Line Clinches Spot in Countdown in Seattle
Event: 26th annual NHRA Northwest Nationals
Location: Pacific Raceways, Kent, Washington
Day/Date: Saturday, August 3, 2013
Summit Racing Pro Stock driver Jason Line secured his position in NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship today during qualifying at the NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways near Seattle. Line, one half of the Summit Racing duo based in Mooresville, N.C., has earned one of 10 available positions and the chance to race for a third Pro Stock title in the ultra-competitive Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
“It’s great that we were able to accomplish that today,” said Line, who earned the NHRA Pro Stock season trophy in 2006 and 2011. “Really, that’s why we’re out here – to win races and ultimately championships and you can’t win a championship without qualifying for the Countdown. Our focus here in the Summit Racing camp is always on making our cars fast, and if we can do that, we can win races. So now the focus will return to that – going fast, and hopefully winning races during the Countdown, when it matters the most.”
Qualifying was shortened to just two sessions at Pacific Raceways when Friday’s activities were canceled due to rain and persistent mist that maxed out the dew point. With only two sessions to secure a spot in the field, the competition was fierce as crew chiefs battled for position. Line wheeled the blue Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro to a 6.577 at 211.10 mph in the first session to jump into the No. 7 spot. In the last available qualifying round, Line made a solid move with a 6.566, 210.67.
The 30-time national event winner had hold of the No. 7 position until KB Racing counterpart Greg Anderson made his run in the very next pair, blasting to a 6.563 that moved Line down a position but still sitting in the top half of the field as the No. 8 man. He will race for the first-round win light against Larry Morgan on Sunday in Seattle. Line’s most recent opening-act meeting with Morgan was last month at the New England Nationals in Epping, New Hampshire, when Line got the nod.
“We were able to test a couple of things today, and hopefully we learned something that will help us tomorrow,” said Line. “We’re going up against Larry Morgan, and we’re pretty evenly matched so we will have our work cut out for us. But the Summit Racing team has experienced a good amount of success on Sunday at Pacific Raceways, and we’re certainly looking for more of that tomorrow.
“Obviously, we are never happy unless we qualify No. 1 and 2, and we didn’t do that this weekend – but we did have the chance to visit with an old friend that Greg and I met back in 2011 when we got to visit with troops overseas in Landstuhl, Germany.
“Having Staff Sgt. Whiteside in our pit area was an honor, and it was very good to see him again. I can’t really say enough about what our military does for us. You know, without them we wouldn’t be able to do this. It was definitely a highlight for us this weekend, and hopefully we can get a Summit Racing Camaro to the winner’s circle tomorrow to show our appreciation.”