Jason Line Wins Delayed Brainerd, Qualifies No. 1 at U.S. Nationals
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., August 31, 2014 – So far, Summit Racing Pro Stock driver Jason Line is really enjoying the 60th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals. On Sunday, Line picked up the trophy for the rain delayed NHRA Nationals that were originally slated to take place in Brainerd two weeks ago, and he capped off the final day of qualifying for the event by securing the 37th No. 1 qualifier award of his career.
Two elimination rounds were completed at Brainerd International Raceway, Minnesota-native Line’s home track, before rain put an early ending to the event and necessitated completion of the final two rounds during qualifying at the U.S. Nationals. On Saturday, Line defeated first-time semifinalist Dave River and was awarded a final-round meeting with Jeg Coughlin that would take place Sunday afternoon during the fourth round of qualifying.
Along the way to the Brainerd final, Line was also picking up a whole pile of bonus qualifying points. He was the quickest car in the first, second and third sessions with a 6.623 at 208.78 followed by a 6.593, 210.01 and then a best time of 6.589, 209.98.
The weather in Indianapolis seemed to mimic the Brainerd conditions, and although that worked well for Line and his thundering Summit Racing team, it also came with a few rain showers here and there. After a bit of a delay, the Brainerd final was completed as Line, with lane choice, clocked a remarkable .005-second reaction time to leave his opponent stinging and then finished the job with a cool 6.596, 207.40 that was again the quickest of his competitors. His challenger crossed the finish line with a 6.635, 207.72. The long-awaited Brainerd trophy finally belonged to Line, and the icing on the cake was another three bonus points to further pad his points lead as the regular season of NHRA’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series nears completion.
“I knew I had to be good, because they’re a good team,” said Line, in regard to his .005 reaction time. “They definitely stepped it up on the last run, and he’ll be a contender tomorrow – but today we got the best of him.
“Our Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro ran well. She has been very fast. I look forward to tomorrow. It feels a little strange to win Brainerd at the U.S. Nationals, but nonetheless, it’s the first good thing I’ve ever done at Indy, so it feels pretty good. The celebration wasn’t quite what I had envisioned, but I got the Brainerd trophy, so it’s all good. I know my family and friends were watching at home, and I’m sure they enjoyed it as well.”
The win was the fourth of the season for Line and the 35th of his career. It was also the third consecutive win for Line, who also earned the trophy for Summit Racing in Sonoma and Seattle. The three-in-a-row is something Line has never before accomplished, and on Labor Day Monday at Lucas Oil Raceway, Line will have the chance at nabbing his fourth consecutive trophy.
“Tomorrow, we have to do the same thing we did today: let the left foot out on time and have the fastest car,” said Line, who clocked a 6.614 in the final session and will race Rodger Brogdon in round one. “One part of that I think we have under control. The other part is definitely a little bit of a variable, but we’ll do the best we can. We have a good car. Today was a good day, and I won’t call it best ever, but it’s been the best Indy weekend I’ve had by a long shot. I have very few good memories here, and now I have one. Hopefully tomorrow we can make another.”