Line Goes Fastest In Front Of Home Crowd

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Jason Line raced to the No. 1 position in Pro Stock at Brainerd Int'l Raceway. (NHRA Photo)
Jason Line raced to the No. 1 position in Pro Stock at Brainerd Int'l Raceway. (NHRA Photo)

BRAINERD, Minn. – Pro Stock driver and Minnesota native Jason Line secured his second No. 1 qualifier of the season and the 55th of his career at the 38th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals Saturday at Brainerd Int’l Raceway.

Brittany Force (Top Fuel) and Matt Hagan (Funny Car) also qualified No. 1 in their respective categories at the 17th of 24 races during the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

Line secured the top spot when his run of 6.606 seconds at 207.27 mph from Friday held up in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro. He will race for his first win this season on Sunday where he will face Wally Stroupe in the first round. Erica Enders is right behind in second, while Bo Butner finished third in qualifying.

“My car is really good. It’s certainly the best car I’ve had in years,” said Line. “We made four really good runs and that’s not always easy to do. It’s been very predictable and it’s doing what we ask it to, so that’s a good feeling.”

In Top Fuel, Force earned the top spot with her run of 3.722 seconds at 328.14 mph in the final round of qualifying on Saturday in her Carquest Filters dragster. This is her fifth No. 1 qualifier of the year and the 15th of her career. She will meet Chris Karamesines in the opening round of eliminations.

Steve Torrence qualified second and Mike Salinas will start raceday from the third position.

“It was a clean run all the way down there and it put us at number one so this Advance Auto Parts / Carquest team is very happy with that,” said Force. “Grubnic (David Grubnic, Crew Chief) said on this last run, we’re gonna push. We were safe in the field and he was going to push to see if he could move us up there and wow, he moved us up quite a bit. So I’m very excited about that. It just puts overall more energy in our pit and confidence going into raceday tomorrow.”

Funny Car’s Hagan picked up his first No. 1 qualifier of the year and 35th in his career thanks to his Friday run of 3.890 seconds at 328.46 mph in his Mopar Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Widebody Funny Car. He will meet Dale Creasy in the opening round of eliminations.

“I didn’t know if that pass would hold or not,” said Hagan. “We ran a little later this evening and everyone was pushing. All in all we really feel good about the car and the raceday setup and everything that’s kind of coming together right now so as long as we turn four win lights on tomorrow, that’s all that really matters.”

Jack Beckman remained second and John Force is a spot behind in third.