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

Sportsman Blog: Hannah Line’s D/SA Camaro

Welcome back everyone!

As I mentioned in the last entry, I race a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro in Stock Eliminator. I am currently in D/SA, which has an 11.55 index. For those of you who are not familiar with Stock Eliminator, we qualify based on each class’s index and how far over or under that index that you run.

When I was 16 and had graduated from the Jr. Dragster division, I moved up to Street Trophy and raced my dad’s 1988 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. My first season in a big car, I won two races, got runner-up at two races, and attained a 3rd place finish in the points chase.

Towards the end of my first season in a big car, I went with my dad and some family friends on a long drive out to Kentucky. We ended up coming home with two Camaros that both currently compete in Stock Eliminator.

My car was actually in the process of becoming a Stocker. The moment we unloaded the car back in Minnesota, it was on the way to becoming the beautiful car it is now. My dad and I, along with the help from so many people, built the car from a shell. It was truly a father daughter project. I am so thankful for all the things I learned!

More soon. Thanks for reading.

Follow Hannah at Facebook.com/hannah.5210 and on Instagram @hannahline.5210

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 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.

Gallery: Get fired up for loads of Lucas Oil Series action at the Route 66 NHRA Nationals

May 30-June 2, 2019, NHRA’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will be dropping into Route 66 Raceway for an event that bursts at the seams with tons of super-intense racing. There will be something for everyone at the Chicagoland drag strip, including the Allstars race, an event as revered as the World Series, Super Bowl, and Stanley Cup Finals all rolled into one for Lucas Oil Series competitors. Here’s the schedule. In the meantime, please enjoy a stroll through these images of Sportsman racers and their rides captured earlier this season.

 

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).

Butner reaches second straight Factory Stock Showdown final, nearly doubles at NHRA Virginia

Second annual Virginia NHRA Nationals

photo credit: Auto Imagery

DINWIDDIE, Va. (May 20, 2019) – For the second consecutive event, veteran Sportsman competitor Bo Butner reached the final round of the SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown. The 2017 NHRA Pro Stock champion was seeking a double-up win at the NHRA Virginia Nationals, and he came very close. Butner defeated Summit Racing teammate Greg Anderson in the Pro Stock final but came away empty-handed in the Showdown, where the trophy went to longtime friendly rival Drew Skillman.

“Drew is a good friend and a good racer, and I’m glad he’s in that and not Pro Stock. Good job to them, but I really, really wanted to double up,” said Butner, who made it happen with two Sportsman wins in Las Vegas in 2012 but has yet to pull off the elusive Sportsman/Pro double.

Only one driver in the history of NHRA has ever claimed a Sportsman/Pro double-up win. Pat Austin did it not once, but twice: Topeka 1991 and Phoenix 1992, in Top Fuel and Alcohol Funny Car.

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 will have several more opportunities to attempt the double in his 2019 Summit Racing-branded Ford Cobra Jet Mustang, a car owned and crew chiefed by Darrel Herron and tuned by Jason Lee.

The event in Virginia was the third of eight for the 2019 SAM Tech Factory Stock Showdown. Leading up to race three of the series, Butner did not qualify for the first event in Gainesville but came back with a vengeance to reach the final round in Charlotte where, he fell to Skillman’s father, Bill.

“I feel good about my Summit Racing Cobra Jet; we’ve made good strides with it,” said Butner, who was the No. 1 qualifier in the Showdown with a best time of 7.943-second at 173.38 mph. In the closing act, he was 7.989, 171.29 to Skillman’s winning 7.990, 170.69, losing their match on a holeshot due to reaction time. Butner was .054 at the tree to his opponent’s .028.

“We made a very good run in the final,” he said. “The track was great, even if it was hot. I got very heated today. It’s very hot out and I’m way out of shape to be driving two cars seven rounds in one day, but it was very fun, and I’d like to do it again. It was a good day, and I’m ready for the next one.”

BO BUTNER
Summit Racing Cobra Jet Mustang
Position in standings following event: No. 3

Butner’s results:
R1: Bo Butner defeated Kevin Skinner, 7.992-second at 172.17 mph to 13.566, 75.19
R2: Butner def. Pete Gasko Jr., 8.015, 176.63 to 11.237, 108.05
R3: Butner def. David Barton, 7.985, 172.72 to 14.787, 65.40
R4: Drew Skillman def. Butner, 7.990, 170.69 to 7.9898, 171.29

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