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Jason Line -- you never can please him

Jason Line never is satisfied. But the reigning Pro Stock champion isn't a constant complainer. Rather, he's a constant self-motivator.

Line drove his KB / Summit Racing Pontiac GXP to the tentative No. 1 qualifying position for the Four-Wide NHRA Nationals at Concord, N.C., with a track-record elapsed time of 6.493 seconds. In the process, he set the Pro Stock class' national speed record at 213.91 mph.

That gave him both ends of the national record, for he set the E.T. mark of 6.477 seconds last October 3 at Reading, Pa.

What's more, the Troutman, N.C., resident did it at his "home track," and that, he said, "feels really good."

Said Line, "For all the guys who work in our shop, for them to be here to see it and see the fruits of their labor, that's a big deal."

Of course, it didn't take him long Friday to say, "It'd be nice to run faster. It would have been nice to break 214 (mph). If you get that close to 214 and don't hit it, it's disappointing." He said he wasn't all that thrilled with his first run of 6.505 seconds -- which was just one-thousandth off Allen Johnson's pacesetting E.T. and that speed of 213.91 mph, the fastest run ever recorded by a Pro Stock Car at that point.

"The speed was good. The E.T. was lousy," Line said. Second place is lousy? To Line, it is if he thinks he can get more out of the car.

In the evening session, he grabbed the provisional No. 1 spot, which if it holds will be his fourth straight at zMAX Dragway. That 6.493-second time came at 213.43 mph, which was plenty fast enough to serve as an official back-up for his record time.

"It means the engine guys have done their jobs. That's what it really means," Line said of his accomplishment. "As Pro Stock has evolved, the box that we work in is smaller and smaller, so to get an advantage is more difficult."

He guessed that the reason his team is succeeding is because all the members are "thinking about things a little bit differently than a lot of competitors are, and right now it's paying off."

So as Line went from the racetrack to his own home Friday night, a luxury he gets just two racing weekends a year, he tucked himself in saying, "Being No. 1 is a good thing. Being a record-holder is a great thing."

But when he pours syrup on his pancakes at his own breakfast table Saturday morning, he'll be telling himself, "Being the winner of this race will be even better than great."

Jason Line -- you never can please him.