Suzuki pro Stoffer ready for consecutive final-round showings

MADISON, Ill. (Sept. 27) - As GEICO Suzuki rider Karen Stoffer heads to Gateway Motor Sports Park just east of downtown St. Louis, she's ready to build some momentum off her final-round appearance last weekend at Texas Motorplex.

Karen Stoffer
Karen Stoffer

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

"It certainly boosts the morale of the team," Stoffer said of her runner-up finish in Dallas. "The Suzukis have had a hard go of it this year. They've definitely been on the low end of the performance side, whether that's because we haven't been able to find the tune-up or because there's some rule issues. It's been very frustrating to put down a good package and have a good light and put down the best possible run you could have and not come near one of the other manufacturers.

"Definitely, that was huge for the team as far as morale goes. It goes to show that even if there are Goliaths out here, you can still be David."

Stoffer qualified No. 10 in Dallas but beat Jerry Savoie, Redell Harris and defending Pro Stock Motorcycle champion Eddie Krawiec en route to the finals. She beat Savoie and Harris on elapsed time, then took out Krawiec on a holeshot.

"That was a little bit of luck and a little bit of riding," Stoffer said. "We've definitely been on our game for riding and tuning. (Crew chief/husband) Gary (Stoffer) has been doing a great job, and we've been consistently in that No. 5 or 6 spot. I'd like to think we can continue and parlay this into something even better at the next race, and we're going to try very hard to do that."

Like the rest of the class, Stoffer hasn't raced at Gateway since 2010, as the track's ownership changed hands and sat idle in 2011.

"We do have some data but unfortunately it was back with our old engines and our old program," Stoffer said. "It's definitely going to be different, but I know there are some similarities between Dallas and St. Louis. We definitely have a whole host of tracks to pull from.

"I don't necessarily think of it as a new track. I kind of look at it as going home, because it was a nice track when we were there before. We had a good time when we went there. Hopefully we'll go home to a nice warm welcome."

Stoffer welcomes the chance to race at Gateway again, as well as relishing another shot at getting to the finals.

"We'll put a new motor in, Gary's hopefully going to get around that fuel curve pretty quick, and hopefully I can keep my riding," Stoffer said. "If it all works out OK, the GEICO Suzuki will be in the final round again."

Source: Geico/Lucas Oil Racing