Pro Stock driver Jason Line and his Summit Racing teammate Greg Anderson were prepared to battle all the way to the final round at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk. They were disappointingly stopped short at one of their favorite events on the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour, but the team is filled with more resolve than ever before and are already trucking down the road to test their Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaros before the next event on the tour.
Line’s best time of 6.645 at 208.52 mph set him up for a start from the No. 9 qualifying position and a first-round meeting with Anderson, the No. 8 qualifier, for only the fifth time in the history of KB Racing. Although the pair never like to meet in the first round and much prefer a final round meeting, particularly at their sponsor’s main event, they were determined to make the most of the circumstances.
“The advantage to having to run your teammate in the first round is that you can take advantage of that and use it as a test run,” said Line, a two-time series Pro Stock champion. “That’s just what we did. We tried to learn something so that we could hopefully have an advantage over the guy in the other lane in the second round. Unfortunately, things just didn’t work out as planned.”
In their morning meeting, Anderson was too quick at the starting line and launched .027-second too soon, illuminating a red light yet racing to a quick 6.658. Line was second to launch but clocked a remarkable .002-second reaction and turned the final timer on the racetrack to a 6.661, 208.39.
The second round meeting with Allen Johnson was pre-determined to be a challenge; Johnson was the No. 1 qualifier at the event and advanced from the first round on a bye run due to a 15-car field.
Line did his job on the starting line and had a .010-second advantage as the two passed the tree, but Johnson took the lead and won with a 6.620 to 6.668.
“We changed quite a few things in the first round in preparation for the second round, but we weren’t successful in determining what we could do to move ahead,” said Line. “But the good news is that we were the first pair out on Sunday, and that has been something we’ve struggled with in the past – being the first car to go down the track – but both of our Summit Racing Camaros made it down the racetrack. We weren’t as fast as we would have liked, but we both made it down, and that gives us something to work with.”
Line leaves Norwalk sitting fourth in the Mello Yello Series Pro Stock standings and looks eagerly ahead to the next race on the tour, the Mile-High Nationals in Denver in just two weeks.
“We’re not going home right now, we’re going straight to Denver tonight instead, and we’re going to test our cars up there on that mountain,” said Line. “We have some work to do, and Team Summit is more than willing to do whatever it takes.”