Powersports Racing press release
Sluggish qualifying run sets up important Round 1 race for points leader Stoffer
BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 20) -- Pro Stock Motorcycle championship points leader Karen Stoffer knows some of her stiffest competition for the 2011 title will come from past champions Andrew Hines and Eddie Krawiec. She also knows that to be the best she'll have to beat the best, so in that regard the 30th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals is setting up perfectly for the rider of the GEICO Suzuki GSXR.
Still, Stoffer isn't overly pleased with the first-round match-up with Hines she earned by qualifying a season-low 14th with a 6.999-second pass at 189.42 mph down Brainerd International Raceway.
"This will be the first time in 2011 that we've started race day on the bottom half of the ladder," Stoffer said. "It's not where want to be going into Sunday, and not how we want to be running going into the Countdown.
"We lost our good motor back in Norwalk, and we built a new one, but it's just not happy. We just need to focus on getting our engine program back because that's what put us to the top. It was qualifying in the top every time, earning all those little points, plus going rounds. And now, we're not doing either, really. We need to get back to that."
Stoffer entered this race just five points ahead of Krawiec, a deficit that's already been erased by the bonus points Krawiec earned by qualifying No. 1 and posting good elapsed times in the other three sessions. It's not a major factor, however, as both her and Krawiec have already earned their positions in the 10-rider Countdown for the Championship playoffs, which start less than a month from now.
"We won't have time to test before Indy but we do feel the steps we're going to take to try to find where the issue is should give us results by Indy," Stoffer said. "We do actually get an extra qualifying hit in Indy, so that'll help us with the tuning and figuring out the motor. The riding's there, the bike's there. We know we can do it. We've gone rounds all year. It's time to get back to what we know."