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Bo Butner Wins Again, Claims JHG Mountain Motor Pro Stock Trophy in Bristol

Bo Butner is finding his home in the Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage Mountain Motor Pro Stock division of NHRA drag racing. The incoming points leader won his second consecutive event in the series at this weekend’s Super Grip NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals and claimed top speed of the meet along the way.
 
Butner, the 2017 champion in the traditional 500-cid Pro Stock class, scored the first win in the six-race 800-plus cubic-inch series in April at Charlotte behind the wheel of his Frank Gugliotta-tuned JHG Camaro.
 
“It was probably a pretty good call, making the move from 500-cubic-inch Pro Stock to this,” said Butner, who was the No. 2 qualifier and came out on top at Bristol Dragway with round wins over Tony Gillig, Johnny Pluchino, and fellow finalist John DeFlorian.
 
“I have such a great team behind me – Frank Gugliotta, he makes good power and we make good runs. And I have my old crew. It just really feels like we’re back at home.”
 
Bolstered by a strong qualifying time of 6.378-second at 223.06 mph that would stand as the fastest speed of the class for the weekend, Butner came forward fully  prepared for his first-round meeting with Mountain Motor veteran Gillig on Saturday evening. There, Butner dealt a 6.381, 221.45 to fold Gillig’s 6.403, 219.04 hand.  
 
The win sent Clarksville, Ind., racer Butner ahead to a semifinal meeting with two-time PDRA Extreme Pro Stock champion Pluchino, the driver he eliminated in the Charlotte final. This time, Butner had low of the round with his 6.370, 221.13, but he didn’t need it – Pluchino went red by -.059.
 
DeFlorian also fouled in the final, leaving -.008 too soon to send Butner right on through to the winner’s circle at Tennessee-based sponsor Jason Johnson’s home track.
 
“It was awesome winning here at Bristol, especially because Jason Johnson hadn’t seen me race this car yet,” said Butner, now a 32-time NHRA national event winner. “We started the weekend at the JHG open house over there in Columbia, Tennessee, and then to have Jason here for the race and to be able to celebrate with him, it’s very special. He’s happy and pumped up, and he loves these cars. He’s a great friend and the reason I’m racing the car.”
 
Butner has now claimed NHRA national event victories at 19 different racetracks. He knocked Charlotte’s zMAX Dragway off the list with his first-ever Mountain Motor Pro Stock win just a few weeks ago, and now he can cross Bristol Dragway off the list, as well. There remain only three tracks on the active NHRA national event roster where Butner has yet to win: Chicago’s Route 66 Raceway, New England Dragway in Epping, and the upcoming Northwest Nationals at Seattle’s Pacific Raceways, although Mountain Motor will not compete there.
 
Butner thanked his JHG team, including Gugliotta, Mike Earle, Gary Futrell, and Jack Line, as well as Darrel Herron and Gaige Green who are designated to wife Randi Lyn’s matching JHG MMPS machine, and Kirk George, who was pitching in over the weekend.
 
He also thanked Jason and Nikki Johnson and everyone at Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage; Summit Racing Equipment; Jim Butner Auto Group; Elite Motorsports; Maxima Racing Oils; DENSO Auto Parts; Feather-lite Batteries; and CP-Carrillo.
 
“I’m just very blessed,” said Butner, one of just two drivers to have won in seven different NHRA categories (Jeg Coughlin Jr. is the other). “I have the best of the best, and I have the best wife. Randi Lyn didn’t qualify with her JHG Mountain Motor car this weekend, and it really hurts me, but we’ll go to work and get better. She’s doing awesome, and I’m so proud of her.
 
“I didn’t deserve to win a couple of those rounds this weekend, but sometimes the car wins them for you – and this car is very capable of winning. Virginia should be a lot of fun.”
 
Race 3 of 6 in the 2024 Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage Mountain Motor Pro Stock series will take place at Virginia Motorsports Park during the NHRA Virginia Nationals, June 21-23.

This story was originally published on June 10, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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