Seattle: Jason Line preview

Line on top in Pro Stock KENT, Wash. (July 19, 2006) -- Jason Line has quietly made his way to the pinnacle of Pro Stock drag racing. For the first time in his professional career, Line, driver of the KB Racing LLC, Summit Racing Equipment...

Line on top in Pro Stock

KENT, Wash. (July 19, 2006) -- Jason Line has quietly made his way to the pinnacle of Pro Stock drag racing. For the first time in his professional career, Line, driver of the KB Racing LLC, Summit Racing Equipment Pontiac GTO, is No. 1 in the NHRA POWERade Pro Stock point standings.

While many only know him as the teammate of three-time and defending NHRA POWERade Pro Stock champion Greg Anderson, the unassuming Line took over the top spot at the last NHRA national event in Denver.

Entering this weekend's 19th annual NHRA Schuck's Auto Supply Nationals at Pacific Raceways, in Kent, Wash., near Seattle, Line leads Anderson, who had held the point lead since the season-opening race, by 22 points and the hard-charging third place Dave Connolly by 51 points. Jim Yates is fourth, 137 points back and KJ -- Kurt Johnson -- rounds out the top five in fifth, 167 points behind.

Line's Summit Racing Pontiac performed well in the 100-degree plus heat last weekend in the Mile-High city. He earned his third No. 1 qualifying position of the 2006 season and seventh of his career. His low elapsed time of 7.062 seconds and speed of 195.65 mph were the best of all driver and Bandimere Speedway track records. He advanced to his third final round of the season, finishing runner-up to Dave Connolly in the finals, and the 18th final round of his career which began in 2003. For 2006, Line has two wins and one loss, while he is 10 and 8 for his career.

"It's great to be on top for the first time in my career," said Line, who was born in Wright, Minn., and now lives in Terrell, N.C. "While this point chase is far from over, I can honestly say I would like to be on top come the end of this season but that's a long way away."

Line has been on top before but not in the professional ranks, winning the 1993 NHRA Stock Eliminator Championship in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.

Line started his racing career in 1985 as a bracket racer, racing at Brainerd (MN) International Raceway in a '68 Chevy Chevelle. After a timeout for military service (U.S. Air Force) from 1987-1991, Line resumed his racing career in 1992 behind the wheel of a 1966 Chevrolet Bel-Air R/Stock Automatic Station Wagon. He won his first NHRA Stock Eliminator national event at Brainerd that year and was the 1993 NHRA Division 5 Stock Eliminator champion.

Near the start of the new millennium, Line headed to North Carolina where he worked five years at Joe Gibbs Racing and served as the chief dynamometer engine specialist and at-track engine tuner for 2000 NASCAR champion Bobby Labonte.

In 2003, Line started at KB Racing LLC as an engine tuner on Anderson's car. But later that year, when he had the opportunity to drive a second Pro Stock car for KB Racing, he quickly got behind the wheel. Line will never forget that first race.

After qualifying for his first Pro Stock race in the No.14 slot at the 2003 Pontiac Excitement Nationals Presented by Summit Racing in Columbus, Ohio, Line got a surprise during eliminations. Paired opposite veteran Pro Stock driver Terry Adams, Line's car got out of the groove, hit the wall, rolled over on its top and slid down the National Trail Raceway quarter-mile upside down. Not to be deterred Line returned to action at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals later that year, qualifying ninth and notching his first round win in the opening round of eliminations.

In 2004, Line finished runner-up in the first two final rounds of his career to his teammate Anderson, before retuning the favor in the final round at the spring Chicago race by taking the win light over Anderson. In all, Line went to eight final rounds, winning four. His efforts were rewarded when he was named the recipient of the Auto Club of Southern California Road to the Future award, emblematic of being the top professional NHRA rookie of the year. He finished runner-up to Anderson in the NHRA POWERade final point standings.

The following year he continued the pace he established in 2004, winning four events in seven final rounds, posting two No.1 qualifying positions and finishing runner-up at the King Demon Crown bonus event for top Pro Stock qualifiers. He finished third in points in 2005.

At Pacific Raceways, Line, who will be 37-years-old on Monday (July 24), has not had much success, but this weekend he must concentrate on the Schuck's Auto Supply Nationals if he is to maintain his hold on the top position.

"I must now focus on Seattle," Line added. "Ever race is important and don't let anybody kid you, every point is important. In a class like Pro Stock the parity is probably closer than any other class in NHRA. One area I need to give my full attention is the starting lights. I will have to be at the top of my game and gain an advantage at the lights. I can't just rely on the power of my Summit Pontiac."

Qualifying for Line and his KB Racing LLC/Summit Racing Equipment Pro Stock Pontiac GTO begins with two Pro Stock sessions on Friday, July 21, scheduled for 3:30 and 6 p.m. and concludes with two additional Pro Stock sessions on Saturday, July 22, at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Line begins his quest for the Schuck's Auto Supply Nationals Pro Stock title on Sunday, July 23, with eliminations for all classes beginning at 11 a.m. All times are local Seattle time (PT) and subject to change at anytime.

-KB Racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Kurt Johnson , Greg Anderson , Terry Adams , Jason Line , Dave Connolly
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing