DINWIDDIE, Va. --
Cory McClenathan and Eric Medlen also were winners at the $1.6 million race at Virginia Motorsports Park, the 21st of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
"This is such a huge, huge step toward the championship," said Line, who can clinch the title if he scores 20 more points than Anderson at the upcoming ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals, Oct. 26-29 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
"It was tough to race Greg in the semifinals because we all knew what was on the line, but we just raced like we have all year: straight up," continued Line, also the 1993 NHRA Stock Eliminator world champion. "This whole team is special, from the guys at the track to the guys at the shop. It's good that no matter what, the championship is staying with us."
McClenathan defeated Dave Grubnic, David Baca and series leader Doug Kalitta to advance to the final.
"Thank God we're racing in Virginia again," said McClenathan who last won at Atlanta Dragway in 2004. "I love racing here. It's been a long time, a long struggle. The Carrier Boyz have been great; they never doubted my ability or questioned anything that happened. We just stayed together and went after our goals. This win is for them and all our sponsors. I don't know that anyone would have picked me at the start of the day to win the race."
With his semifinal finish Kalitta increased his POWERade Series lead to 83 over Brandon Bernstein and 89 over Tony Schumacher, who lost in the first round.
"The only thing that could have been better this whole weekend would have been to race one of my teammates in the final," said Medlen, who beat Tim Wilkerson, Jack Beckman and Scott Kalitta in earlier rounds. "I wish that (countdown to) the championship deal started right now. If it did and this was next year we'd be right in the thick of it. I'll tell you: There's nothing better than winning a race in Funny Car."
Series leader John Force, who received minor burns to both legs when his Castrol GTX Mustang suffered an engine explosion in a semifinal loss to Pedregon, increased his points lead to 46 over first-round loser Ron Capps and 54 over teammate Robert Hight.
Top Fuel -- Cory McClenathan, 4.644 seconds, 304.74 mph def. Rod Fuller, 5.926 seconds, 262.49 mph.
Funny Car -- Eric Medlen, Ford Mustang, 4.814, 301.00 def. Cruz Pedregon, Chevy Monte Carlo, 4.873, 297.02.
Pro Stock -- Jason Line, Pontiac GTO, 6.597, 208.42 def. Tom Martino, GTO, 6.645, 207.78.
Top Alcohol Dragster -- John Finke, 5.273, 271.73 def. Marty Thacker, 6.720, 150.46.
Top Alcohol Funny Car -- Frank Manzo, Chevy Monte Carlo, 5.486, 260.21 def. Bob Tasca III, Ford Mustang, 5.538, 258.86.
Competition Eliminator -- Gerry Russo, Chevy Cavalier, 8.214, 162.35 def. Tony Stephenson, Pontiac GTO, 7.711, 172.14.
Super Stock -- Gene Daugherty, Chevy Camaro, 10.079, 127.10 def. Norm Hall, Chevy Nova, 9.974, 126.72.
Stock Eliminator -- Anthony Fetch, Chevy Camaro, 11.724, 108.95 def. James Perrone, Chevy Nova, 11.469, 111.29.
Super Gas -- Jason Ayers, Chevy Vega, 9.924, 149.51 def. Ron Erks, Chevy Corvette, 9.935, 162.06.