Stoffer Leaves Wine Country Wanting More - 7/18/2010
Rob Geiger - Geiger Media

SONOMA, Calif. (July 18) -- Both GEICO Powersports NHRA teams were left scratching their heads Sunday after first round defeats at the Fram-Autolite Nationals.

Morgan Lucas’ GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster and Karen Stoffer’s GEICO Powersports Pro Stock Motorcycle both started as the lower qualified machines in their races, and were unable to pull off upsets at Infineon Raceway.

Lucas was paired with seven-time and reigning Tony Schumacher in the first round. He beat Schumacher by .015 seconds off the starting line, but Schumacher ran the second-quickest ET of the round to beat Lucas at the finish line.

Schumacher ended with a pass of 3.883 seconds at 317.19 mph to Lucas’ 4.002 at 306.26 mph.

"We are our own worst enemy right now," Lucas said. "It goes back to poor judgment making and not solving problems as they need to be solved. God gave us a chance when we dropped a hole in Q4 and he gave us an opportunity to fix it before first round and we didn’t.

"We got some really good advice from someone out here and we obviously didn’t take it to heart. We just need to quit making excuses and start doing what we need to do to fix the problem."

Lucas did have one win during the weekend. At the annual Eric Medlen Charity Dinner, Lucas won the all-star poker tournament against other drivers and local celebrities and a $2,500 donation was made in Lucas’ name to Speedway Children's Charities.

"Doing the poker tournament was a lot of fun and winning it was nice because I don’t get to play cards as much as I used to," Lucas said. "It was great to see Mimi, John, Martha and a lot of Eric’s family there.

"Probably the reminder of Eric and his impact on people’s lives is what kept me sane this weekend with all the downer situations on the car. It’s nobody’s fault on the team, but it’s time to get up and get after it."

Stoffer was matched up against Michael Phillips, who is riding one of the quickest bikes in the field in recent weeks. After a raft of mechanical issues during qualifying it was an error at the line that cost Stoffer this time as she jumped the green light by -.038 seconds and fouled out, immediately handing the win to Phillips.

"It shocked me just like every other red light shocks me," Stoffer said. "I did the exact same thing as I normally do. I didn’t feel pressured. I’ve raced Michael many times before. If I had the answer, we would fix it. I didn’t think I took a shot at the tree. I thought I did my normal thing.

"We had the best 60 foot of that session and that might have something to do with it. We thought this week was going to be our turn-around week, but it wasn’t."

Both Lucas and Stoffer will gather their GEICO Powersports teams and head for the final stop on the NHRA’s Western Swing, next weekend's Mopar Mile High Nationals in Denver.

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.