Line Looks for a Significant Win at U.S. Nationals Mooresville, N.C., September 2, 2010 -- Jason Line readily admits his perspective of the U.S. Nationals is different from that of most of his fellow competitors. After all, throughout his...
Line Looks for a Significant Win at U.S. Nationals
Mooresville, N.C., September 2, 2010 -- Jason Line readily admits his perspective of the U.S. Nationals is different from that of most of his fellow competitors. After all, throughout his career, the Summit Racing shoe had approached the Labor Day race as just another stop on the circuit with little consideration for its history or tradition. However, there is one aspect of this year's edition that has changed the perennial Pro Stock contender's attitude, as for the first time in its four-year history the NHRA's championship playoff, the Countdown to One, will begin at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, IN.
As a result, every point producing opportunity must be maximized, starting with this weekend's event providing the 2006 champion some extra incentive for doing well.
"I know I'm in the minority in thinking this way, but in the past I honestly saw the U.S. Nationals as just another race," said Line.
"I realize there's a tremendous history and tradition of racing in Indy, and how much it means to win there. Even so, for me it was always just the next stop on the schedule, a race I certainly wanted to win but with no added significance.
"However, this year it does have special meaning because it is the first race of the Countdown, so the Summit Racing team will have to be at the very top of its game from the moment we hit the track on Friday. Up until now, we've only had to be good in order to qualify for the playoffs, but to contend for the championship, we need to be perfect, which is exactly what we are planning to be."
In order for Line to accomplish his objective, he will need to reverse a trend of uncharacteristically early exits at O'Reilly Raceway Park, site of this weekend's race. As one of only two stops on the 2010 Full Throttle Drag Racing schedule where he has yet to advance to the final round (the other being Heartland Park in Topeka, KS) the Indiana quarter-mile has proven to be a stiff opponent. Even so, attributing his previous issues to misfortune rather than a lack of performance, he remains cautiously optimistic about his chances.
"Throughout my Pro Stock career, O'Reilly Raceway Park has been one of my most challenging tracks," said Line. "I achieved some success there in my Stocker, going deep into eliminations, but haven't had the best of luck in the factory hot rods. From snapping off a brake pedal to breaking a wheelie bar, something unusual has always happened to prevent me from making it to the winner's circle in Indy.
"But the way we see it, we've gotten all of our bad luck out of the way, so hopefully things will go the Summit Racing team's way this year. After all, our goal is to make it to the finals or better in each of the six races of the Countdown, starting with this weekend."
Aiding Line's positive outlook for the 2010 "Big Go", as the U.S. Nationals are widely known, is the intense preparation both he and his KB Racing crew had done in the two weeks since the last race in Brainerd, MN. With countless hours spent on the dyno and at the racetrack, every option was explored in the search for added performance.
"Everyone on this Summit Racing team knows that if we don't have our act together in Indy, it could be game over, so we've been working non-stop since getting back from Brainerd" said Line.
"It's not that our overall effort has increased, because we want to win every race, but knowing how important these last six would be, we saved some of testing time so we could concentrate on being at our best heading into this weekend.
"Although we won't know for sure until we get to O'Reilly Raceway Park, I believe we've made some improvements to our program that we hope will help us in the Countdown. Only time will tell if we've been successful, but I have confidence in every one on this KB Racing crew and feel pretty good about our chances. There could not be a better time for me to win my first U.S. Nationals, and we're going to do everything we can to get the job done."