Jason Line Tops Teammate to Win Atlanta, Pads Points Lead
Commerce, GA- Jason Line and the Summit Racing team added another entry to their racing resume on Sunday, capturing the Pro Stock title at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway. Starting from the second position, Line defeated Shane Gray, Vincent Nobile and Allen Johnson in the early rounds before squaring off against his teammate Greg Anderson in the final round, the second time in this year’s six races that the KB Racing teammates had met in the championship round.
Running in the left-hand lane, Line used a solid .034 reaction time to gain a slight advantage at the starting line and never looked back, recording his quickest time of the weekend at 6.600-seconds with a top speed of 208.42 mph to edge his teammate’s 6.610-second, 208.33 mph pass. It was the 24th national event win of Line’s career, third of 2011 and first at Atlanta Dragway, allowing him to increase his lead in the Full Throttle Championship standings to 50 points over Anderson.
“Today was just a tremendous day, and the fact that we were able to win the race with everyone from Summit here with us makes it that much better,” said Line. “We had a really good car all weekend. It wasn’t always the fastest on the property, but it was very steady. To win one of these races you have to be consistent, and this weekend we were, which is a credit to our entire Summit Racing team, who just did a tremendous job. I also managed to do my part and we ended up winning our sponsor’s race.
“It was very tough racing Greg in the final. We knew the Summit team was going to win and I really would have been okay either way, but to be the best, you have to beat the best, and Greg is every bit of that, so it feels really good to be the one standing here holding the Wally.”
Although Line’s car was among the best in the Pro Stock category from start of qualifying on Friday to today’s final round, the KB Racing team never stopped working, continually exploring ways to improve its performance on the tricky Atlanta Dragway surface. Their efforts were rewarded on Sunday, where Line opened with a very quick 6.611-second, 207.18 mph pass to trailer sophomore runner Shane Gray.
In the second round, although Line received the automatic win when rookie and most recent winner Vincent Nobile left the starting line early, he improved to a 6.605-second, 208.17 run to earn lane choice for the semifinals. The final obstacle between the KB Racing driver and his 51st final round was veteran Allen Johnson. Once again, Line was up to the challenge, posting another 6.60-second time to easily outpace his opponent, who was forced to shut off early due to tire shake. This set the stage for the dramatic meeting with his teammate, marking the fifteenth time in their respective careers that the talented teammates would decide the race between them.
“It may not have looked like it, but we actually struggled a little with our car throughout the weekend, and didn’t get a firm handle on it until the second round today,” said Line. “Fortunately, we learned some things along the way, and this Summit Racing Pontiac just kept getting better with every round. In fact, I think if we had made one more run we would have been even faster.
It was very tough racing Greg in the final.
“Greg and I were pretty excited after the semis, because we knew at that point that Summit had won, and the final would be more for bragging rights than anything else. To win with them here is really a huge deal. We like to show off for them, and even though it doesn’t always work out that way, today it did.”
Line was quick to thank those whose contributions had made the day possible, and indicated he already had plans for the pewter “Wally” winner’s trophy he had received. Finally, he acknowledged that the team’s focus was already shifting towards next weekend’s race in Topeka, Kansas.
“There are a lot of people I have to thank for making this all possible,” said Line. “Of course, I want to thank all the folks from Summit for supporting us and for supporting the NHRA. I want to thank Ken, Judy and Kenny Black for all of their support. The only thing that could have made today better would be having them here celebrating this win with us. Finally, I’d like to thank the fans for their support and constant encouragement.
“This trophy is going to go to my mother Maxine. She’s also a racer, who’s never had a chance to win one of these, so this one is going to her. It would have been nice to win it in time for Mother’s Day, but I guess this will have to do.
“Today was a great confidence booster for the entire team, and I can’t wait to get to Topeka so we can hopefully build on this success. But for tonight, we’re going to head back to Charlotte and enjoy this win.”
-source: kb racing