CHEVROLET RACING IN NATIONAL HOT ROD ASSOCIATION
LUCAS OIL NHRA WINTERNATIONALS
AUTO CLUB RACEWAY AT POMONA, CALIFORNIA
POST-RACE DRIVER QUOTES
SUNDAY, FEB. 11, 2018
An interview with Pro Stock winner BO BUTNER, KB RACING, JIM BUTNER AUTO GROUP CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 6 qualifier; defeated teammate Jason Line; reigning class champion; earned sixth Pro Stock win and second in a row at Auto Club Raceway in 66th Pro Stock race):
Q: THIS IS YOUR FIRST WIN AT THE WINTERNATIONALS IN ANY CLASS. WAS THIS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?
BO BUTNER: “Absolutely. To start the season off like this is unbelievable. The Lord has blessed us today. We actually had a motor issue (in the final). The KB team put a Band-Aid on it and made the run. What a team. Chevrolet has a (great) 2018 Camaro. Jim Butner Auto Group and Summit Racing, I love all of you.”
Q: WHAT A WAY TO START THE SEASON.
BO BUTNER: “We planned on doing good today but not in the finals, so we’re blessed. This has kind of become our track. Great fans, so thank you very much.”
Q: WE KNEW IT WAS GOING TO BE A BIG DAY FOR KEN BLACK RACING, WHICH HAD THREE OF THE FOUR CARS. IT’S AMAZING THAT THE MAN HAS WON THIS RACE 12 TIMES.
BO BUTNER: “The man pushes us. His smile is what keeps me going. He lives for this, and this keeps pushing him, too.”
Q: CHAMPIONSHIP DEFENSE FULL SPEED AHEAD?
BO BUTNER: “I’m feeling very good. We have a good hot rod again, and we’ll see what happens in two weeks.”
ROBERT HIGHT, JOHN FORCE RACING, AUTO CLUB OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 2 qualifier; fell in final round of eliminations, reset track speed record): “I’m bummed that we didn’t get the win. Close race. We know there’s more left in it. From testing and how we ran, we’re still learning some of these new clutch discs. Good news is two of the four rounds today we were low ET and very consistent. If you look back a year ago how we started the season to this year it’s night and day. This is going to be a good year. I’m super excited about the way it started. It’s like we picked up where we left off at Pomona (November 2017). I learned some things at the Auto Club Finals. I had never been more stressed and nervous in my life. Once I won the championship, I learned how to relax. I did that today and I drove really well. I like where this is going. We’ve run well (in Phoenix) and m”ight even have some new parts in Phoenix that I know are going to make a big difference. I’m looking forward to that. (Received championship ring and jacket before eliminations) It’s very cool, but truthfully it sunk in when I got back here at the Winternationals with the fans.”
COURTNEY FORCE, JOHN FORCE RACING, ADVANCE AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 4 qualifier; fell in first round of eliminations): “It’s never easy. These cars are unpredictable, but I had to get back out there for myself mentally and really for my sponsors Advance Auto Parts, for the Chevrolet team, for Peak, for Monster Energy, and for Auto Club of Southern California. We go out there and our job is to win. These cars, anything can happen in them. They are a whole different animal to drive. You try to pedal it and these things want to turn sideways. They don’t pedal like they used to. I gave it my all. I wanted to get that win. My crew chief told me just go out there and drive it with heart and there’s going to be another race next weekend.”
JASON LINE, KB RACING, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 4 qualifier; fell in final to KB Racing teammate and reigning class champion Bo Butner): “It was a good weekend, even if I didn’t exactly get the result that I wanted with my Summit Racing Chevy Camaro. I really wanted to win this race for Summit – this year is their 50th anniversary, and my next win will be my 50th in drag racing, counting my two Stock Eliminator trophies. I didn’t get it done today, unfortunately, but it was a good weekend for the KB Racing team overall.”
ERICA ENDERS, MCLEOAD CLUTCHES ELITE MOTORSPORTS CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 7 qualifier; tripped red light and fell in semifinals): “I am really disappointed in myself for being on the wrong side of the light. We will load up and go to Phoenix and we definitely learned a lot here. With what we learned here we will hopefully go qualify in Phoenix better and position ourselves better in the field. But I am super excited because a semifinal finish at the first race is not bad. Of course, I wanted to win, but I will take it and go on to Phoenix.”
DERIC KRAMER, KB RACING, AMERICAN ETHANOL CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 8 qualifier; fell in semifinals to KB Racing teammate Jason Line): “We came out here with the intent to justify what we were doing for the past few years, and with the switch to more power and a different manufacturer we thought we were making good decisions and we did that. We definitely have some confidence moving into Phoenix. It’s more runs on the car and getting used to it. Right there, we have 14 runs on the car and we’ll try to keep that momentum.”
VINCENT NOBILE, ELITE MOTORSPORTS, MOUNTAINVIEW TIRE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 1 qualifier; fell in quarterfinals): “Naturally, no one likes losing. We come here to win. Overall a good weekend. We qualified No. 1 and had only minor issues that we thought we had fixed. We only have like 10 laps on this car. So we needed to just get confidence and we need to just trust this car. We backed it down a little bit too much. I guess just gun shy from last year. Back then, if we overdid it just a little bit, then we would have tire shake. We just have to get our confidence back and trust the car. Obviously, we can and we will move on.”
DREW SKILLMAN, RAY SKILLMAN MOTORSPORTS, RAY SKILLMAN AUTO GROUP CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 2 qualifier; tripped red light and fell in quarterfinals): “That is the worst red light that is out there by far. I know when you get a caliber of driver like a Tanner Gray or Erica Enders, they are the real killers out here and you better show up and really do the best you can. Unfortunately, I just came up on the wrong side of it this time. I have one of the best race cars out here. The Ray Skillman Chevrolet Camaro is going to win races this year. I just have to do a little bit better job for the team. They showed up this weekend and showed that we have a ton of potential and our Chevrolet Camaro is going to be in winner’s circle real soon.”
GREG ANDERSON, KB RACING, SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 3 qualifier; fell in quarterfinals to teammate and reigning class champion Bo Butner): “(All the KB Racing cars) are doing good. That is what hurts so much. I went for the lucky straw today and mine came up short. We should have had four great cars today and we got three, and I was the odd man out. Unfortunately, I have to lick my chops and wait for Phoenix. I have to wait two weeks to rectify the mistakes we made this weekend. It’s disappointing because we certainly have the car, we just lost the handle on it.”
ALEX LAUGHLIN, ELITE MOTORSPORTS, HOT WHEELS AMAERICANA SERIES CAR CARE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 5 qualifier; tripped red light and fell in quarterfinals): “The bottom line is that the car is fast. I have been driving consistent and there is no doubt that we have the tune-up in the car that can win races and the championship. So, a 003 red, I am bummed to lose, of course, but the bottom line is that we are going to lose a whole lot more than win and we just have to deal with it.”
JEG COUGHLIN JR., ELITE MOTORSPORTS, JEGS.COM ELITE PERFORMANCE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 10 qualifier; fell in first round to teammate Erica Enders): “We had a really good drag race. Erica got her foot off the clutch just a tick quicker with an .018 on the tree, I was .031, just thirteen thou behind her. We both ran 6.59s so I just got nipped by a hundredth or so, about the margin of difference in reaction time. The JEGS.com/Elite Performance Chevrolet Camaro honestly felt really good and sounded good. Most of the ETs in Round 1 were around 6.55, 6.56 so we are still lacking in performance and efficiency somewhere. We will start looking at the data from the on-board computer and see what we see there. We are certainly capable of running at the front of the pack. We just need to get there.”
TANNER GRAY, GRAY MOTORSPORTS, VALVOLINE CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (No. 11 qualifier; fell in first round): “We just missed it all weekend with the car set-up. We kind of got lost from where we need to be. We don’t know if it’s an electrical problem right now or what the case is. We’re digging through the car and searching for what the problem could be and move on from there. We’ll see where we can test before Phoenix to get things worked out.”