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NHRA: 3-time Pro Stock champ Jason Line to retire after 2020 season

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Veteran NHRA drag racer and three-time Pro Stock champion Jason Line surprised the drag racing community Wednesday, announcing the 2020 season will be his last as a driver.

Line is calling his final season before retiring the “Finish Line Tour.” NHRA’s National Dragster broke the news Wednesday morning.

The upcoming season will hold significant meaning to Line for 50 reasons, so to speak:

* This is the 50th anniversary of the Pro Stock class in NHRA competition.

* Line turned 50 years old last July.

* Line has amassed 50 national event wins in his Pro Stock career, his most recent triumph coming last season to kick off the six-race 2019 NHRA Countdown to the Championship playoffs at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pennsylvania.

The timing – and numbers – just seemed to be right for Line, who drives for Ken Black Racing (KB Racing) and pilots the Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro — to call it quits.

Pro Stock driver Jason Line in action during the 2019 season. Photo: NHRA

However, Line made it very clear in comments to National Dragster that while he will be stepping away from behind the wheel, he will not be stepping away from the sport.

According to National Dragster, Line intends to continue working for Mooresville, North Carolina-based KB Racing, building and tuning Pro Stock and Sportsman class race motors for the team and its customers.

After a stint at Joe Gibbs Racing’s NASCAR operation as chief dynamometer engine specialist beginning in 1998, Line joined KB Racing in 2003 in a similar role during the week and as a Pro Stock racer on the weekends.

“It’s been a good run, and I’ve really enjoyed driving a Pro Stock car for Ken Black and Summit Racing,” Line told National Dragster. “I’m not leaving Pro Stock — I’m just going to be working for wins for KB Racing from a different kind of seat.”

Line won Pro Stock championships in 2006, 2011 and 2016. He finished fourth last season. Line also won the 1993 Stock Eliminator sportsman class national championship before turning pro in 2003 and went on to win Pro Stock rookie of the year and earn his first of his eventual 50 national event wins in 2004.

“I’m very grateful to (teammate and four-time Pro Stock champ) Greg Anderson and (KB Racing team owners) Ken and Judy Black for giving me the opportunity to drive for so long for the best team in drag racing,” Line told National Dragster. “Driving a Pro Stock car was for sure a dream of mine as a kid, and winning a Pro Stock championship was something you always hope you’ll achieve but never really imagine will happen.

“I love this class, and it has been a privilege and an honor to be part of it for so long and be able to do so well.”

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IndyCar teams with NASCAR on IMS road course doubleheader in 2021

IndyCar NASCAR doubleheader 2021
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The NTT IndyCar Series will be sharing Indianapolis Motor Speedway with the NASCAR Cup Series in a race weekend doubleheader for the second consecutive season, but both series will be on the road course in August 2021.

IMS announced Wednesday that IndyCar will hold an Aug. 14, 2021 race on its 14-turn, 2.439-mile road course. It’ll be a day before NASCAR’s premier series runs the same layout for the first time after the Brickyard 400 was contested on the 2.5-mile oval for the first time in 27 years.

This season’s rescheduling of the IndyCar GMR Grand Prix to July 4, 2019 (a day before the Brickyard 400) led to the first NASCAR-IndyCar doubleheader weekend. The Xfinity Series also raced on the IMS road course for the first time July 4 after the IndyCar race ended.

INDYCAR AT IMS THIS WEEKEND: Harvest GP schedule, entry lists

IndyCar will be holding its second race weekend this year at the IMS road course Friday and Saturday with the Harvest GP.

“Our first NASCAR-INDYCAR weekend was a big success last July, with positive feedback from
our loyal fans who watched the races on NBC and from the drivers, teams and participants
involved,” IMS president Douglas Boles said in a statement. “The Xfinity Series’ debut on the IMS road course provided exactly the kind of thrilling action from the green to checkered flags that we anticipated, so we know the teams and drivers of the Cup Series will put on a great show as they turn left and right for the first time at IMS.

“We can’t wait to welcome back fans to see NASCAR and INDYCAR together during this
exciting weekend as we add another memorable chapter in the long, storied history of the
Indianapolis Motor Speedway.”

It also will mark the first NASCAR Cup-IndyCar doubleheader with a crowd as fans weren’t permitted at IMS in July because of the novel coronvavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Over the course of Wednesday, NASCAR is releasing its 36-race slate for next season. IndyCar has yet to release its full 2021 schedule.