For the third time during the 2011 season, Jason Line put his Summit Racing Pontiac at the top of the NHRA Pro Stock qualifying sheet and his latest feat came during the 30th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway in Minnesota.
NHRA Pro Stock Racer Jason Line
The Summit Racing Pontiac at the 30th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway.
With so much on the line for Pro Stock teams every time they go down the track, Line and teammate Greg Anderson laid down identical 6.607 ET's during session number one on Friday to take the provisional number one and two spots. Line just edged out Anderson with his ever-so-slightly faster 208.62 MPH.
Normally the late August air conditions during the Brainerd event are not as friendly to the naturally aspirated Pro Stock combinations as they were during this year's race. "It stayed between twenty-five and twenty-seven hundred feet," Line noted of the adjusted altitude over the course of the weekend. "It was pretty steady and that's about as good as you are going to see at Brainerd during August."
During the second session on Friday, Line continued to be strong and picked up on his earlier effort by a few thousandths but it was K&N's Mike Edwards who would bump his way to the top by laying down a 6.595. Greg Anderson also improving with his 6.597 and a mere five thousandths of a second separating Edwards' provisional number one to Line's number three 6.600.
"In addition to the air conditions being what they were, the race track itself was also very-very good," he commented. "It made for probably a little bit quicker ET's than what we would have expected to run there."
Edwards only had Friday evening to enjoy his possible pole position, as Line came back during the first session on Saturday and blazed down the BIR quarter mile to reset both ends of the Pro Stock track record and right back to number one. His 6.581 at 209.26 would set the mark just that much higher for team's hoping to grab the K&N Low Qualifier bonus check and the maximum points for the 2012 K&N Horsepower Challenge.
"Our car has just been running great and it felt really good to make that pass," he said of qualifier number three. "We have been on somewhat of an upswing lately and it just feels good knowing when you go to a race that you are going to have a little something for them."
Although unable to improve on his earlier 6.581, Line remained quickest of the pack during the fourth and final Pro Stock session later in the day on Saturday, which also garnered him even more of the NHRA Full Throttle bonus points professional teams are awarded each session, should they make one of the quickest three runs of their class.
Line, who now resides in Mooresville, North Carolina, was able to show off a little and make his hometown crowd proud with his twentieth NHRA Pro Stock pole. Originally from Wright, Minnesota, a small town just seventy miles from BIR, Line noted after he wrapped up qualifying on Saturday, "I'm thinking they'll be pretty proud. They might not make it Jason Line Day but I might end up with the key to the city sometime. There will be a celebration but I don't think it will be too wild, there's a large elderly population there."
With his latest number one, Line grabbed the $3,000 bonus check from K&N Engineering and placed himself firmly in the number two spot in the 2012 K&N Horsepower Challenge standings, just trailing teammate Greg Anderson by ten points.
"It's really so awesome what K&N does for our class," said Line. "The Horsepower Challenge is such a great program all the way around and the support K&N gives Pro Stock, with not only the cash bonuses to shoot for, but the R&D in their product available for racers at all levels, well it really shows what kind of company they are."
With one week off to prepare for the biggest NHRA event of each season, The Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, Line points out that he is going into the "Big Go" with a different frame of mind this season. "My Indy's have been forgettable," confessed Line. "If I want to do a better job there, I have to go into it with a totally different attitude than I ever have before. I'm really feeling good about it, because we have a great team, great crew and great sponsors going into it. We already have ninety percent of it done, I just need to go in there and finish it off."
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