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Turns Out That Line Was Ready For Start Of 2015 Afterall

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Monday, February 9 2015

Jason Line started 2015 with a nearly perfect weekend.

An interview with Jason Line two weeks ago began with an ice-breaker question that didn’t result in an ice-breaker answer. No, the two-time NHRA Pro Stock champion said, waving off standard answer of  something ike “absolutely”, he was not ready for the 2015 season to begin. He and his team needed more time to do more work on their car.

Except, they didn’t.

Line and his Team Summit KB Racing team marauded their way through the Pro Stock field at the Circle K Winternationals over the weekend and began the NHRA season with an emotional victory at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif.

“To be honest,” Line said afterward, “I didn’t think the off-season had gone well enough for us, but apparently it did.”

That was apparent from the opening runs in qualifying on Friday.

Line started Sunday’s eliminations from the No. 2 qualifying spot – one spot behind Erica Enders-Stevens, who edged Line for the 2014 Pro Stock championship on the final run of the final event of the season.

But when racing began on Sunday, Line had low elapsed time in each round of eliminations. He first beat Joey Grose, who went red by .023 and allowed Line to advance unchallenged on a 6.545-second pass at 212.09 mph. In the second round, Line beat Shane Gray in a 6.564, 211.56 to 6.574, 211 victory.

In the semifinals, Line and Rodger Brogdon recorded identical 6.560-second passes at 211 mph, but Line’s .026 to .064 starting line advantage made the difference: Line won it on a holeshot to advance to a final-round meeting with young Drew Skillman, a fellow Chevrolet Camaro pilot who was making his Pro Stock debut at the event.

Line matched his quickest pass of the day in the final with a 6.545 at 211.83 to put Skillman on the trailer.

“Our Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro was just steady the whole time,” Line said. “It was great right from the start. We were both (he and teammate Greg Anderson) steady. When you can have days like today when the driver and the car are in sync, you get lucky enough (to win). Man, to come here and win this feels phenomenal. I’m as happy as I get.”

Adding to the happiness was that team owner Ken Black, who has been battling back from a stroke he suffered in 2009, was at the track with wife Judy.

“It’s great to get off to a good start. I say it every year – if you want to win all the races, you’ve got to win the first one,” Line said.

| Managing Editor, RacinToday.com Monday, February 9 2015
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