Stoffer Making Progress in Championship Countdown - 9/28/2009
By: Jack Korpela,

Karen Stoffer isn't wasting any time making the most of her championship opportunity.

Stoffer, who captured the last spot in the NHRA's Countdown to One playoff system, has advanced from No. 10 in the Full Throttle point standings to No. 7 after two rounds of Countdown racing.

At the NHRA Nationals from Charlotte, NC, Sept. 17-20, Stoffer enjoyed a breakout performance as she finished runner-up to point leader Hector Arana. The three round wins and solid qualifying effort, seventh, in Charlotte put Stoffer a mere 100 points out of the series lead.

"We wanted to win that race badly, but it sure did feel awesome for the team to go some rounds," Stoffer said. "I guess if you have to have a bad and a good performance timing, going to the final happened at the right time."

Team owner Doug Johnson is hoping this is the year for the GEICO Powersports team to make a strong late-season charge. "The last few seasons all of our team wins have been in the first three races of the year. We always start out hot, then cool over the season. After starting slow this year we need to get hot and stay hot," Johnson said "I liked the Countdown from the start because it gives a team like us a better chance at a championship."

The following weekend at the O'Reilly Super-Start Fall Nationals Stoffer continued her forward momentum by qualifying in the top-half of the field with a 6.99 to take the No. 7 spot. Stoffer's bid for back-to-back finals was dashed in the opening round of eliminations when she was upset by David Hope.

Despite the loss Stoffer couldn't be more optimistic heading into the season's final three races. "I think anytime you have a couple of good weekends, it really helps the moral of the team, so we just need to keep building off of that," Stoffer said. "Staying focused, sticking to the plan, and knowing that we can go rounds, will help us continue what we started here in the Countdown."

"The bike has been fast all year. I know Karen has worked real hard on her race day mind set and it shows," Johnson added.

Stoffer's championship quest will continue at the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals from Memphis, Tenn., Oct 2-4.

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.