Racecar Shuffle: Bo Butner and Austin Williams switch it up in Stock

Bo Butner in the 1972 Plymouth Duster previously owned by Austin Williams at the Houston SpringNationals

Bo Butner is known to hop in a different racecar here and there, and his propensity to mix things up has resulted in a fairly diverse scorecard, replete with victories in six different categories. The 2006 Comp Eliminator champion and 2017 Pro Stock world champ showed up with a real stunner, though, for the NHRA SpringNationals at Houston Raceway Park: an E/SA 1972 Plymouth Duster.

If the car looked familiar to the fans in the stands, that’s because it’s the same mighty Mopar that well-decorated racer Austin Williams drove to the 2014 Stock Eliminator world championship.

“It’s good to see it go down the track again,” said Williams, who was second in the world in 2015 in the Duster nicknamed Dixieland Delight. “I’ve been kind of halfway retired from Stock Eliminator for a couple of years now, but I’ll be back next year.”

He won’t be back in the Duster, though, because it wasn’t on loan to Butner for the event – he sold it to his longtime friend and fellow racer.

“There was an opportunity for me to purchase a different Stocker, and I took that opportunity. Bo is a car guy, so he snatched the Duster right up,” said Williams, who explained that he’s taken possession of a C/SA 1969 Barracuda – a 440 4-barrel car originally built by West coast racer Steve Wann, that may be seen on track later this season with an as-yet-undisclosed driver.

“I won quite a few races with the Duster, and it’s been a good car,” he said. “But it served its purpose, and it was time for it to go to a good home.”

Butner was pleased as punch to race his new Duster as well as Pro Stock in Houston. Remarkably, it was the first time in his career that Butner has raced a Mopar in competition.

“Austin did very well with this car, and his dad, Greg, has done a very good job with the upkeep,” said Butner. “It’s something else for us to play with, and it’s different. The one thing I cannot believe is how many people have come over here wanting to take pictures of this car. It’s really neat.”

Butner recorded a 10.946-second pass in his first run of the weekend at the Houston national, and in the second session he recorded a 10.923.

In the first round of eliminations, opponent Will Carrell was a smidge better in terms of reaction time and got the win light by .006-second. Butner, who was .040 at the tree, clocked a 10.949 on his 10.94 dial to his opponent’s .029 and 10.374 (10.36).

“This is totally different than anything I’ve ever driven,” said Butner. “But it was great. I don’t know when I’ll be driving it again, but this was a lot of fun.”

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