THE JOLIET JINX IS REAL FOR BUTNER
Logic would dictate that a racer would have a more relaxed weekend when the event is closer to home. That doesn’t seem to be the case for Bo Butner, of Floyds Knobs, Ind.
Ten years ago June 5, a freak Friday accident in the pits left Butner, then exclusively a sportsman competitor, in Joliet’s Silver Cross Hospital with four pins inserted into his left leg during a five-hour surgery to stabilize a broken femur and ankle. This visit has left him scrambling to replace a new Nitro Fish merchandise trailer that caught fire Wednesday on its journey to Route 66 Raceway, destroying all the souvenirs inside.
The trailer belongs to Pro Stock points leader Butner and fiancée/racer Randi Lyn Shipp but contained T-shirts and other gear to be sold on behalf of other racers, including Funny Car driver Cruz Pedregon.
In a Facebook post Wednesday, Pedregon wrote, “Sorry to say to the fans for the next couple weeks that Cruz Pedregon Racing will not have any gear for sale at the racetrack as [the result of] a terrible circumstance. The Nitro Fish merchandise trailer had an electrical fire on its way to Chicago, and all of our gear was lost in the fire.”
According to Cruz Pedregon Racing team manager Caleb Cox, the trailer didn’t house as much of the Funny Car organization’s gear as it did the souvenir T-shirts and accessories of other teams.
Cox said, “But thanks to the guys that print our T-shirts, Total Impact wear, and the guys that do our hats from Fuel Clothing, as soon as the T-shirt trailer is ready to go again, those guys are going to get stuff pumped out for us so we can get it back to the hands of the fans.”
The plan is for Butner to secure a new trailer to get back on the road with fresh merchandise by next week’s race at Topeka.
Butner’s painful 2009 mishap, no fault of his own, came when he and an associate were riding in a golf cart in the Lucas Oil Series pits at Route 66 Raceway, delivering race tickets to a friend. Another buddy in a truck spotted Butner ahead of him and wanted to give Butner’s golf cart a playful rear-bumper tap. As he started to hit the brakes, he accidentally mashed down on the accelerator instead. Butner and his passenger were ejected from the golf cart. The passenger, who had been recovering from arm and shoulder surgeries, was not hospitalized.
"It happened where the blacktop and the gravel met," Butner said. "The golf cart flipped in the air twice. It landed on my foot first, then on top of me."
Compounding the calamity was the fact the pit accident happened on day after a fire heavily damaged the reconditioning shop of his family-owned used-car dealership at Clarksville, Ind., just across the Ohio River from Louisville, Ky. Family friends said a welding accident was to blame.
"It was an eventful week," Butner, sporting a boot cast and hobbling around on crutches, said back in 2009.
The same could be said of this one.