READING, Pa. (Sept. 14, 2019) – Team Summit’s stable of quick Chevrolet Camaro Pro Stockers showed up for qualifying at Maple Grove Raceway with heated intent at the first race of the 2019 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Countdown to the Championship.
Jason Line, driver of the silver Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro, blasted to a 6.489-second pass at 212.49 mph to claim the No. 3 qualifying spot and top speed at the 35th annual Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals. He claimed eight bonus qualifying points, equal to those picked up by the No. 1 qualifier.
“We got some of the bonus points, but we left some out there,” said Line. “My Summit Racing Chevy Camaro is fantastic right now. I’m super happy with it.”
Friday’s qualifying pushed well into the evening, and under the lights at Maple Grove Raceway the Pro Stockers either came alive or fell flat. For Line, the driver who holds the national record for elapsed time (6.455-second) and holds the honor of making the quickest pass in the new era of electronic fuel injection at the Gainesville race in 2017 (6.476), blasted to a 6.489 in the quick session for the No. 3 spot.
Three other drivers reached the 6.4’s: Erica Enders went 6.480 for the pole, Alex Laughlin clocked a 6.486, and KB Racing engine campaigner Deric Kramer powered to a 6.491.
“I was a little surprised [by the 6.489] on Friday, and I didn’t think we would see three other 6.4’s, either,” said Line, who has had either low elapsed time or top speed at each of the most recent three events. “It was enough to give us a good starting spot for tomorrow. That’s all you can ask for.”
Line will race KB Racing-powered Wally Stroupe in the first round.
Teammate Greg Anderson, driver of the red Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro, has had a steadily improving racecar over the course of the weekend, and he intends to follow through with a powerful performance on Sunday.
Anderson will start from the No. 10 position as his Chevy veered out of the groove in the quick session on Friday night. His best time so far at the event is a 6.535, 211.30. He will race Matt Hartford, the driver who snatched the broom from his hands in the final round in Seattle and dashed his hopes of a second sweep of the three-race Western Swing.
“It doesn’t matter who’s in the other lane. You just have to race your own race just like it’s a single,” said Anderson, a veteran Pro Stock driver and four-time world champ with 93 national event wins on his scorecard. “You have to be loose, you have to be free, and you can’t think about anything except concentrating on cutting a light. The simple truth is that it doesn’t matter who’s in the other lane – they’re all tough.
“My red Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro was better today than it was on Friday, and it was better than it was last week at Indy. We’re going to have a weather change tomorrow, so things are going to be a little different. Maybe that will come more to the red car’s liking. I’m looking forward to it.”
Bo Butner, the Pro Stock points leader, enters raceday as the No. 6 seed. He will square off with second-generation drag racer Aaron Stanfield.
“I always say that in the last qualifying session, I want to be one of the top three or four cars – and we were that run,” said Butner, who clocked his best time on Friday evening with a 6.511, 212.06 and then closed out qualifying with a third-best of the round 6.553, 209.33.
“I hit the tree really good earlier today, so I was happy. It’s going to be a day for really good driving tomorrow, and I can’t wait for that. You cannot go up there and be relaxed. Nobody is messing around.”
Eliminations for the 35th annual Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals will begin on Sunday at Maple Grove Raceway at 11 am ET.
KB Racing, Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro
Q1: 6.505-second at 212.19 mph (No. 1, +3 bonus points)
Q2: 6.489, 212.49 (No. 3, +1)
Q3: 6.540, 211.00 (No. 3, +2)
Q4: 6.542, 211.00 (No. 3, +2)
Final qualifying position: No. 3
First-round opponent: Wally Stroupe
KB Racing, Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro
Q1: 6.535-second at 211.30 mph (No. 8)
Q2: 8.461, 113.28 (No. 10)
Q3: 6.580, 209.01 (No. 10)
Q4: 6.562, 210.60 (No. 10)
Final qualifying position: No. 10
First-round opponent: Matt Hartford
KB Racing, Jim Butner Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro
Q1: 6.522-second at 211.63 mph (No. 6)
Q2: 6.511, 212.06 (No. 6)
Q3: 6.565, 209.46 (No. 6)
Q4: 6.533, 209.33 (No. 6, +1 bonus qualifying point)
Final qualifying position: No. 6
First-round opponent: Aaron Stanfield
2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Standings
(after Reading qualifying, NHRA Countdown to the Championship race 1 of 6)
1. Bo Butner (4), 2135
2. Alex Laughlin (1), 2119
3. Jason Line (1), 2114
4. Erica Enders, 2096
5. Greg Anderson (2), 2092
6. Deric Kramer (1), 2075
7. Matt Hartford (1), 2063
8. Jeg Coughlin (1), 2059
9. Chris McGaha (1), 2041
10. Val Smeland, 2031
35th annual Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals
Maple Grove Raceway
September 12-15, 2019
Run Schedule (all times ET)
Sunday, September 15
11am – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series eliminations begin,
eliminations for all other categories continue
#NHRAonFOX Schedule (all times ET)
Finals / Sunday – 2-5 PM ET / FS1
• Greg Anderson, driver of the red Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro, begins the 2019 NHRA Countdown to the Championship as the No. 4 seed. He is seeking a fifth Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Championship
• Anderson holds the Maple Grove Raceway Pro Stock track record for speed at 214.59 mph, set in October 2015
• The Team Summit driver reached the final round in Reading three of the last four seasons
• 2019 is Anderson’s 21st season as a Pro Stock driver. He began his career as a crew member and then was crew chief for multi-time champion Warren Johnson before taking the reins of his own Pro Stock car in Columbus in 1998.
• Las Vegas-based Ken Black brought Anderson on board as a tuner, then a driver for KB Racing. They won their first race together in 2001. They have been racing together for nearly two decades and have, along with crew chief Rob Downing, built a team that now owns 157 national event wins and eight championships.
• Anderson is a four-time NHRA Pro Stock world champion (2003-05, 2010)
• Anderson is the most decorated Pro Stock driver on the current tour. He has 93 national event wins and is the second-most winning driver of all time in the category (W. Johnson has 97).
• Anderson’s 103 starts from the No. 1 position is the third-most of any Pro driver ever
Anderson at the NHRA Nationals in Reading
2 wins in 7 final rounds
Runner-up 2017 (Bo Butner)
Runner-up 2016 (Vincent Nobile)
Runner-up 2015 (Chris McGaha)
Runner-up 2010 (Dave Connolly)
Won 2006 (defeated Greg Stanfield)
Won 2005 (defeated Jim Yates)
Runner-up 2004 (Jason Line)
No. 1 in 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008
Last year: Qualified No. 7; semifinals
Anderson’s career stats through 2019 Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis
(most recent event)
4-time NHRA Pro Stock series champion (2003-05, 2010)
464 Pro Stock races
63 runner-up finishes
156 overall final rounds
103 No. 1 qualifier awards
Career best e.t.: 6.457
Career best speed: 215.48
• Wright, Minnesota-native Jason Line, driver of the silver Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro, enters the 2019 Countdown to the Championship as the No. 3 seed.
• Three-time NHRA Pro Stock world champion Line had the quickest racecar over the past two events. He closed out the regular season with the quickest car in all but two rounds of qualifying and all but three rounds of eliminations over the course of the last two races.
• Over the course of the regular season, Line has claimed low elapsed time twice (nine times overall for KB Racing) and top speed of the event three times (10 times overall for KB Racing)
• Jason Line debuted a new Jerry Haas-built Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro at the 2019 Mello Yello Series season-opener in Pomona and wheeled it to the final round
• The driver of the silver Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro accumulated 600 Pro Stock round wins with his first-round victory in Richmond this season. It is the third most of any active driver in the category.
• The Mooresville, N.C.-based drag racer has 51 national event wins on his scorecard: 49 in Pro Stock and two in Stock Eliminator, one of NHRA’s premier Sportsman categories.
• In addition to driving for KB Racing, Line is the dyno operator at KB Racing and is part of the tuning team for the cars in the KB Racing stable
• Line has three NHRA Pro Stock world titles with KB Racing (2006, 2011, 2016), as well as one NHRA Sportsman championship earned in Stock Eliminator behind the wheel of his 1970 Buick Gran Sport (1993)
• His Pro Stock debut was in 2003 in Columbus
Line at the NHRA Nationals in Reading
2 wins in 2 final rounds
Win 2011 (defeated Ronnie Humphrey)
Win 2004 (defeated Greg Anderson)
No. 1 in 2005, 2011, 2012, 2013
Last year: Qualified No. 8; second round
Line’s career stats through 2019 Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis
(most recent event)
3-time NHRA Pro Stock series champion (2006, 2011, 2016)
1993 NHRA Stock Eliminator champion
368 Pro Stock races
49 Pro Stock wins
51 overall wins, including NHRA Sportsman and Professional categories
(2 Stock Eliminator, 49 Pro Stock)
52 runner-up finishes
101 Pro Stock final rounds
103 overall final rounds, including NHRA Sportsman and Professional competition
(2 Stock Eliminator, 101 Pro Stock)
55 Pro Stock No. 1 qualifier awards
Career best e.t.: 6.455
Career best speed: 215.17
• Bo Butner, the 2017 NHRA Pro Stock world champion, led the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series points throughout the entire regular season. He enters the 2019 NHRA Countdown to the Championship as the No. 1 seed.
• The Floyds Knobs, Indiana, native has four wins in four final rounds so far this year. Overall, he has 11 wins in a total of 101 career Pro Stock races.
• Thus far, 2019 has been a season of recovery for Butner, who won twice in 2018 but suffered 10 first-round losses.
• In addition to his success in Pro Stock in 2019, Butner has won in Super Gas and twice been runner-up in the Factory Stock Showdown to create a scenario in which he has the potential to claim three season championships in one year.
• Butner has three wins in Reading – but they’re all in different classes: Stock Eliminator (2010), Comp (2011), and Pro Stock (2017)
• Butner won the first race of the 2019 season and then again in Gainesville, Las Vegas, and Richmond. He is the incoming points leader.
• Last October, Butner decided to hang up his Pro driving gloves and return to his Sportsman racing roots to focus on the Jim Butner Auto Group family business and his growing family (his first grandchild was born just after Gainesville). When the schedule was shortened to 18 races, though, he was encouraged by his mom, Dottie, to reconsider.
• An accomplished NHRA Sportsman racer, Butner earned the Comp Eliminator championship in 2006 and has four Division 3 season titles
• Butner won Super Gas in Sonoma this season in his very first race in the category and was runner-up in the class at Brainerd. He was also runner-up in Super Gas at the divisional event in Bowling Green, Ky. Butner currently has national event wins in six different categories (Pro Stock, Comp, Super Stock, Stock, Super Stre4et, and Super Gas).
• Butner has 11 Pro Stock wins on his scorecard
Butner at the NHRA Nationals in Reading
3 wins in 3 final rounds
2010 Won Stock Eliminator (defeated Michael Iacono)
2011 Won Comp Eliminator (defeated Sal Biondo)
2017 Won Pro Stock (defeated Greg Anderson)
Last year: Qualified No. 5; second round
Butner’s career stats through 2019 Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis
(most recent event)
2017 NHRA Pro Stock champion
2006 Competition Eliminator champion
11 Pro Stock wins
13 Pro Stock runner-up finishes
24 overall Pro Stock final rounds
10 Pro Stock No. 1 qualifier awards
27 overall wins, including NHRA Sportsman competition
(11 Pro stock, 6 Comp Eliminator, 3 Super Stock, 5 Stock Eliminator, 1 Super Street, 1 Super Gas)
55 overall final rounds, including NHRA Sportsman and Professional competition
(24 Pro Stock, 13 Comp Eliminator, 6 Super Stock, 7 Stock Eliminator, 1 Super Street, 2 SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown, 2 Super Gas)
Career best e.t.: 6.475
Career best speed: 214.28
**Full results at DragRaceCentral.com**