Bo Butner returns for another full-pull in his red JHG Pro Stocker
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 10, 2023) – Last season was just a warm-up for Bo Butner and his #JHGDriven team. This year, with their first full season as a team behind them, Butner and company are gearing up for a better show flying the colors of Johnson's Horsepowered Garage on their Elite Motorsports-powered Chevrolet Camaro.
Butner, a veteran multi-class racer with 29 overall NHRA wins on his scorecard, returned to the seat of his JHG Chevy last week at Bradenton Motorsports Park after a long winter away from the category in which he has earned 11 event trophies and the 2017 NHRA world championship.
"It had been a few months, but within a matter of seconds, you're like, 'Okay, I remember this,' " said Butner. "I was wondering if I was going to have to ask questions on what's what, but you sit in it, and you're ready."
The Mark Stockseth-owned Chevrolet is the same that he drove through the end of last season, and it will twin on the track with teammate Erica Enders, who will also fly the colors of JHG on her Pro Stock car. Both Camaros are brilliant red with bold JHG logos on the doors and hood. The primary distinction will be stacked with JHG on the hood of their respective entries; Butner's will feature JBA (Jim Butner Auto Group) branding while Enders, the 2022 Pro Stock champion, will display Melling Performance across the nose of her car.
While much remains the same for Butner heading into this weekend's Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals, there are a handful of changes. The location of his pit area is now adjoined with that of Enders to create a JHG hub of Pro Stock activity. Butner's crew will remain mostly intact, with Butch Peterson maintaining the clutch and Robert Freeman on engine detail. Travis Dieterle is joining the group to attend to the back-half.
"We've got a good group of guys again," said Butner. "And with our pit spot moving, it's created a JHG monster over there. It's pretty neat."
The season ahead will be jam-packed for Butner and the Bo Butner Racing team – including wife Randi Lyn, a seven-time Stock Eliminator national event winner, 2021 Division 3 Stock champion, and the driver of the well-recognized, clean-as-a-whistle 1967 Pontiac Firebird. The duo plan to continue to compete at the divisional and national level in NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series categories, and they started their season on a high note last month in Phoenix as Butner won Top Dragster at the NHRA Division 7 season-opener at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park.
"Things went our way there, but that car is so awesome. It's the same car we won the [Spring Fling] Million with, the same car we win bracket races with," said Butner, who shared that the team's Sportsman cars were kept out west for the upcoming onslaught of west-coast races after Gainesville. "The car is one of the slowest in Top Dragster, but it's still very competitive and turns win lights on. Phoenix was fun, and we'll go do more of that this year."
With a Comp Eliminator world title and a Pro Stock championship to his credit, along with wins in six categories at the national level, Butner has a proven track record. Last year, though, he came away winless in Pro Stock – and he is determined to do his part to ensure a different tally at the end of this new season.
"I think the challenge this year will be staying consistent and making good runs, but after testing, I feel like we have a very good car, and I'm happy with that," said Butner. "I like it when it's in my hands and up to me. Over the winter, I worked on getting better, physically, so that I can feel better and be a better driver. Randi Lyn [Butner, wife] and I have taken some time to get away, get some rest and relaxation and sun, and we've also been working on watching what we eat, how much we eat, when we eat. At home, we have the Peleton products and use them a lot. I feel good, and I feel ready.
"I'm just excited we're back here racing. I have a good, full season ahead of me, and it's going to be fun. Jason and Nikki [Johnson, sponsors] are very excited, and when they're not here, Chris Solzano and Jackie White from JHG are coming, so we'll always have someone from Johnson's Horsepowered Garage here with us. We're going to do a good job for them, and I think we're all going to enjoy this season."