Stoffer has the quickest Suzuki in Atlanta, qualifies seventh overall - 5/5/2012
Rob Geiger - Geiger Media

COMMERCE, Ga. (May 5) -- GEICO Suzuki rider Karen Stoffer was willing to try anything to improve her time during Saturday's final day of qualifying at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.

In the end, Stoffer made runs a tick over seven seconds in both rounds of qualifying, but neither was enough to move her up and out of the No. 7 qualifying position, which she secured with a Friday night run of 6.996 seconds at 191.02 mph.

"It wasn't a great qualifying day, but it wasn't bad either," Stoffer said. "We tried something pretty radical on that last hit. But 6.99 twice, back-to-back, we had to try to squeeze more out because when you got those V-motors running low 90s and 80s, we knew we had to do something. We tried a couple of radical things knowing it was probably going to be hotter without too much changing on the top half of the ladder."

It was hotter Saturday, as the track reached close to 138 degrees in the final session of the day, something Stoffer knows is going to be the norm going forward.

"The way the weather has been, especially last year in the winter, we know this is going to be a tough summer," Stoffer said. "This is just a precursor of what we are up against so, we are going to try some crazy things to figure it out. But we know at the end of the day, the GEICO Suzuki is going to put down the best pass and hopefully we are going to be the No. 1 Suzuki and that will help us go rounds on Sunday."

Stoffer is on the top half of the ladder for Sunday's final eliminations, and was once again the top Suzuki in all four rounds of qualifying. She sits one spot ahead of Suzuki rider LE Tonglet, whose best pass on Saturday was a 7.051 at 188.02 mph, and four ahead of Suzuki's Steve Johnson.

"We are No. 7, but I think we are still No. 1 for the Suzuki program," Stoffer said. "I know LE (Tonglet) ran a better pass in that last session, but again we were trying some different stuff to squeeze a little bit more out of our Suzuki."

Stoffer will match up against

John Hall, whose top qualifying run of the weekend was a 7.012 at 192.44 mph, in the first round on Sunday. "All in all we like our bike," Stoffer said. "Vance & Hines is doing everything they possibly can with what they have. There is no room left on R&D, but they keep scraping and finding us a little more power and a little more power."

Eliminations for the 32nd annual Summit NHRA Southern Nationals begin at 11 a.m. EDT.

Stoffer went on to extend special thanks to all of the 2012 sponsors and supporters.
Geico Powersports 1-800-442-9253, Suzuki Extended Protetion, Bates Leathers, KYMCOUSA, NGK, Airtech, Red Line Oil, American Racing Products, Mechanix Wear Gloves, and TKO Graphics.