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Minnesota race car driver Line enjoys ‘sweet’ win in Indy

Jason Line of Wright, Minn.

INDIANAPOLIS — Two weeks ago at his home track, Brainerd International Raceway, Jason Line of Wright, Minn., predicted winning the rain-delayed 33rd annual Lucas Oil National Hot Rod Association Nationals in Indianapolis instead of Brainerd wouldn’t be as special as coming in first in front of friends and family.

Two weeks later at Lucas Oil Raceway and the NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indy, Line said he felt mostly the same after beating Jeg Coughlin for the BIR Pro Stock title in his Summit Racing Chevy Camaro.

“A win is a win,” Line said. “Everybody has been asking me if it’s bittersweet. It’s not bittersweet. It’s just not as sweet. It’s still really cool. It just would have been nice to have friends and family there.”

Line, who has never won a Pro Stock title physically at his home track, posted the best elapsed time of 6.573 seconds and speed of 209.69 mph at BIR on Aug. 17, but never got to finish what he started because of rain and later a nasty accident in Top Dragster, a support event. In addition to Pro Stocks, the finish of Funny Car was also delayed two weeks with Pro Fuel being the only Pro category to finish in Brainerd.

So the BIR event restarted on Saturday in Indianapolis, with Line defeating David River in the semifinals at 6.589 seconds at 209.98 mph to River’s 6.753 at 204.94.

On Sunday, Line never trailed Coughlin, beating him 6.596 at 207.40 to 6.635 at 207.72, for the BIR victory, that unfortunately had to come 700-plus miles away in Indianapolis.

“I checked the medallion to see if it still said Brainerd on it,” Line said. “It still means something, for sure. Does it mean what would have had it actually happened at Brainerd, at the place where I first went down a race track? Maybe not, but none the less, it’s still good and still a fun day. I promise you this, it will be unforgettable. That’s for sure.”

Line, who sits in the top spot in Pro Stocks points, will be going after his 36th career win, fifth win this season and fourth in a row today in Indianapolis as the top-qualifier with 6.589 at 210.01 from Saturday qualifying. He’ll face Rodger Brogdon, who is after his first U.S. Nationals victory.

“Our car ran very good,” Line said. “Our Camaro was very fast this weekend. It was a little bit weird to win Brainerd at Indy, but it’s the first thing I’ve ever done well at in Indy.”