Summit Racing Pro Stock Camaro racer Jason Line made the most of what he and his team had at its disposal on Sunday, scoring a runner-up finish at the NHRA Northwest Nationals in Seattle, WA. Starting from the sixth position, Line defeated Jeg Coughlin Jr., Mike Edwards and Vincent Nobile in the early rounds before squaring off against Erica Enders in the final.
Running without lane choice on what proved to be a one-lane racetrack (of the 15 rounds contested on Sunday, only two winners came out of the less-preferred right hand side), Line knew he would need to gain every advantage in order to score his second win of the season. Although he was able to gain a slight edge at the start and make the third-quickest run of the day in that lane at 6.631 seconds with a top speed of 209.72 miles per hour, it was not enough to hold off his opponent’s charge, as she used a 6.614-second, 209.65-miles-per-hour pass to record the win.
“I didn’t want to go up there and give it away, so I did the same thing I had done all day, and we just came up a bit shy,” Line said. “Lane choice was certainly a major factor, not only in the final, but all day, and I also felt like we left a little bit out there on that last run, with the end result being game over.
“Still, considering we are working to dial in our Summit Racing Camaro, it says a lot about this race team that we were able to make it to the final. Although we naturally would have preferred to leave here with the trophy, all in all, it was still a pretty good day.”
After missing his first qualifying attempt due to a transmission problem, Line and his KB Racing crew found themselves scrambling to catch up. Although they were able to come back on Saturday in the heat and record some of the quickest times among the “factory hot rods,” they remained in the sixth position, lining up some very tough opponents for race day.
Undaunted, Line opened the first round with the third-quickest time at 6.601-seconds to eliminate rival Coughlin. It was a similar situation in the second round, as the reigning Pro Stock champion was second-quickest, covering the quarter-mile in 6.620-seconds with a top speed of 209.43 miles per hour to defeat 2009 Pro Stock champion Mike Edwards.
The final obstacle between Line and his fifth final round of the season was young Vincent Nobile. Once again, the KB Racing driver emerged victorious, but the somewhat circuitous route he took in reaching the finish line slowed him to an elapsed time of 6.657-seconds, costing him lane choice for his encounter against Enders.
“At this point, we just don’t have a handle on the tune-up for these race cars, but we’re still leaving with a runner-up finish, so our day could have been a lot worse,” Line said. “I know we’ve said this before, but these cars are still very new, and we’ve been away from the shop for a few weeks, so any development work we could do to make them better has been limited.
“We know we have a lot of work to do, so we’re going to pack up and head home tonight so we can get started. It’s all we can do, and with Brainerd in a couple weeks, we are more than ready to get back to the winner’s circle.”
Entering final eliminations, Line’s teammate Greg Anderson and the Summit Racing team knew they had their work cut out for them. Despite being able to put together four solid passes and claim the fifth starting position, they had yet to reach a suitable comfort level with their race car’s tune-up, a crucial element when dealing with the hot and greasy Pacific Raceways surface.
Fortunately, things went according to plan in the opening stanza, as Anderson used a quick 6.607-second, 210.05 mile-per-hour pass to easily defeat veteran Kurt Johnson. However, his time fell eight thousandths of a second shy of maintaining lane choice for his quarterfinal encounter against Enders, a distinct disadvantage as only two wins out of the total of 15 contested came from the right side.
Although Anderson was able to muster a competitive 6.646-second, 209.62 mile-per-hour run, it was not enough to overcome his opponent’s 6.638-second pass, putting an early end to his day. Afterward, the three-time Seattle winner admitted he was looking forward to today’s end of the three-race Western Swing, as it would allow the team to spend valuable testing time familiarizing themselves with their race cars.
“Getting a handle on our Summit Racing Camaro is a work in progress, and as a result we just didn’t do as good a job as we should have today keeping up with the racetrack,” Anderson said. “It bit a lot of people, but the bottom line is that you have to be aggressive when the track was like it was today and we were just a bit off.”
NHRA Northwest Nationals results
Top Fuel — Steve Torrence, 4.168 seconds, 261.98 mph def. Shawn Langdon, 4.329 seconds, 254.57 mph.
Funny Car — Courtney Force, Ford Mustang, 4.238, 293.54 def. Matt Hagan, Dodge Charger, 4.328, 276.58.
Pro Stock — Erica Enders, Chevy Cobalt, 6.614, 209.65 def. Jason Line, Chevy Camaro, 6.631, 209.72.
Top Alcohol Dragster — Chris Demke, 11.370, 46.05 def. Jim Whiteley, 11.763, 50.91.
Top Alcohol Funny Car — John Evanchuk, Chevy Monte Carlo, 6.582, 230.88 def. Steve Gasparrelli, Monte Carlo, 6.803, 244.92.
Competition Eliminator — Mike DePalma, Pontiac Trans Am, 8.999, 149.93 def. Brandon Huhtala, Pontiac GXP, 7.344, 186.85.
Super Stock — Joe Sorensen, Chevy Camaro, 10.321, 121.65 def. Jody Lang, Chevy Malibu, 10.877, 120.20.
Stock Eliminator — Brad Plourd, Chevy Nova, 12.562, 95.13 def. Dallas Glenn, Chevy Corvette, 10.870, 120.16.
Super Comp — Brad Plourd, Dragster, 8.925, 157.48 def. Stefan Kondolay, Dragster, 8.899, 171.51.
Super Gas — Ken Mostowich, Chevy Corvette, 9.896, 166.70 def. Mike Shannon, Corvette, 9.892, 154.46.
Super Street — Megan Ellingson, Chevy Chevelle, 10.849, 134.50 def. Jason Gibson, Ford Mustang, foul.
NHRA Pro Stock Championship Point Standings
1. Allen Johnson 1,324
2. Jason Line 1,246
3. Greg Anderson 1,236
4. Mike Edwards 1,031
5. Vincent Nobile 1,020