NORWALK, OH – June 22, 2016 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – The current run of Pro Stock teammates Jason Line and Greg Anderson has been nothing short of incredible to start the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. The Summit Racing Equipment teammates have combined to win all 11 races in the new era of Pro Stock, with points leader Line picking up his sixth victory last weekend in Bristol.
Line knows that this unbelievable stretch won’t last forever but the two-time Pro Stock world champion is hoping it does go at least one more race at this weekend’s 10th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park.
The pressure will be immense at his sponsor’s race and track, but Line plans on simply embracing that moment in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro.
“It’s hard not to think about,” Line said of the implications of the weekend’s event. “The only thing you can do is know that it’s there and try to turn it into a positive thing, and use it to help you and not hinder you. It’s really just focusing a lot and keeping it all in perspective. We’ve got good hot rods right now.
“All things must come to an end, but I would hate to have it come to an end there. It’s been such a phenomenal year so far. It’s been a dream season and I’m excited about all of it. There’s so many reasons to be happy. I really enjoy these summer races. I can bring my family with me and that’s always a lot of fun.”
Doug Kalitta (Top Fuel), Jack Beckman (Funny Car), Anderson (Pro Stock) and Karen Stoffer (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were last year’s winners of the event. For the first time, the race will be televised nationally on FOX Sports 1. It also marks the halfway point of the season and finishes off a stretch of four consecutive race weekends.
The rigorous stretch has been nothing but business as usual for Line and Anderson, continuing their dominance in the new look Pro Stock class, which features race cars with fuel-injected engines, shorter wheelie bars, flat hoods and a 10,500 RPM rev-limiter. Anderson won the first two races of this Eastern Swing, but Line was impressive in Bristol, qualifying No. 1 for the sixth time this season and knocking off Anderson in the final round. It is already the seventh time Line, who has 43 career victories, and Anderson have met in a final round this season, as the team continues to develop and find improvements despite the dominant start.
“The biggest thing is the job done by our car guys, from (crew chief) Rob (Downing) and everyone else,” Line said. “They’ve done a phenomenal job making sure we get down the track and get down fast, even when the track or the conditions are a little iffy. That’s really impressive and they’ve done a great job helping Greg and I look good.”
Line has started strong and never let up, advancing to 10 final rounds. But he also has a confidence in his Camaro that is unlike any time in his standout career. He hopes to continue to build on the already impressive momentum as the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship nears, but his faith in his car is at an all-time high.
“For me, I don’t go up there thinking I’m going to shake or anything like that,” Line said. “I don’t even think about it. I know it’s going to go down the racetrack. It’s a nice feeling to have that kind of confidence. It’s a great thing and it’s really quite a feeling.”
Line doesn’t expect it to be fleeting but he is the first to admit that talented competition in Pro Stock is gaining and it is a class filled with standouts. It certainly includes Anderson and their KB Racing teammate Bo Butner, and also features two-time Norwalk winner Vincent Nobile, back-to-back and reigning world champ Erica Enders, 2012 champ Allen Johnson, veteran driver Shane Gray, Chris McGaha and five-time world champ and Ohio native Jeg Coughlin.
But Line is focused on doing well at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk. He looks forward to enjoying the festive atmosphere in Northeast Ohio following the Cleveland Cavaliers’ NBA championship on Sunday, as well as the growing surge of interest he has felt from NHRA fans all season.
“All my friends from Ohio are texting me and it’s just a very positive vibe right now,” said Line, who won in Norwalk in 2009. “I also feel like everybody is excited about the future of this sport, with the television deal, and the fan support has just been awesome. It’s also a great time in Norwalk. It’s a great place and there are great drag race fans up there.”
In Top Fuel, Kalitta topped Antron Brown in the final here a year ago and the duo are first and second in points in 2016. Kalitta surged into the points lead with three straight victories, while Brown, the reigning world champion, has two victories. Others to watch in the class include Brittany Force, a two-time winner in 2016, Steve Torrence, who also has two wins this season, 2007 event winner and eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher, Richie Crampton, Shawn Langdon, who won last weekend in Bristol, Terry McMillen and J.R. Todd.
In Funny Car, Beckman sprinted past Courtney Force in Norwalk last year to earn his third victory of the season and second ever at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park. Force is back on track this season, earning a victory, but competition is tough and includes Matt Hagan, who won back-to-back events recently in Atlanta and Topeka, 16-time world champion John Force, two-time 2016 event winner Tim Wilkerson, Robert Hight, Ron Capps, who has taken over the points lead, Bristol winner Tommy Johnson Jr., defending world champ Del Worsham and Las Vegas winner Alexis DeJoria.
Pro Stock Motorcycle will hit the track at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park for its fifth appearance of the 2016 season. Last year, Stoffer raced to her second victory of the season. Three-time world champion and 2011 Norwalk winner Eddie Krawiec currently has a grip on the Pro Stock Motorcycle points lead with two wins and three finals appearances. Others in the two-wheeled category hoping to race to the winner’s circle include reigning world champion Andrew Hines, Angelle Sampey, who won in Englishtown last weekend for her first victory since 2007, Hector Arana, two-time champ and two-time event winner Matt Smith, Jerry Savoie, veteran rider Steve Johnson, Chip Ellis, Hector Arana Jr. and Michael Ray.
The NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series returns to Norwalk for its sixth of 10 races during the 2016 season. The Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals will also feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series.
As always, fans will have the opportunity to interact with their favorite drivers as they’re granted an exclusive pit pass to the most powerful and sensory-filled motorsports attraction on the planet. This unique opportunity in motorsports gives fans direct access to the teams, allowing them to see firsthand how the highly-skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds, and get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers.
Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying will feature two rounds at 5 and 7:45 p.m. on Friday, June 24 and the final two rounds of qualifying on Saturday, June 25, at 12:30 and 3:15 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 26.
To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park at (419) 668-5555. Tickets also are available online at www.summitmotorsportspark.com. Kids 12 and under are free in general admission areas with a paid adult. For more information about the NHRA visit www.NHRA.com.
SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT NHRA NATIONALS FACT SHEET
WHAT: 10th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, the 12th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series. Drivers in four categories – Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle – earn points leading to 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championships. Competition in the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Series and the NHRA Lucas Oil Series also will be featured at this event.
WHERE: Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park, Norwalk, Ohio. The track is located at 1300 State Route 18, half way between Cleveland and Toledo; just an hour and a half north of Columbus. The Ohio Turnpike is less than 10 minutes away.
COURSE: Championship drag strip; Track elevation is 853 feet above sea level; Track direction is north to south.
WHEN: Thursday through Sunday, June 23-26
THURSDAY, June 23 – LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying
FRIDAY, June 24 – LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying
NHRA J&A SERVICE PRO MOD SERIES qualifying at 4:15 and 7 p.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 5 and 7:45p.m.
SATURDAY, June 15 – LUCAS OIL SERIES eliminations
NHRA J&A SERVICE PRO MOD SERIES qualifying at 2:15 p.m. Round 1 of eliminations at 5 p.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 12:30 and 3:15 p.m.
SUNDAY, June 16 – Pre-race ceremonies, 10 a.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES eliminations begin at 11 a.m.
Friday, June 24, FOX Sports 1 (FS1) will televise one hour of qualifying coverage at 8 p.m. (ET).
Saturday, June 25, FS1 will televise one hour of qualifying coverage at 7 p.m. (ET).
Sunday, June 26, FS1 will televise two-and-a-half hours of live finals coverage at 11 a.m. (ET).
Sunday, June 26, FS1 will televise three hours of finals coverage at midnight (ET) / 9 p.m. (PT).
2015 EVENT WINNERS: Doug Kalitta, Top Fuel; Jack Beckman, Funny Car; Greg Anderson, Pro Stock, Karen Stoffer, Pro Stock Motorcycle.
MOST VICTORIES: Andrew Hines, 4, PSM; Greg Anderson, 3, PS; Jack Beckman, 2, FC; Larry Dixon, 2, TF; Mike Neff, 2, FC; Vincent Nobile, 2, PS; Matt Smith, 2, PSM.
Top Fuel – 3.731 sec. by Doug Kalitta, July ’15; 332.51 mph by Larry Dixon, July ’15.
Funny Car – 4.000 sec. and 322.96 mph by Matt Hagan, July ’15.
Pro Stock – 6.523 sec. and 212.63 mph by Erica Enders, July ’14.
PS Motorcycle – 6.844 sec. by Eddie Krawiec, July ’14; 196.93 mph by Hector Arana, July ’14.
Top Fuel – 3.676 sec. by Brittany Force, May ’16, Topeka, Kan.; 332.75 mph by Spencer Massey, Aug. ’15, Brainerd, Minn.
Funny Car – 3.862 sec. and 335.57 mph by Matt Hagan, May ’16, Topeka, Kan.
Pro Stock – 6.455 sec. by Jason Line, March ’15, Charlotte, N.C.; 215.55 mph by Erica Enders, May ‘14, Englishtown N.J.
PS Motorcycle – 6.728 sec. by Andrew Hines, Oct. ’12, Reading, Pa.; 199.88 mph by Hector Arana Jr., March ’15, Charlotte, N.C.
TICKETS: For tickets, call (419) 668-5555 or purchase online at www.summitmotorsportspark.com.
NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS STANDINGS
GLENDORA, CA — Point standings (top 10) following the 11th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series –
1. Doug Kalitta, 926; 2. Antron Brown, 873; 3. Steve Torrence, 846; 4. Brittany Force, 754; 5. Tony Schumacher, 675; 6. Shawn Langdon, 595; 7. J.R. Todd, 562; 8. Clay Millican, 540; 9. Richie Crampton, 535; 10. Leah Pritchett, 412.
1. Ron Capps, 841; 2. Jack Beckman, 786; 3. Courtney Force, 741; 4. Matt Hagan, 710; 5. Del Worsham, 701; 6. Tim Wilkerson, 691; 7. Tommy Johnson Jr., 675; 8. Robert Hight, 643; 9. John Force, 615; 10. Alexis DeJoria, 588.
1. Jason Line, 1,263; 2. Greg Anderson, 1,170; 3. Bo Butner, 758; 4. Allen Johnson, 668; 5. Drew Skillman, 625; 6. Vincent Nobile, 535; 7. Chris McGaha, 524; 8. Jeg Coughlin, 496; 9. Shane Gray, 458; 10. Alex Laughlin, 445.
Pro Stock Motorcycle:
1. Eddie Krawiec, 436; 2. Jerry Savoie, 310; 3. Angelle Sampey, 297; 4. Andrew Hines, 290; 5. Chip Ellis, 269; 6. Hector Arana, 239; 7. LE Tonglet, 196; 8. Karen Stoffer, 150; 9. Scotty Pollacheck, 149; 10. Steve Johnson, 147.