DINWIDDIE, Va. (May 18, 2019) – The silver Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro Pro Stock car was lightning-fast this weekend during qualifying for the NHRA Virginia Nationals, and Jason Line was the fortunate driver who claimed the privilege of driving it to the pole at Virginia Motorsports Park. In doing so, three-time NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock champion Line scored the 54th No. 1 of his career.
“It’s nice to get a green hat; I didn’t know they still gave them out,” joked Line, referencing the hats presented to NHRA’s low qualifier in each Pro category. It had been awhile for Line, who was last awarded a pole at the spring race in Las Vegas in 2017.
In qualifying, Line scooped up a total of nine bonus marks as one of the quickest Pro Stock cars in each session. His best qualifying pass was a stout 6.563-second pass at 210.47 mph.
“My Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro is a really good racecar right now, and I feel good going into tomorrow,” said Line, who will race Val Smeland in round one. “[Winning here in 2006] was a fun time, and tomorrow seems like a good day to get it done again. During qualifying, we didn’t make any mistakes, the team did a good job, and we learned some things. I feel like tomorrow we’ll have a really good racecar.”
Line’s Team Summit counterpart Greg Anderson, driver of the red Summit Racing Chevy, qualified in the No. 5 position with a best time of 6.578, 209.56. Throughout qualifying, his Pro Stock Camaro showed great power and promise, despite the very hot air in Richmond accompanied by soaring track temps.
The most recent Pro Stock event on the Mello Yello tour was the first weekend of April, and Anderson believes that keeping their noses to the grindstone during the time off is paying off for the KB Racing team. Four of the KB Racing Chevy Camaros finished qualifying in the top 5.
“The time off probably helped us, and we’ve been working hard,” said Anderson, who was awarded three bonus points as a top player in qualifying and scored the No. 5 position. “We got out and tested a couple of times and tried to get our act together. We were a little off the first few races of the year, and we knew we needed a turnaround.
“So far this weekend, it’s been good. We put in the time, and we got a better product. I’m interested to see what happens tomorrow because it’s very hot out there – the first real hot conditions of the year for us. Everybody is kind of learning as we go, but even as hot as it is, this is still a great racetrack. You really don’t have a concern when you go up there because it’s way better than a normal racetrack would be with this heat. The lanes are very even, and it should be a great day tomorrow. All of the KB Racing cars have a shot to win.”
Anderson will race Shane Tucker in round one.
Points leader Bo Butner has two No. 1’s on the season for KB Racing. Butner padded his points lead a bit by raking in four bonus points and will start from No. 3 in Richmond thanks to a best time of 6.573, 210.54. He will square off with Wally Stroupe in the first round of eliminations and is on the opposite side of the ladder from his Summit Racing teammates.
“Our Jim Butner Auto Chevy Camaro is a very fast racecar. We made four good runs, and it’s definitely capable of going rounds. That makes us happy,” said Butner, the 2017 Pro Stock champion and the driver who has earned three trophies this year in the first four events. “Evidently, the last 40 days the KB Racing guys have done some work – or maybe they just left our stuff alone, because it’s pretty good. It’s going to be a good race tomorrow, and I think it’s going to be fun. We’re kind of split up on the ladder, and if one of the KB Racing cars don’t win tomorrow, I’ll be shocked.”
Butner is also racing in the acclaimed NHRA SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown, driving his 2019 Cobra Jet Mustang with sleek Summit Racing lettering on the door. Butner claimed the No. 1 qualifying position in the tough category that pits modern day muscle cars against one another in head-to-head matchups. He won his first-round match with Kevin Skinner, who couldn’t get the power to the ground on the boiling racing surface.
“I’m not shocked that we were No. 1 here this weekend because we did a lot of testing between the last race and this one, and we showed some good runs,” said Butner. “The competition is close right now, but you still have to do your job, just like in Pro Stock. These Factory Stock Showdown cars are a little more tricky. Most of the time, the Pro Stock car will go A to B, but these cars, not so much. We’re working on a good A to B that’s still a fast A to B. It’s neat though, because it’s a whole different animal.
“We had a 131-degree track temperature for first round and a 9-inch tire, but these cars still make good power because we’re throwing some cold water and cold air through the motor. It’s a tricky track, but you think it’s tricky now? Wait until the next round tomorrow when we run after the Pros. It’s going to be interesting.”
KB Racing, Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro
Q1: 6.576-second at 210.11 mph (No. 1, +3 bonus points)
Q2: 6.563, 210.11 (No. 1, +3)
Q3: 6.570, 210.47 (No. 1, +2)
Q4: 6.590, 209.56 (No. 1, +1)
First round opponent: Val Smeland
KB Racing, Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro
Q1: 6.593-second at 209.30 mph (No. 3, +1 bonus point)
Q2: 6.578, 209.56 (No. 2, +2 bonus points)
Q3: 6.584, 209.98 (No. 5)
Q4: 6.606, 209.309 (No. 5)
KB Racing, Jim Butner Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro
Q1: 6.580-second at 209.98 mph (No. 2, +2 bonus points)
Q2: 6.580, 210.01 (No. 3, +1)
Q3: 6.573, 210.54 (No. 3, +1)
Q4: 6.601, 209.85 (No. 3)
2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Standings
(after NHRA Virginia Nationals qualifying, race 5 of 18)
1. Bo Butner (3), 465
2t. Matt Hartford, 318
2t. Alex Laughlin, 318
4. Jason Line, 308
5. Erica Enders, 277
6. Jeg Coughlin (1), 258
7. Rodger Brogdon, 254
8. Greg Anderson, 245
9. Deric Kramer, 239
10. Chris McGaha, 221
Virginia NHRA Nationals
Virginia Motorsports Park
Richmond (Dinwiddie), Virginia
May 17-19, 2019
Run Schedule (all times local)
Sunday, May 19
11:00 a.m. – Pre-race ceremonies
12:00 noon – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro eliminations begin,
eliminations for all categories continue
#NHRAonFOX Television Schedule (all times ET)
Finals / Sunday – 7:30-10:30 PM ET / FS1
**Full results posted at DragRaceCentral.com**