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Tough start for Bo Butner, #JHGDriven Chevy at NHRA Gatornationals

Bo Butner saw flashes of promise with his Johnson’s Horsepowered Garage Chevrolet Camaro at this weekend’s Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, but he did not see the outcome for which he had been hoping. Butner, now in his second season driving a JHG Chevrolet Camaro, qualified in the No. 8 position and powered with all his might toward the finish line in the first round, but he came up empty-handed.
 
“We’re not up to par to what we should be, but there were some moments that showed us promise,” said Butner, who was just .006-second behind Deric Kramer at the hit but fell on a 6.577-second pass at 210.44 to his opponent’s 6.559, 208.84. “We would have liked to have done better here, but it was tough. After seeing the performance of the class, you can tell it’s just going to be a really tough year in Pro Stock. Of course, we’re up for it, but with [sponsors] Jason and Nikki Johnson here, we were really looking forward to having a longer day.”
 
Butner’s weekend in Gainesville started on a strong note as he was the provisional No. 3 qualifier on Friday. After two strong runs, his luck turned some on Saturday. Ultimately, he qualified in the No. 8 position, which guaranteed that he and Kramer, the No. 9 qualifier, would be the first pair of Pro Stock cars to take to the track. That also meant that they would not have the advantage of making last-minute clutch calls based on the performance of cars before them.
 
“Qualifying is so crucial,” said Butner. “You don’t want to be first pair out Sunday morning. Friday was great, but somehow, we lost a little bit of that Saturday, and that continued on to today. But it’s early yet, and I’m happy – Jason and Nikki snuck in, and we got to hang out with them today. Everybody on our team seems happy and positive, we just need to get to Phoenix and see what we can do.”
 
The next event on the 2023 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series tour will be the 38th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in Phoenix, March 24-26.

This story was originally published on March 13, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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