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Bo Butner Takes Lead in NHRA Pro Stock Playoffs at Maple Grove Raceway

Bo Butner took the win at Maple Grove Raceway In Pennsylvania

Bo Butner took the win at Maple Grove Raceway In Pennsylvania

Bo Butner came out of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event at Maple Grove Raceway, in Pennsylvania, with the lead in the Pro Stock standings. But racing against Greg Anderson in the final round was nothing compared to having the Gold Star Moms watching him drive down the drag strip.

A group of Gold Star Moms, whose children have died in combat fighting for the United States military, placed decals with the names of their children on Butner’s car. He counted them over the weekend. There were 27 decals on his car. “I needed them all,” Butner said. “It didn’t hurt.”

After the races, the Gold Star Moms joined a contingent that visited Washington, D.C. the Sunday of the races at Maple Grove Raceway. Butner said the pressure of producing for the Gold Star Moms was greater than any of the races over the weekend. “That was the most pressure,” Butner said. “I haven’t done a lot military-wise in my life. I have some military in my family. But when you actually get to meet the moms and they’re there and they’re hugging you and you’re saying, ‘Yeah, I’m going to get your kids in the winner’s circle.’”

Butner was true to his words. He won at Maple Grove. It was his fourth career win in NHRA Pro Stock, all coming in 2017. It also put him in first place in the Pro Stock standings, 41 points ahead of Anderson, after two races into the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoffs. But winning for the Gold Star Moms trumped taking the lead in the Pro Stock standings. “I am glad we can do that for them,” Butner said. “I’m sure they’re all very happy and I’m sure I will hear from each and every one of them. It’s a good cause and we’ll do something else with them I’m sure.”

Pro Stock Driver Bo Butner takes home his fourth Wally in Pro Stock at Maple Grove Racway

Pro Stock Driver Bo Butner takes home his fourth Wally in Pro Stock at Maple Grove Racway

Butner said his crew chief, Jack Line, is another reason his car ran so well at Maple Grove. Line is the son of Butner’s rival, Jason Line, in the NHRA Pro Stock division.

“He’s learning the car,” Butner said. “I’m pretty sure he knows a lot about the car. Way more than Jason. He’s been great. He’s learning. It’s great to have him.

“The KB team is strong and we showed it today and through qualifying.” Butner talked about winning the NHRA Pro Stock championship at the beginning of the season. He entered the season without a win in Pro Stock. He has four now and his team is clicking at the right time.

“It’s kind of hard for me to grasp,” Butner said. “Four more races left. We have to do our job.

“Very fortunate for those three days in a row. It’s tough. You can win from 16 here. A lot of people have done it. I didn’t do the best job driving, but I did just good enough. I’ll take that.”

The Winners Circle after the races at Maple Grove Raceway featured Butner, Force, Capps, and Krawiec

The Winners Circle after the races at Maple Grove Raceway featured Butner, Force, Capps, and Krawiec

Butner evened his head-to-head record against Anderson in final rounds at 2-2. He also closed the gap in head-to-head races. Anderson is 7-6 against Butner after the races in Maple Grove. “Greg’s tough. He doesn’t change,” Butner said. “Since day one I’ve met. He’s just an animal. This is his life. He wants to win every time. He’s taught me a lot. It’s going to be a dogfight. We’re going to try to stay ahead.”

The next NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series event is at Gateway Motorsports Park in Illinois, the third race in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.


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