Pontiac's Jason Line No. 1 at NHRA Finals After Second Day of Time Trials POMONA, Calif., Nov. 14, 2008 - Pontiac's Jason Line moved to the top of the Pro Stock qualifying ladder today at the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals ...
Pontiac's Jason Line No. 1 at NHRA Finals After Second Day of Time Trials
POMONA, Calif., Nov. 14, 2008 - Pontiac's Jason Line moved to the top of the Pro Stock qualifying ladder today at the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals after posting a 6.658 second run at 208.39 mph in the Summit Racing GXP. With air temperatures soaring into the 90-degree range this afternoon at Auto Club of Southern California Raceway, Line's run was even more impressive, and allowed him to swap places with Team Chevy's Dave Connolly, who held the No. 1 spot after yesterday's lone qualifying session.
"Sitting in the car I didn't think it felt that great," Line said. "But the scoreboard doesn't lie. Great job by the Summit Racing team because, obviously, it puts us in a good spot going into Saturday.
"We made a decent run yesterday so we had good place to start from. We've always struggled with the right lane here, so honestly, I was surprised to go as fast as we did. Considering that these are the kind of conditions we'll be running in on Sunday, that was a really good run. Our team has always seemed to struggle in the right lane so to be to No. 1 tonight is really gratifying, although I don't think that it's going to hold up through tomorrow. We'll be in the left lane in the morning so we'll see if we can't do something tonight to make the Summit Racing Pontiac run even faster tomorrow."
Line was No. 1 qualifier at the NHRA Finals in 2005 and he's made two final-round appearances at this event (2004, 2006). So far this season, the Mooresville, N.C. resident has won two national events at Las Vegas and Seattle, advanced to six final rounds and was No. 1 qualifier at St. Louis and Norwalk.
"This race is a big deal for all of us and we'd like to end this season on a good note," Line said. "There's nothing that we'd like more than to put one of the two Summit Racing Pontiac's in the winner's circle on Sunday,"
With two rounds of time trials left to be completed on Saturday, Dave Connolly has the Lucas Oil/Charter Communications Chevrolet qualified in the No. 2 position with a 6.660 e.t. at 207.75 mph.
"We were fourth for the session, but it's a tricky track," Connolly said. "It's hot, but we'd rather have sunshine than rain. We'll keep working on it and try to get this Chevy Cobalt to run a little faster tomorrow. We should have a great session tomorrow morning, probably the best of the weekend, early in the morning, and that should set the field for race day. We want to go out on a high note. We didn't finish on the top of the championship page but it looks like our teammate, Jeg Coughlin, is going to take the trophy home, and our goal is to maybe get that No. 2 spot. That would be excellent, especially considering we missed the first five races of the year. Just giving up that much ground on these guys, and making the kind of comeback we have, is pretty remarkable."
POWERade points leader Jeg Coughlin Jr. is quietly closing in on his fourth NHRA Pro Stock championship. All he needs to do to nail down his second straight title is to be one of the 16 drivers to qualify for Sunday's eliminator, and he's well on his way to doing just that. The JEGS.com Chevrolet driver is currently qualified in the No. 9 spot with a 6.678 e.t. at 206.95 mph.
"We were testing some things today and got a little too aggressive," Coughlin said of Friday's aborted Round 2 pass. "The car wasn't real happy and made a move to the wall so I clicked it off. There's certainly no reason to do anything goofy at this point. We're going to change everything back to the Las Vegas set-up from two weeks ago. We were No. 1 qualifier there and won the race so it's a tried and true combination. Even though we've got the title in our grasp, we'd still like to end the season with another win, so we'll get after it tomorrow and try to move up the ladder."
"I think we're in for a very interesting race day because the dynamic has shifted a bit. There's a sense among all of the other racers that there's nothing to lose so everyone is just going all out and trying things. Teams want to finish as high as they can in the points so it's getting crazy. It's going to be fun.
"In our camp, all the gang is coming in to end the year with a bang. Lots of my buddies from back home are flying over. My dad and step-mom Sue are here, which is so special for me. Dad has been such a great tool for this race team to use and he's a big part of this, without question. I know Victor Cagnazzi, our team owner, has a big group as well. It'll be nice to get through with qualifying, get the championship sealed up, and then just have some fun Sunday and try to win a drag race. That's the plan."
-credit: gm racing