The Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series (LODRS) is packed with extraordinary competition and racers who have dedicated their lives to chasing the coveted NHRA Wally trophy. Bo Butner is one such racer, and in the blazing summer heat at Topeka’s Heartland Motorsports Park, the 27-time NHRA national event winner nearly claimed another victory as he was runner-up in the challenging Super Gas category.
Doing double-duty at the Menards NHRA Nationals, Butner also claimed a meaningful win light in the Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage Pro Stock Camaro before exciting in the second round. His Pro Stock car was brand new for this race, and it performed exceptionally well in qualifying to show that the #JHGDriven team had something to work with as the Camping World Drag Racing Series nears the Countdown to the Championship.
“The red JHG Chevy is great,” said Butner, who debuted the Rick Jones-built Camaro in the first round of qualifying, which also marked the first time the car had been down the racetrack. “I haven’t had a car like that all year, so to go out there and see it do what it was supposed to do in qualifying, then make a good pass on Sunday morning, we were very happy.”
After defeating Matt Hartford with a .010-second reaction time and a 6.701-second pass at 204.91 to a .031 and 6.711, 204.57 in round one of Pro Stock, Butner earned lane choice over No. 1 qualifier Greg Anderson. In direct opposition to his stellar start in the first round, seasoned driver Butner illuminated a -.010 red light and fouled out to his opponent in round two.
Butner, whose most recent trophy came in Super Gas at the 2019 NHRA Sonoma Nationals, won three rounds in the class on Saturday driving his sleek Corvette roadster, then scored a victory in an early round on Sunday. The raceday round win came ahead of the first round of Pro Stock, and it came with a bye run into what would be the 57th national event final round of his career.
“It was 100% my mess up in the final; the car is very good,” said Butner, who slipped off the trans brake button during the staging process and upset the car’s routine, sending it off the starting line too soon. Opponent Don Nichols was handed his third national event win.
“But congratulations to Don. He’s a good guy, and I’m glad he won,” said Butner, who plans to race alongside fiancée Randi Lyn Shipp in yet-to-be-determined categories at the LODRS division race at Beech Bend Raceway Park in Bowling Green, Ky., August 26-28. “We had fun this weekend, and we’ll take a weekend off and be right back at it. We never lose sight of our roots, we’ll always be Sportsman racers at heart, and it felt great to be part of that in Topeka this weekend. All in all, it was a good weekend in a lot of ways.”
The next Pro Stock race on the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series schedule will be the esteemed Dodge Power Brokers NHRA U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, Aug. 31-Sep. 5.