After some early season disappointments, Summit Racing Pro Stock driver Jason Line used a couple good lights and an extra dose of adrenaline courtesy of ESPN2’s live TV coverage of NHRA drag racing Sunday to capture his first win of the season and the 30th Wally of his career.
Line defeated Shane Gray in the finals with a .007-second reaction time—and he needed it—because both drivers ran an identical 6.589 ET at 211 miles-per-hour on their final pass.
Line defeated Matt Hartford, Erica Enders-Stevens, and Jeg Couglin Jr. on his march to the finals.
“We wanted to get a win at the first race of the season in Pomona,” Line said. “This is a work in progress, and we made it down the racetrack six times in a row, which is something we haven’t done all year.
“We’ve struggled, and it’s been a fight. After awhile, you start to wonder if you’ll ever get to the winner’s circle again, so this feels really good. It’s good for us, it’s good for Summit Racing Equipment, it’s good for our team owner Ken Black, and it’s good for all of the guys who work hard on the team and put in all the effort. It was a good weekend.”
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Hector Arana Jr. won his third event in a row, becoming just the third rider in history to accomplish the feat.
“This feels great,” said Arana Jr., who raced past Shawn Gann, Hector Arana Sr., and John Hall in earlier rounds. “Of the three wins, this was the most nervous I’ve been because I know how hard it is to keep going. There are so many excellent riders out here. After I beat my dad, he just said. ‘Good job’. My bike has not been the fastest, but we’ve been the most consistent. As a rider, I’ve also been very consistent and that’s a lethal combination. We just want to keep going.”
Cruz Pedregon won his second race of the season Sunday in Funny Car and Bob Vandergriff Jr. won in Top Fuel.
Line and teammate Greg Anderson, who was defeated in the first round, plan to use the weekend as a stepping stone to further successes this season.
“It was especially tough for us because we’ve been a little lost lately,” Line said. “But today, it worked out for Team Summit. I’m not sure how, I’ll have to go back and look at everything to try to understand how it all worked out the way it did, but we’re happy.”
The Mello Yello Drag Racing Series continues with the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals May 3-5 at Atlanta Dragway in Commerce, GA.
Pro Stock Championship point standings
1. Mike Edwards 532 2. Allen Johnson 465 3. Jeg Coughlin 450 Erica Enders-Stevens 450 5. Jason Line 419
Funny Car Championship point standings
1. Cruz Pedregon 470 2. Matt Hagan 433 3. Courtney Force 384 4. Ron Capps 381 5. Johnny Gray 362
Top Fuel Championship point standings
1. Tony Schumacher 510 2. Antron Brown 440 3. Shawn Langdon 423 4. Spencer Massey 413 5. Morgan Lucas 347
The NHRA and Drag Race Central contributed to this report.