With now just seven events remaining to gain points and position for the 2012 K&N Horsepower Challenge, Jason Line earned his second NHRA Pro Stock pole of the season, his seventh since the points started over for the Challenge, during the most recent NHRA event at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and the 13th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals. Line continues to hold down the top spot in the Challenge with a 115-point lead over K&N's Mike Edwards.
If it wasn't for K&N and the K&N low qualifier award, we would have come out of Vegas empty handed.
Since the commencement of the 2012 race season, Jason Line has been quite deadly during qualifying, taking not only fifty percent of the pole positions thus far, but for the two he didn't, still going into race day no less that second on the ladder and in the process, earning a whopping 680 points for the K&N Horsepower Challenge out of the 700 maximum. Second highest points earner for the first four races of the season goes to K&N's Mike Edwards with 650, who earned a number one at Phoenix and third to Allen Johnson with 610, picking up the remaining pole so far this season at Gainesville.
During Las Vegas, Line was flat unbeatable in qualifying as he was number one out of the gate during Friday's first session and never looked back. He not only held on to the number one spot over the course of qualifying, he outran the field, making the quickest run of each of the four sessions.
Wind played a fairly big factor for all teams competing during the Las Vegas event. "That place is kinda crazy," said the current K&N Horsepower Challenge point leader. "You never know which way the wind is blow. One minute its blowing one direction and the next it's another. It's always kind of a tough place to race because of that. We came out of the box good and that's always a great way to start because then you can kinda chip away at it. A lot of times you get behind the eight ball, but this was a good qualifying event for us. My car has been really good, actually phenomenal."
A lot of times you get behind the eight ball, but this was a good qualifying event for us. My car has been really good, actually phenomenal.
"If it wasn't for K&N and the K&N low qualifier award, we would have come out of Vegas empty handed," he confessed. "We have a great race car and were number one qualifier, but the driver just needs to get a little more intense on race day. I gotta say though, I really like hanging those K&N plaques on my wall and the bonus they provide is fantastic."
Over the course of qualifying, Line first laid down a 6.679, tying Allen Johnson in E.T., but holding the all-important tie breaker with his faster 206.99 MPH for the number one position. He then came back and made his best run of all the sessions during the afternoon shot, when he found another whole two hundredths of a second and a nice 6.659. That number would remain the top spot even though both sessions on Saturday. Although Line has a nice lead over Mike Edwards for the top spot in the 2012 K&N Horsepower Challenge, he's far from comfortable with it. "We don't have a stranglehold on it, because we definitely don't," he commented on his position in the standings. "You know, I say it every year, but I want to win that thing one of these years and we just seem to keep coming up short."
The K&N Horsepower Challenge is unique in that it provides eight elite NHRA Pro Stock teams a shot to run off in just three short rounds for a substantial payday. The last person standing will earn, not only some of the biggest bragging rights in all of drag racing, but also the largest single race payout in all of NHRA Pro Stock with its $50,000 check.
"If things keep going the way they are, obviously the worst case scenario is that we start that race with a great starting position," he said of the upcoming Challenge race to be held in early July at Norwalk. "Best case is that we start with the best spot and that's number one. It's really quite a battle right now between Mike [Edwards] and myself. We seem to be the two teams who have the most consistent cars during qualifying. I think it's really going to come down to the last race right before the shootout. We'll see, hopefully we can hang on."
The teams have Easter weekend to grab some quick rest and time with their families before it's right back to business for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, April 13-15 at zMax Dragway in Concord, North Carolina.
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