Jason Line's team's conservative approach in making car changes for the second round of qualifying Friday for the 26th annual Lucas Oils NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway was good enough for him to garner the provisional No. 1 spot in his Pontiac GTO Pro Stocker.
"It's always nice to go into Saturday morning on the pole instead of on the outside looking in," Line said.
Line, who's from Wright, clicked off a pass in 6.750 seconds at 204.66 mph to nab the top spot.
Jason Line of Wright was the No. 1 qualifier in the Pro Stock car class with an ET of 6.750 and a top speed of 204.66 mph during qualifying Friday at the 26th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway.Brainerd Dispatch/Steve Kohls
Line was hoping Saturday would be cooler as his team works better in lower temperatures. Friday's temperatures were in the mid-90s during the first qualifying session and near 90 for the second session.
"This heat is almost as bad as being in Charlotte (North Carolina)," Line, a former employee of Joe Gibbs racing, said. "It's warm out there. The heat does have a big affect on the car and the engine. This type of weather is not the kind we shine in so to be on the pole we're happy with that.
"I'm fat anyway and need to lose a few pounds so I'm hoping I'll sweat some off."
He also will feel the heat of several racers who posted times under 6.8 seconds. They included Ron Krisher in his Chevy Cobalt, who was second with a 6.753; teammate and points leader Greg Anderson in his GTO was third with a 6.769; Richie Stevens in his Dodge Stratus was fourth with a 6.773; and defending champion Dave Connolly in his Chevy Cobalt was fifth in 6.775.
The key: Jason Line, a native of Wright, went from 14th after the first round to the top qualifying spot after the second round. Chip Ellis is also the No. 1 qualifier in Pro Stock motorcycle.
Line admitted that, "there is room for improvement" in his second run.
Line, who earned runner up honors at last year's BIR event, said the key to winning on Sunday will be lane choice.
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Chip Ellis, on his Buell qualified No. 1 with a pass in 7.032 seconds at 191.32 mph. Ellis has five career victories. He was followed by Andrew Hines on his Harley Davidson (7.042, 189.50 mph) and Angelle Sampey on her Suzuki (7.091, 188.07 mph).
CLINT WOOD, staff writer, may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5870.
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