Line Keeping Things in Perspective Heading to Las Vegas
Pro Stock Points Leader Targeting Third Straight Win
Mooresville, N.C., March 29, 2011 – Prior to the start of the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing season, Summit Racing Pro Stock driver Jason Line stated that one of his goals was to win all 22 races on this year’s schedule. As anyone who knows the quiet-spoken Minnesotan will tell you, this statement was not made as a flippant remark or a bold declaration. Rather, it was the product of logical thought, as he believes every driver in the series should start the year with the same mindset.
Ironically, as the world’s best quarter-milers arrive in Las Vegas for this weekend’s SummitRacing.com Nationals, Line is the only competitor for whom that goal remains achievable, having won the previous two races in Pomona and Gainesville. Even with his recent success, however, the 2006 champion has maintained the proper perspective. Grateful for his strong showing to this point, he notes that it still very early in the season and his quest for a perfect season faces long odds, with the challenge only intensifying with each successive round.
“The only thing that I can definitely say about this Summit Racing team’s performance in the first two races is that we are off to a good start, and that I want to keep it going,” said Line. “To be honest, when I made that remark at the start of the year about winning all the races, I knew there was little chance we’d actually do it – after all, no one has done it in the modern era. In fact, I wasn’t sure we’d win the first two, especially after back surgery a month before the season almost kept me out of the car.
“Having said that, it should be every competitor’s goal to win every race he or she enters. It would be cool to sweep the season, but right now I’m pretty happy to have won the first two races. I feel like we have a pretty good hot rod heading into Vegas, and although we expect a stiff challenge from all our competitors, at this point the only thing stopping us from winning would be ourselves.”
Naturally, when his race car and team are performing up to their full potential, a driver looks forward to every race, knowing he has a chance to win. In this case, however, there are added reasons for Line and his KB Racing crew to be enthused heading to Las Vegas beyond their current status as the Pro Stock points leader, including a reunion with their team owner Ken Black.
“When you’re running well, it’s always fun going to the racetrack, but this week it gets even better for this KB Racing team, because we’ll get to see Ken, Judy and Kenny,” said Line. “We had gotten a little spoiled over the last few races having Ken at the track, so it was odd not seeing him at the starting line in Gainesville. It will great to have him back with us in Vegas.
“I’m also excited because this race is one of three that Summit sponsors. Although that certainly means there’s a little extra pressure, there’s also no better race to win, and we’ll get to see a lot of people who make this all possible. When I won this race back in 2008, it was the first Summit race I had ever won, and I remember how special it was for all of us. It’s a feeling we’d certainly like to duplicate this weekend. We’ve done a lot of testing since Gainesville, so I think we’ll have three Summit Racing Pontiacs capable of winning the race.”
The biggest challenge to Line’s current winning streak may come from within his own team in the form of defending NHRA Pro Stock champion Greg Anderson. With seven previous wins at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Anderson is certainly familiar with what it takes to win in the Nevada desert. Having defeated his high-profile teammate in their last encounter in Gainesville three weeks ago, Line knows that should there be a rematch this weekend in Las Vegas, Anderson will be more than up to the task.
“As the year goes on, every competitor is going to get tougher, and I expect Greg to be the toughest of them all,” said Line. “He’s not all that big on that whole losing thing, especially when it comes to me. When you consider that we work on each other’s cars, it’s certainly a strange dynamic, but at the same time it’s really cool. The best part is that we know when we race a Summit Racing Pontiac is going to win, so I hope we do get the opportunity to face each other in the final, especially in front of Ken, Judy and everyone from Summit.
“Of course, the last time we raced in Las Vegas, it was Ken’s first race back after his stroke and Greg and I did meet in the final. Even though he won, it was still the most fun day of racing I ever had, and I think every member of this KB Racing team will agree with me. I still remember that day, and would like to duplicate that performance this weekend, although this time I’d like to be the one holding the trophy. I’ve never won three races in a row before, so I plan to do whatever I can to make that happen this weekend.”
-source: kb racing