Industry leader Summit Racing Equipment could not have been prouder following the conclusion of it’s marquee sponsored NHRA event….
It was truly a great day for Summit Racing and an excellent day for Pro Stock driver Jason Line on Sunday at the 35th annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway. In a final-round battle between teammates, Line came out on top and scored the 37th Pro Stock title of his career with a defeat of Greg Anderson. It was the fourth all-Summit Pro Stock final in Atlanta and the 24th time Line and Anderson have gone head-to-head for the title.
In addition to the Summit Racing Pro Stock final, Summit Racing-sponsored drivers Kenny Lang (Pro Mod) and Tim Wilkerson (Funny Car) won coveted trophies.
“Today was a great day for Summit Racing, and it was also a great day for KB Racing,” said Line, who now has two wins in the Peach State in six Atlanta final rounds. “It’s the way you picture it, the way you dream of it happening. It usually doesn’t end up that way, but today it did. It was a phenomenal day.”
Line, the No. 1 qualifier, began eliminations with a winning 6.576-second pass at 210.50 mph as first-round opponent Alan Prusiensky fouled out. With lane choice, Line held an advantage over long-time Pro Stock runner Larry Morgan – but just to drive it home, the pilot of the blue Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro launched with a .034-second reaction time and left Morgan and his .064 start at a decided disadvantage. Line extended his lead as the two raced down the quarter-mile dragstrip and advanced with a 6.573, 210.64 to 6.565, 212.29.
In the semifinals, the two-time NHRA Pro Stock champion squared off with Rodger Brogdon, the same driver he raced in the semis in Gainesville on his way to the most recent previous all-Summit Racing money round. A 6.585, 211.39 got the job done and shut out Brogdon’s 6.635, 211.33. From there, it was on to the final, where Line would forfeit lane choice to KB Racing teammate Anderson.
Although Anderson had the car to beat all day long, recording low e.t. through each round of eliminations, it was Line with the upper hand this time around. Anderson left first, .013 to .057, but a minor mechanical issue shockingly slowed his red Summit Racing Camaro. Line surged ahead for a 6.606, 211.33 victory over Anderson’s 8.628, 114.39.
“There have been plenty of times when I’ve done a really good job and had a great car but lost, and today was different – I got a little bit lucky,” admitted Line, who earned his third consecutive No. 1 for the season in Atlanta and the 41st low qualifier award of his career. “I was fast in qualifying, but today I wasn’t fast. Today I had some good fortune. Greg was really fast and had the car to beat, and he was driving better than anyone else out here. He should have won, but this time I was the lucky guy.
In Funny Car, Tim Wilkerson raced to his first Funny Car victory since 2011 while Antron Brown (Top Fuel) and Hector Arana (Pro Stock Motorcycle) also were winners at the seventh of 24 events in the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing season.
Wilkerson, who had not won since 2011 in Seattle, ran a 4.318-second pass at 260.31 mph in his Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Shelby Mustang to better Ron Capps, who trailed with a 5.781 at 125.90 in his NAPA Auto Parts Dodge Charger R/T. This is Wilkerson’s 18th career win and first ever at Atlanta.
“That 4.03 in the first round was pretty impressive,” said Wilkerson. “I was happy with that. As the track got hotter, I did a good job until the finals. I’m really unhappy about what it did in the final. I was trying to go about a .14, and the thing broke the tires loose.”
En route to the winner’s circle, Wilkerson raced past Del Worsham, Jack Beckman and John Force in the earlier rounds. Wilkerson, who qualified sixth, is now No. 8 in points standing.
Capps, the Gainesville and Houston winner, beat Alexis DeJoria, No. 1 qualifier Cruz Pedregon and defending world champ Matt Hagan on his way to the final round. Capps retained the points lead in Funny Car.
In Top Fuel, Brown pushed his Matco Tools dragster to a final-round performance of 3.887 at 310.48 mph to defeat Leah Pritchett’s 4.202 at 260.41 in her Dote Racing/Gumout dragster. Brown has 49 career wins and four at Atlanta Dragway, tying Larry Dixon for most in the category. His last win at this event was in 2013. Brown, the Four-Wide Nationals at Charlotte winner, is the only Top Fuel driver to have won multiple races this season.
“It wasn’t just a good day, but a good weekend,” Brown said. “We’ve been aiming to start off with a good qualifying run. The first run out of the box on Sunday set the tone for the whole weekend. We started getting data in hot, cool, and middle track temperatures when we tested in Indy. You have to make some swings with the combination we run now. (Crew chiefs) Brian Corradi, Mark Oswald, and all the Matco boys have been putting the work in together. It definitely showed this weekend.”
Brown, the Top Fuel points leader, qualified first and defeated Shawn Langdon, Doug Kalitta and Terry McMillen before meeting Pritchett in the final.
Pritchett sprinted to her first career final round appearance by racing past Chris Karamesines, J.R. Todd and Larry Dixon. The third-year Top Fuel driver qualified third and currently sits 12th in the points standing.
Arana earned his first win in Pro Stock Motorcycle since 2009 and seventh overall with a 7.236 at 196.30 on his Lucas Oil Buell to beat 2014 event winner Eddie Krawiec, whose Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidson slowed near mid-track.
“I knew I could keep winning, but I had to believe in myself,” Arana said. “In the final, the bike jumped like a bronco,” Arana said. “It pulled to the right, but I was not giving up unless he was way in front of me. As long as I had control of the bike, I was staying with it.”
Arana defeated defending world champ Andrew Hines, Jim Underdahl and son Hector Arana Jr. to make it to the final round. Arana was the seventh qualifier and holds the No. 3 spot in the points standing.
Pro Mod Title Goes back to Canada!
Kenny Lang (Winnipeg MB) raced to victory in the NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series portion of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals. This weekend’s Pro Mod racing at Atlanta Dragway was presented by Pro Line Racing and the Real Pro Mod Association.
In the final round, Lang powered his Summit Racing 1969 Camaro to a 6.061-second pass at 244.07 mph, defeating Troy Coughlin’s 7.392 at 142.94 in his JEGS Mail Order Corvette. It was Lang’s second career Pro Mod win and he now sits eighth in the points standings.
Lang was the No. 12 qualifier and defeated defending world champ Rickie Smith, Eric Latino and Houston winner Don Walsh on his way to the final.
Coughlin entered eliminations as the No. 10 qualifier. He defeated Gerry Capano, Mike Castellana and Danny Rowe on the way to the finals.
The Lucas Oil Lowdown!
In the final results from Atlanta Dragway and the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals Greg Rowe led the list of sportsman winners defeating veteran racer and series hitter David Rampy in Super Stock while Georgia racer Lindsey Barker won in Top Dragster.
Rowe, Bridgeton, N.C., got the holeshot on Rampy and held on in his ’97 Firebird with a 10.833 second 121.86 mph lap as Rampy ran quicker at 10.270, 125.52. The win was Rowe’s fourth and first in Super Stock.
Barker, Kathleen , Ga., clocked in at 6.815, 163.77 mph for the win over Richard Prince who left early with a red-light start. This was Barker’s second win and first in Top Dragster.
Defending Super Stock event champion Ryan Richardson faced off with ten-time division champion Sherman Adcock Jr. in Super Comp. The Greenbrier, Tenn., racer Richardson left first and ran 8.901 on the 8.90 index to force Adcock, Fortson, Ga., to run too quick and break out.
Slate Cummings, Hammond, La., took home his sixth NHRA national event win and joined three first time winner’s in the winner’s circle. Cummings went 10.661, 101 mph to beat David Latino in Stock and join Tom Powell, Matt Weston and Sandy Wilkins in Sunday’s celebration.
Powell met up with Steve Furr in the Super Gas final that was close at the start with Powell, Ty Ty, Ga., taking a slight advantage and holding on to the win in 9.919 seconds. Weston, Wellford, S.C., advanced to his first final round winning on a holeshot over multi-national event winner Brad Plourd in Super Street. Weston was .024 on the tree and crossed the strip in 10.946 seconds at 138.56 mph.
In the Top Sportsman final — Sandy Wilkins won over the quicker Jeffrey Barker with a 6.750, 205.10 in a ’69 Camaro to Barker’s 6.616, 198.88 in his ’06 Cobalt.
Posted with files from Joanne Knapp, Eric Lotz and Chris Lawyer
All photos by: Bruce Biegler & Dave DeAngelis
To visit the Summit Racing Southern Nationals event photo gallery – click: HERE