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Bo Butner Wins his First NHRA Pro Stock Championship in the Series Final at Pomona

Bo Butner racing to the championship in the Pro Stock class

Bo Butner took the championship in Pro Stock at the Auto Club finals in Pomona

One of the first people to congratulate Bo Butner after winning the NHRA Pro Stock championship at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona was teammate Greg Anderson. Anderson came into the NHRA Auto Club Finals at Pomona with the lead in the Pro Stock standings. Butner was second, 40 points behind Anderson. “Greg was actually one of the first to meet me down there,” Butner said after the races in Pomona. “Greg is the most competitive guy, but he’s like a big brother to me. He gave me a big hug and he actually told me you deserve it this year. He’s an animal and he’s tough to beat.”

Butner beat Anderson in the semifinals at Pomona. Butner went on to beat Tanner Gray in the final race and clinch his first Pro Stock championship. The two teammates at KB Racing were at the top of a very competitive class all season. For Butner, it was quite an accomplishment to win the Pro Stock championship. He came into the 2017 season with no wins in the NHRA Pro Stock class. He won five events, including two of the six Countdown to the Championship playoff races.

Bo Butner holding the Championship Trophy after winning the 2017 NHRA Auto Club finals at Pomona

Bo Butner holding the Championship Trophy after winning the 2017 NHRA Auto Club finals at Pomona

When he won his first NHRA Pro Stock event in Houston, Butner knew he had a chance to win the championship. “It was a good mindset and when we kept clicking them off,” Butner said. “We actually won what you call the main season by quite a few points and then we had to give them up to make it even. I thought we could do it from day one once we started clicking them off. It just worked our way.”

When the Countdown to the Championship started, Butner, Anderson, and Jason Line, who are all teammates at KB Racing, the contenders. Of the three, Butner was the driver with the least amount of experience and success in Pro Stock. He quickly rose to the top of the standings and put himself in position to win the championship. “We’re supposedly the little team, but actually we’re not,” Butner said. “We are a team of KB. I had the same stuff as them, same cars, same motors, same tuners. To me, it’s not a surprise, just who went the furthest today out of us three. I’d always bet on myself.”

Butner said his team, Anderson’s and Line’s teams were evenly matched all season. The finals in Pomona were no different. “We’ve got a great team,” Butner said. “Greg and Jason both deserve to win also. Either way, it’s a win-win for us. We’re happy it landed in our shoes.”

Winners Circle at the Pomona included Brittany Force, Eddie Krawiec, Bo Butner, and Robert Hight

Winners Circle at the Pomona included Brittany Force, Eddie Krawiec, Bo Butner, and Robert Hight

Butner said he experienced the same path to success racing in the sportsman class. It took him a few years to break through with a win at the national level. He knew it would take some time to break through in the Pro Stock division too. “It’s funny because it’s the same people at the same tracks,” Butner said. “It’s just a different atmosphere. I wasn’t worried about not winning. “It probably hasn’t set in yet. It’s awesome. I'm just very fortunate and blessed.”

Butner compared racing on the final day at Pomona to shooting baskets in his driveway as a kid. He pretended every round was like taking a shot in the final seconds of a game. If he made his shot, he won. If he won a round, he was closer to the championship. He kept making shots, winning rounds, all the way to the final against Gray. “I probably didn’t drive the best today,” Butner said. “When it’s your day, God blessed us. I was blessed today.”


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