Line reaches semifinals, sets national E.T. record
Reading, Sunday: Jason Line, driver of the KB Racing LLC / Summit Racing Equipment Pro Stock Pontiac GTO, reached the semifinal round before being turned back by Greg Stanfield during eliminations for the 22nd running of the Toyo Tires Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway, near Reading, Pa.
In the opening round, Line, who qualified No. 4 in the quickest Pro Stock field in NHRA history, made it even quicker when he ran the quickest elapsed time, at the time, in the NHRA history book. Paired against Larry Morgan, Line was out first and never looked back. The Minnesota native, who now lives in Terrell, N.C., recorded a pass of 6.619 seconds at 207.37 mph. Morgan ran a pass of 6.689 seconds at 206.48 mph.
Minutes later Line’s teammate, Greg Anderson, went one better – that is one thousandths of a second. Anderson reset and took the national record away from Line when he covered the Maple Grove Raceway quarter-mile in 6.618 seconds.
Both KB Racing LLC / Summit Racing Equipment Pontiac GTOs moved to the second round. Line, who leads the NHRA POWERade Pro Stock point standings, was matched against Dave Connolly, who is third and in pursuit of Line in the point battle.
This time it was Line in dominate fashion at the finish line when he once again retook the national E.T. record back from his teammate. This time the NHRA POWERade Pro Stock point leader lowered the national elapsed time to 6.609 seconds in defeating Connolly, who ran an elapsed time of 6.649 seconds in a losing effort.
In the semifinals, with a chance for Line to make it difficult on the two drivers – Anderson and Connolly – who are trying to push Line out of the point lead, he gave up seven hundredths of a second at the starting line and was turned back by No. 1 qualifier Greg Stanfield on a holeshot by 44 hundredths of a second.
“First, before getting to me, I want to say it was nice for Greg and the team to win,” said Line after his exit from competition. “As to me, let me get that last run out of the way as quick as I can. I lost focus. As Larry Morgan said last year, ‘He staged too quick.’ I wasn’t expecting him to go in that quick and lost focus checking gauges and things. All of a sudden I looked up and he was gone. Hopefully, I learned something for me that I can prevent in the last three races. Outside of that it was a fun weekend.
“One of the coolest things that ever happened to me in racing was setting the national record this weekend. It helped some in the points and negated missing the final round. The points deal looks like it might come down to Greg and me and I’m still going to be charging hard to be at the top of the pack come Pomona. It’s going to be a lot of fun. Right now, we’ve got two of the meanest cars on the planet.”
As the teams put the Toyo Tires Nationals behind them, Line, who collected 20 extra points for establishing a new elapsed time record (6.609 seconds), continues to lead the NHRA POWERade Pro Stock point standing by 56 points over teammate Anderson, who holds the second position, and by 183 points over third place Connolly.
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