Summit Racing Pro Stock driver Jason Line always enjoys the twice-yearly stop at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and last season, the two-time series champion made a strong start at the premier facility as the low qualifier at both the spring and fall events. Line will be looking to turn another strong qualifying performance into a solid race day outing at this weekend’s SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals, the fourth of 24 on the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour, in order to score the second Las Vegas win of his career.
In addition to a pair of outstanding qualifying showings last season, Line collected #1 qualifier awards in Las Vegas in the fall in both 2004—his first full season in the Pro Stock class—and 2006. The second-generation racer was victorious at the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals in 2008 and finished in the final round at the facility on three other occasions, including runner-up finishes to Summit Racing teammate Greg Anderson in the fall of 2004 and 2010.
“The Summit Racing team has been really good in Las Vegas more than once, and we’ve certainly been working hard to improve our program lately so that we can build on the success that we’ve had in the past,” Line said. “We’ve been focused on gaining performance, and Team Summit has done quite a bit of testing since we left the last race in Gainesville. I can’t tell you that our Chevy Camaros will be the fastest cars at the racetrack, but we’re going to give it our best attempt. Hopefully, all of our hard work will show once we get to Las Vegas.”
Expectations for this weekend’s event are heightened by the scheduled K&N Horsepower Challenge, a bonus event for the Pro Stock competitors that will be contested on Saturday with a $50,000 prize and trophy awarded to the winner. The bonus event pits eight of the top qualifying Pro Stock drivers against one another in a three-round shootout. Line has raced in the K&N Horsepower Challenge eight times, and three times he was a finalist but has yet to close the deal.
“Winning the K&N Horsepower Challenge is way up there on the list of things I want to accomplish in my career,” Line said. “We certainly appreciate the K&N folks, not only for the good product that they make, but also that they’re willing to put on that race for the Pro Stock cars. It’s a really cool race, and one that we always look forward to. Someone is going to win that title, and hopefully it will be a Summit Racing Camaro.”
Anderson, a four-time Pro Stock national champion in NHRA’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, has made a habit of rising to the challenge at the Las Vegas racetrack and has accumulated seven victories there–more than any other professional driver on the circuit. However, it was not by chance that the KB Racing team found a successful combination for the desert racetrack that sits some 2,100 feet above sea level. They were deeply motivated by the outcome of their first showing at ‘The Strip.’
“Las Vegas has been very good to this Summit Racing team, but it was a tough place to start out when we first formed this team with Ken Black,” Anderson said. “I’ll never forget our first race there; we didn’t qualify. Ken was all about racing serious, but he also wanted to have fun and he told us, ‘You know, I’ll be happy as long as you do well in Vegas.’
“That stuck with us, and starting off that way at his home track [in 2002] was a real heartbreaker. But because of that, we’ve spent a lot of time testing in Las Vegas since then, and we’ve won a lot of high pressure, high stakes, very pivotal and very important races there. It started out rough for us, but we were able to turn it around through hard work and create some special, special moments at that racetrack. We’ll be looking forward to more of that this weekend.”