Jason Line won his second Pro Stock championship Sunday when he advanced to the semifinals of the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series event at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
"At this point in my life, I'll appreciate this one more," Line said. "I understand better now how hard it is to achieve that. Five years ago when I won the first, I was naive and didn't realize how hard it is."
Del Worsham (Top Fuel), Ron Capps (Funny Car), Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec (Pro Stock Motorcycle) won the pro categories in the NHRA Big O Tires Nationals.
Line, a 42-year-old Minnesota native, will start the season finale in two weeks at Pomona, Calif., with an insurmountable 199-point lead over KB Racing teammate and reigning champion Greg Anderson.
Line relished his first championship since 2006 but wanted to win the Las Vegas event title Sunday as well. But his day ended when he left the starting line too early in the semis and drew a red-light disqualification. However, Anderson also false-started in the other semifinal race.
"It feels unbelievable," Line said. "It's a great day. It's unfortunate that we couldn't have finished it in true championship style but it is what it is and I'm not giving the (championship) jacket back or the trophy."
Line, who will receive a $250,000 bonus from NHRA, worked as an engine tuner for Joe Gibbs Racing in NASCAR and helped Bobby Labonte win the 2000 Sprint Cup championship. Before moving to North Carolina and shifting to stock-car racing, Line was a successful drag racer and won the 1993 NHRA Stock Eliminator championship.
"My dad said I was crazy when I told him I was leaving Gibbs," Line said. "It was the best job I had ever had. Now it's the second best job I've ever had."
Las Vegas businessman Ken Black started the Pro Stock team in 1999 and hired Anderson to run it, serve as crew chief and be the primary driver. Line began working part time for Black while still at Gibbs.
The only reason he left Gibbs was for a promise to be able drive a 200-mph Pro Stocker. Line's series-best six wins this year pushes his total to 28 since 2007. It is the sixth championship for Black.
In Top Fuel, Worsham raced to his seventh win of the season when he powered his dragster to a 3.823-second run at 318.77 mph past Spencer Massey. The win moved Worsham into the second spot in the point standings, two points behind leader Massey heading into the final race of the season.
Matco Tools dragster pilot Antron Brown sits third in the standings, 14 points out of the lead, while defending world champion Larry Dixon is fourth, 44 points behind leader Massey.
In Funny Car, Ron Capps beat fellow Don Schumacher Racing teammate Johnny Gray for his second win of the season. Capps drove his Dodge Charger to a 4.109 at 311.34 to secure his 33rd career win.
While Capps raced to the win, teammate Matt Hagan took the points lead away from Jack Beckman. Hagan leads Beckman by a point, while third-place Cruz Pedregon sits 26 points behind Hagan.
Edwards raced to the win in Pro Stock when he powered his Pontiac GXP to a 6.641 at 208.30 past Allen Johnson in the final round. For Edwards, it was his fourth win of the season and 32nd of his career.
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, 2008 champion Krawiec beat fellow Harley-Davidson rider Andrew Hines, powering to a 6.936 at 194.30. It was Krawiec's fourth win of the season and 11th of his career. The win also increased his points lead over Hector Arana Jr. to 69 points.
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