Bo Butner and Team JHG starting from the Lucky 13 spot on Sunday at the NHRA Carolina Nationals
CONCORD, N.C. (Sept. 24, 2022) – Bo Butner has yet to win a race in the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series, and for the driver of the Johnson's Horsepowered Garage Chevrolet Camaro, there's no time like the present. Butner will enter raceday at the Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals as the No. 13 qualifier, and he intends to do some damage from a position that he considers lucky.
"I've won two or three times in Super Stock races where I qualified No. 13," said the 2017 Pro Stock world champion. "You always remember that number. The competition is so tight, anyone can win – but I feel good starting there. I'm excited."
Butner and the JHG team ran into a snafu on day one of qualifying, when the sun shone directly on the top bulbs of the tree at the most inopportune time. In the right lane, Butner could not see that his opponent had completed the staging process, and he was timed out, thereby forfeiting the run.
Saturday, though, he and his diligent crew came to the starting line and made a solid A to B pass to ensure a place in the field. The 6.568-second run at 210.44 mph got Butner on the board as the No. 12 man, and in the last qualifying round, a 6.528 was an improved number, but he dropped down one position.
"We lost the first run, and we just had to get qualified on that second run. In reality, we really on got one run to show our hand – and we didn't get all of it there," he said. "But I feel very good. The conditions tomorrow may be a little hotter, but they'll probably be close to today. I have all the confidence in the world in my guys and in this JHG Chevy. A lot of times when we've had some issues early in the weekend, we end up having a good day on Sunday. That's what we'll be looking for tomorrow."
Butner will launch into eliminations with a first-round meeting with Matt Hartford, a driver he has met 16 times before in his career. They are tied 8-8 in head-to-head matchups, with Butner winning both of the first-round matches they've had so far this season.
"We need to break that tie with Hartford," said Butner. "Things haven't gone quite the way we planned them to this weekend, but I feel very confident that we can win tomorrow."
Final eliminations at the Betway NHRA Carolina Nationals will begin on Sunday at zMAX Dragway at 12 noon ET.
Q1: No time
Q2: 6.535-second at 209.82 mph (No. 12)
Q3: 6.562, 210.14 (No. 13)
R1: Bo Butner vs. Matt Hartford