Jason Line NHRA Pro Stock (photo by National Dragster courtesy NHRAmedia.com)
NORWALK, Ohio — This race weekend isn’t like any other race weekend on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series circuit for two-time Pro Stock world champion Jason Line, even those that are also sponsored by Summit Racing Equipment.
This weekend’s ninth annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals has Line’s and teammate Greg Anderson’s sponsor in the name of the event, but the magnitude of the race is even greater for Line and Anderson.
It takes place at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park in Norwalk, and with Summit Racing Equipment’s headquarters in nearby Tallmadge, Ohio, Line, who won the event in 2009, knows it is not a typical weekend.
“It’s overwhelming in a really good way to get to race in Norwalk,” Line said. “There are so many folks from Summit Racing Equipment there to support us, and without them, none of this would be possible. It’s a very fun weekend from start to finish, and getting to meet everyone and see them there with their families is something we look forward to every year. They’re all proud to work for a great company like Summit Racing and we’re proud to represent them on the racetrack.”
Antron Brown (Top Fuel), John Force (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were last year’s winners of the event that will once again be televised nationally on ESPN2. It is the 12th event of the season, marking the halfway point of 2015, and the Fourth of July weekend race is always a big one for Line.
His greatest memory of the race is knocking off Mike Edwards in the final round in 2009, but Line has always enjoyed everything that comes along with performing well at his sponsor’s home track. He has embraced the extra duties and activities, including an important matter to start the week.
“We’ll start the weekend on Wednesday, when Greg and I get to serve the employees lunch at the Summit Racing Equipment picnic,” Line said. “A little for them, a little for me. It’s a lot of fun.”
But Line will get down to business in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro when the weekend comes, hoping to quickly erase what he called a disappointing performance at the most recent race in Bristol. He lost a second-round matchup with eventual winner, current points leader and defending world champion Erica Enders, but Line likes the direction his team is headed.
He has earned victories this season in Pomona and Atlanta, raced to three overall final round appearances, and led the points standings after three different races. Currently in third, Line wants a strong performance in Norwalk to kick off a stretch of five races in six weeks on a good note.
“At the last race, we didn’t have a particularly good weekend but I think we’re in a good position in the bigger picture,” Line said. “We aren’t in a bad spot at all at this point in the year, we just made some mistakes and learned from them. You’ll have that. It’s difficult to be perfect every weekend, but we feel very good going into our sponsor’s race in Norwalk. The Summit Racing team will definitely be good there.”
Line’s teammate Anderson has won twice in Norwalk, but a loaded field led by Enders will present a strong challenge. Vincent Nobile, who also has two Norwalk wins, Phoenix winner Rodger Brogdon, newcomer Drew Skillman, Shane Gray, Allen Johnson, Larry Morgan and Chris McGaha are just a few of the drivers who will also be putting up a fierce fight for the win in the 200-mph factory hot rod class.
But Line’s Camaro has been consistent all season, a good sign heading into an important stretch before the Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship begins. Line has also performed well in every weather condition and with a determined mindset already in place for the weekend, he is aiming for another Norwalk triumph.
“The conditions can be brutal in Norwalk, but the weather forecast looks pretty good for this weekend,” said Line, who has 37 career victories. “We took a step back at the last race, but we understand why, and we are looking forward to what our Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaros can do this weekend in Norwalk. We’re going to be better, for sure.”
In Top Fuel, Brown took the victory here last season defeating Shawn Langdon in the final, and is the current points leader on the strength of three 2015 victories. Competition will be fierce and will include the likes of Richie Crampton, who has three wins this season including the most recent race in Bristol, two-time Norwalk winner Larry Dixon, Doug Kalitta, defending world champion Tony Schumacher, Leah Pritchett, Brittany Force, J.R. Todd, class newcomer Dave Connolly, Steve Torrence, Spencer Massey and Clay Millican.
The 16-time Funny Car world champion Force raced to his second victory of the season last year at Norwalk while points leader and defending world champion Matt Hagan is after his first victory at the track. Jack Beckman, Tim Wilkerson and Tony Pedregon are the only other active Funny Car drivers with Norwalk victories, but other class standouts include Ron Capps, Cruz Pedregon, Courtney Force, Del Worsham, Alexis DeJoria, Tommy Johnson Jr. and Robert Hight.
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Hines is the defending race winner and currently sits second in the points standings. He leads his category with four career wins at Norwalk while his teammate, Eddie Krawiec, was the No. 1 qualifier at the event one year ago and is the current points leader. Hector Arana Sr., who is coming off a recent win in Atlanta, his son Hector Arana Jr., Gainesville winner Karen Stoffer and two-time event winner Matt Smith will all be contenders to hoist the Wally trophy on Sunday.
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 the highly-skilled mechanics service their hot rods between rounds, and get autographs from their favorite NHRA drivers.
Mello Yello Drag Racing Series qualifying begins Friday, July 3, with sessions at 5 and 7:45 p.m. The final two qualifying sessions will take place Saturday, July 4, at 5 and 7:45 p.m., followed by a fireworks show at 9:45 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday, July 5.
To purchase tickets, call 419-668-5555 or visit www.summitmotorsportspark.com. For more information about the NHRA visit www.NHRA.com.
SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT NHRA NATIONALS FACT SHEET
WHAT: Ninth 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 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series world championships.
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, July 2-5
THURSDAY, July 2 – LUCAS OIL SERIES qualifying at 9 a.m.
FRIDAY, July 3 – LUCAS OIL SERIES eliminations
NHRA J&A SERVICE PRO MOD SERIES qualifying at 4:15 and 7 p.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 5 and 7:45 p.m.
SATURDAY, July 4 – LUCAS OIL SERIES eliminations
NHRA J&A SERVICE PRO MOD SERIES qualifying at 4:15 p.m.; First round of eliminations at 7 p.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES qualifying at 5 and 7:45 p.m.
SUNDAY, July 5 – Pre-race ceremonies, 10 a.m.
MELLO YELLO SERIES eliminations begin at 11 a.m.
Saturday, July 4, ESPN2 will televise two hours of qualifying coverage at 10 p.m. (ET).
Sunday, July 5, ESPN will televise three hours of eliminations coverage starting at 1 p.m. (ET).
SATELLITE (Digital HD feed):
Saturday, July 4, 10:30 – 11 p.m. (ET), SES 2/Transponder 14C
Sunday, July 5, 5:30 – 6 p.m. (ET), SES 2/ Transponder 14C
(3980 MHz, vertical; Data Rate: 40.46147055 Mbp; Symbol Rate: 29.27 Ms; FEC: ¾; Bandwidth: 36 Mhz)
Video news release contains race action highlights each day and winners’ interviews on Sunday.
2014 EVENT WINNERS: Antron Brown, Top Fuel; John Force, Funny Car; Erica Enders, Pro Stock, Andrew Hines, Pro Stock Motorcycle.
MOST VICTORIES: Andrew Hines, 4, PSM; Larry Dixon, 2, TF; Mike Neff, 2, FC; Greg Anderson, 2, PS; Vincent Nobile, 2, PS; Matt Smith, 2, PSM.
Top Fuel – 3.745 sec. by Shawn Langdon, July ’14; 329.83 mph by Brittany Force, July ’14.
Funny Car – 4.000 sec. by Del Worsham, July ’14; 322.04 mph by John Force, July ’14.
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 – 3.701 sec. by Antron Brown, Oct. ‘12, Reading, Pa.; 332.18 mph by Spencer Massey, April ’12, Charlotte, N.C.
Funny Car – 3.965 sec. by John Force, Feb. ’14, Pomona, Calif.; 325.06 mph by Courtney Force, May ’15, 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., April ’15, Charlotte, N.C.
TICKETS: For tickets, call (419) 668-5555 or purchase online at www.summitmotorsportspark.com.
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NHRA MELLO YELLO DRAG RACING SERIES WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS STANDINGS
GLENDORA, Calif. — Point standings (top 10) following the 11th of 24 events in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series (four of 16 for Pro Stock Motorcycle), number of wins listed in parentheses -
Top Fuel: 1. Antron Brown, 826 (3); 2. Tony Schumacher, 824 (2); 3. Richie Crampton, 754 (3); 4. Larry Dixon, 699; 5. Spencer Massey, 693 (1); 6. Doug Kalitta, 666 (1); 7. Shawn Langdon, 626 (1); 8. Brittany Force, 585; 9. J.R. Todd, 563; 10. Clay Millican, 511.
Funny Car: 1. Matt Hagan, 866 (4); 2. Ron Capps, 779 (2); 3. John Force, 713 (2); 4. Del Worsham, 704; 5. Jack Beckman, 669 (2); 6. Tommy Johnson Jr., 643; 7. Cruz Pedregon, 592; 8. Robert Hight, 576; 9. Alexis DeJoria, 574; 10. Tim Wilkerson, 570 (1).
Pro Stock: 1. Erica Enders, 964 (4); 2. Greg Anderson, 950 (3); 3. Jason Line, 828 (2); 4. Chris McGaha, 750; 5. Allen Johnson, 588; 6. Shane Gray, 583; 7. Drew Skillman, 573; 8. Larry Morgan, 570 (1); 9. Vincent Nobile, 561; 10. Rodger Brogdon, 526 (1).
Pro Stock Motorcycle: 1. Eddie Krawiec, 339; 2. Andrew Hines, 286 (1); 3. Hector Arana Jr, 273; 4. Hector Arana, 259 (1); 5. Karen Stoffer, 238 (1); 6. Jim Underdahl, 224; 7. Scotty Pollacheck, 207; 8. (tie) Jerry Savoie, 198 (1); LE Tonglet, 198; 10. Angelle Sampey, 193.
RACE PREVIEW WRITTEN BY Scott Smith; COURTESY NHRA COMMUNICATIONS
COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed center Gregory Campbell to a two-year contract, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.
Campbell, 31, has registered 68 goals and 108 assists for 176 points and 618 penalty minutes in 721 career NHL games with the Boston Bruins and Florida Panthers. He has also added 4-9-13 and 19 penalty minutes in 59 career playoff games, winning a Stanley Cup championship with the Bruins in 2011 and advancing to the finals in 2013.
Gregory Campbell (courtesy Boston Bruins)
“Gregory Campbell is a hard-nosed, two-way player who is a tremendous competitor and Stanley Cup champion that will add valuable experience and leadership to our team,” said Kekalainen. “He is a high quality player and person and we are very pleased to welcome him to the Blue Jackets family.”
Campbell tallied 6-6-12, 45 penalty minutes and was +1 in 70 games with the Bruins during the 2014-15 season, which was his fifth with the club. In 358 games as a Bruin, he collected 39-52-91, 306 penalty minutes and was +12 from 2010-15. His best season in Boston was 2010-11 when he tallied 13-16-29 and a career-high 93 penalty minutes in 80 games. He added 1-3-4 in 25 playoff games to help the franchise win its first Stanley Cup title since 1972. He was acquired by Boston along with Nathan Horton from Florida in exchange for Dennis Wideman, a first round pick in the 2010 NHL Draft (Derek Forbert) and a third round pick in the 2011 NHL Draft (Kyle Rau) on June 22, 2010.
The 6-1, 197-pound London, Ontario native was selected by Florida in the third round, 67th overall, of the 2002 NHL Draft. He spent seven seasons in the Panthers organization, collecting 29-56-85 and 312 penalty minutes in 363 games from 2003-10. After spending the majority of the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons with the American Hockey League’s San Antonio Rampage, Campbell played his first NHL season in 2005-06. He went on to set career highs in goals, assists and points with 13-19-32 and 76 penalty minutes in 77 outings during the 2008-09 campaign.
Campbell played three seasons in the Ontario Hockey League with the Plymouth Whalers and Kitchener Rangers from 2000-03, registering 42-81-123, 261 penalty minutes and a +36 plus/minus rating in 185 games. In 2002-03, he collected 23-33-56 and 116 penalty minutes in 55 games with Kitchener and added 15-4-19 in 21 playoff games to help the Rangers win the OHL championship. He went on to win the Ed Chynoweth Trophy as the leading scorer in the Memorial Cup Tournament (1-6-7) and earn Memorial Cup All-Star honors, leading Kitchener to the Memorial Cup championship.
Click here for Gregory Campbell’s NHL.com profile
Full and partial season tickets for the Blue Jackets’ 2015-16 campaign are currently available for purchase. Information on all ticketing options can be obtained by calling (800) NHL‐COLS or by visiting BlueJackets.com.
PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY & A COURTESY OF CBJ COMMUNICATIONS