Charlotte II: Powersports Racing Saturday report

Stoffer hopes to beat the heat, motorcycle field in Charlotte CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Sept. 18) -- Karen Stoffer, the GEICO Powersports Suzuki and the North Carolina heat have proven to be a pretty potent combination at the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA ...

Stoffer hopes to beat the heat, motorcycle field in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Sept. 18) -- Karen Stoffer, the GEICO Powersports Suzuki and the North Carolina heat have proven to be a pretty potent combination at the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals.

"The rider and the bike like the heat, the crew members -- not so much," she said. "They're happy to sacrifice a day if we turn on the win light. The goal Sunday is to focus, focus, focus and go rounds, rounds, rounds."

GEICO Powersports' other driver, Top Fuel's Morgan Lucas, edged the GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster into the No. 16 spot in his class' eliminations ladder.

Stoffer qualified her bike No. 5 in the Pro Stock Motorcycle field with a best pass of 6.953 seconds at 192.00 mph. She goes up against fellow Countdown to the Championship member Michael Phillips, who had a top lap of 7.025 seconds at 191.10 mph.

"The bike has been going straight every pass ever since we fixed it in Indy," Stoffer said. "It feels good to be going fast and qualifying in the top half of the ladder. Hopefully we've come around enough on the tune-up to get a good pass on Sunday.

Lucas and the track at Charlotte have never gotten along, and qualifying this weekend was no exception. Lucas smoked his tires in his first three qualifying efforts and entered the final session on the outside looking in.

His 4.051-second lap at 299.20 in Saturday's late afternoon heat was enough to claim the final spot in the field.

"Not being in the show before the last session is something you never want to do," Lucas said. "It's not the first option. You have to be able to go down the track. We usually rise to the occasion when we need to."

Lucas will be part of another all-Countdown heavyweight matchup on Sunday. He faces No. 1 qualifier Cory McClenathan, who had a 3.831 at 321.12, in the opening session.

"We've got a tough competitor here tomorrow, and he's had a lot of luck here," Lucas said. "It's not easy to win in Top Fuel right now, everybody is gunning for everyone else. It's cool to see a head-to-head Countdown matchup. Hopefully we can give the rabid motorsports fans here in Charlotte a good show tomorrow."

-source: powersports racigb

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Series NHRA
Drivers Cory McClenathan , Karen Stoffer , Morgan Lucas , Michael Phillips