Gainesville: Jason Line preview

Jason Line thinks a 210 is possible at Gainesville Leads the Countdown to Eight into ACDelco Gatornationals GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 13, 2007) -- Jason Line thinks that if conditions are right the first 210 mph pass in NHRA Pro Stock ...

Jason Line thinks a 210 is possible at Gainesville
Leads the Countdown to Eight into ACDelco Gatornationals

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 13, 2007) -- Jason Line thinks that if conditions are right the first 210 mph pass in NHRA Pro Stock national event competition will be run at the 38th running of the NHRA ACDelco Gatornationals this weekend.

"The Gatornationals has a lot of tradition and it's a special place to win," said Line, who won here in 2005 over Dave Connolly. "It should be fast there and the possibility of seeing the first 210 mph run should excite the fans. I feel our cars are capable of that type of number, but so are a few others. Hopefully, it will be one of the two Summit Pontiacs that does it first -- mine or Greg's (Anderson, teammate)."

At the last event in Phoenix, the second of 17 races in the Countdown to Eight portion of the newly formatted Countdown to the Championship, Jason Line took over the Pro Stock lead, the position that he hopes he and his KB Racing LLC, Summit Racing Equipment Pontiac GTO will occupy when the dust has settled at the end of the ACDelco Gatornationals this weekend.

In its simplest form, the Countdown breaks the $50 million, 23-event NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season up into three distinct sections: the 17-race Countdown to Eight, the four-race Countdown to Four and the two-race Countdown to One. All 23-events will field 16-car fields, but only those drivers who qualify for the Countdown to Four and advance to the Countdown to One will have an opportunity to win the championship.

After the 17 regular season races, only the top eight drivers in NHRA POWERade points will advance into the first round of the Countdown to Four -- with the top driver being assigned 2,070 points and each of the remaining drivers 10 fewer points each (eighth-place is assigned 2,000 points).

Of the eight that qualified for the Countdown to Four, only the top four drivers in points after the four-race playoff will advance into the first round of the Countdown to One. These four drivers will have their points reassigned again in 10-point increments with the first-place driver receiving 3,030 and the fourth-place driver 3,000.

The championship -- the Countdown to One -- will then be determined over the final two races -- the NHRA ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals in Las Vegas and the NHRA Auto Club Finals in Pomona -- with those final four drivers competing for the 2007 POWERade Series championships in Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock, and Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Line, who captured the 1993 Stock Eliminator sportsman title and turned professional in 2003, is off to a fast start in 2007 with a semifinal appearance in the season-opener at Pomona, Calif., and a runner-up at the Phoenix event.

Last season, Line's first final round and win didn't come until Bristol, the sixth race of the season and the Minnesota native, who now lives in North Carolina, didn't take over the point lead until Denver, the 13th race, a position he held through season end when he earned his first NHRA POWERade Pro Stock Championship.

"It's cool that we're off to a decent start this season which is a little uncharacteristic for me," said Line. "It's the best start that I've ever had. It gives us some momentum.

"As far as the Countdown to Eight is concerned, it doesn't give us a lock on getting in as there are still a lot of races to go but it does give us a cushion that we can fall back on later if necessary. Hopefully, that won't be needed as our goal at each race is to win, not fall back on past performance. We are always after as many points as possible each event."

Although it's early in the Countdown to Eight, Line leads his teammate, Greg Anderson, who also drives a KB Racing LLC-owned, Summit Racing Equipment-backed Pontiac, by only one point -- 174 to 173. ACDelco driver Kurt Johnson is third with 146 points. Rounding out the remainder of the top eight is Dave Connolly (#4 with127 points), Greg Stanfield (#5,126), Mike Edwards (#6, 105), Jim Yates (#7, 104), and Richie Stevens (#8, 88).

-credit: kb racing

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Series NHRA
Drivers Kurt Johnson , Greg Anderson , Jason Line , Dave Connolly , Mike Edwards