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Jason Line: 'It doesn’t matter what track we start with, the cars will all be ready to go when we get the call'

Technically, this the is the last year Pro Stock racers will have to fear lining up against Jason Line. In reality, Line plans to be far more fearsome for the competition in 2021 when his attention is focused 100-percent on engine development. This is one of a series of interviews with the top drivers in Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Pro Stock.
05 Jun 2020
NHRA National Dragster staff
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Jason Line Pro Stock Camaro

Jason Line| Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro

Current points position: 3rd  | Best season e.t. to date: 6.558

Early-season report card: Three-time NHRA Pro Stock champion Jason Line will retire from Pro Stock driving after the 2020 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. With NHRA celebrating 50 years of Pro Stock this year, and Line turning 50 and having 50 Pro Stock wins to his name, he felt that the numbers added up just right for retiring from behind the wheel of the Summit Racing Pro Stock Camaro. He has dubbed this final season of driving for Ken Black Racing the Finish Line Tour.

Looking back: “Pomona feels like it was so long ago, I am not sure that I remember it. I think I lost in the final – I did lose in the final – I lost to Jeg [Coughlin Jr]. I don’t think I deserved to get to the final, but I’m not going to look a gift horse in the mouth. I’ll be thankful I got that far. Phoenix must not have been very good [laughter], because nothing positive jumps out at me from that race either. I must’ve lost early [Erica Enders defeated him in the semi’s with a 6.555 to Line’s 6.582], it feels like a lifetime ago. We kind of got off on a bad note, we went back and undid a lot of the ideas we came up with over the winter and returned the cars to where then were at the end of 2019. Funny enough Gainesville is one of the most memorable races because we pulled in there and then got told to go home; that’s something I won’t forget.”

Looking ahead: “We will absolutely go test someplace before the next race, as this is the longest I’ve been out of a car since 1990. I’m not really a practice guy, and it probably shows. I’d rather be building something. It’s a burnout thing for me. I begin a season strong and then wane. It’s a total mental thing. The truth is I’ve gotten better at turning off some of the distraction, but a little distraction seems to help me, too.”

Shop talk: “This is a unique and interesting time in our lives. We are trying to work on some new business. That can, and does, mean we are exploring new customers in new fields that want to benefit from our machining and process expertise. I took a vacation, and I’ve enjoyed being home, but the rest of the time I have been in the shop. We are looking for ways to survive and be a viable business when so much has slowed or shutdown. The cars are ready to go. Greg’s car had some new parts on it in Orlando [at the World Doorslammer Nationals], and we are working to bring the rest of the cars up to that spec. We are working through some delays from suppliers to get all of the parts we need, as some of them are working on skeleton crews. We have other projects here at the shop for other drag racing customers that are fun and interesting.”

The final word: “We can send the cars out to any track (except Denver) and use the same core platform to optimize it for the race. At most tracks, the conditions mean our cars will vary 4 to 5 percent on horsepower, but at Denver we can see a 25-percent reduction in power. So, it doesn’t matter what track we start with, the cars will all be ready to go when we get the call.     

“My goal for 2020 is still to do the best job we can for Summit Racing Equipment and Ken Black. We are taking new steps now to position our team to be successful in 2021. This is still going to be my last year in the car racing, and I am going to miss a lot of people and fans that that I’ve gotten used to seeing. I am excited for some of the new projects that staying in the shop will allow me to take on.”