At the recent Toyota NHRA SuperNationals, Jason Line and Allen Johnson continued their battle for qualifying supremacy, exchanging blows like a pair of heavyweight fighters. On Friday, Line set the pace in his Summit Racing Pontiac, topping the field with his 6.518-second clocking in the evening session. On Saturday, Johnson returned the favor in his Team Mopar Dodge Avenger, matching his rival’s elapsed time on his final attempt.
Line was awarded the No. 1 position based on the top speed tiebreaker, with his 212.09-mph shot besting Johnson’s 211.76, marking the fifth time this year that the duo has claimed the two starting spots. This was the 29th No. 1 qualifying performance of Line’s career, fifth of the 2012 season, and second consecutive at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. This strong showing not only helped Line pad his lead over Mike Edwards in this year’s K&N Horsepower Challenge standings, but also raised the total K&N Horsepower Challenge bonus money that he has received to an impressive $30,000 based on his 10 poles scored since last year’s specialty event.
“This No. 1 qualifying performance is particularly significant to me for several reasons,” said Line. “It’s my second consecutive pole at Raceway Park, which is a track with a tremendous amount of Pro Stock history and fans who really appreciate the class. In addition, we’re very fortunate to have [team owners] Ken and Judy Black with us here this weekend, so we naturally wanted to do well in front of them and put a smile on their faces.
“Finally, this is my last race in this Summit Racing Pontiac before changing over to the new Camaro. It has been a great race car, and I wanted to do everything I could to send it out a winner, so I’m glad to have put it at the top of the leaderboard in New Jersey, although A.J. certainly gave us a scare in Q4. Fortunately, we had the power to put up a better top speed on our run, allowing us to hold on to No. 1.
“I can’t say enough about K&N’s involvement with the Pro Stock class, which goes well beyond their sponsorship of the No. 1 qualifier awards and the K&N Horsepower Challenge. Of course, we appreciate the money they put up – after all, we’ve collected $15,000 in bonus money this year alone, but they also give us the technology to run better, from their oil filters to the hood scoops we use on our race cars. Throughout the year, they are constantly working with us, getting our input, and seeing what they can do to make their products even better. They are a tremendous company with great people, and we’re proud to represent them.”
With only two races remaining, the field for this year’s K&N Horsepower Challenge continues to take shape; third-place Greg Anderson, who qualified his new Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro sixth in the Garden State, and Johnson, currently sitting fourth, both claimed a guaranteed starting spot following the Toyota NHRA SuperNationals event.
Four drivers have a mathematical chance at the three remaining slots: GK Motorsports Cobalt driver Erica Enders (currently fifth, 145 points ahead of eighth place), Genuine Hotrod Hardware Pontiac racer Ronnie Humphrey (sixth, 75 ahead), Mountain View Tire Avenger pilot Vincent Nobile (seventh, 60 ahead), and MavTV Pontiac driver Rodger Brogdon, eighth and needing to make up ground to guarantee his third consecutive appearance in the specialty race. However, with a maximum of 175 points available at each of the remaining two events, there still could be major shuffling in the starting lineup for the July 6 race at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk.
There’s Still Time to Vote Your Driver into the Field!
For the third consecutive year, the fans will have a say in Pro Stock’s high-dollar shootout, with an online vote deciding the eighth and final participant in the 2012 K&N Horsepower Challenge. With less than a week to go before the polls close, an all-star cast including previous HPC winners Warren Johnson, Kurt Johnson and Jeg Coughlin must rely on their fans to put them ahead of their competitors and gain access into this year’s field.
Previous editions of the fan vote have shown that every vote counts, with the winner not decided until the final weekend, and with so many high-profile drivers involved, this year’s selection also promises to go down to the wire. To vote, visit: www.NHRA.com/knhpchallenge.aspx. Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, June 17.
Log on to www.knfilters.com for more details.