NHRA - National Hot Rod Association


Distractions? Not for Pro Stock leader Bo Butner

Even a fire in his Nitro Fish merchandise trailer can't dampen Bo Butner's enthusiasm after a hot start to the 2019 season.
31 May 2019
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor

Right now, it’s good to be Bo Butner. After winning four of the first five races in Pro Stock, and earning a runner-up finish at the most recent SAM Tech.edu Factory Stock Showdown race in Richmond, he’s off to the best start of his career so even a devastating fire that destroyed his Nitro Fish merchandise trailer isn’t enough to ruin a good mood. The fire took place earlier this week in Butner's hometown of Floyds Knobs, Ind., and he believes it was caused by an electrical short.

“Thankfully, no one got hurt and that’s the most important thing,” said Butner. “We’ll rebuild, restock and have that trailer back at the races as quickly as we can. We’ll recover from this and I’m not going to let it take away from what we’re doing on the track.”

So far, Butner’s 2019 season has been one for the ages. He’s scored Pro Stock wins in Pomona, Gainesville, Las Vegas, and Richmond. His only loss came against Deric Kramer in the second round in Phoenix. His record for the season is 16-1 and he leads the points standings by a wide margin, and all this has come after he seriously pondered taking a break from Pro Stock after the 2018 season. Butner can also recall the struggles he had when he first joined the Pro Stock class in 2015.

“We’ve had a lot of luck but we’ve also run pretty well at times,” said Butner. “After about 40-50 runs something clicked, and I figured out how to drive one of these cars. I mean, I still learn something every week and I don’t think you ever really master one of these cars but I’m definitely more comfortable than I used to be. Yes, I’m surprised that I’m doing so well this year. It’s not like I have four or five hundredths on the rest of the field. We’ve just been in the right place at the right time. That’s really all it is.”

Butner is also not afraid to stray from his comfort zone. In Chicago, he entered the Super Comp class driving a dragster owned by Division 3 champ Tyler Bohannon, who works for Butner at his car dealership. Butner lost in the second round but he not only enjoyed the experience, but also learned a thing or two that might help him when he jumps into his Butner Auto group Pro Stock Camaro.

“First thing, that’s only maybe the second or third time I’ve raced a dragster and man it feels fast,” said Butner. “You’re so low to the ground and the wind is in your face it feels like you’re going 300-mph. In a dragster you leave off a button instead of clutch pedal [in Pro Stock] so you might not learn as much as you’d like, but I did get a couple extra shots at the starting line. That’s always a plus.”