Jason Line’s silver Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro continued to shine at this weekend’s AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals. Team Summit didn’t leave World Wide Technology Raceway with a Pro Stock trophy, but Line left with the points lead, and teammate Greg Anderson left one position higher in the standings.
Qualified in the No. 3 spot, Line had lane choice for his first-round meeting with Steve Graham. It proved inconsequential, however, when his opponent illuminated the red light by leaving .021-second too soon. Line raced ahead for a 6.592-second win at 209.14 mph that was top speed of the round.
Line was first to launch in the second act, but Matt Hartford got the win after the Summit Racing Chevy’s tires broke loose from the track and his car pulled hard and sashayed. Line kept it in his lane and slowed to a 9.100 to Hartford’s 6.644.
“We didn’t have the outcome we hoped for today with the KB Racing Pro Stock cars, but even though today didn’t go as planned, I’m excited to get to Charlotte,” said Line. “My silver Summit Racing Chevy Camaro is still really good, and hopefully we didn’t lose too much momentum. I’m also very happy for [KB Racing-powered] Dave Kramer to win the Factory Stock Showdown today. He’s a good fella, and that was super cool. It was fun to watch, and he worked hard for the win.”
Greg Anderson came into Sunday with confidence in his racecar after struggling through the last handful of events. The driver of the red Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro powered to the fastest speed of qualifying and locked into the No. 4 position, and he brought the same power and speed to the table on Sunday for eliminations.
In the first round, he raced to a 6.601-second pass at 207.78 mph to defeat Fernando Cuadra Jr.’s 6.637, 208.30, and in round two, Anderson clocked the fastest speed of raceday with his 6.672, 209.56. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite enough for Chris McGaha’s quicker elapsed time of 6.658 at 207.59.
“We made a step forward in qualifying, but then today we took another step back, so it’s frustrating,” said Anderson, who is up from eighth to No. 7 in the Pro Stock standings. “Sunday has been my Achilles heel, and we did everything we thought we needed to do to get past this problem, but we just haven’t yet been able to get hold of it. It was good to see the improvements in qualifying, yes, but we have to get Sunday right, or what you did in qualifying really doesn’t matter. We have four races left this year, and we’re going to do our best to get this car back in the winner’s circle.”
Bo Butner reached the semifinals in his Jim Butner Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro and is now No. 3 in the NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs. Butner defeated fellow KB Racing engine campaigner Fernando Cuadra in the first round, 6.601, 208.23 to 6.637, 207.88. In the second round, Butner beat Jeg Coughlin Jr. on a holeshot, 6.638, 207.78 to 6.630, 207.21. With lane choice in the semifinals, Butner had high hopes – but he lost a close one when Hartford went 6.643, 207.50 to 6.647, 208.39.
“We probably had an above average day compared to what we’ve had recently,” said Butner. “We went some rounds, and our Jim Butner Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro was definitely a car we could turn win lights on with. A lot of us struggle right now with a hot racetrack, some people get it, and some don’t, but I think the rest of the Countdown is going to be tough. It’s going to be close. I don’t see a breakaway person this year – you just hope for the best.
“It’s too early to watch the points, but I will tell you that you cannot lose round one. If you lose round one right now, unless a miracle would happen, you’re just going to be a top 10 guy. I think there are going to be five or six people with really a legit shot at the Championship. Let’s just hope it’s one of us in the end.”
The next event on the 2019 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour is race three of six in the Countdown to the Championship, the NHRA Carolina Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, October 11-13.
KB Racing, Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro
Points position following event: No. 1
R1: Jason Line defeated Steve Graham, 6.592-second at 209.14 mph to (-.021) 13.299, 64.86
R2: Matt Hartford def. Line, 6.644, 207.37 to 9.100, 103.58
KB Racing, Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro
Points position following event: No. 7
R1: Greg Anderson defeated Fernando Cuadra Jr., 6.601-second at 207.78 mph to 6.637, 208.30
R2: Chris McGaha def. Anderson, 6.658, 207.59 to 6.672, 209.56
KB Racing, Jim Butner Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro
Points position following event: No. 3
R1: Bo Butner defeated Fernando Cuadra, 6.601-second at 208.23 mph to 6.637, 207.88
R2: Butner def. Jeg Coughlin Jr., (.047 reaction time) 6.638, 207.78 to (.065) 6.630, 207.21
R3: Matt Hartford def. Butner, 6.643, 207.50 to 6.647, 208.39
No. 1 Qualifier: Erica Enders, 6.552
Top speed of qualifying: Greg Anderson, 211.10
Low elapsed time in eliminations: Deric Kramer, 6.584
Top speed of eliminations: Greg Anderson, 209.56
2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Standings
(after AAA Insurance NHRA Nationals, Countdown to the Championship race 2 of 6)
1. Jason Line (2), 2254
2. Erica Enders (1), 2243
3. Bo Butner (4), 2232
4. Matt Hartford (1), 2197
5. Alex Laughlin (1), 2171
6. Jeg Coughlin (1), 2160
7. Greg Anderson (2), 2147
8. Deric Kramer (1), 2132
9. Chris McGaha (1), 2113
10. Val Smeland, 2062