Fresh off his win in Brainerd, and an impressive performance in Stock Eliminator with his Buick GS on Thursday, Jason Line took the early lead in Pro Stock qualifying at the 65th annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway Indy. In a typically close field of Pro Stock entries, no one was able to better Line’s 6.570 pass in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevy Camaro. Line was also the class winner in Stock Eliminator with his Buick Grand Sport, the same car he drove to a national championship in 1993.
“I brought two cars here to Indy and they’re both happy right now,” said Line. “I’ve been busy this week but it’s a good thing. I’ve also got a couple of [engine customers] racing in Factory Stock so I’ve been taking care of them as well. I love Indy. There is so much going on and so much excitement. That was a good way to start qualifying. I want to stay No. 1 and get that RaceStar Wheels low qualifier bonus. That’s one of my goals for this race.
“Right now, the Summit Racing Camaro is a really good hot rod; it’s probably the best car that I’ve had for a couple of years. We’ve been making nice runs. We made a bunch of them in Brainerd two weeks ago and it carried over to the first run here at Indy. I had never won Brainerd before and I’ve never won this race. I’d like to cross both of them off the list.”
Line’s advantage over the rest of the Pro Stock field is slim. Two-time world champ Erica Enders, who raced Line in the final round in Brainerd, was second quickest with a 6.590 from her Melling/Elite Camaro while current points leader Bo Butner was third quickest a 6.592 with his Camaro, which is powered by engines from KB Racing. Alex Laughlin rounded out the top four after a 6.593.
There are 21 Pro Stock cars competing for just 16 available qualifying spots which means that competition to make the field over the next two days will be intense. With one of four sessions in the books, the bump is already at 6.694 by chassis builder Wally Stroupe. One of the drivers who is not currently qualified is Elite Motorsports team boss Richard Freeman, who was the low qualifier for the first time in his career last month in Denver.