Line captures pole, keeping championship hopes alive
LAS VEGAS, NV – Jason Line blasted down the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 6.590 seconds at 209.72 miles per hour during today’s round three of qualifying to put the Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro on the pole for Sunday’s 12rh annual Big O Tires NHRA Nationals.
The reigning NHRA Full Throttle Pro Stock champion, who qualified first for the eighth time this season and 32nd of his career, was happy with how the Summit Camaro performed today, but his focus is on winning tomorrow.
“We need to have a banner day tomorrow; it’s do or die,” said Line in referring to his pursuit of Allen Johnson, who he trails in the Countdown to the Championship by 85 points. “Our mindset for qualifying was simple – qualify well and then just win. Greg’s [Anderson, Summit teammate] was different than mine; he’s trying to help me win. That’s why you have teammates.”
Anderson’s strategy was to qualify mid-field and secure a chance to meet Johnson in an early round (each race-round is worth 20 points). His seventh starting position means he could meet the points leader, who qualified second, in the second round.
“We’re going after AJ to try and beat him, which is going to be tough to do,” continued Line. “He’s got a really good car; he’s fast and he’s a good driver. We have a lot of respect for him.
“But if we do it right, we’ll meet Greg in the finals and then it will be straight-up racing. Our philosophy has never been to race each other and then dive; that’s been done in the past and nobody likes that; that’s not real racing.”
A pair of Camaro’s will square off in the first round as Line faces Shane Gray when final eliminations begin at 11 a.m. PDT.
Overall, the two-time Pro Stock champion has confidence in his car going into the penultimate race of the 2012 NHRA Full Throttle season.
“The Camaro is good, really good,” he explained. “It took us a little longer than we’d have liked to sort it out since we brought it out (in mid season), but it’s a great car. The folks at GM did a great job. It looks like a Camaro and it runs like a Camaro. We’re extremely happy with the car.