Stoffer's Championship Chase Intensifies - 8/18/2009

This is the time of year a true NHRA competitor thrives on.

With just two more races to go before only the riders ranked in the top ten in the Full Throttle point series qualify for the Championship Countdown, Karen Stoffer and her GEICO Powersports team are prepared fight and claw their way into the playoffs.

Following a solid outing at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals from Brainerd, Minn., Aug 13 -16, Stoffer is ranked tenth in the series, 20 points ahead of No. 11 Michael Phillips.

In Brainerd Stoffer held the pole position on Friday and eventually qualified in the No. 2 spot before suffering a first round upset when the fan-favorite rider fouled out by a mere -.002.

"Red lights are never good, but when it's that close to being green, it's even tougher," Stoffer said. "We had a great bike all weekend and I think, in terms of performance, we can pick up right were we left off at the next race."

Stoffer won't have to wait long for another opportunity to turn on the win light as she is primed to compete in this weekend's Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals from Reading, Pa., Aug 20-23.

"The chase is coming right down to the wire and we need to go some rounds at the last two races," Stoffer said. "We have all the tools we need to do it."

Stoffer isn't afraid of the added pressure, nor is she a stranger to it. Last season, Stoffer's bid to qualify for the playoffs came all the way down to the first round of eliminations at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, the last race before the Countdown begins. Stoffer defeated Hector Arana in opening eliminations to make the cut for the 2008 championship chase.

Although Stoffer has found memories of that event, she hopes to avoid being that in do-or-die position this year by scoring big in Reading. Currently Stoffer is two points behind No. 9 Steve Johnson, and 19 points behind No. 8 Shawn Gann.

"We have a chance to make up a lot of ground this weekend," Stoffer said. "I'm excited."

Stoffer went on to extend special thanks to all of her sponsors and supporters.

Geico Powersports 1-800-442-9253, Speed Dawg, Bates Leathers, Suzuki Extended Protection, Kymco, NGK, Airtech, Wrath Motorsports and TKO Graphics.