Route 66 Raceway
Stoffer quickly returns to form in Chicago qualifying
GEICO Suzuki rider Karen Stoffer posted two solid runs down Route 66 Raceway Friday to provisionally qualify No. 2 in Pro Stock Motorcycle at the 14th annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Route 66 Nationals.
Stoffer has had a terrific 2011 season, qualifying No. 4 or better in all five races and winning at least two rounds in four of the five national events. At her last race in Norwalk, Ohio, though, a mechanical issue kept Stoffer from staging in the first round. Ultimately, it cost her the Full Throttle points lead that she had held for four races.
Stoffer and the GEICO team arrived in Chicago wishing to prove Ohio was a fluke, and she went out and made a pass of 6.979 seconds at 190.51 mph in the first round, backing that up with a 6.985 at 189.28 mph run in the second.
"We're glad to be back in it after Norwalk," Stoffer said. "I'm really happy we were able to turn things back around. We're still on that consistent path. We ran a .97 and a .98 back-to-back. The team's really happy we're putting the GEICO Suzuki up to the top of every race, and we're really happy to do it here in Chicago. I'm so glad we're back on our game."
Stoffer was first among 22 bikes in the first round and remained steady in round two, which was run in cooler temperatures.
"I'm happy. Everybody thought we'd go a little faster that second session, but historically at Chicago, the second session has never been much better than the first," Stoffer said. "I think it has a lot to do with how the sun sets behind the tower. Kudos to (No. 1 qualifier) Hector (Arana) Jr. – he was the one who stepped up."
Still, Stoffer is happy to have the provisional No. 2 spot, as she's qualified second three times already this year, reaching the final round in two of those races.
"Number 2 has been all that bad to us throughout the year," Stoffer said, "and we've still got Saturday to make some improvement."
By: powersports racing