Things are heating up at just the right time for GEICO pro Stoffer - 7/26/2012
Rob Geiger - Geiger Media

SONOMA, Calif. (July 26) - Pro Stock Motorcycle teams and riders have had to deal with searing heat in recent races. But that's just fine for GEICO Suzuki rider Karen Stoffer as she gears up for the NHRA Sonoma Nationals at Sears Point Raceway.

"I love it," Stoffer said. "Heat doesn't me. It bothers the bike and my team more than it bothers me. I'm only on the bike for six seconds, so I'm OK with the heat. I'm fortunate: I get to race. Whatever the conditions are, I enjoy it. As long as I'm on a safe, fast bike, I'm happy."

Teams battled Midwestern heat and humidity in Chicago, faced a heat index approaching 110 degrees in Norwalk, Ohio, and then had to deal with near 100-degree heat in the thin air of Denver. Stoffer won at least one round in all three races, responding with a No. 4 qualifier in Norwalk and a semifinal appearance in Denver.

"Those are all good things," Stoffer said. "Those are all good things to bring into the Countdown when you're facing those hot tracks."

Stoffer moved into fifth place in the points standings heading to Sonoma, three races before the Countdown to the Championship begins.

"We've never been a real strong team in the heat, but Gary (Stoffer, crew chief) is getting better and better at tuning," Stoffer said. "You have tuners who are either really good in the cool or really good in the heat. Last year, Gary got really good at doing both, but then we had the motor problems.

"We're going to go to a lot of hot tracks. If you think about how the schedule lays out, the tracks are potentially going to be hot and slippery."

Conditions shouldn't be as brutal this weekend in Sonoma, a favorite track among many NHRA competitors, including Nevada resident Stoffer.

"Racing close to home is always nice," Stoffer said. "The mountain was good to us, but it'll be nice to get back to Sonoma."

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.