(POMONA, Calif., Feb. 8, 2015)—Jason Line, driver of the Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro, won the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock season opener at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona on Sunday, defeating fellow Team Chevy driver Drew Skillman in the final. Line posted a 6.545 ET at 211.83 mph; Skillman, the first driver in 41 years to reach the final in a Pro Stock debut, countered with a 6.556 ET at 211.13 mph. Chevrolet, which had been tied with Pontiac, now has 91 all-time victories in Pro Stock, more than any other manufacturer.
Erica Enders-Stevens opened defense of her NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Championship by qualifying No. 1 (6.516 ET, 213.10 mph) and advancing to the third round, where she lost on a hole shot to Skillman, her Elite Motorsports Camaro teammate. In Funny Car, John Force Racing campaigned Chevrolets for the first time in 21 years, and Robert Hight advanced to the third round in his Southern California AAA Auto Club Camaro SS Funny Car.
Line’s victory highlighted an opening weekend which also produced the first-ever sub-four-second run for Chevrolet when Courtney Force drove her Traxxas Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car to a 3.995 second ET at 322.65 mph during the third round of qualifying on Saturday to earn the eighth No. 1 qualifying run of her career.
“Congratulations to Jason Line for winning the Winternationals Pro Stock category to open the season,” said Jim Campbell, Vice President of Performance Parts, Vehicles and Motorsports. “We’re optimistic for 2015, and this is a good, solid start. A lot of work needed to be done in a short period of time. We announced our partnership with John Force Racing just last month, and with just little time to prepare, the organization put in a tremendous amount of work and right out of the box produced a No. 1 qualifier and the first-ever sub-four-second run for Chevrolet.
“Plus, Erica Enders-Stevens started this season like the defending champion she is, by qualifying No. 1 in Pro Stock. So, this is good way to start the season, and we can’t for wait next week’s race at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park, and the rest of the season.”
Hight advanced to the third round with a hole-shot victory over Tommy Johnson, Jr., when he ran a 4.085 ET at 313.29 to win by mere inches.
Courtney Force advanced as far as the second round after her milestone sub-four-second pass on Saturday.
“Honestly, I knew it was a fast run, but I didn’t know how fast,” Courtney Force said after her third-round qualifying run. “I could only tell by the expression on my teams’ face and that’s when I knew it was a good one. It’s exciting to be in the 3.0s and get that top spot.”
“It was just a great run for us, especially because we’re trying to come out here on a high note. Obviously we have new sponsors on board. To be in this Traxxas Chevy Camaro SS is a lot of fun. It’s definitely different.”
John Force, who last drove a Chevrolet in NHRA Funny Car competition in 1994 when he won the fourth of his record 16 championships, qualified No. 3 in his Peak Antifreeze Chevrolet Camaro SS Funny Car, but lost in the first round to Bob Bode.
“We just didn’t win and that is why we come to the races,” Force said. “The bottom line is the race cars didn’t react the way we thought they would. We were probably too aggressive. We didn’t get out run; we just went up in smoke. We will learn from that. It is the start of the season. We did kay. We qualified in the top half of the field and I think we represented the sponsors well.”
Brittany Force, in her John Force Racing Top Fuel Dragster, qualified No. 8 and also fell in the first round, despite running a 3.811 ET at 321.19.
Team Chevy racing photos are available at: http://media.gm.com/product/public/us/en/gmracing/photos.html
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