KB Racing press release
Runner-Up Finish at U.S. Nationals Propels Line to Second Seed for NHRA Countdown
Jason Line and the Summit Racing team entered Monday’s final eliminations of the Mac Tools U.S. NHRA Nationals in Clermont, Ind. determined to put an end to his string of premature exits at his sport’s biggest race. Although he had laid a solid foundation for success in qualifying with five quick passes, including a 6.603-second, 209.01 mph run on his final attempt to secure the No. 1 starting position, the cooler temperatures at Lucas Oil Raceway on race day would require a completely different set of tuning conditions for the naturally-aspirated Pro Stock cars.
In his opening round match-up with rookie Buddy Perkinson, Line was awarded the automatic win when his opponent left the starting line early, However, the 2006 champion showed his intentions by stepping up to a 6.558-second, 210.73 mph pass to earn lane choice for his second-round encounter with Erica Enders. Ironically, Enders would also foul, sending Line into the semifinals of the “Big Go” for the first time in his career, where he would face Allen Johnson.
Once again, Line relied on the trademark KB Racing horsepower to gain the round win, with his 6.550-second, 210.08 mph pass outdistancing Johnson’s 6.612-sec., 209.43 mph effort, propelling him to the 53rd final round appearance of his career, fifth of the season and first at the Indianapolis race, where he would face a familiar opponent – his Summit Racing teammate Greg Anderson.
This marked the fourth time this season (and 18th time overall) that the stable mates would meet to decide the win, with Line looking to maintain his perfect 2011 record. However, even though Line was able to post the quickest elapsed time of the weekend at 6.538-seconds, resetting the track record in the process, it fell 18/1000ths of a second shy of overcoming his running mate’s starting line advantage, who used a 6.552-second run to gain the narrow victory.
“I had a Summit Racing Pontiac capable of winning the race, but just wasn’t able to seal the deal,” said Line. “Fortunately, going into the final, we knew the team was going to win – it was just a matter of whether Greg or I was going to get the trophy, and today it happened to be him. He showed in the final why he’s the four-time champion and one of the all-time best, and why I consider it an accomplishment whenever I do beat him.
“Certainly, I’m disappointed, but it could have been worse, and I had my best day as a pro at the U.S. Nationals. I’m pretty sure everyone knew we were there. We’ll take what we learned today and head in to the Countdown with some positive momentum.”
Line was able to take some consolation in that his performance had allowed him to secure the second seed for the upcoming NHRA Countdown championship playoff, which will start in two weeks in Charlotte, N.C.
“All in all, it was a great day for Summit Racing,” said Line. “The KB Racing crew did a really good job all weekend, giving both Greg and I great hot rods to drive, allowing us to post low elapsed time in all five qualifying sessions and four elimination rounds today, which is certainly an accomplishment, and gives us a lot of confidence going into the playoffs.
“I wouldn’t think too many folks are looking forward to racing us, but we can’t afford to just sit back and expect it to stay that way, so we’re going to spend the time between now and Charlotte working hard to make our program even better.
“Today may not have ended up the way I wanted, but there are still a lot of positives we can take from the weekend, so I’m just going to hit the reset button and start working on getting ready for Charlotte.”