(Photos courtesy NHRA)

2016 NHRA season in review: Pro Stock driver Bo Butner

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MotorSportsTalk continues our season-ending reviews of the top drivers of the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

From Dec. 12 through Jan. 4, we’ll feature one daily in-depth review of a driver that finished in the top-five in each of the four professional classes (Top Fuel, Funny Car, Pro Stock and Pro Stock Motorcycle), as well as a compendium of select other drivers that did not finish in the top-five.

The list of drivers we’ve already posted is below. Today, we feature Pro Stock driver Bo Butner:

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Driver: Bo Butner

Age: 42

Hometown: Floyds Knobs, Indiana

Team: Bo Butner Racing

Sponsor/car: Butner Auto Sales Chevrolet Camaro

Crew chief: Darrel Herron

2016 season finish: Fourth in Pro Stock

2016 season statistics: 24 races, 0 wins, 5 runner-up, 5 semifinals, 8 quarterfinals. No. 1 qualifier 3 times. Round-by-round record: 32 wins, 24 losses.

Career statistics: 41 races, 0 wins, 6 runner-up, 7 semifinals, 14 quarterfinals. No. 1 qualifier 3 times. Round-by-round record: 45 wins, 41 losses. 0 DNQ. Also recorded 15 wins and 12 runner-up finishes during Sportsman racing career.

What went right in 2016: Butner had an outstanding sophomore season in Pro Stock, finishing higher (fourth) in the overall standings than numerous veteran drivers including Allen Johnson (8th), two-time champ Erica Enders (9th) and five-time champ Jeg Coughlin (10th). … While he has yet to win his first Pro Stock race, he reached the final round in nearly one-fourth of the races (five) of the 2016 season. … Qualified for his first six-race Countdown to the Championship playoff.

What went wrong in 2016: Butner was dramatically better in 2016 than his rookie season in 2015 (finished 12th). But he still made mistakes that proved costly. He suffered six first-round losses, including three in a row (Englishtown, Bristol and Norwalk). … Struggled during the Countdown with one first-round exit and three quarterfinal losses.

What to look for in 2017: Butner had a breakout season in 2016; he’s on target for a breakthrough season in 2017, with the potential of competing for the championship. He’s used to winning (15 victories in the Sportsman ranks); when he notches his first triumph in Pro Stock, that could be all he needs to give him and his team the confidence to become champions. Given what he achieved in 2016 without winning a race, the best is still yet to come for Butner. When he finally does earn his first win, it’s likely going to be the first of several in the same season.

Season reviews already posted:

— Antron Brown (12/12)

— Ron Capps (12/13)

— Jason Line (12/14)

Jerry Savoie (12/15)

Doug Kalitta (12/16)

Tommy Johnson Jr. (12/17)

Greg Anderson (12/18)

Eddie Krawiec (12/19)

Steve Torrence (12/20)

— Matt Hagan (12/21)

— Shane Gray (12/22)

— Andrew Hines (12/23)

— J.R. Todd (12/24)

— John Force (12/25)

— Bo Butner (12/26)

— Angelle Sampey (12/27)

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Video highlights from Stage 12 of Dakar Rally, 2 stages remain

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Thursday’s Stage 12 of the 40th Dakar Rally not only closed the overall standings gap in at least two classes (cars and trucks), two other classes (bikes and quads) failed to get going due to weather conditions.

The full video highlights of Stage 12 will air on NBCSN on Friday at 7 pm ET, but here are some of the highlights from Thursday’s action:

CARS

2018 Dakar Rally: Nasser Al-Attiyah wins Stage 12 of cars

BIKES

 Stage 12 cancelled due to weather conditions

 

TRUCKS

Ton van Genugten edged out Martin Kolomy in Stage of, while Federico Villagra and Eduard Nikolaev both faced an uphill battle to finish fourth and third respectively.

QUADS

Even though the Quads were also impacted by weather issues on Thursday, Ignacio Casale, the 2014 Dakar winner, continues to make his case for a second overall victory in the quads.