BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 17, 2019) – Pro Stock points leader Bo Butner, who wheels his Jim Butner Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro with a KB Racing bullet under the hood, had a racecar that came alive on the second day of qualifying at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals. He also has a Super Gas car that has taken a liking to the conditions at Brainerd International Raceway, where he will head into Sunday eliminations with a shot at the title in both categories.
Butner’s best time of 6.624, 207.08 set him up for a start from the No. 3 position and a first-round meeting with Val Smeland in Pro Stock.
“I’ve been in a driving slump, and the car has been in a slump,” admitted Butner. “But I drove a little better this weekend, and the Jim Butner Auto Group Chevy Camaro is a lot better, so I feel really good. You like to go into the Countdown to the Championship thinking the car’s still got it and you’re capable, so today was good. I really believe driving the Chevy Corvette roadster in Super Gas and seeing the tree a few more times is making the difference. We’re down to four in Super Gas going into Sunday.”
Butner purchased the Super Gas car ahead of NHRA Sonoma Nationals a few weeks ago, entered the event, and won the race. After a second-round exit in Seattle, he is going to the semifinals in Brainerd.
“The second round in Seattle, I’m not a guy that slams the brakes on at the finish line, but you kind of have to. If I’d have done that at Seattle, I would have won that round,” said Butner, an avid Sportsman racer with 27 overall wins in NHRA national event competition. “So I told myself just go ahead and try it, and it’s worked out good. We’ve had a good little run with that car, and it’s a very good car. It’s the exact same Tree as Pro Stock, and it’s all about concentrating, staring at that bulb, and staging correctly. I haven’t hit the Tree great in the Pro Stock car, but I know how to get back to that. If our car is in the .020s on the Tree and goes A to B it’s hard to beat.”
The quick success that Butner has had in Super Gas has not gone unnoticed by his fellow Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series competitors.
“It’s so cool; all the Sportsman racers, even up here, they say, ‘I can’t believe you want to come do this,’ ” said Butner. “But it’s like, this is what I am. I never left Sportsman racing. The support has been great, and if we keep winning, I don’t know if the support will stay that way – but so far, it’s been great. A lot of [Pro] drivers have shown interest in getting a Super Gas or a Sportsman car, so that’s been neat, too. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s a good tool. It keeps me busy.”
Final eliminations for the Lucas Oil Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway will take place on Sunday, beginning at 11am CT.
KB Racing, Jim Butner Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro
Pro Stock results:
Q1: 6.643-second at 207.53 mph (No. 7)
Q2: 6.633, 206.64 (No. 6)
Q3: 6.624, 207.08 (No. 3)
Q4: 6.633, 206.76 (No. 3, +1 bonus point)
2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Standings
(after Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals qualifying, race 11 of 18)
1. Bo Butner (4), 854*
2. Greg Anderson (2), 802*
3. Alex Laughlin, 774*
4. Matt Hartford (1), 713*
5. Jason Line, 694*
6. Deric Kramer (1), 669*
7. Jeg Coughlin (1), 643*
8. Erica Enders, 637*
9. Chris McGaha (1), 561
10. Kenny Delco, 363
11. Fernando Cuadra, 360
*Clinched berth in NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship
38th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals
Brainerd International Raceway
August 15-18, 2019
Run Schedule (all times local)
Sunday, August 18
10:00 a.m. – Pre-race ceremonies
11:00 a.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro eliminations begin,
eliminations for all categories continue
#NHRAonFOX Schedule (all times ET)
Finals / Sunday – 2-5 PM ET / FS1
**Full results at DragRaceCentral.com**