Summit Racing Pro Stock driver Jason Line had a bittersweet performance on Sunday, scoring a runner-up finish at his sponsor’s race, the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, OH. Starting from the second position, Line defeated Rodger Brogdon, Jeg Coughlin, and Shane Gray in the early rounds to advance to his fourth final round of the 2012 Full Throttle Drag Racing season, where he would face Vincent Nobile in a repeat of the K&N Horsepower Challenge final held 24 hours earlier.
Racing without lane choice, Line knew he would need every advantage to score his second win of the season, and used a lightning-quick .010 reaction time to gain the edge on Nobile, who is noted as one of the best ‘leavers” in the category. Unfortunately, soon after his launch, his car headed directly for the outside wall, with the corrective actions necessary to bring the car back towards the groove scrubbing off valuable speed. The result was a a 6.705-second, 207.88-mile-per-hour run, which fell shy of holding off his opponent’s 6.661-second, 208.01-mile-per-hour charge and deprived the reigning Pro Stock champion of a coveted win.
“For some reason, we had some problems doing burnouts today, and it happened again before the final, which didn’t make for a good run, and it cost us,” Line said. “Vincent’s a good kid and a good competitor, but we came here to win, so we’re not satisfied with anything else. It’s just disappointing because we really wanted to win for all the Summit Racing employees on hand, as well as Ken and Judy (team owners Black.)
“We are still very early in the learning process with this Summit Racing Camaro, but we know it is already capable of winning races–we just need to do a better job of figuring out what it needs and adapting it to the different conditions. This weekend’s results were somewhat unfortunate, but they also could have been much worse, so we will take what we learned from Norwalk and move on, making sure we have a better showing at the next race.”
Meanwhile, championship points leader Greg Anderson came into race day off his best starting performance with his new Summit Camaro, rolling off third. However, a front that had moved in on Saturday night produced significantly cooler conditions, requiring a completely different set-up than the one used in qualifying. Looking to extract the most from their hot rod, the KB Racing crew decided to make a series of adjustments just prior to their first round meeting with Shane Gray, arriving just in time to roll to the starting line.
Although their efforts produced a solid 6.640-second, 208.01-mile-per-hour pass, issues at the starting line prevented them from running down Gray who used a 6.664-second, 205.69-mile-per-hour run to score the upset victory. Even so, a disappointed Anderson was able to take some consolation in leaving the Buckeye State with the points lead.
“We made some last-minute changes to our Summit Racing Camaro and barely made it to the line in time,” Anderson said. “In fact, when we towed up from the pits, I was already strapped in the race car, so we were obviously off our routine. Even so, it was something we should have been able to overcome. However, we had some other problems that caused us to be late at the start, and we ran out of race track trying to chase down Shane.
“It’s certainly not the day we wanted to have in front of all our friends from Summit. We really wanted to show off our new Camaros and give them something to cheer about. Although we are naturally disappointed, the good news is that this new car really wants to run. It’s just up to us to figure out what it needs under the different conditions. We have two weeks before Denver, and we’ll be working non-stop making sure we are ready for whatever is thrown at us.”
NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock Championship Points Standings
(After 12 of 23 races)
1. Greg Anderson 1,033
2. Jason Line 998
3. Allen Johnson 974
4. Mike Edwards 835
5. Vincent Nobile 810
Team Summit Driver Results
• Ronnie Humphrey The Genuine Hotrod Hardware driver qualified 16th (6.741/204.45) lost to Allen Johnson in the first round. Ronnie is now 7th in the points standings.
• Larry Morgan failed to qualify. He is now 12th in points.
• Warren Johnson qualified 12th (6.719/205.94) but lost to Vincent Nobile in the first round. He is now 17th in points.
• Kurt Johnson qualified 8th (6.715/205.98) he beat J R Carr in Round 1 but lost to Allen Johnson in the second round. Kurt is 13th in points.
FINAL ROUND RESULTS: Vincent Nobile defeated Jason Line, 6.661/208.01 to 6.705/207.88.
FINAL ROUND RESULTS: Spencer Massey defeated Steve Torrence, 3.916/312.50 to 3.894/315.71.
Tim Wilkerson – qualified 8th (4.172/300.73) beat John Force, Robert Hight and Bob Tasca III before losing to Mike Neff in the final. Tim is now 11th in the points standings.
Daniel Wilkerson – qualified 7th (4.152/303.16) but was upset by Jeff Arend in the first round. Daniel is 21st in the points standings
FINAL ROUND RESULTS: Mike Neff defeated Tim Wilkerson, 4.217/298.21 to 4.244/296.96
Kenny Lang – qualified 12th (6.181/235.89), but lost to Mike Castellana in round 1.
FINAL ROUND RESULTS: Donald Walsh defeated Troy Coughlin (5.893/251.95 to 11.771/92.65).
Marco Abruzzi – Qualified 10th (6.596 seconds, 207.94) but lost to JB Strassweg in the first round.
FINAL ROUND RESULTS: Mike Laws defeated Bob Mandell (6.729/197.80 to 6.590/202.29)
Marco Abruzzi – Qualified No. 21 (6.854 seconds, 202.09) but lost to Jeff Brooks in the first round.
FINAL ROUND RESULTS: Gary Wojnowski Sr. defeated Jeff Sexton (6.906/202.36 to foul)