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

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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**

Tim Wilkerson NHRA Chicago Pre-Race Package

Second annual Virginia NHRA Nationals

photo credit: Auto Imagery

Tim Wilkerson
Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang
Car No.: FC5
Current points position: No. 8

Event-specific Notes:
• Tim Wilkerson’s first national event win in a nitro Funny Car came at Route 66 Raceway in 1999, when he defeated John Force for the title
• Wilkerson, who hails from Springfield, will be racing for the trophy in his home state of Illinois with longtime sponsor Levi, Ray & Shoup looking on. LRS is also based in Springfield. Wilkerson has been partnered with LRS for 20 years, and it is one of the longest standing sponsorships in current-day NHRA drag racing.
• Wilkerson debuted his brand-new Ford Mustang Funny Car body at the most recent event on the tour, the Virginia Nationals in Richmond. Wilkerson has been a devoted Ford Funny Car campaigner for 10 years and has claimed 10 of his 20 Pro victories piloting a Ford Mustang.

Driver Notes:
• Wilkerson has been to the final at Gainesville, Las Vegas, and Atlanta this year. He was the No. 1 qualifier in Las Vegas.
• Team Summit driver Wilkerson, the driver, tuner, and team owner of the Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang Funny Car, is an independent driver and the only single-car team in the category to finish in the top 10 in 2018
• The early portion of Wilkerson’s career included a successful run as a Top Alcohol Funny Car driver. He earned eight division trophies, one national event win, and was the Division 3 Top Alcohol Funny Car champ in both 1994 and 1995 in the Lucas Oil Series before stepping up to the Pro ranks in Gainesville in 1996.

Wilkerson in Chicago
1 win in 1 final round
Won 1999 (defeated John Force)
In 2018: Qualified No. 11; first round

Wilkerson’s Career Stats through 2019 Virginia NHRA Nationals in Richmond
(most recent Funny Car event)
501 races
20 wins
24 runner-up finishes
44 final rounds
20 No. 1 qualifier awards
Career best e.t.: 3.844 (2017 Phoenix)
Career best speed: 333.74 (2016 Topeka)

Quotes:
“I’m feeling pretty good about our new Ford Mustang Funny Car body. We were almost as fast as anybody out there in Virginia, so I think we’re doing pretty good with it, and I’d like to see us put it in the winner’s circle before too long for Ford, LRS, Summit Racing, and all those folks who are out there supporting us week in and week out. It would be really cool to do something good this weekend in Chicago – we’re racing just a couple of hours away from home, and we’ll have a ton of people out there on Saturday from Levi, Ray and Shoup, plus friends and family and all kinds of folks, so it’ll be a real neat deal. I’m pretty optimistic about this new car and what we can do with it. It’s solid. We’ll see; the big thing is that we have to keep our heads on straight. If we can do that and make it go again, I think we’ll be in good shape.”

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
(after NHRA Virginia Nationals, race 8 of 24)

1. Robert Hight (3), 717
2. J.R. Todd (1), 556
3. Ron Capps (2), 548
4. Tommy Johnson Jr., 527
5. John Force, 524
6. Matt Hagan (1), 506
7. Jack Beckman, 477
8. Tim Wilkerson, 463
9. Shawn Langdon (1), 404
10. Bob Tasca III, 369

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

Butner scores trophy in NHRA Virginia final with Anderson; Line No. 1 qualifier

Second annual Virginia NHRA Nationals

DINWIDDIE, Va. (May 19, 2019) – The NHRA Virginia Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park proved to be an exceptional outing for Team Summit and KB Racing. Jason Line, driver of the silver Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro Pro Stock car, earned a career 54th No. 1 qualifier award, while teammates Bo Butner and Greg Anderson squared off in the final round at the event. Butner got the best of Anderson by just .005-second for his fourth Pro Stock trophy of the year.

“This is absolutely an amazing season,” said No. 3 qualifier Butner, who earned the 11th Pro Stock win of his career. “I was racing the boss right there, and it shows that with KB Racing there’s never any monkey business. They give me the best. Greg is the most competitive dude you’ll ever meet, but we’re all happy when we get two KB Racing cars to the final and can get the win for Ken and Judy Black. Don’t get me wrong, I still want to win every time, I’m a racer. But today was a good day.”

In the final round, Anderson was off the starting line first in the red Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro, .049 to his friendly opponent’s .052, but at the finish-line stripe it was Butner with the win, 6.559-second at 209.01 mph to 6.607, 210.18. Butner’s pass was low elapsed time of raceday, and Anderson’s was top speed of the day.

“We made a good run in the final, and I’m really looking forward to racing in Chicago in two weeks,” said Butner, who padded his points lead by a bunch with the win. “What a season already.”

Anderson, the No. 5 qualifier, had top speed in every round of eliminations except the first one, and he only missed it there by a small margin to Butner. His Summit Racing Camaro was on kill and nearly unstoppable as he knocked out Shane Tucker, Erica Enders, and Alex Laughlin en route to the final. Anderson leapt up to No. 5 in the points with his raceday performance.

“We just missed it in the final round with my car. It spun and shook in low gear,” said Anderson, who is in pursuit of the 92nd Pro Stock win of his career. “My Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro was good all day, and I had a good car all weekend. We raced well on a hot racetrack, we just had a little mistake in the final, and that’s what cost us.

“Bo is being a little hoggish with the wins, but you have to get them while you can. That’s what you’re supposed to do, and more power to him. Our cars outraced everybody today, and that’s what you’re going to have to do on the hot summer tracks. I feel great about that. Obviously, you look for perfection every time, and we didn’t quite get that in the final with my car. We’ll come back and try again in Chicago. I’m ready to go today.”

Line wheeled his way to the second round in Virginia, where he exited on a 6.685, 208.20 pass to opponent Laughlin’s 6.641, 207.59.

“We had a great weekend for KB Racing and a good weekend for sure with my Summit Racing Chevrolet Camaro,” said Line, now No. 3 in the Pro Stock standings. “We have some really good racecars in our camp right now, and it’s nice to see our hard work paying off. It isn’t completely paying off quite yet – we could be faster, we could be better. But this was a good weekend. It feels great to be back to racing.”

The next Pro Stock event for NHRA’s Mello Yello Drag Racing Series is the Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Chicago, May 30-June 2, 2019.

Jason Line
KB Racing, Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro
Results:
R1: Jason Line defeated Val Smeland, 6.615-second at 209.43 mph to 6.733, 205.94
R2: Alex Laughlin def. Line, 6.641, 207.59 to 6.685, 208.20

Greg Anderson
KB Racing, Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro
Results:
R1: Greg Anderson defeated Shane Tucker, 6.610-second at 209.43 mph to (-.099 foul) 7.883, 115.30
R2: Anderson def. Erica Enders, 6.629, 209.49 to 6.668, 206.95
R3: Anderson def. Alex Laughlin, 6.609, 209.52 to 6.670, 207.40
R4: Bo Butner def. Anderson, 6.599, 209.01 to 6.607, 210.18

Bo Butner
KB Racing, Jim Butner Auto Group Chevrolet Camaro
Results:
R1: Bo Butner defeated Wally Stroupe, 6.622-second at 209.72 mph to 6.781, 203.43
R2: Butner def. Chris McGaha, 6.625, 208.59 to 6.618, 208.84
R3: Butner def. Jeg Coughlin, 6.602, 208.78 to 6.629, 207.66
R4: Butner def. Greg Anderson, 6.599, 209.01 to 6.607, 210.18

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

**Full results posted at DragRaceCentral.com**

Near Miss for Wilkerson on Sunday at NHRA Virginia Nationals

Second annual Virginia NHRA Nationals

photo credit: Auto Imagery

DINWIDDIE, Va. (May 19, 2019) – Tim Wilkerson and his devoted nitro Funny Car crew had high hopes heading into Sunday at the NHRA Virginia Nationals. They had a stunning new paint job on their brand-new Ford Mustang, and they sincerely wanted to put their new car in the winner’s circle in its debut. It wasn’t meant to be this time around, but Wilkerson and his Illinois-based crew are eager to jump on over to Chicago in two weeks and get the job done.

Piloting the 40th anniversary Levi, Ray & Shoup Ford Mustang, Wilkerson qualified in the No. 12 position and drew Shawn Langdon as his first-round opponent.

Sunday dawned blazing hot, the hottest day of the NHRA season so far, and demanded that crew chiefs be well on their game. Wilkerson, who tunes and drives the LRS Mustang, was up to the task. He laid down a 4.054-second pass at 307.02 – the best run in that lane for the round – but it simply wasn’t enough. His opponent skirted ahead for a 4.039, 310.27 win.

“It was cruising right along there, and we were the fastest guy in that lane, but some days this is our forte,” said Wilkerson, who has experienced the ache of such a loss on several recent occasions. “That’s why qualifying is so important; if you qualify well, you usually don’t have to race a guy like that without lane choice. But anyway, we made a nice run, it just got down there to about 700 feet and just barely started spinning the tires. I tried to save it, but it dropped a couple of holes at the same time.

“We’re looking forward to Chicago, and we’re excited to have this new Ford Mustang. I’m optimistic with what we’re learning.”

The next stop on the 2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series tour will be race 9 of 24, the Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway, May 30-June 2.

Tim Wilkerson
Levi, Ray and Shoup Ford Mustang
Results:
R1: Shawn Langdon (4.039-second at 310.27 mph) defeated Tim Wilkerson (4.054, 307.02)

2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Standings
(after NHRA Virginia Nationals qualifying, race 8 of 24)

1. Robert Hight (3), 717
2. J.R. Todd (1), 556
3. Ron Capps (2), 548
4. Tommy Johnson Jr., 527
5. John Force, 524
6. Matt Hagan (1), 506
7. Jack Beckman, 477
8. Tim Wilkerson, 463
9. Shawn Langdon (1), 404
10. Bob Tasca III, 369

**Full results posted at DragRaceCentral.com**