Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals
by Rob Geiger, NHRA.com
Pro Stock points leader Jason Line once again reset the national records for his class and closed in on his first POWERade world championship Sunday with a victory at the inaugural Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals at Line rode a string of 6.5-second passes, including his otherworldly 6.558 at 209.75 mph at the start of the day, to push his cushion in the championship points standings to 119. If he goes one more round than teammate Greg Anderson at the next stop in
Pro Stock points leader Jason Line once again reset the national records for his class and closed in on his first POWERade world championship Sunday with a victory at the inaugural Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals at
Line rode a string of 6.5-second passes, including his otherworldly 6.558 at 209.75 mph at the start of the day, to push his cushion in the championship points standings to 119. If he goes one more round than teammate Greg Anderson at the next stop in
The Fram Boost team's biggest win of the day was in the semi’s when McClenathan took out points leader Doug Kalitta in a tire-smoking duel. He then cruised to an easy 4.644, 304.74 victory over "Hot Rod" Fuller, who smoked the tires of his Valvoline car early in the run.
“Thank God we're racing in
“It’s been a long time, a long struggle. The Carrier Boyz have been great; they never doubted my ability or questioned anything that happened. We just stayed together and went after our goals. This win is for them and all our sponsors. I don’t know that anyone would have picked me at the start of the day to win the race.”
McClenathan jumped up to ninth place Sunday, moving past J.R. Todd and Hillary Will.
Kalitta entered the race 52 points ahead of Tony Schumacher but now leads Brandon Bernstein by 83 points. Schumacher dropped to third, six points behind Bernstein, after losing in round one to David Baca.
The former rodeo rider is now 2-0 this year, and Pedregon fell to 23-29 lifetime. Medlen defeated Tim Wilkerson, Jack Beckman, and Scott Kalitta to reach the final. After beating Tommy Johnson Jr. in the opening round, Pedregon was faced with the Team Force gauntlet of Robert Hight, John Force, and Medlen.
“I’ve been screaming so much inside my helmet my sides hurt,” said Medlen. “The only thing that could have been better this whole weekend would have been to race one of my teammates in the final. I wish that chase for the championship deal started right now. If it did and this was next year, we’d be right in the thick of it. I’ll tell you: There’s nothing better than winning a race in Funny Car.”
Force stretched his lead over second-place Ron Capps from one to 46 points with a semifinal showing. Capps lost in round one to Kalitta. Hight is third, eight points behind Capps.
Force gave everyone a scare after his semifinal race against Pedregon. Force's car experienced engine problems and was on fire when he brought it to a stop. He climbed out of the top hatch and rolled off the car and onto the ground, where he laid motionless for several moments. The Safety Safari arrived and assisted him, and he eventually got up under his own power saying the heat of the fire had gotten to him, although he was uninjured.
In the final, he gave Torco racer Martino a head start, but his Summit Racing Pontiac GTO soon tracked down the veteran and passed him for the win, Line's fourth of the year, 6.597, 208.42 to 6.645, 207.78.
“I should do this more often; this is awesome,” said Line. “This is such a huge, huge step toward the championship. It was tough to race Greg in the semifinals because we all knew what was on the line, but we just raced like we have all year: straight up. This whole team is special, from the guys at the track to the guys at the shop. It’s good that no matter what, the championship is staying with us.
“It’s unbelievable to me to set a national record at back-to-back races; so many things have to line up to have that happen at two races in a row; I’m not sure it’s even been done before. I’m so worn out right now I almost can’t even bring myself to be happy.”
Line lowered the record once again to an unfathomable 6.558 at 209.75 mph. Riding the bonus points of his second national record in as many races, Line is 119 ahead of
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