Stoffer Returns To Top Form In Atlanta - 5/15/2010
Rob Geiger - Geiger Media

ATLANTA (May 14) -- GEICO Powersports rider Karen Stoffer hopes an encouraging Saturday at Atlanta Dragway has finally put her team's recent struggles behind her for good. Stoffer zipped down a hot and tricky quarter mile in 6.972 seconds at 190.38 mph on her powerful Suzuki to place herself squarely in the "favorites" column heading into Sunday's elimination action.

Meanwhile, Stoffer's stablemate on the GEICO Powersports team, defending race winner Morgan Lucas, is looking strong in Top Fuel after earning the No. 7 position on a fairly quick nitro ladder.

"We've been fighting chassis problems for four races now," Stoffer admitted in the Pro Stock Motorcycle pits. "When you start getting behind like we were you start looking in three or four places to change or modify things. You can drive yourself crazy. Thankfully, we finally feel like we've got the bike back to the way we had it in Gainesville when we were running record numbers, so now we can focus on our tune-up.

"We're really excited about going into tomorrow. The GEICO Powersports/Speed Dawg Suzuki is mostly going straight now. I have to ride it a little bit more than usual, not a lot, but it did try to pitch me off the last few races so I'm wrestling with it every pass.

"Without question, the testing we did after St. Louis really helped put us in the right direction. I'm so happy to be heading into race day with a smile on my face."

After countless hours of work on the team's engine and clutch dynamometers by crew chief Jimmy Walsh, Lucas says his GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster is showing encouraging signs of late.

"It got hot today and we tried some things to get faster that didn't really work so we'll put the car back to how it was yesterday and go racing," Lucas said. "We don't know what the weather is going to be like so we could have a very different animal on our hands. We'll just have to see if it rains or not and adjust to what the track gives us.

"It rained last year and we were able to get after it on race day and we ended up with the trophy so maybe rain wouldn't be so bad. I don't really know with this car whether we want the conditions to be hot or cooler. We used to run better when it was cooler but now I'm not so sure that's the case because it seems to be responding better in the heat. Either way, we need to win some rounds tomorrow for GEICO Powersports and Lucas Oil and give ourselves a chance."

Lucas will open eliminations against Dave Grubnic, who topped out at 4.007 seconds at 305.70 mph. Stoffer draws Angie Smith, who qualified 12th with a 7.040 at 187.11 mph.

Eliminations begin at 11 a.m. EDT Sunday.

Stoffer went on to extend special thanks to all of the 2010 sponsors and supporters.
Geico Powersports 1-800-442-9253, Speed Dawg, Bates Leathers, Suzuki Extended Protection, KYMCOUSA, NGK, Airtech, Red Line Oil, American Racing Products, Mechanix Wear Gloves, and TKO Graphics.