Line Just Misses the Top Spot, Focused on Winning in Pomona
Pomona, Calif., November 9, 2013 – Jason Line desperately wanted the honor of being the No. 1 qualifier at the last race of the 2013 season of NHRA’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, and the Summit Racing Pro Stock driver put forth tremendous effort but came up just a bit short. Line, still in the hunt for the championship, will start from the No. 2 position for the first time this year, and he will be challenged by No. 15 qualifier Greg Stanfield in the first round of eliminations at the 49th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
For Line, his final shot at winning the championship trophy this year will come down to how points leader Jeg Coughlin fares in the first round and, if Coughlin bows out early, if Line can win the race.
Mooresville, N.C.-based Line started the weekend by picking up a pair of bonus qualifying points in the opening round. He raced to a 6.554 at 210.93 mph that was second-quickest of all the Pro Stockers. In the single session allotted on Friday, Line clocked a 6.567 at 211.30 – a decent run, but the best was yet to come, and on Saturday afternoon the 31-time national event winner and two time Pro Stock world champion raced to a swift 6.543 at a booming 212.16 mph. Another two bonus points went in the bank, and Line moved up to the No. 2 position, where he would stay after closing out qualifying with a 6.558, 211.56.
“It’s great that our Summit Racing Camaro is making it down the track every run, and sure, it’s good to be so close to the No. 1 spot – but I really wanted to be the No. 1 qualifier here, and I really felt like we had a chance of doing that this weekend,” said Line, who has been fifth or better in the qualifying order at 10 events this year and qualified in the top half all but three times. “So yes, we’re disappointed to miss it, but at the same time, we have to look at the fact that the car is running pretty darn well for not being in what my crew chief Rob Downing calls ‘its happy spot.’ We do have a good car for tomorrow. We can still win. So that’s what we’re focusing on now.”
The first-round meeting with Stanfield will mark the first time the two have been paired up since the event in Phoenix in 2012, when Line beat his opponent in the semifinals and went on to win the event.
“Whatever is meant to be is what will happen, but my plan is to go up there and try to be .020 on the tree and beat everyone all day,” said Line. “That’s all you can do. We’ll just do the best we can.”