NHRA MELLO YELLOW DRAG RACING SERIES
NGK SPARK PLUGS NHRA FOUR-WIDE NATIONALS
TEAM CHEVY DRIVER PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
APRIL 27, 2018
BO BUTNER, KB RACING, JIM BUTNER AUTO GROUP CHEVROLET CAMARO SS (reigning class champion; earned sixth Pro Stock win and second in a row at Auto Club Raceway in season opener; sits atop class standings and met with members of the media at zMax Dragway and discussed a number of topics) Full Transcript:
BO, IT WAS ABOUT THIS TIME LAST YEAR WHEN YOU STARTED COLLECTING WALLYS AND STARTED YOUR CINDERELLA SEASON. TALK ABOUT WINNING FIVE EVENTS AND THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP:
“Well, let’s just say that I had every opportunity before I started winning to win. We have a very good team and a very good car. So, stuff started going our way and it was just a snowball effect. It was the right place at the right time and there were a whole lot of reasons why, but the main thing is that the team I am with, they work very hard to give me the same car. When they continue to give me a good car, it’s easier for me to adjust. So, it’s all team related, and I am the lucky guy that gets the top part of it.”
SO YOU ARE ALSO RACING IN SUPER STOCK AS WELL THIS WEEKEND AND YOU DABBLE IN THE SPORTSMAN’S CLASS IN PARTS OF THE YEAR. DOES THAT HELP OR IS THAT HARD TO JUGGLE?
“I have always tried to run two cars, and if they allowed us to run four or five, I would do that because I just like making runs. I am actually at more peace with it and have a good time. I haven’t run Super Stock in a while, but after making this run this morning I am actually going down track and my brain is saying ‘why did you stop running this?’, because it’s fun. It’s the backbone of drag racing and I will say that till the end. The Sportsman guys still come running over and they are happy that we are here and happy we are racing with them. I tell them that as soon as this fantasy lifestyle of being a pro is over with, I will be right back there with you every week.”
DO YOU SEE THAT EVER HAPPENING?
“Absolutely. I started in Sportsman racing and I will end in Sportsman racing.”
BUT, BEFORE YOU LEAVE, THE PRO STOCK CATEGORY HAS BEEN REALLY FIERCE THIS YEAR WITH FIVE DIFFERENT WINNERS IN THE FIRST FIVE EVENTS. YOU WON THE FIRST ONE, BUT TALK ABOUT THE FIERCE COMPETITON YOU FACE WHEN YOU LINE UP
“It’s very competitive and it’s the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Anybody can win, and you cannot pick a winner. No chance anyone can pick a winner. You might get lucky and pick the winner, but you are not doing it because you know who. You just have to make the closest to perfect run that you can and hope everything goes your way, because it takes that. It is tough, and I am not in any hurry to get out of Pro Stock, don’t get me wrong. I still enjoy it and it’s tough to be competitive. I think a tenth (of a second) separated everybody last week and we ended up qualifying 10th. We need to do better qualifying, but again, everybody is running better. It all matters on race day, and the four-wide deal is growing on us. I actually enjoy coming here. For one reason its awesome race tracks. Vegas was probably the nicest track I have race on – especially to be brand new. And this morning during my Super Stock run this morning, it was very smooth. We have good facilities and the fans have been great. I think we are selling out almost everywhere and they love hillbillies like me. It’s funny, because that is just what I am, I am one of them. It’s been a good time, it’s going to be a good race, and we are due to win again I think.”
YOU MENTION VEGAS. IS IT AN ADVANTAGE TO COME IN HERE THIS YEAR WITH ALREADY HAVING A FOUR-WIDE EVENT UNDER YOUR BELT AS OPPOSED TO OTHER YEARS WHER THIS WAS THE FIRST ONE?
“Yes, I would think so. A lot of it is the quick turnaround. When they call you to your lanes, you have to be in your car and ready. Used to, if you were lucky enough to start in the back of qualifying, you could watch a couple of cars. In Vegas, Jason Line and myself almost missed our first run. Everybody was pulling out and we were just still getting buckled up. So, its accelerated a little bit for that and I am glad because it’s still in our brains from a couple of races ago in how we staged and to look at the right place. Yeah, it helped to have this being the second race.”
HAS YOUR LIFE CHANGED AT ALL AFTER WINNING THE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP LAST YEAR?
“I think it has changed for the fact that other people are noticing me more when I am not at a race event. That’s the only part. I am still here being the same guy here having fun and wanting everybody around me having fun. That’s the whole goal.”
ON A TRACK DO YOU FEEL THE BUMPS ON A TRACK IMMEDIATELY AS FAR AS WHAT IS THERE?
“You definitely feel it and if you see it, you are definitely going to feel it. So yeah, each track is its own. I don’t think this place is as bad and at Las Vegas there was zero lane choice to even worry about. We have other tracks that are older and of course they are going to be a bit different. But everybody has to manage to get down the same track. There is no advantage to one person and our team tests and has probably made more runs than anybody. So, they have a lot of good notes and they do a good job with that. Yeah, you do feel it, but it makes it kind of fun. Vegas was so smooth, you almost felt like you were going slow. You have to have something to do, I like a little excitement.”
DRIVERS EITHER LOVE OR HATE THE FOUR-WIDE FORMAT, WHERE ARE YOU FALLING ON THE SPECTRUM?
“I absolutely love it and have said it time and time again…..I am a professional runner-upper. So, through first round and second round, I should make it to the final. You don’t have to win round one, you don’t have to win round two, you only have to be a runner up. It’s a cool way to do it, and for me it takes a little pressure off. I can’t tell with the flashing lights and the other lights who wins anyway. I think my light came on one year here and I think Jason (Line) won, but I didn’t know with the flashing. I was like, ‘finally, I won one’, right? Nope.”
WHEN YOU LINE UP ON A FOUR-WIDE, DO YOU STILL JUST CONCENTRATE ON YOUR LIGHT, AND WHAT YOU ARE GOING TO DO?
“Absolutely. In the staging process, you shouldn’t change much. The only thing I can see that can affect you is if the guy that you can actually see next to you messes up. If he jumps, it’s like Freak-out Fred, and everyone jumps. You have to be ready for that, but you still have to discipline yourself to if you let that happen you still make your run. Because you can win a round that way.”