No one could blame Jason Line for feeling a bit smug as he prepared for this weekend’s AAA NHRA Texas Fall Nationals in Ennis, TX. After all, the Summit Racing driver is the reigning NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock champion, the most recent winner on tour following his impressive victory in Charlotte, and enters this event as the defending champion, having scored his first win at the Texas Motorplex.
However, as anyone who knows the soft-spoken Minnesota native would tell you, it simply isn’t his style. In fact, as the world’s best quarter-milers make their annual visit to Ennis, he is the first to point out that a tremendous amount of work remains to be done.
“We’ve gotten off to a good start in the Countdown, and that’s the end of the statement,” Line said. “This is still a five-race season and a lot can happen. That’s not to say I don’t feel good going into this weekend, because I do, and I certainly wouldn’t want to trade places with anyone else.
“After all, everything is going pretty well at the moment, but this Summit Racing team has a lot of work to do to keep things that way. Now that we’re in the Countdown, every round is a huge points swing, and you can’t afford to miss anything. You have to be perfect every time out in order to score points and keep yourself in contention and we’re ready to do just that.”
The one area Line was extremely pleased with in Charlotte was the performance of his KB Racing team and the Summit Racing Camaro they gave him to drive. Not only did Line post the quickest elapsed time in two of the four qualifying sessions, but he backed it up by being the quickest in all four eliminations rounds, quite a feat considering the level of competition. In fact, the one area he is concerned about may come as a surprise, given his solid record.
“Last weekend, my crew guys gave me a Summit Racing Camaro that was bad to the bone,” he said. “To be honest, I’m more concerned with my performance because I see myself as the weak link. I have to make sure to go up there and be perfect or as close to it as I am capable of every time in order to give us as good a chance as anyone to win the race. There are certainly no guarantees, but I have to say I definitely like our chances.”
Line’s teammate and long-time Pro Stock great Greg Anderson is also optimistic heading into the weekend, coming off a freak mechanical failure which resulted in an early exit last weekend in Charlotte.
The four-time champion knows he will need a strong performance in the Lone Star State in order to remain among the contenders for this year’s Full Throttle crown. Despite this tough assignment, Anderson remains cautiously optimistic about his chances.
“I guess you could say it’s now or never for me,” Anderson said. “The main thing I need is a little racing luck, keeping me away from the freak breakage.
“We believe the performance is back in our Summit Racing Camaros, and we’re ready to make a run. It’s time for me to make some ground up this weekend, and I definitely think I can.”