GEICO Powersports Racers Lucas and Stoffer Bounced Early In Brainerd - 8/15/2010
Rob Geiger - Geiger Media

BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 15) -- A day that began with big dreams ended abruptly in Round 1 of eliminations with GEICO Powersports teammates Morgan Lucas and Karen Stoffer both sent packing by their opponents.

Lucas' bid to repeat as champion of the Lucas Oil Nationals ended when he lost to the higher-qualified car of Antron Brown. Lucas posted a 3.950 at 297.68 mph in his GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster to Brown's 3.843 at 310.48 mph.

"Obviously this isn't the result we were hoping for," Lucas said. "No matter what, this race is always special for all of us on this team and the memory of last year's win will always be there. You can't help but have a good time with the fans here and 'the Zoo' lived up to it's reputation once again.

"We have a test session planned before Indy and we've got a lot of things we're anxious to try. It's a frustrating time right but the guys are working hard to fix all our issues. Hopefully the test will help us find a tune-up that agrees with this racecar. There's no giving up for us. We'll keep plugging away until we get the job done."

Stoffer got a starting line jump on reigning series champion Hector Arana and led her Round 1 race past the 330-foot timers, but her GEICO Powersports Suzuki was blown out of the groove by a stout crosswind at the end of the grandstands and she had to lean way off of her machine to keep it between the lines.

Losing her aerodynamic advantage when she wasn't tucked in behind the fairing of her bike, Stoffer lost enough momentum to allow Arana by for the win. The official numbers had Arana taking the stripe in 7.025 seconds at 187.55 mph to Stoffer's 7.134 at 183.17 mph.

"The wind was a factor but we're starting to think it's much more of a an issue with the chassis," Stoffer said. "It's just been too erratic, not responding to what we're doing at all. We're seriously contemplating getting our old chassis out and running it for the rest of the year. That's the thought right now.

"I talked all weekend about backing up what we did in Denver (runner-up) with another strong race and we didn't get it done. At the same time, we did lockdown our playoff spot so it's kind of a mixed feeling at the moment. We've got some time now before Indy so we'll be able to regroup. We're always doing our best for GEICO."

The NHRA tour takes two weeks off before the Countdown to the Championship begins Sept. 2-6 at the 56th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil.

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.