POMONA, Calif. (February 9, 2020) – Jason Line’s self-proclaimed Finish Line Tour is off to a strong start. Line, the driver of the silver Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro and a three-time Pro Stock world champion, raced to the final round at the 60th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals for the seventh consecutive season, and although he didn’t leave with the trophy this time, he exits Auto Club Raceway as the No. 2 man in the Pro Stock points and with a good measure of momentum.
“We had a good day,” said Line, who met Jeg Coughlin in the final round. “It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t exactly what we wanted. We’ll take it, though, and we’ll be happy and move on.”
In the first round, Line made his intentions clear as he socked away a holeshot win over Alex Laughlin, launching steady with a .025-second reaction time and backing it up with a 6.569-second pass at 209.39 mph to shut down his challenger’s .037 and 6.561, 210.14.
Fernando Cuadra Jr. recognized Line’s determination and took his chances at the starting line in round two, ultimately leaving .041-second too soon and illuminating the red light. Line surged ahead for a 6.574, 208.65 victory that gave him lane choice over Erica Enders in the semifinals.
There, Line simply had the better overall tune-up as his opponent got loose and slowed. Line powered to a victorious 6.582, 208.94 over a 6.621, 209.95 and advanced to the 103rd final round of his Pro Stock career.
Mooresville, N.C., based Line was first to leave the starting line in the final and had Coughlin in his rearview at the hit with a .018 reaction time to a .027. It was Coughlin at the stripe, though, with a 6.522, 210.80 to a 6.565, 209.56.
“We did okay today, and we get another chance in Phoenix in two weeks, so I’m looking forward to that,” said Line, who will hang up his Pro Stock driving suit at the conclusion of the 2020 season.
“It’s been really humbling this weekend. I’ve had a lot of people saying really nice things, and some even saying they’ll miss me – that’s not something I hear a lot,” he continued with a laugh. “I don’t want to get caught up in being sentimental, because I still have a job to do for our team owner, Ken Black, and Summit Racing. I’m still thinking about what we have to do to get better before Phoenix, and we will be better.”
Line’s teammate Greg Anderson wheeled his red Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro to a top-half start but was out early when his racecar disagreed with the racetrack and he had to abort the run. Chris McGaha was the victor in the first-round meeting, 6.590, 209.52 to 7.233, 148.18.
“Our Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro was great, and we know we have horsepower, we just couldn’t seem to get the engine tune-up right,” said Anderson, a 94-time Pro Stock winner and four-time world champion in the category. “The track was tricky today, it was cold, and that makes it tough. That’s no excuse, it was tough for everyone, but you always hope for more. We could have and should have won that round. We’re looking forward and putting this one behind us, and we’ll start fresh in Phoenix in two weeks.”
KB Racing-powered Bo Butner was also on the trailer far too early when his Strutmasters/JBA Chevrolet Camaro overpowered the starting line. Steve Graham went along to win the round with a 6.619, 208.78 to 7.439, 207.05.
“That has never happened to me in a Pro Stock car before. I’ve had them shake and spin, but it spun before it even moved. That was different. But it’s a tricky track, and a lot of teams had some troubles. You can’t get upset – I told the guys, let’s go for it this year. It sucks for this to happen the first race, especially because we really like it here. But we like Phoenix, too.”
The 2020 season of NHRA’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will continue with the NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Phoenix, February 21-23.
KB Racing, Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro
Points position after Pomona: No. 2
R1: Jason Line defeated Alex Laughlin, .025-second reaction/6.569-second 209.39 mph to .037/6.561, 210.14
R2: Line def. Fernando Cuadra Jr., .058/6.574, 208.65 to -.041/6.788, 180.57
R3: Line def. Enders, .040/6.582, 209.94 to .033/6.621, 209.95
R4: Coughlin def. Line, .027/6.522, 210.80 to .018/6.565, 209.56
KB Racing, Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro
Points position after Pomona: No. 12
R1: Chris McGaha defeated Greg Anderson, 6.590-second at 209.52 to 7.233, 148.18
KB Racing, Strutmasters/JBA Chevrolet Camaro
Points position after Pomona: No. 10
R1: Steve Graham defeated Bo Butner, 6.619-second at 208.78 mph to 7.439, 207.05
2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Standings
(after Lucas Oil NHRA Winternationals, race 1 of 18)
1. Jeg Coughlin, 130
2. Jason Line, 94
3. Erica Enders, 80
4. Kenny Delco, 77
5t. Steve Graham, 52
5t. Matt Hartford, 52
5t. Chris McGaha, 52
8. Fernando Cuadra Jr., 51
9. Deric Kramer, 40
10. Bo Butner, 36
11. Aaron Stanfield, 34
12. Greg Anderson, 33
13. Alex Laughlin, 32
14t. Cristian Cuadra, 31
14t. Joey Grose, 31
14t. Val Smeland, 31
17t. Fernando Cuadra, 10
17t. Tom Huggins, 10
17t. Alan Prusiensky, 10
17t. Marty Robinson, 10
**Full results at DragRaceCentral.com**
Photo Credit: Auto Imagery, driver photos: NHRA
KB Racing has 160 Pro Stock wins & eight NHRA Pro Stock Championships