Line Eager to Exorcise his U.S. Nationals Demons Mooresville, N.C., August 31, 2009 -- In the days preceding this weekend's Mac Tools NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, racers in every category will be talking about the significance of the ...
Line Eager to Exorcise his U.S. Nationals Demons
Mooresville, N.C., August 31, 2009 -- In the days preceding this weekend's Mac Tools NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, racers in every category will be talking about the significance of the event, often describing it as the biggest race of the Full Throttle Drag Racing season. However, there will be no such words of praise coming from Summit Racing Pontiac pilot Jason Line, as this race has proven to be one of the greatest challenges of his Pro Stock career. While the Wright, MN native has excelled at almost every other stop on the circuit, he has struggled to succeed at O'Reilly Raceway Park, with only two quarterfinal finishes to his credit, a blemish he looks to eradicate this weekend.
"For some reason, the U.S. Nationals have just not been kind to me," said Line. "I did make it to the fourth round there once in my Stocker, but other than a couple round wins, I've had my share of issues at Indy in Pro Stock, including having the brake pedal break during the burnout in 2005. It might be bad luck or it might have something to do with the time of year. We're usually really busy and I'm wide open thrashing to make sure we're ready for the stretch run, which in the past might have caused me to lose focus, which is something you cannot do in this class.
"But this year our Summit Racing team is in pretty good shape. We still have plenty of work to do, but both Greg's (teammate Anderson) and my cars have been running well of lat e. That should allow me to concentrate on my driving so I can finally go some rounds and contend for the win on Monday."
Fortunately, Line does not put a lot of stock into his past history at any event, whether good or bad, preferring instead to focus on the challenges that lie ahead. Fueled by the combination of having a five-time U.S. Nationals winner as his teammate and his own team's race-winning performance in recent weeks, there is an atmosphere of cautious optimism in the Line camp, as they prepare for the final race before the start of the six-race championship playoff, the Countdown to One.
"Without a doubt, this year represents my best chance to win the U.S. Nationals, and I fully intend to take full advantage of the opportunity," stated Line. "Our Summit Racing team has a long history of success at this race with Greg winning there five times, so we'll have plenty of good information to draw from during the course of the weekend, which combined with our performance over the last few months, puts us in a really good position.
"I know I haven't been a fan of O'Reilly Raceway Park in the past, but I have to admit it would be pretty big to make it to the winner's circle there. Not only would it allow me to add my name to a very distinguished list of previous winners in Indianapolis, but it would also be my fifth win of the season, which would be a new career best.
"You also can't discount the fact that this is the last race before the Countdown, so you naturally want to do well. We want to head in to the playoffs on a positive note, and if things work in our favor, we could take over the No. 1 spot and the 20 bonus points that go with it heading in to Charlotte. Any way you look at it, we have plenty of reasons to succeed, so I think it's about time we put our issues with Indy behind us and took home our first U.S. Nationals winner's trophy."