Mooresville, N.C., April 26, 2012 – The NHRA’s Full Throttle Drag Racing Series will visit 20 different tracks throughout the course of the 2012 season at locations spanning the continental United States. Although the race distance for the Pro Stock category remains the same quarter mile at each stop, any other similarities are few and far between, with every facility having its own distinctive characteristics.
For example, Royal Purple Raceway, site of this weekend’s NHRA Spring Nationals in Baytown, Tex., is quite popular with the Pro Stock contingent due to atmospheric conditions that are particularly friendly to the carbureted, 1,400-horsepower “factory hot rods”. As the primary engine builder and driver of one of the powerful Summit Racing Pontiacs, a visit to the former Houston Raceway Park therefore appeals to Jason Line on two levels, which he hopes to combine into a winning performance.
“It’s fun racing in Houston, because there’s always the potential to go really fast,” said Line. “Royal Purple Raceway is a good air track, and the fact that it’s a high barometer is actually a naturally aspirated engine’s dream come true. Although it’s been good the last two years, there are some concerns about the racing surface this year, which is something we’ll have to deal with when we get there, and in any case, it will be the same for everyone.
“Fortunately, we know our Summit Racing Pontiac is a really good hot rod – in fact, it is now the quickest and fastest in Pro Stock history (note: Line reset the NHRA top speed record at 213.91 mph two weeks ago in Charlotte, NC, and set the elapsed time mark at 6.477 seconds last fall in Reading, PA) and we hope to put it to good use this weekend.”
However, in order for Line to score his second win at the Lone Star State speed plant (and second of 2012), both he and his KB Racing crew will need to translate the competitive excellence shown in qualifying into round wins on Sunday. In this season’s first five races, he has been the No. 1 qualifier three times and started second in the other two races, accumulating a wealth of the bonus points awarded after each qualifying session. Although he has been a solid performer on race day and sits second in the championship standings he enters the weekend determined to add to his solitary victory.
“Our Summit Racing Pontiac has been phenomenal in qualifying but, with one exception, we have yet to turn that into race wins,” said Line. “I can’t explain why that is, or exactly how we’re going to fix it, but I’m confident we will. We obviously have the tools and the right people to get it done, so it’s just a matter of putting all the pieces of the puzzle together.
“A winning effort starts with everyone on the team doing their jobs on all three days, making sure to avoid any mental mistakes. If we do that, I’m pretty certain we will end up with a favorable outcome. These conditions should work in our favor, and this is a track where we have historically done well. I am extremely motivated to get back to the winners’ circle, and the way I see it, there’s no time like the present to do it.”
Jason Line & the Summit Racing Pontiac crew
By the Numbers – Royal Purple Raceway edition:
1 – Jason wins at Royal Purple Raceway coming into this weekend, which came in 2007.
2 – No. 1 qualifiers by Jason at RPR, most recently in 2009.
3 – Final round appearances by Line in Baytown (in 2004, 2005 & 2007)
3.25 – Average starting position for Jason in his previous 8 RPR starts.
7 – Top Five starts by Line in his 8 prior races in Baytown.
13 – Elimination round wins by Jason in his previous eight starts at RPR, versus 6 losses for a .684 win percentage.