FLOYDS KNOBS, Ind. (October 16, 2019) – Bo Butner is still in contention for two NHRA championships as the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour arrives at Texas Motorplex for the 34th annual AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals. The amiable competitor and well-versed Sportsman racer is eager to get to the Lone Star State to resume the battle; although his title quest has ended in the SAMTech.edu Factory Stock Showdown, Butner is No. 4 in the Pro Stock points and still has a handful of events left to claim in Super Gas.
Last weekend in Charlotte, the driver who was at the top of the heap in the Pro Stock standings after every race of the regular season was ousted early. The first-round loss was only his third in a season that has included four wins in four perfect final rounds and three low qualifier awards.
“We had a bad day in Charlotte, but it was a good race, and we don’t have anything to complain about,” said Butner, the 2017 Pro Stock Mello Yello Series champion. “The other teams have found something, and I don’t know what, but they’re ready. We have to be ready, too. I look for Dallas to be a good race for us. We got some bad luck out of the way in Charlotte, and now we’re starting with a clean slate.”
While the drivers towards the top of the Super Gas standings have claimed nearly all of their allotted races in both national and divisional competition, Butner got a late start and has plans to finish out his claimed events with a last-minute push of four in a row. He’ll start the haul this weekend at the FallNationals, then head to Las Vegas for both the national and divisional events, then close out the year in Pomona at the NHRA Finals in his ’63 Corvette roadster (and, of course, his Jim Butner Auto Group Chevy Camaro Pro Stocker).
Butner’s first-ever race in Super Gas was at this season’s NHRA Sonoma Nationals, and he won the event. He was runner-up in the class at the national in Brainerd, Minn., and again at the division race in Bowling Green, Ky.
“I’m looking forward to getting back in the Super Gas car this weekend. I always say I enjoy racing more than one category at an event, and I think I do better that way,” said Butner, who has victories in Pro Stock, Comp, Super Stock, Stock, Super Street, and Super Gas. “We still have a good shot in Super Gas [for the world title]. I’m looking forward to these last four. I always have a good time with the Sportsman racing, but I’ll have to do my job. I have to do really good at all of them, but especially the points meet. It should be fun.”
In the SAMTech.edu Factory Stock Showdown, Butner was a back-to-back finalist at the spring race in Charlotte and then at Richmond. The mid-season success placed him neatly in the championship hunt, but as the season wound down, the driver who won the very first Factory Stock Showdown race (2012, Indianapolis) was met with challenge after challenge – and an expensive situation when several engines were sacrificed as the team worked to figure out what had gone wrong.
Eager to get a solid foundation in place in time for a full-pull in the SAMTech.edu Factory Stock Showdown in 2020, Butner made the decision to withdraw from the category at the Dallas event, which would be the last FSS race this season.
“It’s been a great year racing the full schedule of the SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown, and we’ve learned a lot – but we’ve still got more to learn,” said Butner. “Of course, you always do, but we want to come out prepared for 2020, and that’s what we’re focused on right now. We won’t enter the Summit Racing Cobra Jet in the Showdown this weekend, but we’re excited for 2020.
“My buddy Drew [Skillman] is going to win the championship this year, and we’re happy for him. They’ve had a great season, and it’s been a lot of fun racing against them. We want to say congratulations to the Skillmans and all the great competitors in this class. It’s just so much fun, and it’s very competitive. We can’t wait to do it all over again next year.”
The Factory Stock Showdown is a specialty series that takes place during select NHRA national events. The competition showcases the drag-racing ready, factory-built vehicles produced by Detroit’s Big Three by way of the Ford Mustang Cobra Jet, the Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, and Chevrolet’s COPO Camaro.
Butner’s 2019 SAMTech.edu Factory Stock Showdown results:
Gainesville: did not qualify (DNQ)
Charlotte: No. 2 qualifier, final round
Richmond: No. 1 qualifier, final round
Topeka: No. 2 qualifier, semifinals
Norwalk: No. 3 qualifier, semifinals
Indianapolis: No. 24 qualifier, second round
St. Louis: No. 13 qualifier, first round (DNS)
Dallas: Did Not Compete
2019 Factory Stock Showdown Championship Standings
(after the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals in St. Louis, race 7 of 8)
1. Drew Skillman, 561
2. Bill Skillman, 498
3. Arthur Kohn, 452
4. Bo Butner, 435
5. Stephen Bell, 426
6. David Barton, 340
7. Randy Taylor, 334
8. Chris Holbrook, 307
9t. Scott Libersher, 283
9t. Kevin Skinner, 283
10. Ryan Priddy, 258
11. Leah Pritchett, 248
12. David Janac, 241
13. Mark Pawuk, 223
14. Pete Gasko Jr., 218
2020 SAMTECH.EDU NHRA FACTORY STOCK SHOWDOWN SCHEDULE
March 12-15 Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, Gainesville, Fla.
April 24-26 NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Charlotte, N.C.
May 15-17 NHRA Southern Nationals, Atlanta, Ga.
June 25-28 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, Norwalk, Ohio
July 9-12 Route 66 NHRA Nationals, Chicago
Sept. 2-7 NHRA U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis
Oct. 2-4 AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals, St. Louis
Oct. 29-Nov. 1 Dodge NHRA Nationals, Las Vegas