Line drives to winner’s circle
Sonoma, Sunday: With his wife Cindy and son Jack in attendance, Jason Line drove his KB Racing LLC-owned Summit Racing Equipment-backed Pontiac GTO straight to the winner’s circle at the 19th annual NHRA FRAM Autolite Nationals at Infineon Raceway in the wine country of Sonoma County. It was his third win in four final rounds this year and 11th career win in 19 final rounds.
“A good Western Swing for me personally,” said Line, who entered the swing second in points and leaves in first following the Sonoma event. “I also think it was a breakthrough for the team as a whole. We’ve got both cars running well and I think we’ve turned the corner. Both Greg and I are driving better and the whole team is back in sync for the stretch run. I’m excited about the rest of the year.”
Line took advantage of the power of his Summit Racing Pontiac to defeat Mark Pawuk in the opening round. It was an elapsed time of 6.671 seconds at 207.43 mph for Line; while, Pawuk recorded a pass of 6.693 seconds. The win paired Line against Tom Martino in the second round.
Martino was out first as the green light came on at the start. Once again, Line used the power of the engine in his Summit Pontiac to overtake Martino and turn on the win light in his lane, running a 6.663-second pass at 207.78 mph. Martino turned in a run of 6.705 seconds in a losing effort. Line moved to the semifinal round against Jim Yates.
Against Yates, Line took the advantage at the green and never looked back, leading from start to finish. Line covered the track in 6.677 seconds at 206.92 seconds. Yates’ elapsed time was 6.684 seconds. Line advanced to the final round against V. Gaines. Gaines had lane choice by virtue of a 6.675-second pass in the semifinals.
In the first final round meeting between the pair, Line won on a hole shot over Gaines. The former Auto Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award (Rookie of the Year) winner gained a .031 of a second advantage over Gaines at the start and led the entire length of the Infineon Raceway quarter-mile.
In a holeshot win, Line’s elapsed time was 6.672 seconds to 6.669 seconds for Gaines.
Line, with 1,052 points, leaves Infineon Raceway with a 64 point lead over his teammate Greg Anderson and a 122-point advantage over Dave Connolly. In fourth is Jim Yates, 188 points behind Line, and Kurt Johnson sits fifth, 252 points behind the leader.
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