Hard work is the key for Line

Jeff Birchfield • Jun 12, 2018 at 7:13 PM

BRISTOL — Jason Line is acknowledged as one of the best drag racers in the sport, having recorded 47 NHRA Pro Stock victories, 97 final rounds and three world championships.

He's also the engine tuner for KB Racing, a position that’s allowed him to work on the motors for four-time world champion Greg Anderson and defending world champion Bo Butner.

Asked what makes the teams so successful, Line, who has a career-best speed of 215.17 miles per hour, has a simple answer.

"We're not smarter than anyone else, so our option is to outwork them," he said. "No one outworks Greg, I promise you. He is the hardest worker out here."

Anderson, the current points leader, was testing Line's Summit Racing Camaro last Wednesday in preparation for this weekend's NHRA Fitzgerald USA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway. With the two teammates, they've worked together so long, Line said they often don't have to speak to know what the other is thinking.

Add the Butner team to the mix and it's a group of drivers with so much success that everyone has ideas of how to run faster. Yet, they've been able to make it work, which the North Carolina racer joked is because they're forced to work together.

"It's a hard deal because there are a lot of egos involved and it comes down to the right personalities," Line said. "That's a huge part of it, but we've found a good group that's been able to mesh. That's easy to say, but hard to do."

Another key member of the KB Racing team is assistant crew chief Tim Freeman, who got behind the wheel himself a couple of weeks ago at the NHRA Route 66 Nationals. He lost to Line in first-round eliminations, and Line had nothing but praise for the Roan Mountain racer.

"Timmy is a good fellow, someone I enjoy both at work and away from work," Line said. "He enjoys racing as much as anyone I've ever met. He certainly has a passion for it, so it makes it fun to be around."

Line, who also was the 1993 Stock Eliminator champion, is having fun these days working on the Camaro COPO car for the NHRA's new Factory Stock division. While Anderson was taking his car down the track last Wednesday, Line was working in the pits with Factory Stock driver Dan Stevenson.

Now the goal is to win at one of his favorite tracks at Bristol, where he is a two-time Thunder Valley Nationals winner.

Line has been going through a personal slump after making the final rounds of the first two races of the season at Pomona and Phoenix. But with wins in the sport's biggest events and multiple championships already on his resume, the 49-year-old was asked what keeps him going.

"My wife and kids like to eat, so that's my motivation," he joked. "At this point in my life, I don't know what else I would do. This has been a huge part of my life and I don't see me changing career paths in the near future."

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