669 seconds, which he set in October of 2004. He won here in 2004, when he defeated Anderson, and was No 1 at Reading last year.

Line has gone to six final rounds this year, winning three. In addition, Line has four No. 1s in 2006, and, outside of 2003 when he ran only four races, has never finished lower than third in the final point standings (#2 in 2004 and #3 in 2005).

And the most important thing is that in the run for the $200,000 that the No. 1 driver in the NHRA POWERade Pro Stock point standings takes home, everyone is currently looking at Line's backside.

-credit: kb racing

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