Seems like KB Racing did a little work in the six weeks since the last time Pro Stock competed in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
KB driver Jason Line earned the No. 1 qualifying spot for the Virginia NHRA Nationals on Saturday at Virginia Motorsports Park, with KB-powered cars also qualifying second, third and fifth.
Line’s best pass was 6.563 seconds at 210.11 mph, with Deric Kramer second at 6.569 at 210.27 mph, Bo Butner third at 6.573 at 210.54 mph and Greg Anderson fifth at 6.578 at 209.56 mph.
Two-time champion Erica Enders broke up the KB juggernaut with a run of 6.573 seconds at 208.59 mph to earn the No. 4 spot.
A change to the Pro Stock schedule for 2019 meant the class hasn’t raced since Las Vegas in early April.
“We did test, so we’re certainly not any worse off than we were before the break,” Line said. “I’m going to say it was good for us. We didn’t make any mistakes, we did a good job and learned some things. I feel like tomorrow we’ll have a really good race car.”
Line joked that he usually performs well after taking time off.
“A little time off sometimes is good,” Line said. “For me personally, I always do good (after a long break). Pomona 1 is good for me; Pomona 2, not so good. So as the year goes on, I get worse, so the little break probably is good for me. I’m hoping we can race three or four more and then take another break, but I don’t think it’ll work that way.”
Line said the KB Racing team is trying to take a “little different approach to things” in an effort to make the team better. Line’s last No. 1 qualifier came in the first Las Vegas race in 2017, so whatever they’re doing is working.
“Change is tough, especially when you’re old like us,” Line said. “We’ve been doing this a long time, and you have to learn to do new things. We’re in the process of that, and I think we’re going the right way.”
What are they doing differently? Line didn’t exactly say.
“We’re struggling to find more power,” Line said. “The box we’re working in is very small, so we’re just trying to make sure we’re using everything that we have.”
The No. 1 qualifier was the 54th of Line’s career, and he joked about getting a green hat that NHRA gives to top qualifiers.
“I’ve got a really good race car right now, so I feel good about it.” Line said. “Nice to get a green hat. I didn’t know they still gave them out.”
Line will be gunning for his 49th career victory Sunday and his second at Richmond, though the last one was in 2006.
“You’d think once every 13 years, you’d get it right,” Line said. “In my defense, they stopped racing here for a while. That was a great day, actually. I thought about that driving up here. It was a fun time. Why not? I’d rather see me win it than anybody else. Tomorrow seems like a good day to get it done.”
— Competition Plus (@competitionplus) January 4, 2019