No telling what someone is supposed to do when he's called a "rubber-crank."
Who knows exactly what that means, although a decent bet would be that it is surely some derogatory comment about the other racer's engine?
Then again, maybe it isn't. Only two-time and reigning Pro Stock champion Jason Line would know.
He made up the term, it appears. It isn't in Webster's Dictionary, and it's not registered in official Googledom (which is a Competition Plus-coined term, as of Saturday night).
Anyway, it's what Jason Line calls Allen Johnson.
He has said it a number of times, including after they played tug-o-war Saturday for the No. 1 qualifying position for the Toyota SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, highlighting a Pro Stock rivalry between Line's KB-Summit Chevy Camaro team and Allen Johnson's Team Mopar / J&J Racing operation.
It's a friendly rivalry, as they like each other off the track. But it's incredibly fierce. And that brings up what Johnson did Saturday in response to being called a "rubber-crank."
He went out and almost swiped the top starting position from Line, who was the early leader Friday. When the qualifying dust had settled, both Line and Johnson had posted 6.518-second quarter-mile elapsed times to top the order.
Line kept the No. 1 spot by virtue of speed. His was exactly one mile an hour faster than Johnson's, 212.76 to 211.76.
"It feels good," Line said of his fifth No. 1 start in nine races this year for the KB / Summit team and the first for the newly unveiled Chevy Camaro.
"But I believe we should have run quicker. We just didn't. It's just one of those things, and we will try to figure it out. We have the Camaro working right, which is more important than anything else for us right now."
He said getting the new Camaro up to speed is a challenge.
"You can't just test in one place and have the car be fast there while running in different conditions. You have to just start running the car and learning," Line said. "That's why we are here. We are pretty happy with the car. It has come a long way in a short amount of runs. We'll have two good race cars for Sunday."
Grace Howell will be his first-round opponent in Sunday's eliminations.
Line shrugged off any notion that the cloud cover should have produced better Saturday runs.
"Getting the racetrack and the weather to cooperate is sometimes difficult," he said. "A.J. did run the quickest in the last session, and I'm sure if we all went up there again tonight, we could go quicker.
"It comes down to making the best educated guess you can before you get up there. That's what makes it difficult to get the No. 1 spot. Timing is everything. It's a big deal to get it," Line said.
As for Johnson, who insisted that his Team Mopar / J&J crew chief Mark Ingersoll was the best in the Pro Stock pits, Line had an answer.
"The 'rubber cranks' are really fast now. We have our work cut out for us. That's racing, and we love a challenge," Line said. "It's going to be a great battle until the end of the year."
And Friday night, he put in a plug for his own crew chief performance and the KB / Summit brain trust. "Mark is really a great crew chief, but we've had six championships and I don’t think Mark has any. But he's really good. I just don’t know if I would say that everybody in the Pro Stock pits would say he's the best."
And so it goes.
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