By KB Racing
Line Ready to Make the Most of Big Norwalk Weekend
For the third time this season, Jason Line and the Summit Racing team will be dealing with the unique experience of racing in their sponsor’s race, as the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series heads to Norwalk, Ohio for the fifth annual Summit Racing Equipment Nationals. Further adding to the significance is the fact that the racetrack also bears their sponsor’s name and is a short drive from their Tallmadge headquarters, with a large contingent of Summit executives and employees expected to come out and support their efforts throughout the weekend.
As if that were not enough, Line will also be among the eight racers competing for a $50,000 winner’s prize in Saturday’s K&N Horsepower Challenge specialty race. It is therefore easy to understand why this weekend is one the team has had circled on their calendars for quite some time.
“Whether you ask Greg (teammate Anderson) or myself or anyone on this Summit Racing team, there’s no question that the Norwalk race sits high up on our list of important races,” said Line. After all, it’s a Summit-sponsored race on a Summit-sponsored track located about an hour’s drive from their headquarters. When you throw in the K&N Horsepower Challenge on Saturday, it really doesn’t get any bigger.
“Although it’s impossible to say we put in an extra effort when we go there, because we approach every race the same, we do try to rise to the occasion in Norwalk, because Summit deserves it. They work hard to be the best in their business, just as we do in ours, and we want to do a good job of representing them.
“Fortunately, our team has managed to do fairly well there in the past, with the two of us splitting the last three races, including Greg doubling up last year. It’s a trend we’d like to continue, although I would prefer if it was my Summit Racing Pontiac in the winner’s circle.”
With such an important weekend ahead of him, Line took advantage of the short week between races to enjoy a little time with his family away from the pressure of competition, driving directly from the last race in Bristol to the Norwalk area. It is a brief respite that could play an important role at the track.
“I’m looking forward to driving up to Norwalk with my wife and the kids,” said Line. “My brother Lance, who’s been helping us this year, will also be riding up with us. His wife and daughter will be flying in from Minnesota to meet us there and we’ll all have some fun at the waterpark on Tuesday.
“It may only be a day, but I think this will allow me to relax and take my mind off things for a few hours, so I can be fully focused once we start racing, which, given how important this race is to us, could be crucial.”
In addition to the usual national event competition, Line and seven other Pro Stock drivers will also be competing in the K&N Horsepower Challenge, a specialty race pitting the seven best qualifying drivers from the previous year and one competitor selected by the fans in a three-round shootout for $50,000. For the first time in his career, Line will come into the event as the No.1 qualifier, which he hopes to parlay into his first all-star race win.
“Being the No. 1 qualifier for the K&N Horsepower Challenge is a tremendous accomplishment for the entire Summit Racing team,” said Line. “It shows that over the course of an entire year, we performed better in qualifying than anyone else, which, as close as the competition is in Pro Stock is hard to do.
“But that’s only the first step. This will be my seventh start in the Challenge, and I’m ready to win it. The $50,000 would be great for the team, and I’d love to home that incredible trophy and ring they give to the winner, as well as helping a fan win a new Explorer. I’ve been the runner-up twice, so maybe being the No. 1 qualifier will be that final piece of the puzzle that puts me over the top.
“Friday’s qualifying sessions take on added meaning in Norwalk, because you want to make sure and a get a good starting spot for Sunday so you can just focus on the Challenge on Saturday. Any way you look at it, this is a big weekend for us, and we want to make the most of it.”