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Bo and Randi Lyn Butner Ready to Move Past Brainerd, Focus on U.S. Nationals

The husband-and-wife team of Bo and Randi Lyn Butner has been part of NHRA drag racing for decades, both together and before their union. Collectively, they have accumulated a nice assortment of trophies across various classes, and they aren’t done yet. The Jim Butner Auto Group-backed team came to Brainerd International Raceway this weekend with three Sportsman cars to put to good use in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, and Bo is working towards claiming his first trophy of the season in the Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage Chevrolet Camaro.

The Sportsman Story

Qualifying and time trials kicked off Thursday for Team JBA, and Bo got a couple of time trials in the Top Dragster and threw down a pair of steady 6.95-second passes at 193 mph, along with respectable .025- and .001-second reaction times. Randi Lyn, racing in both Stock and Super Comp, had a productive day in both categories. Driving her 1967 Pontiac Firebird in D/SA, she reached the final round of class eliminations, but David Bares took the title in the trophy round with a 10.586 to a 10.680. After two time trials in Super Comp, she had a good feel for the 8.90 target and was ready for Friday eliminations.
Friday was exceptionally productive for the team, and Bo finished his warm-up for Top Dragster eliminations with a 6.966 in the final qualifying session to start 17th in the 28-car field, then went on to lay down a .015 reaction time and a 7.014 on his 6.97 dial to eliminate veteran racer Les Feist and a .067, 6.236 (6.22).
Randi Lyn was keeping up the good fight in both Stock and Super Comp. In Stock Eliminator, she scooped up an opening round victory over Jacob Picht for the second event in a row, this time with a .007-second margin of victory. Picht’s tree came down first and he launched on a .045, then ran 11.335 on an 11.31 dial, while Randi Lyn was .048 at the hit and clocked a 10.795 on her 10.78 target. In the second round, the D/SA campaigner was .030 on the tree and 10.922 (10.83) to beat Brad Koivisto’s .066 and 11.388 (11.26).
Friday’s Super Comp success included a first round victory over Peyton Januik, .019 and 8.934 on the 8.90 index to .016, 8.952. In round two, Randi Lyn ran neatly targeted the 8.90 with an 8.906 paired with a .014 to overcome the .009 launch recorded by Holden Laris, who went 8.926.
Saturday dawned with optimism in the Butner camp, but it was soon doused as Bo bowed out to Ross Laris in round two. Laris would have been almost impossible to beat; he had a .006 light and went 6.343 on his 6.34 dial, and Bo broke out just a bit with a .031 reaction and 7.030 on a 7.04.
For Randi Lyn, the day began and ended early as she and David Bares were the second pair to take to the track in Stock. Their D/SA heads-up match was a rematch of the class final, and again, it was Bares with the win light – this time with a .078 reaction and 10.742 to Randi Lyn’s uncharacteristic .160 and 10.949.
Unfortunately, she did not fare better in Super Comp as she drew reigning world champion James Glenn as a third-round opponent. Randi Lyn nailed the 8.90 with an impressively driven 8.901, but an .051 reaction time was her undoing; Glenn was .014 and went 8.932 to win by only .006.

Pro Stock Report

With good friend Jason Line and his son, Jack Line, on the property at Brainerd International Raceway, Bo had his chin up in Pro Stock qualifying. The season had not been particularly kind to Butner leading into this, the second-to-last race before the NHRA Countdown to the Championship begins. Butner, No. 11 in the Pro Stock points, reached the final round in Phoenix and was the No. 3 qualifier in Chicago, but aside from that, his Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage Chevrolet Camaro had been fairly unfriendly towards him. After four consecutive first-round losses, he was ready for some new energy to try to turn the tides.
“It’s no secret that I’ve struggled as a driver and with us getting this car where it needs to be,” said Butner. “We’ve struggled, but I never give up. I want to do good for Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage and Jason and Nikki Johnson, our awesome sponsors, and they’re here this weekend. They’re always great and just so supportive, but we’d sure like to be able to win for them.
“I’m glad to have Jason Line with us hanging out this weekend, too – he’ like a goofy big brother to me, and I’m really happy he’s here with his son, Jack. Jack worked on our car when we raced Pro Stock before, including when we won the championship in 2017, and everybody loves him. It’s great to have them around, and it would be really special if we were able to do something good on Sunday.”
Bo’s JHG Chevrolet Camaro has not wanted to stay on the straight and narrow this weekend, and he’s had to battle to keep it pointed downtrack. His 6.632, 206.76 in the second session on Friday was good for the No. 10 spot, and he will begin eliminations with a first-round meeting with Aaron Stanfield. Butner heads into Sunday with one previous Pro Stock win on his scorecard in Brainerd: he won the event in 2005 in Comp.

On race day, Butner had a couple of ticks on the tree, but Stanfield has the lead as they go by the Christmas tree and never trailed from there on for the win. Stanfield kept it hooked up to make the quickest pass of the event for the win. However, Butner made his quickest pass of the weekend in the losing effort.

This story was originally published on August 22, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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