Bo Butner and Johnson's Horsepowered Garage seeking their first win of the season at the final Houston national event
BAYTOWN, Texas (April 23, 2022) – It would be a very cool note on anyone's scorecard to win the final national event at Houston Raceway Park, but for Bo Butner, driver of the Johnson's Horsepowered Garage Pro Stock Chevrolet Camaro, it would be an exceptional closing of a circle to claim the event's last trophy at the racetrack where he claimed the first win of his Pro Stock career.
Butner, who got his start in Pro Stock in 2015, earned his first victory in the naturally aspirated hot rod category at the 2017 race in Houston. The victory was a springboard to the championship which he claimed at the conclusion of the year.
"A lot of it was being at the right place at the right time, but I feel like tomorrow could be a good day to be in the right place at the right time again," said Butner, who qualified in the No. 9 position in the JHG Pro Stocker with a best time of 6.582-second at 209.43 mph.
"We hurt something on our last qualifying run tonight, but it was running very good before then. It was probably going to go a 6.56, and that would have been No. 2 for the round. But we're going to switch motors tonight. It was very uplifting that it was on such a good run before then, and I'm happy."
In addition to racing Pro Stock this weekend at Houston Raceway Park, Butner was also taking a turn in Stock Eliminator, driving a car he recently purchased from fellow racer Austin Williams, a 1972 Plymouth Duster.
"Austin did very well with this car, and his dad, Greg, has done a very good job with the upkeep," said Butner, a diverse Sportsman racer with national event victories earned in six different categories. "This is something different; I've never driven a Mopar before. The one thing I cannot believe is how many people have come over here wanting to take pictures of this car. It's really neat."
Butner recorded a 10.946-second pass in his first run of the weekend at the Houston national, and in the second session he recorded a 10.923 driving the bright orange Duster with a black side-stripe package.
In the first round of eliminations, opponent Will Carrell was a smidge better in terms of reaction time and got the win light by .006-second. Butner, who was .040 at the tree, clocked a 10.949 on his 10.94 dial to his opponent's .029 and 10.374 (10.36).
"This is totally different than anything I've ever driven," said Butner. "But it was great; a lot of fun."
With his Stock Eliminator trophy quest put to bed for the weekend, Butner is focused solely on Pro Stock. He'll begin eliminations with a first-round meeting with young Mason McGaha. He and McGaha have raced twice so far this year with split results.
"I'll have to be on my game tomorrow, because the kid went from being a struggling driver to being as good as there is out there," said Butner. "Qualifying is over and now, and it's just time to turn win lights on. If we get something back like we had [in the last qualifying session], we're going to be very good tomorrow."
Final eliminations for the NHRA SpringNationals at Houston Raceway Park will take place on Sunday, April 24, 2022, beginning at 11:30 a.m. CT.
Q1: 6.582-second, 209.43 mph (No. 9)
Q2: 6.591, 208.42 (No. 9)
Q3: 6.616, 194.30 (No. 9)
Bo Butner vs. Mason McGaha