Line Leads Way in First-Day Qualifying at Phoenix '06 Pro Stock champ Sets Both Ends of Firebird Raceway Records PHOENIX, February 23, 2007 - On the strength of track records for both elapsed time and speed, 2006 NHRA Pro Stock champion Jason...
Line Leads Way in First-Day Qualifying at Phoenix
'06 Pro Stock champ Sets Both Ends of Firebird Raceway Records
PHOENIX, February 23, 2007 - On the strength of track records for both elapsed time and speed, 2006 NHRA Pro Stock champion Jason Line drove his Summit Racing Pontiac GTO to the top spot after first-day qualifying for the 23rd annual Checker Schuck Kragen's NHRA Nationals at Firebird International Raceway in nearby Chandler. The defending series champ claimed the provisional No. 1 qualifier with a track-record elapsed time of 6.642 seconds at a track-record speed of 208.84 mph.
"The conditions were good," said Line. "The starting line is really good, and down track we struggled a little bit, but all in all it was a great run. I didn't think it was going to be that good, at least in the car it didn't feel that good. But really, it was pretty phenomenal, especially the back half. I don't think we thought we'd run that kind of speed here at Phoenix, but I think it's going to be fast here all weekend. As the whole class gets used to the racetrack, it's going to get faster. We feel like there's definitely something left there, for sure. I know we say that about every run, but I honestly do feel like there's something left, and not just for us, but for everybody."
Line's teammate, three-time Pro Stock champ Greg Anderson, set the tone for the KB Racing team with a season-opening win after qualifying No. 1 two weeks ago at Pomona (Calif.), and Line hopes to continue that trend this weekend. Both drivers are using the GM DRCE3 (Drag Racing Competition Engine, third generation) as powerplants in their Pontiacs for only the second race after years of using the DRCE2. Anderson is qualified fourth after two rounds of qualifying.
"So far, so good with our DRCE3 engine," said Line. "We're obviously pretty optimistic about it with the first two times out here and we think it's running great. There's a lot of room for improvement in it yet, and we feel like it's got a lot of potential. We'll see. If we can just do the right things to it, and the development goes as planned over the course of the year, it could be really good. Time will tell. We said that about the "2" engine, too, and sometimes it just takes you longer to develop the engine than what you think it's going to, but that's normal. That's engine development."
Kenny Koretsky continues to run strong in the early going of the season as he was the highest-qualified Chevy in his Indicom/Nitro Fish Chevy Cobalt. After qualifying fifth in the season-opener at Pomona, Koretsky put his Chevy in the provisional No. 3 slot with an elapsed time of 6.659 seconds at 207.59 mph.
In Funny Car, Tony Pedregon ran a career-best elapsed time of 4.659 seconds at 324.44 mph in his Q Racing Chevy Monte Carlo, good for No. 2 on the provisional Funny Car grid. Unfortunately for Pedregon, Force Racing's Robert Hight made the quickest Funny Car run in NHRA history to claim the No. 1 spot. Hight had a track-record elapsed time of 4.636 seconds at 327.74 mph.
-credit: gm racing