Mooresville, NC (September 14, 2016)—The Ninth Annual NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte this weekend is a game changer for Team Summit Racing. It’s the first of six races in the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship to determine the champions in Pro Stock, Top Fuel, and Funny Car.

The Countdown to the Championship is the playoffs for the NHRA. The points system is readjusted for the top 10 drivers in each category. The first-place driver begins the playoffs with 2,110 points followed by 2,080 for second and down to 2,000 for 10th place.

Team Summit Racing has had an incredible season, winning 14 of 18 races in Pro Stock. Jason Line starts the Countdown first in points in his Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro, and he wants to win it all.

“We had a great start to the year. I’ll always remember it. Now we have to finish the job,” Line said. “But with the playoff format, those wins suddenly become unimportant. It’s ‘what are you going to do now?’ That’s where we’re at.”

Line considers the first race in Charlotte to be the most important in the Countdown. He has made it to the final round three times, and won the event once.

“The Charlotte race is huge. To get momentum on your side is an advantage. We need to go to Charlotte and win,” Line said. “In the past, when we’ve gotten off to good starts, we can be tough to beat. Winning at Charlotte is very, very, very important.”

Greg Anderson comes into the race second in Pro Stock points. He compares the NHRA Carolina Nationals to the first race of the year.

“Going into the Countdown is like going into Pomona; it’s like the first race of the year where you don’t know what to expect from the other teams,” Anderson said. “When you come to Charlotte for the first race of the Countdown you put all your cards on the table. People have had their poker faces on until now and you don’t know who may have something special to unleash. Hopefully we have a few surprises up our sleeves to win it all.”

Both Line and Anderson work and live near zMAX Dragway and often test their Summit Chevrolet Camaros at the facility. They look forward to having the extra cheering section at this first race of the Countdown.

“Having the first race of the Countdown in our backyard in front of our family, friends, and coworkers adds extra pressure, but we use that to our advantage and it fuels us even more,” Anderson said. “After the year we’ve had we don’t want to drop the ball now. We have to close the deal.”

Tim Wilkerson comes to the NHRA Carolina Nationals ninth in Nitro Funny Car. He made the winner’s circle at the 4-Wide Nationals at zMax this past spring. He’s hoping to have the same luck here this weekend.

“I’m pretty optimistic and my crew are really excited coming into Charlotte,” Wilkerson said. “While other teams have taken weekends off here and there this past month, we’ve been on the road at match races, testing out combinations and setups to help us win.”