Line Recalls First Final Round in Return to Houston

Line Recalls First Final Round in Return to Houston
Mooresville, N.C., April 24, 2013 – A return to Houston for the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals at Royal Purple Raceway this weekend should be just what Summit Racing Pro Stock driver Jason Line needs to kick his Mello Yello Drag Racing season into high gear. Now six races into the 24 race journey towards the championship trophy, Line has yet to advance to the final round for a chance at winning, but the Houston facility is special in that it holds a little magic that Line has nowhere else on the tour.
“Houston is where I went to my first final round,” said Line, now a 29-time Pro Stock victor and two-time series champion. “I remember it clearly, because up to that point in time I had been struggling, to say the least. It was the first time I’d ever actually felt comfortable, and probably the first good light I ever cut in a Pro Stock car. It was also the first time I’d ever raced Greg.”
Line had never raced his Summit Racing teammate Greg Anderson during eliminations prior to the final round in Houston in 2004, the Minnesota-bred driver’s first full season as a Pro Stock racer after a successful career in NHRA’s premier sportsman series, where he won a Lucas Oil Series championship in the Stock Eliminator category. Line edged his familiar opponent by a thousandth of a second at the start but the car quickly pointed left and Line had to lift. Anderson won the round, but the pair would meet again five more times that year, and in Chicago – just two races later – Line beat Anderson to score the first Pro Stock victory of his career.
“That was a good year,” recalled Line. “I was just happy to get there and then do a halfway decent job in the final. I don’t really think about it much because we’ve been back there so many times since then, but it really is a good memory. Even back then, I felt like this team was going to be together for a long time. We’ve had a lot of success since that day [100 wins for KB Racing, 21 all-Summit Racing final rounds, six shared championships]. We haven’t quite been performing up to our own standards lately, but we’re working hard to turn that around.
“Growing up in Minnesota, we used to come down to Houston with the Stockers in the winter time – the racetrack is a neat place, and we thought it was fun to get out of the snow. Hopefully this weekend we’ll get back to having fun with our Summit Racing Camaros.”