Summit Racing–Line Clinches Countdown Spot En Route to Semis in Sonoma

Line Clinches Countdown Spot En Route to Semis in Sonoma

SONOMA, Calif., August 2, 2015 – Jason Line was just one round short of taking home the trophy on Sunday at the 28th annual NHRA Sonoma Nationals, and the driver of the blue Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro certainly wanted that Sonoma Wally, but he leaves California’s wine country with something else nearly as valuable: a ticket to fight for the biggest Wally trophy of all in NHRA’s 2015 Countdown to the Championship.

Line started from the No. 2 position in a true show of rejuvenation for his Ken Black-owned Summit Racing-branded Camaro. In the first round of eliminations in Sonoma, the second-generation drag racer knocked out young Pro Stock newbie Aaron Strong, a noted Division 6 Comp racer, with a 6.518-second pass at 211.53 mph. Continuing his quest for the trophy, Line met up with KB Racing teammate Bo Butner in the quarterfinals. It was the first time the two had run into one another on raceday.

It was clearly a round that Line was excited for, and he launched off the starting line with a remarkable .016-second reaction time. Butner, who rose from the sportsman ranks as an established multi-category racer, was surprisingly .042 at the tree. Line’s advantage became a necessity at the top end as he clocked a winning 6.528, 211.39 that would go down as a .007-second holeshot win over Butner’s 6.527, 211.66. The round win locked Line into the Countdown to the Championship chase.

“I had a really good car today, and I was very happy with my Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro. We didn’t win the race today, which is what we came here for, but we had four really good cars,” said Line, referring to the four Chevrolet Camaros prepared in the KB Racing engine shop for Summit Racing teammate Greg Anderson and KB Racing teammates Vincent Nobile and Butner. “I’m happy, and I think we really know what we need to work on going forward.

“That round with [KB Racing teammate] Bo Butner – he’s getting better every weekend and the car is good. He didn’t need any help from me driving, and I’m not a teacher but I’ve tried to help and to see him getting better every week and he’s having fun, that’s really a cool thing. I was very happy that he ran well. I knew I had to be good to beat him. I wasn’t quite ready to lose to him yet and was fortunate enough to have a good light and we had a great race.”

Line’s day came to an end in the semifinals. He was .050 at the tree and it was the decider in his semifinals match with Jonathan Gray, who won it on a holeshot, 6.544, 211.10 to 6.514, 212.09. Even so, Line was not too terribly disheartened as he was comforted with the knowledge of the power coming out of the KB Racing shop.

Although the Summit Racing team always wants to win, Line humbly acknowledged the Sonoma Pro Stock win by Chris McGaha. It was the first win for another former sportsman racer.

“I’m extremely happy for Chris McGaha,” said Line, currently No. 3 in the Pro Stock points. “They could very easily have quit when things weren’t going well, but they stuck it out and persevered. They have a bad hot rod and they deserved to win the race. They did a good job. Next week it’s our turn.”