Jason Line took over the NHRA Power Rankings lead for the first time in 2019 following his 50th Pro Stock victory at the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals presented by Pennzoil. His win, the second of the season for the former world champion, continued a positive trend that's reflected in his ascension to the top spot of the NHRA Power Rankings.
Line has moved up four spots over the past six races. He started the season ranked fifth and, as is often the case with K.B. Racing, climbed through terrific performance from his Chevrolet Camaro. The Summit Racing team relies on horsepower to win races; that’s a strategy that has earned the team two of the last three world championships.
The silver Summit Chevy leads Pro Stock in average elapsed time by nearly a hundredth of a second and Line completes more than 80 percent of his passes. Only Bo Butner averages a higher average speed and no Pro Stock car averages a quicker 60-foot time than the .978-second clip posted by Line during the 2019 season.
His weakness remains his average reaction time, which at .049-second is sixth among Countdown to the Championship competitors. It’s also the class average. Tanner Gray won the 2018 championship with a combination of an incredible reaction time average and a very fast car. Line the engine builder will need to carry Line the race car driver for him to win another Pro Stock championship, but don’t make this something it’s not: He’s not a below-average driver. The numbers speak for themselves.
Consider this: The only Countdown drivers with reaction time averages more than a hundredth quicker than Line’s are Erica Enders, Jeg Coughlin Jr. and Deric Kramer. Everything matters when you arrive at the starting line, but we can make too much of any given statistic – I’m guilty of it myself. Drag racing excellence requires being excellent at a group of things; specialization is not your friend.
That might be good news for Line, who will head to St. Louis in first place in NHRA Power Rankings – oh, and in the Pro Stock standings. Do you think he cares about that?