Chevy Racing–NHRA–Pomona

SATURDAY, NOV. 12, 2016

Chevrolet Races to No. 1 Pro Stock Qualifier Spot, Stock Eliminator Title

· Jason Line earns eighth top spot of season, closes in on championship
· KB Racing teammate Greg Anderson is the lone challenger to Line
· Courtney Force leads John Force Racing Funny Car qualifiers at No. 2
· Jeff Strickland in Chevrolet COPO Camaro clinches Stock Eliminator World Championship

POMONA, Calif (November 12, 2016) – Jason Line, driving the Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro SS, took a big step toward clinching his third Pro Stock world title by claiming the No. 1 qualifier spot for the Auto Club NHRA Finals. Line, who entered the 24th and final event of the season with a 19-point advantage over KB Racing teammate Greg Anderson, increased the lead to 23 points with bonus points through four rounds of qualifications.

Line’s pass of 6.545 seconds and 211.33 mph topped the field for the eighth time this season and 49th time in his Pro Stock career. Chevrolet drivers earned the top nine qualifying positions. Bo Butner, driving the Butner Auto Sales Chevrolet Camaro SS prepared by KB Racing, was the No. 2 qualifier at 6.553 seconds.

Anderson, seeking his fifth Pro Stock world championship, was the No. 3 qualifier at 6.555 seconds in the Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro SS.

“I hired my own assassin,” Anderson joked. “But I wouldn’t have hired him if he wasn’t great. When he races me, he wants to beat me more than anybody. That’s what I want.”

Line has recorded an NHRA-high eight victories and added five runner-up finishes this season. He has won the Pro Stock title in 2011 and 2006 – the latter ending teammate Anderson’s run of three consecutive championships. They could meet in the final round Sunday.

“I would be really happy with that because it would be a storybook ending for us,” Line said. “We’ve had a really great season and to finish it off with the two best cars all year to battle it out in the final would be pretty cool.”
Courtney Force led the John Force Racing drivers in Funny Car qualifying with a pass of 3.869 seconds in the Traxxas Chevrolet Camaro SS in the third round, which moved her from 10th to second. It was the fifth time this season that the Houston winner and three-time runner-up has qualified second.

John Force, who won two weeks ago at Las Vegas for the 147th time in his illustrious Funny Car career, qualified No. 4 at 3.879 seconds at 330.96 mph in the PEAK Antifreeze Chevrolet Camaro SS.

Robert Hight, driving the Auto Club Chevrolet Camaro SS, was the No. 5 qualifier a with a pass of 3.889 seconds. In the fourth round under the lights, Hight powered down the racetrack at 3.858 seconds, which was the fastest pass of qualifying and the track elapsed-time record. But Hight’s car clipped a centerline cone and the run was disqualified.

“It was very dark out there. The car drifted inside on me and until I got way inside I didn’t notice that (cone),” Hight said. “I lifted early and cranked the wheel to miss the cone. I thought I missed it and I still ran 3.85. Probably would have run a 3.84 and probably better than 330 (mph). We have a real race car. If it runs like that, we win this race.”

Brittany Force, who is fourth in the Top Fuel standings, was the No. 8 qualifier in the Monster Energy Chevrolet dragster at 3.731 seconds in the fourth round.

Jeff Strickland of Red Bay, Alabama, became the first driver to earn dual Sportsman championships since 1994 when he clinched the Stock Eliminator title in his Chevy Chevrolet COPO Camaro at Auto Club Raceway. Strickland has won at Gainesville, Florida, and Bristol, Tennessee, so far this season. He earned the Top Dragster title two weeks ago at Las Vegas. Rich Rinke of Oxford, Michigan, was the No. 2 qualifier in Stock Eliminator, driving the Chevrolet COPO Camaro.

FOX Sports 1 will telecast three hours of live eliminations and finals at 4 p.m. ET Sunday.

An interview with Pro Stock No. 1 qualifier JASON LINE, KB RACING, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT CHEVROLET CAMARO SS. He takes a 23-point lead over teammate Greg Anderson into Sunday’s eliminations:
JASON LINE: “I’d rather be 23 points ahead than 19, obviously. My first run was really good; we ran faster than I thought we would. The track was much better today than yesterday and I think it will be better yet again tomorrow. I’m pretty happy with everything. We’re one and three with the Summit cars, so we have the potential to meet in the finals.”

JASON LINE: “I would be really happy with that because it would be a storybook ending for us. We’ve had a really great season and to finish it off with the two best cars all year to battle it out in the final would be pretty cool.”

JASON LINE: “I’m not, but at least (the 23 points) is a round and a cushion. I’ve been in a spot similar to this a couple of times and hopefully those times prepare you for this moment. We do it 24 times a year and hopefully we’re ready to finish it off tomorrow. It’s going to be a fun day and exciting to watch, and hopefully it comes down to the end.”

JASON LINE: “Next year is too far away yet. I know there is going to be some rules changes, so until they announce some of those things there’s no reason to worry about next year. I want to enjoy this moment and not think too far ahead.”

Top Fuel
BRITTANY FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, MONSTER ENERGY CHEVROLET DRAGSTER (qualified eighth): “We’ve had a great season but we want to end on a strong note with Chevy in the winner’s circle. We’re going to throw down tomorrow. We like to double up – get a Funny Car in the winner’s circle and get the Monster Energy Chevy in the winner’s circle and end on a high note so we can really enjoy our off-season.”

Funny Car
COURTNERY FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, TRAXXAS CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (qualified second): “Our Chevy has been flying and another great job by my Traxxas team. I’m just hoping to keep it going all day tomorrow. It’s the last race of the season and we definitely want to get a Chevrolet in the winner’s circle and end the 2016 season on a high note.”

JOHN FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, PEAK ANTIFREEZE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (qualified fourth): “The PEAK car is fast. All we have to do is keep it in the lane and it will be fine. We’re excited for tomorrow.”

Pro Stock
BO BUTNER, JIM BUTNER AUTO, BUTNER AUTO SALES CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (qualified second): “We’ve had a great year. Every race I’ve been capable of winning, and that’s a great feeling to show up with every weekend. It’s been a great campaign for us. We’ve been able to do everything we had hoped for except for getting that big first career win, which we hope to do this weekend. We’ll get better; I still have a lot to learn.”

GREG ANDERSON, KB RACING, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (qualified third): “I hired my own assassin (Jason Line). But I wouldn’t have hired him if he wasn’t great. I didn’t want just a teammate, someone who would carry my lunch. When he races me, he wants to beat me more than anybody. That’s what I want.”

VINCENT NOBILE, MOUNTAIN VIEW RACING, MOUNTAIN VIEW TIRE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (qualified fourth): “We’re right there. Now it’s up to me to get off the line first and keep it that way to the finish line. Tomorrow is going to be a driver’s game. The beginning of the season was a struggle and toward the middle of the season we found a few things and got some extra help that turned our program around. I can’t complain about our year. We have one win under our belt and have one race left to get another.”

ALEX LAUGHLIN, LAUGHLIN RACING, GAS MONKEY GARAGE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (qualified fifth): “We definitely had a No. 1-qualifying car this weekend. We just haven’t had all our ducks in a row. Qualifying No. 5 puts us in a good position, and we won from No. 5 in St. Louis. Ever since St. Louis, we’ve had hundreds of fans come over to our pit area, asking for autographs and to have their pictures taken. And then to reach the finals again in Dallas (runner-up to Drew Skillman) was very special.”

SHANE GRAY, GRAY MOTORSPORTS, VALVOLINE/NOVA SERVICES CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (qualified sixth): “We have ourselves a great race car. Aside from the adjustments we needed to make for the altitude differences between here and Las Vegas, we really didn’t change much on the car. It’s running strong and coming off a win, I think all of us are feeling good about what we’re doing over here. We need to go a couple of rounds to solidify third, and maybe we can get ourselves in the winner’s circle again in this Chevrolet Camaro.”

DREW SKILLMAN, RAY SKILLMAN RACING, RAY SKILLMAN AUTO CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (qualified seventh): “We improved from 10th to seventh on that final run, which gives us confidence going into eliminations. We’ll see how things shake out. We have the car to win our third race of the season. That’s the way we’d like to end the year.”

CHRIS MCGAHA, HARLOW SAMMONS RACING, HARLOW SAMMONS OF ODESSA CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (qualified ninth): “Qualifying went relatively good. We were doing some testing in the final round. I see a whole slew of things I need to work on. It has caused us to get behind the eight ball numerous times and we’ve paid the price for it.”