After a day of rain, Pro Stock racer Bo Butner was pleasantly surprised he even got a chance to hit the track in Friday’s Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka.
The fact he ended up as the day’s top qualifier was an added bonus.
“We loaded up and didn’t plan on any type of running,” said Butner, driver of the Jim Butner’s Auto Chevy Camaro. “We were getting ready to go to dinner.”
The Pro Stock class only got an opportunity to run one of its two scheduled qualifying runs, but Butner, who started the weekend one point behind his KB Racing teammate, Greg Anderson, made the most of that run, clocking a time of 6.613 seconds at 207.78 miles per hour to hold down the top spot heading into Saturday’s final two qualifying passes.
“Luckily I’m up in points so I’m back in the pack,” said Butner, who won the most recent race at Atlanta. “Being the first ones out the track’s a little iffy but we got right down A to B and ended up No. 1.
“Actually I didn’t make the best run personally, driving the car, so I’m surprised because that means it probably has one left in it. It makes me feel good for tomorrow.”
Speaking of Saturday, the forecast is for cool conditions, which could result in some big runs.
“I would probably tell you that me being No. 1 today (with the 6.6) will be lucky to be No. 6 tomorrow,” said Butner, who will be looking for his first Topeka win. “It’s going to be quite a bit better.”
Jeg Coughlin is currently the No. 2 qualifier with a run of 6.616 at 207.62 mph while Anderson is third (6.632, 2:07.21), Jason Line fourth (6.635, 203.95) and Matthew Hartford (6.650, 205.72) was fifth.
Line is the defending champion at HPT while Anderson has won four times in Topeka and Coughlin has two wins at the track.
Matthew Hartford enters Saturday’s 1:30 p.m. pro qualifying session sitting in the No. 6 spot while Drew Skillman, Erica Enders, Allen Johnson and Alan Prusiensky round out the top 10.
There is also scheduled to be a final round of pro qualifying at 4:30 p.m., with eliminations slated to start at 11 a.m. Sunday.