Unusual Circumstances Cut Line’s Day Short in Charlotte
Jason Line and the Summit Racing team came into Sunday’s final eliminations of the VisitMyrtleBeach.com 4-Wide NHRA Nationals cautiously optimistic about their chances of scoring their third win of the season. After all, they had been one of the most consistent cars throughout qualifying, capping their performance by claiming the No. 1 qualifying position on their final attempt on Saturday afternoon. However, they also acknowledged racing in the unconventional four-wide format used at this event would add an extra variable that would be hard to predict.
Ironically, Line’s run at his home track would be curtailed by such an unforeseen circumstance. Racing in the first round against Line, Connolly and Krisher all followed the normal staging procedure, lighting both halves of the redesigned Christmas Tree staging lights. However, the fourth racer, Shane Gray, did not fully stage in time, and was counted out of competition. Unfortunately, when the tree went green, the remaining racers were caught unprepared, posting uncharacteristically slow reaction times. Further compounding the issue, Line’s mount was slowed almost immediately by severe tire shake, putting a premature end to his day.
“The first round was just one of those deals,” said Line. “Shane (Gray) was timed out, and I thought we had more time. As a result, I wasn’t quite ready when the tree came down, but looking at everyone’s reaction times, I guess I wasn’t the only one caught off guard. Still, it wouldn’t have mattered, as my car ended up shaking the tires anyway.
“It was a strange weekend, but it could have been worse, as my teammate did end up winning. Things did go smoother than they did a year ago, but there could still be a few procedural changes that could help. For example, since we have four cars racing, we could use a little more time staging than the normal seven seconds. Still, we just didn’t adapt to the four-wide format as well as we should have, and that’s on us. However, we’ll just put today behind us and focus on getting our Summit Racing Pontiac back on the winning track in Houston.”
-source: kb racing