Progress and Projection with KB Racing Crew Chief Rob Downing

IMG_6975

KB Racing’s Rob Downing, left, and Dave Connolly

Progress report following the Route 66 NHRA Nationals (race 6 of 18)
and ahead of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals

In Chicago:
Qualifying was really good, and we did a good job with the two Summit Racing Chevy Camaros. We ran well in the first round on Sunday, but we didn’t do the best job. We could have made better runs with both of them and been right there, but the good news is that every weekend, we’re still learning things – especially with Greg’s car. A KB Racing car won the race, and that’s great. All-in-all, it was a good weekend, and we’re looking forward to building on that. The last two races have been very positive, and we feel like we have something we can work with.

Overall grade:
I would go with C+ for Sunday. After qualifying, I would have said B+, but as a whole, we could have done better on race day. Unless you make perfect runs every time – and that’s hard to do – you really can’t give it an A for the weekend.

Any special plans for this race that takes place near Summit Racing headquarters?
We want to go to Summit Motorsports Park and do well for Summit Racing at their event. We’ve had good results there in the past, and we want to do well there again this weekend. We also have the opportunity to go to their headquarters on Wednesday for the Summit Racing Equipment employee picnic, and then we’ll have the sponsor race with them on Thursday evening the track. There is plenty going on, and we’re looking forward to all of the festivities. It’s always fun to hang out with the folks at Summit Racing; they’re good people.

What’s your favorite Summit Motorsports Park memory?
My dad, Lou Downing, was Grand Marshal at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals one year, and we won the race. He doesn’t normally come to that race, but he was there at the finish line when we won. It was great.

Butner fast in NHRA Topeka Factory Stock Showdown

The 22nd annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals

photo credit: Auto Imagery

TOPEKA, Kan. (June 9, 2019) – After two consecutive final rounds in the SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown, Bo Butner expected a lot coming into eliminations at the NHRA Heartland Nationals. Qualified in the No. 2 position in his Darrel Herron-crew chiefed, Jason Lee-tuned Summit Racing Cobra Jet Mustang with a best time of 8.045-second, Butner was well-poised to see four win lights. His semifinals finish was only a bit disappointing.

“We had a good weekend, but we need more testing. This class is just as tough as Pro Stock,” said Butner, whose 176.01 in qualifying was top speed of the event.

In the first round of eliminations, Butner left the starting line first with a .051-second reaction time to David Janac’s .068, and he continued his charge with a victorious 8.074, 171.71 to 8.080, 169.85. Butner’s Summit Racing Cobra Jet was fierce; his elapsed time was the quickest of the round.

Kevin Skinner cut a cool .015-second light in the second stanza, but Butner was right there with a .023 and made up ground quick, crossing the finish line first to win on a 7.983, 174.28 to his opponent’s 7.998, 172.54. It was a thrilling round as the margin of victory was a slim .0074-second, or approximately 22 inches.

It was eventual trophy winner Stephen Bell who finally stopped the hard-charging Butner. Their semifinals meeting marked the first time the two had met during eliminations, and Bell advanced to his fifth final with a 7.950, 173.45 to Butner’s 7.977, 174.48 – top speed of the round.

“It’s fun being part of this because it’s so competitive, too,” said Butner, who moved up to the No. 2 position in the series with his performance at Heartland Motorsports Park. “I’m excited to get back in this Summit Racing Cobra Jet, and it’s even better that I get to race it and our Pro Stock car at the Summit Racing Nationals in a couple of weeks.”

The event in Topeka was the fourth of eight in the 2019 SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown. The next event in the series will take place at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, June 20-23.

BO BUTNER
Summit Racing Cobra Jet Mustang
Position in standings following event: No. 2

Butner’s results:
R1: Bo Butner defeated David Janac, 8.074-second at 171.71 mph to 8.080, 169.85
R2: Butner def. Kevin Skinner, 7.983, 174.28 to 7.998, 172.54
R3: Stephen Bell def. Butner, 7.950, 173.45 to 7.977, 174.48

Butner’s 2019 SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown results:
Gainesville: did not qualify
Charlotte: No. 2 qualifier, final round
Richmond: No. 1 qualifier, final round
Topeka: No. 2 qualifier, semifinals

2019 Factory Stock Showdown Championship Standings
(after the NHRA Heartland Nationals, race 4 of 8)

1. Drew Skillman, 329
2. Bo Butner, 282
3. Stephen Bell, 249
4. Bill Skillman, 245
5. Chris Holbrook, 219
6. Arthur Kohn, 212
7. David Barton, 202
8. Randy Taylor, 198
9. Kevin Skinner, 191
10. Scott Libersher, 169
11. Ryan Priddy, 143
12. Leah Pritchett, 131
13. David Janac, 129
14. Carl Tasca, 122
15. Pete Gasko Jr., 95

2019 SCHOOL OF AUTOMOTIVE MACHINISTS & TECHNOLOGY SCHEDULE
March 14-17 Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, Gainesville, Fla.
April 26-28 NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Charlotte, N.C.
May 17-19 Virginia NHRA Nationals, Richmond, Va.
June 7-9 Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals, Topeka, Kan.
June 20-23 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, Norwalk, Ohio
Aug. 28-Sept. 2 Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis
Sept. 27-29 AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals, St. Louis
Oct. 17-20 AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals, Dallas

Team Summit Pre-Race Package NHRA Topeka

Bo Butner
Summit Racing, Jim Butner Auto Group
FSS 2019 Ford Cobra Jet
Car No.: 3361

SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown race 4 of 8

Story Lines:
• Bo Butner, flying the Summit Racing colors, will compete in the SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown at the Heartland Nationals in his 2019 Cobra Jet Mustang
• Butner was the winner of the very first Factory Stock Showdown, which took placed in Indy at the U.S. Nationals in 2012
• He has four previous FSS wins, including the 2015 trophy in Gainesville, and has been to the final round in the most recent two FSS events
• The Floyds Knobs, Indiana-based driver is engaged to Randi Lyn Shipp, a Stock Eliminator competitor who will also race in Topeka. Shipp has two wins so far this year in the challenging Stock category, including just last week in Chicago when she became only the second female to have ever earned seven Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series victories (she is tied with Top Alcohol Dragster pilot Megan Meyer for the most female wins in the series).
• In the first nine NHRA national events of 2019, between Shipp and Butner, they have reached eight final rounds and earned six wins. Most notably, both Butner and Shipp won the 50th annual Gatornationals in Gainesville this season, Butner in Pro Stock and Shipp in Stock.
• Butner had the chance to double on his own at Richmond two races ago, when he won the Pro Stock trophy and was a finalist in the Factory Stock Showdown
• An accomplished NHRA Sportsman racer, Butner earned the Comp Eliminator championship in 2006 and has four Division 3 season titles. He has earned trophies in five categories at the national event level.

Quotes:
“It’s great to get seat-time, and I don’t care if it’s in a golf cart,” said Butner, who kept his Sportsman skills sharp with a go at Super Comp in Chicago. “I’d run four or five classes at an event if NHRA would let me, because I think the more you do, the better you’ll get. We’ll see this weekend, but I have to beat those Skillman folks. They’re pretty tough, and then there’s Kevin Skinner coming around and running real good. We don’t know what the Dodges are going to do, but they got a little help. We’re going to do the best we can, and by all means we should be in the final. I can’t wait for this race. That car is a lot of fun, and I miss it when I don’t get to drive it.”

Butner’s Career Stats through 2019 Route 66 Nationals in Chicago
(most recent Pro Stock event)
2017 NHRA Pro Stock champion
2006 Competition Eliminator champion
95 Pro Stock races
11 Pro Stock wins
13 Pro Stock runner-up finishes
24 overall Pro Stock final rounds
10 Pro Stock No. 1 qualifier awards
26 overall wins, including NHRA Sportsman competition
(11 Pro stock, 6 Comp Eliminator, 3 Super Stock, 5 Stock Eliminator, 1 Super Street)
53 overall final rounds, including NHRA Sportsman and Professional competition
(24 Pro Stock, 13 Comp Eliminator, 6 Super Stock, 7 Stock Eliminator, 1 Super Street, 2 SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown)
Career best e.t.: 6.475
Career best speed: 214.28

Butner’s 2019 SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown results:
Gainesville: did not qualify
Charlotte: No. 2 qualifier, final round
Richmond: No. 1 qualifier, final round

2019 Factory Stock Showdown Championship Standings
(after the NHRA Virginia Nationals, race 3 of 8)

1. Drew Skillman, 294
2. Bill Skillman, 212
3. Bo Butner, 205
4. David Barton, 170
5. Chris Holbrook, 161
6. Randy Taylor, 142
7. Scott Libersher, 138
8t. Stephen Bell, 137
8t. Kevin Skinner, 137
10. Carl Tasca, 122
11. Arthur Kohn, 118
12. Leah Pritchett, 98
13. David Janac, 97
14. Pete Gasko Jr., 95
15. Geoff Turk, 81

2019 SCHOOL OF AUTOMOTIVE MACHINISTS & TECHNOLOGY SCHEDULE
March 14-17 Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, Gainesville, Fla.
April 26-28 NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, Charlotte, N.C.
May 17-19 Virginia NHRA Nationals, Richmond, Va.
June 7-9 Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals, Topeka, Kan.
June 20-23 Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, Norwalk, Ohio
Aug. 28-Sept. 2 Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Indianapolis
Sept. 27-29 AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals, St. Louis
Oct. 17-20 AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals, Dallas

Race Info
31st annual Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties
Heartland Motorsports Park, Topeka
June 7-9, 2019

Run Schedule (all times local)
Friday, June 7
8:00 a.m. – Lucas Oil Series Sportsman qualifying and time trials begin
3:15 p.m. – SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown qualifying session 1
4:45 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 1
6:45 p.m. – SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown qualifying session 2
8:00 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 2

Saturday, June 8
8:00 a.m. – Lucas Oil Series Sportsman eliminations begin
11:30 a.m. – SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown qualifying session 3
12:30 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 3
2:45 p.m. – SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown round 1
3:45 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 4

Sunday, June 9
8:30 a.m. – Lucas Oil Sportsman eliminations continue
10:00 a.m. – Mello Yello Series pre-race ceremonies
11:00 a.m. –Pro eliminations begin, Sportsman eliminations continue

#NHRAonFOX Television Schedule (all times ET)
Qualifying / Saturday – 10-11 PM ET / FS1
Qualifying / Sunday – 12-1 PM ET / FS1
Finals / Sunday – 5:30-8:30 PM ET / FS1

(Sportsman) Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Television Schedule
Finals / Thursday, June 20 – 8:30-9:30 PM ET / FS2

Join the conversation by using #NHRA #HeartlandNats on social media

**Full results at DragRaceCentral.com**

Team Summit fast in Chicago, leave with track record for speed

The 22nd annual Route 66 NHRA NationalsJOLIET, Ill. (June 2, 2019) – Qualifying for the Route 66 NHRA Nationals was exceptional for the Summit Racing Pro Stock team, and in eliminations, they issued a powerful warning as they reset the Route 66 Raceway track record for speed. Greg Anderson, driving the red Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro, had the fastest racecar he’s had all year, and the veteran Pro Stock driver believes that will only bode well for the future.

“My car was the fastest car out here, and that feels good,” said Anderson, who claimed the 103rd No. 1 qualifier award of his career at the event and clocked a killer 6.552-second pass at a booming 212.39 mph in the semifinals to reclaim the track record for speed. The previous record was also set by Anderson in 2015 at 211.83.

“Today I didn’t get the job done by winning, and I take full responsibility for it,” he continued. “That’s certainly something I’m going to be working on before the next race.”

In the first round of eliminations, Anderson clocked a low of the round 6.537, 211.23 to defeat Alan Prusiensky. In round two, he was again low of the round with a 6.541, 211.06 next to a red-lighting Bo Butner. The 21-year Pro Stock veteran’s day came to an end in the semifinals when Erica Enders was quicker off the starting line to facilitate a holeshot win, 6.573, 210.41 to 6.552 at that large speed of 212.39.

“The great news is that all of our cars are really fast, especially my Summit Racing Chevy,” said Anderson, who has 91 national event wins on his scorecard, all earned with KB Racing. The team now owns 154 national event victories as KB Racing-powered Deric Kramer won the Chicago Pro Stock final with low elapsed time of the event, 6.532.

“We’re excited about how all of our cars are performing, and the next race is the Summit Racing Nationals in Norwalk, so that gets us really excited,” Anderson continued. “We know our cars are going to be fast. We’re going to work on them, do some testing before then, and just keep trying to get better yet. A good weekend, but we’ve got even better ones in our very near future.”

Anderson’s Summit Racing teammate Jason Line was the provisional No. 1 on Friday and No. 2 qualifier on Saturday. He brought in a first-round victory over Kenny Delco with the second-best run of the round, a 6.548 at 210.44 to his opponent’s tire-rattling 13.795. In the second act, though, it was Alex Laughlin with a holeshot win, 6.570, 209.23 to Line’s 6.568, 210.41.

“It was a good weekend for Team Summit, but we really wanted it to be a great weekend,” said Line, who is No. 4 in the Pro Stock points leaving Chicago. “We’ll have a little bit of time to work on things back at the shop before the next race, and that certainly doesn’t hurt. The bright spot for us is that we’ve wanted to get the red Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro better, and it seems to be on the right track. We still have more work to do with all of our cars, but we’ll get there. It’s just a matter of time and effort, and this team has never shied away from that.”

Butner, the current points leader in the category and a four-time winner in the first five races of the season, didn’t have a typical weekend. He qualified in the No. 8 position and knocked out Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the first round, 6.594, 211.03 to his challenger’s .003-second red-light start, then was defeated by Anderson in round two when he launched .075 too soon.

“I was just completely out of my element,” said Butner. “We went from being the fastest KB Racing car to the slowest, and I overthought everything today. We just struggled. I was .027 on the tree first round and should have been happy and stayed right there, but Greg’s got a rocket ship. I’ve never really been successful with worrying about the guy in the other lane, and that was true again today.

“There’s no way to justify it because I wish I was still out there racing, but good for Greg, and good for KB Racing. He had the fastest car all weekend. We’ve been really blessed over here; Randi Lyn [Shipp, Butner’s fiancée] won in Stock Eliminator, and she’s been doing great. We’ve been to a lot of finals this year, so we have a lot to be thankful for. We’re ready to get back in our Summit Racing Cobra Jet to test before the next SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown race next weekend in Topeka, and we’ll be ready to get back in the Pro Stock car in Norwalk. I’m looking forward to a lot of great racing ahead.”

The next Pro Stock event on the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour is the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, June 20-23. The SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown continues in Topeka at the NHRA Heartland Nationals next weekend.

Jason Line
KB Racing, Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro
Results
R1: Jason Line 6.548-second at 210.44 mph defeated Kenny Delco 13.795, 61.92
R2: Alex Laughlin (.043-second reaction time) 6.570, 209.23 def. Line (.076) 6.568, 210.41

Greg Anderson
KB Racing, Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro
Results
R1: Greg Anderson 6.537-second at 211.23 mph defeated Alan Prusiensky 6.680, 206.45
R2: Anderson 6.541, 211.06 def. Bo Butner (-.075 red light) 6.681, 182.87
R3: Erica Enders (.012-second reaction time) 6.573, 210.41 def. Anderson (.047) 6.552, 212.39

Bo Butner
KB Racing, Jim Butner Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro
Results
R1: Bo Butner 6.594-second at 211.03 mph def. Jeg Coughlin Jr. (-.003 red light) 6.568, 209.49
R2: Greg Anderson 6.541, 211.06 def. Butner (-.075 red light) 6.681, 182.87

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Standings
(after Route 66 NHRA Nationals, race 6 of 18)

1. Bo Butner (4), 578
2. Alex Laughlin, 391
3. Erica Enders, 333
4. Jason Line, 370
5. Greg Anderson, 349
6. Matt Hartford, 359
7. Deric Kramer (1), 277
8. Jeg Coughlin (1), 330
9. Rodger Brogdon, 286
10. Chris McGaha, 273

**Full results posted at DragRaceCentral.com**

Anderson locks in 103rd No. 1 with NHRA Chicago pole, Line No. 2

The 22nd annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals

photo credit: Auto Imagery

JOLIET, Ill. (June 1, 2019) – Team Summit entered the Route 66 NHRA Nationals with an agenda, and on Saturday evening at Route 66 Raceway, they were able to mark the first half of their mission complete. Greg Anderson, driver of the red Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro, came out on top with a cool 6.571-second pass at 210.54 mph in the final session to secure the 103rd No. 1 qualifier award of his Pro Stock career.

Anderson’s Summit Racing teammate Jason Line, who was No. 1 two weeks ago in Richmond and the provisional pole-sitter on Friday in Chicago, landed the No. 2 spot with a best time of 6.575, 209.39. The last time the KB Racing duo qualified in the top two positions was in Sonoma in 2018, which was also Anderson’s most recent No. 1.

It took quite a few years and quite a few final rounds, but Anderson has two Route 66 Raceway wins on his scorecard. One was earned in 2011, and the other was achieved in 2016.

“I’ve always loved coming to this racetrack,” said Anderson, now third all-time in NHRA’s history of No. 1 qualifiers, behind only John Force and Warren Johnson. “This is a great Pro Stock track, and it’s a place where every bit of power you can find can be applied to the racing surface. I have no earthly idea why I struggled to win here for so long because it’s such a great place and the starting line is so good, but I love racing here. Tomorrow should be a good day.”

The 21-year Pro Stock veteran, a four-time world champion in the category, will race Alan Prusiensky in round one. Anderson entered the event at Route 66 Raceway No. 5 in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock standings and claimed at total of six bonus points* to aid in his quest to catch teammate Bo Butner, the incoming points leader.

Anderson’s final qualifying pull was his best of the weekend so far, and with it he claimed not only the pole, but also top speed.

“You can always make high quality runs here, but this last session, it was just a perfect run inside the car,” said Anderson, who was runner-up in Chicago last season and is in the hunt for the 92nd Pro Stock win of his career. “Tonight, it was one of those times when you’re going down the racetrack, and you’re almost clapping, going, yes, yes, yes. Rob Downing, Dave Connolly, and all the guys back at the shop and here at the track have just done a great job.

“We got the green hat as the No. 1 qualifier, and that’s great. Now, on to business tomorrow to try to find a way to get a yellow winner’s circle hat. This class is so hard to win in, but I think these are the best racecars we’ve had all year. It’ll be up to the drivers to get it done.”

The 22nd annual Route 66 NHRA NationalsAnderson’s Summit Racing counterpart Line was No. 3 in the standings coming into the event and picked up five bonus qualifying points. As of Saturday evening, he has three Route 66 Raceway victories on his scorecard. Most notably, Line earned the first Pro Stock win of his career there in a final-round showdown with Anderson in 2004.

“I’m pretty happy with my Summit Racing Chevy, and we’re all glad to see that we’re making improvements with Greg’s car,” said Line, who will race Kenny Delco in round one. “It would have been nice to get that No. 1, but I’m happy that my teammate has it this time. It’ll be interesting to see how tomorrow goes. We have a lot of history here. It should be fun.”

The 22nd annual Route 66 NHRA NationalsKB Racing-powered Butner, driver of the Jim Butner Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro, has dominated the season with four wins in the first five races. Butner, who was also competing in Super Comp in Chicago this weekend, will begin his challenge for a fifth trophy on the season with a first-round meeting with Jeg Coughlin Jr.

Butner qualified in the No. 8 position with a 6.598, 209.10. He was runner-up in Pro Stock at this event in 2016 to Anderson, and in 2012, he went to the final round in Stock Eliminator, where Daryl Bureski was awarded the trophy.

“The starting line here is exceptional, but we’ve really missed it down low every hit with my car,” explained Butner, who qualified fifth or better at each race so far this season and was No. 1 in Phoenix and Las Vegas.

“We have plenty of power, and our Jim Butner Auto Group Chevrolet is still the same good car that we’ve had all year, we just haven’t hit it down low yet. I look for tomorrow to be a good day, though. We’ve had a lot of luck this season so far, but a lot of it isn’t luck at all. The crew does their job every time. That’s very relieving for me, because I can just go out there and do my best. We’ve had very good fortune though, and there’s no reason it can’t keep going.”

*Bonus points are awarded in each qualifying session to the top three quickest cars, with the quickest of the round awarded three, second quickest gets two, and third quickest is awarded one additional point.

Jason Line
KB Racing, Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro
Results:
Q1: 6.607-second at 209.26 mph (No. 4)
Q2: 6.582, 207.56 (No. 1, +3 bonus points)
Q3: 6.626, 207.904 (No. 1)
Q4: 6.575, 209.39 (No. 2, +2)

First round opponent: Kenny Delco

Greg Anderson
KB Racing, Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro
Results:
Q1: 6.607-second at 208.94 mph (No. 5)
Q2: 6.583, 207.50 (No. 2, +2 bonus points)
Q3: 6.607, 206.48 (No. 2, +1)
Q4: 6.571, 210.54 (No. 1, +3)

First round opponent: Alan Prusiensky

Bo Butner
KB Racing, Jim Butner Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro
Results:
Q1: 6.621-second at 208.10 mph (No. 9)
Q2: 6.609, 209.85 (No. 8)
Q3: 6.6328, 208.10 (No. 8)
Q4: 6.598, 209.10 (No. 8)

First round opponent: Jeg Coughlin Jr.

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Standings
(after Route 66 NHRA Nationals qualifying, race 6 of 18)

1. Bo Butner (4), 578
2. Alex Laughlin, 391
3. Jason Line, 370
4. Matt Hartford, 359
5. Greg Anderson, 349
6. Erica Enders, 333
7. Jeg Coughlin (1), 330
8. Rodger Brogdon, 286
9. Deric Kramer, 277
10. Chris McGaha, 273

Race Info
Route 66 NHRA Nationals
Route 66 Raceway
Chicago (Joliet), Illinois
May 30-June 2, 2019

Route 66 Raceway Track Records
Pro Stock
Drew Skillman, 6.528 (2015); Greg Anderson, 211.83 (2015)
Funny Car
Robert Hight, 3.851 (2017); Hight, 334.73 (2017)
Top Fuel
Steve Torrence, 3.677 (2018); Torrence, 333.58 (2018)
Pro Stock Motorcycle
Matt Smith, 6.784 (2017); Hector Arana Jr., 200.89 (2018)

Run Schedule (all times local)
Sunday, June 2
8:30 a.m. – Lucas Oil Sportsman eliminations continue
10:00 a.m. – Pre-race ceremonies
11:00 a.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro eliminations begin

#NHRAonFOX Television Schedule (all times ET)
Qualifying / Sunday – 11:30 AM-12:30 PM ET / FS1
Finals / Sunday – 5:30-8:30 PM ET / FS1

(Sportsman) Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Television Schedule
Finals / Thursday, June 13 – 8:30-9:30 PM ET / FS2

**Full results posted at DragRaceCentral.com**

Line No. 1, Anderson No. 2 for Team Summit on Friday at NHRA Chicago

Gatornationals

photo credit: Auto Imagery

JOLIET, Ill. (May 31, 2019) – The weekend is off to a fine start for Team Summit at the Route 66 NHRA Nationals. The event, which takes place just outside of Chicago at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, was hospitable towards Jason Line, who drove the silver Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro to the top of the Pro Stock field for the provisional pole. His teammate, Greg Anderson, drove the red Summit Racing Camaro to the No. 2 position to lead into the weekend with a strong 1-2 punch.

With 19 cars vying for a spot in the 16-car field, the KB Racing group took nothing for granted and came to the starting line with an open mind in the first round of qualifying. Line was No. 4 and Anderson was No. 5 at the conclusion of the first round, and they had a strong inkling regarding which direction to take their program heading into the later session.

Line, who was the No. 1 qualifier two weeks ago in Richmond, blasted to the top in Chicago on a 6.582-second pass at 207.56 mph. Anderson was right there with him, clocking a 6.583, 207.50 in his equally efficient Summit Racing entry.

“The starting line here is always super, super good, and it was again today,” said Line. “We tend to underestimate it, but tonight we got after it a little bit. Down-track was a little iffy, but the starting line is just unbelievable here. We made a good run and were fortunate enough to be on the pole. My teammate is right behind me, so it’s a pretty good day for the Summit Racing Chevy Camaros.”

Line’s history at Route 66 Raceway includes three wins in six final rounds. Most notable was his 2004 victory – his first in the ultra-competitive Pro Stock category. He was also the No. 1 qualifier at Route 66 Raceway that year.

“This track has been good to me; I have a special bond at this place,” continued Line. “All of our KB Racing cars have been running good this year, but just a couple of things have been keeping Greg and myself out of the winner’s circle. Hopefully, we can end that drought here.”

Jason Line
KB Racing, Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro
Results:
Q1: 6.607-second at 209.26 mph (No. 4)
Q2: 6.582, 207.56 (No. 1, +3 bonus points)

Greg Anderson
KB Racing, Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro
Results:
Q1: 6.607-second at 208.94 mph (No. 5)
Q2: 6.583, 207.50 (No. 2, +2 bonus points)

Bo Butner
KB Racing, Jim Butner Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro
Results:
Q1: 6.621-second at 208.10 mph (No. 9)
Q2: 6.609, 209.85 (No. 8)

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Standings
(after NHRA Virginia Nationals, race 5 of 18)

1. Bo Butner (4), 545
2. Alex Laughlin, 358
3. Jason Line, 328
4. Matt Hartford, 318
5. Greg Anderson, 305
6. Jeg Coughlin (1), 298
7. Erica Enders, 297
8. Rodger Brogdon, 254
9. Chris McGaha, 241
10. Deric Kramer, 239

Race Info
Route 66 NHRA Nationals
Route 66 Raceway
Chicago (Joliet), Illinois
May 30-June 2, 2019

Route 66 Raceway Track Records
Pro Stock
Drew Skillman, 6.528 (2015); Greg Anderson, 211.83 (2015)
Funny Car
Robert Hight, 3.851 (2017); Hight, 334.73 (2017)
Top Fuel
Steve Torrence, 3.677 (2018); Torrence, 333.58 (2018)
Pro Stock Motorcycle
Matt Smith, 6.784 (2017); Hector Arana Jr., 200.89 (2018)

Run Schedule (all times local)
Saturday, June 1
9:00 a.m. – Lucas Oil Series Sportsman eliminations continue
11:15 a.m. – Sportsman Allstars driver introductions at the starting line
12:00 p.m. – Sportsman Allstars round 1
1:45 p.m. – Sportsman Allstars round 2
2:45 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 3
4:30 p.m. – Sportsman Allstars finals
5:15 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 4

Sunday, June 2
8:30 a.m. – Lucas Oil Sportsman eliminations continue
10:00 a.m. – Pre-race ceremonies
11:00 a.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro eliminations begin

#NHRAonFOX Television Schedule (all times ET)
Qualifying / Saturday – 7-8 PM ET / FS1
NHRA Sunday LIVE / Sunday – 11:30 AM-12:30 PM ET / FS1
Finals / Sunday – 5:30-8:30 PM ET / FS1

(Sportsman) Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Television Schedule
Finals / Thursday, June 13 – 8:30-9:30 PM ET / FS2

**Full results posted at DragRaceCentral.com**

Progress and Projection with Team Summit crew chief Rob Downing

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Progress report following the Virginia NHRA Nationals (race 5 of 18)
and ahead of the Route 66 NHRA Nationals

In Virginia:
Everything went really well. We took some time over the break to stand back and look at some things, and we went back to basics. That really helped. The engines ran good, the cars ran really good Friday, Saturday was a little iffy, but then Sunday went just about as good as it could go. We struggled with Jason’s car a little bit, but overall we were super happy.

What was our challenge in Richmond:
Last year that track was really good, so we felt encouraged about that, because that generally helps our cause. Our biggest concern was getting the red Summit Racing Chevy running better, and we feel like we did that there. It’s a lot better than it was, and we’re looking forward to Chicago and seeing what we can do.

Virginia was the first truly hot race this year for us; how did the heat affect what you do as the crew chief?
Just staying on top of what the track is doing. It was definitely changing every run, and that was a challenge, for sure. It wasn’t easy by any means, but we just powered through it. We missed it a little with Jason’s car on Sunday, but Bo and Greg’s cars made it to the final, so it was a good day.

Overall grade:
B+

Our biggest challenge heading into Chicago:
Building on the momentum that we created in Virginia. We still want to improve with the red car. Even though it was in the final in Virginia, we know it can run better. It’s kind of frustrating knowing what’s in there and just not being able to get it out. It’s always been a car that’s fought us a little bit, but we’re improving little by little, and hopefully we’ll be able to move to the next step.

Fernando Cuadra Sr. had top speed of the meet in Virginia, we’re now at 153 KB Racing Pro Stock wins, we had two cars in the final round; do you allow yourself to feel a sense of pride at the end of a weekend like that?
Yeah, I mean, overall when you walk away with results like this, you have to think about it. Big picture, KB Racing won. You do think about it to keep excited, but you definitely always want to do better.

Team Summit NHRA Chicago Pre-Race Package

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photo credit: Auto Imagery

Greg Anderson
KB Racing, Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro
Car No.: PS7
Current points position: No. 5

Event-specific Notes:
• Greg Anderson used to consider Chicago the one that always seemed to get away, but in 2011 he finally won. He was victorious again in 2016.
• Anderson holds the Route 66 Raceway track record for speed, set in 2015 at 211.83 mph
• Anderson has been steadily climbing in the Pro Stock standings after a slow start to the 2019 season. He has reached the final round at each of the most recent two events (Las Vegas and Richmond) to move up to No. 5 in the standings.

Driver Notes:
• 2019 is Anderson’s 21st season as a Pro Stock driver. He began his career as a crew member and then was crew chief for championship winning driver Warren Johnson before taking the reins of his own Pro Stock car in Columbus in 1998.
• Las Vegas-based Ken Black brought Anderson on board as a tuner, then a driver for KB Racing. They won their first race together in 2001. They have been racing together for nearly two decades and have, along with crew chief Rob Downing, built a team that now owns 153 national event wins and eight championships.
• Anderson is a four-time NHRA Pro Stock world champion (2003-05, 2010)
• Anderson is the most decorated Pro Stock driver on the current tour. He has 91 national event wins and is the second-most winning driver of all time in the category (W. Johnson has 97).

Anderson in Chicago
2 wins in 8 final rounds
Runner-up 2018 (Jeg Coughlin Jr.)
Won 2016 (defeated Bo Butner)
Runner-up 2013 (Coughlin)
Runner-up 2012 (Erica Enders)
Won 2011 (defeated Enders)
Runner-up 2006 (Kurt Johnson)
Runner-up 2004 Chicago 1 (Jason Line)
Runner-up 2004 Chicago 2 (Dave Connolly)
Runner-up 2003 Chicago 1 (Coughlin)
No. 1 in 2011, 2007, 2005 Chicago 2, 2004 Chicago 2, 2003 Chicago 1, 2003 Chicago 2
In 2018: No. 1 qualifier; final round

Anderson’s Career Stats through 2019 Virginia Nationals in Richmond
(most recent Pro Stock event)
4-time NHRA Pro Stock series champion (2003-05, 2010)
457 Pro Stock races
91 wins
62 runner-up finishes
153 overall final rounds
102 No. 1 qualifier awards
Career best e.t.: 6.457
Career best speed: 215.48

Quotes:
“After getting to the final in Richmond and walking away empty handed, I’m ready for a re-run. We did a good job as a team at the last race, especially on a hot and greasy racetrack, so I think that’s going to set us up for some very good racing these next few weeks. My Summit Racing Chevy Camaro was the best it’s been all year, and I feel like it just keeps getting better. We have to close the deal on raceday, that’s all there is to it.”

Second annual Virginia NHRA NationalsJason Line
KB Racing, Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro
Car No.: PS5
Current points position: No. 3

Event-specific Notes:
• Jason Line has three Chicago wins in six final rounds, leading Route 66 Raceway victories for KB Racing and Team Summit
• Line’s first Pro Stock win came 15 years ago in Chicago in 2004, when he defeated Summit Racing teammate Greg Anderson for the trophy. It was the third all-KB Racing final round and the first and only so far in Chicago. (As of the most recent event [Richmond], there have been 45 final rounds in the history of the team in which KB Racing drivers have gone head-to-head for the trophy. Line has come up on the winning end 18 times; Greg Anderson 22; and Bo Butner 5).

Driver Notes:
• Jason Line debuted a new Jerry Haas-built Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro at the 2019 Mello Yello Series season-opener in Pomona and wheeled it to the final round
• The driver of the silver Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro accumulated 600 Pro Stock round wins with his first-round victory in Richmond. It is the third most of any active driver in the category.
• The Mooresville, N.C.-based driver has 48 wins in Pro Stock and two in Stock Eliminator, one of NHRA’s premier Sportsman categories.
• In addition to driving for KB Racing, Line is the dyno operator at KB Racing and is part of the tuning team for the cars in the KB Racing stable
• Line has three NHRA Pro Stock world titles with KB Racing (2006, 2011, 2016), as well as one NHRA Sportsman championship earned in Stock Eliminator behind the wheel of his 1970 Buick Gran Sport (1993)
• His Pro Stock debut was in 2003 in Columbus

Line in Chicago
3 wins in 6 final rounds
Runner-up 2014 (Vincent Nobile)
Runner-up 2010 (Mike Edwards
Runner-up 2007 (Jeg Coughlin Jr.)
Won 2005 Chicago 1 (Coughlin)
Won 2005 Chicago 2 (Erica Enders)
Won 2004 Chicago 1 (Greg Anderson)
No. 1 in 2004
In 2018: Qualified No. 4; second round

Line’s Career Stats through 2019 Virginia Nationals in Richmond
(most recent Pro Stock event)
3-time NHRA Pro Stock series champion (2006, 2011, 2016)
1993 NHRA Stock Eliminator champion
361 Pro Stock races
48 Pro Stock wins
50 overall wins, including NHRA Sportsman and Professional categories
(2 Stock Eliminator, 48 Pro Stock)
52 runner-up finishes
100 Pro Stock final rounds
54 Pro Stock No. 1 qualifier awards
102 overall final rounds, including NHRA Sportsman and Professional competition
(2 Stock Eliminator, 100 Pro Stock)
Career best e.t.: 6.455
Career best speed: 215.17

Quotes:
“Chicago is one of those places where weather can be an interesting variable, but it’s a great facility and we like racing there. It’s a special place for me, and if everything goes as we hope, we’ll have another Team Summit final round. This race is the start of four in a row, and having a good race in Chicago would be a very good beginning to this stretch.”

1914-004593Bo Butner
KB Racing, Jim Butner Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro
Car No.: PS8
Current points position: No. 1

Event-specific Notes:
• Butner has been runner-up at this event twice: once in Pro Stock in 2016, and once in Stock Eliminator in 2012
• Butner will race in both Pro Stock and Super Comp this weekend at Route 66 Raceway
• The Super Comp dragster he will drive belongs to friend and fellow Sportsman racer Tyler Bohannon
• The Route 66 Nationals will mark the first time that Butner has competed in Super Comp at the national event level; he has raced the category in a handful of NHRA divisional events in the past. If he should win, it would mark the sixth different category in which he will have been victorious at a national event. The record is seven.

Driver Notes:
• Butner, the 2017 NHRA Pro Stock world champion, won the first race of the 2019 season and then again in Gainesville, Las Vegas, and Richmond. He is the incoming points leader.
• Butner’s victory in Richmond was the 153rd Pro Stock win for KB Racing, the acclaimed group racing out of Ken Black’s shop in Mooresville, North Carolina
• Last October, Butner decided to hang up his Pro driving gloves and return to his Sportsman racing roots to focus on the Jim Butner Auto Group family business and his growing family (his first grandchild was born just after Gainesville). When the schedule was shortened to 18 races, though, he was encouraged by his mom, Dottie, to reconsider.
• An accomplished NHRA Sportsman racer, Butner earned the Comp Eliminator championship in 2006 and has four Division 3 season titles
• Butner has 11 Pro Stock wins on his scorecard

Butner in Chicago
2 final rounds (including Sportsman competition)
Runner-up 2016 in Pro Stock (defeated by Greg Anderson)
Runner-up in 2012 in Stock Eliminator (defeated by Daryl Bureski)
In 2018: Qualified No. 9; first round

Butner’s Career Stats through 2019 Virginia Nationals in Richmond
(most recent Pro Stock event)
2017 NHRA Pro Stock champion
2006 Competition Eliminator champion
94 races
11 Pro Stock wins
13 Pro Stock runner-up finishes
24 overall Pro Stock final rounds
10 Pro Stock No. 1 qualifier awards
26 overall wins, including NHRA Sportsman competition
(11 Pro stock, 6 Comp Eliminator, 3 Super Stock, 5 Stock Eliminator, 1 Super Street)
53 overall final rounds, including NHRA Sportsman and Professional competition
(24 Pro Stock, 13 Comp Eliminator, 6 Super Stock, 7 Stock Eliminator, 1 Super Street, 2 SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown)
Career best e.t.: 6.475
Career best speed: 214.28

Quotes:
“We’re a few races into the regular season, and as it stands, we have a good enough car to win the championship – but to have a real shot at it at the end, you really have to be as good as we were in Richmond every day. Pro Stock is tough, and there are a lot of other racers who are going to win this year. But so far, we’re right there with them. It’s fun to go racing right now, and we’ll be busy in Chicago. I like our chances.”

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock Standings
(after NHRA Virginia Nationals, race 5 of 18)

1. Bo Butner (4), 545
2. Alex Laughlin, 358
3. Jason Line, 328
4. Matt Hartford, 318
5. Greg Anderson, 305
6. Jeg Coughlin (1), 298
7. Erica Enders, 297
8. Rodger Brogdon, 254
9. Chris McGaha, 241
10. Deric Kramer, 239

Race Info
Route 66 NHRA Nationals
Route 66 Raceway
Chicago (Joliet), Illinois
May 30-June 2, 2019

Route 66 Raceway Track Records
Pro Stock
Drew Skillman, 6.528 (2015); Greg Anderson, 211.83 (2015)
Funny Car
Robert Hight, 3.851 (2017); Hight, 334.73 (2017)
Top Fuel
Steve Torrence, 3.677 (2018); Torrence, 333.58 (2018)
Pro Stock Motorcycle
Matt Smith, 6.784 (2017); Hector Arana Jr., 200.89 (2018)

Run Schedule (all times local)
Thursday, May 30
8:00 a.m. – Lucas Oil Series Sportsman qualifying begins

Friday, May 31
8:00 a.m. – Lucas Oil Series Sportsman qualifying continues, eliminations begin
5:30 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 1
8:00 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 2

Saturday, June 1
9:00 a.m. – Lucas Oil Series Sportsman eliminations continue
11:15 a.m. – Sportsman Allstars driver introductions at the starting line
12:00 p.m. – Sportsman Allstars round 1
1:45 p.m. – Sportsman Allstars round 2
2:45 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 3
4:30 p.m. – Sportsman Allstars finals
5:15 p.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro qualifying session 4

Sunday, June 2
8:30 a.m. – Lucas Oil Sportsman eliminations continue
10:00 a.m. – Pre-race ceremonies
11:00 a.m. – Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro eliminations begin

#NHRAonFOX Television Schedule (all times ET)
Qualifying / Saturday – 7-8 PM ET / FS1
NHRA Sunday LIVE / Sunday – 11:30 AM-12:30 PM ET / FS1
Finals / Sunday – 5:30-8:30 PM ET / FS1

(Sportsman) Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Television Schedule
Finals / Thursday, June 13 – 8:30-9:30 PM ET / FS2

**Full results posted at DragRaceCentral.com**

Center Stage: Warren Johnson

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Come on. You all know this series could only be launched on the coattails of Warren Johnson and his well-blazed path. The Minnesota native is one of the most well-known and decorated drag racers of all time, and his brazen “take no bull,” sugar coat zilch,” “tell it like it is (even when it stings)” attitude has been both a breath of fresh air and wildly intimidating since day one. His attitude isn’t what’s in the history books, though.

Johnson – now 75 years old, if calculations are correct – stands as a legend in Pro Stock, and that is why he gets the win light as our first Center Stage feature.

No. 7 on NHRA’s 50 Greatest Drivers list, “The Professor” came into drag racing with an engineer’s education. His first NHRA Pro Stock car was a brand spankin’ new Camaro that he purchased in 1971, prepared for racing, and debuted at the U.S. Nationals, and he nearly wore the car out, racing it as much as possible as he cemented the foundation for a fruitful, lifelong career both on and off the racetrack.

Johnson has been inducted in the International Motorsports Hall of Fame, the NHRA Division 2 Hall of Fame, the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame, the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing Hall of Fame, and as one of the Legends of Bristol Dragway. He is the third winningest NHRA driver of all time and most winning to date in Pro Stock with 97 national event victories, has a total of eight championships (six NHRA, two IHRA), and blasted to the first 200 mph run in NHRA competition with a 200.13 mph pass made in Richmond, Va., in 1997.

Age just doesn’t seem to be a factor for Johnson, because the seemingly tireless man is still building engines out of his Sugar Hill, Ga., race shop. Every once in a while, if you’re real lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of him at a racetrack.

You are truly a legend, WJ. Thanks for all you’ve done for Pro Stock and the sport of drag racing.

Sportsman Note: Butner to race Super Comp in Chicago, looking for win in sixth different class

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FLOYD’S KNOBS, Ind. (May 24, 2019) – Bo Butner is in the midst of a powerful season as a full-time competitor on NHRA’s 2019 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour. Floyd’s Knobs, Indiana-based Butner has led the Pro Stock points since the season-opener in Pomona, and he’s doing double-duty this year running his Summit Racing-backed Cobra Jet in the NHRA SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown, where he is currently No. 3 in the standings. But wait, there’s more.

It appears that finding success in two categories just isn’t enough for the avid Sportsman racer and 26-time national event winner, because his name has turned up on an unexpected entry list. Butner’s efforts will expand in Chicago at the Route 66 NHRA Nationals as he settles in behind the wheel of Tyler Bohannon’s Super Comp dragster for the first time.

So far this season, Butner has claimed four wins in the first five Pro Stock races and reached the final round in the Factory Stock Showdown at back-to-back events. Over the course of his ultra-productive racing career, the Jim Butner Auto Group CEO’s achievements have stretched across five categories. Butner has national event wins in Pro Stock, Comp Eliminator, Super Stock, Stock, and Super Street.

Although he has four previous wins in the Factory Stock Showdown – including the first ever, held at the U.S. Nationals in 2012 – all of that hardware was earned before a shootout victory was considered a national event win. This year, Butner is aimed at adding an official Factory Stock Showdown national event trophy to the pile, and in Chicago, he’ll be looking for the same in Super Comp.

The diverse competitor is well on his way to catching Jeg Coughlin Jr., the only driver in NHRA history to own national event wins in seven different categories. Coughlin has claimed trophies in Pro Stock, Top Dragster, Comp, Super Stock, Stock, Super Comp, and Super Gas.

The Route 66 NHRA Nationals will take place May 30-June 2, 2019 at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., just outside of Chicago. Follow along at DragRaceCentral.com, on NHRA.tv, and, of course, on FS1 (schedule here).