Summer madness arrives for Stoffer, GEICO Suzuki team - 7/4/2012
Rob Geiger - Geiger Media

NORWALK, Ohio (July 4) – The NHRA schedule has eased the Pro Stock Motorcycle class into the 2012 season, but as summer comes into full-swing, the pace is picking up for Karen Stoffer and the GEICO Suzuki team.

This weekend's Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals is the second race of the first back-to-back race weekends of the season for the bike class. Stoffer said the compressed timeframe has its advantages and disadvantages.

"Racing back-to-back is tough," she said. "But it doesn't give you a lot of time to sulk and think about things for weeks on end. You get the chance to get right back out there on the bike."

However it doesn't allow teams to make major repairs while away from their shops. Stoffer's brand new motor broke during her second round loss in Chicago last weekend and the GEICO team has been left scrambling a little bit.

"I'm not sure what direction we're going to go with our engine program," Stoffer said. "(Crew chief Gary Stoffer) is going to talk with Vance & Hines where we get our motors, and figure out what we're going to do.

"Overall the bike has been good; we've just suffered a few breakages here and there."

Stoffer is in seventh place in bike points and has gone to at least the second round in four of five races this season. Stoffer said the team needs to find some stability before they can push forward.

"We started the stretch with two really good motors and one pretty decent one," she said. "Now we're down one of the good ones. We've been working with Vance & Hines closely to make these motors better. Hopefully we can get to Norwalk and be strong.

"These Suzukis have to run on the ragged edge every single second to be competitive and there's not of room for error right now."

Pro qualifying in Norwalk gets under way at 4 p.m. EDT Friday with two qualifying sessions. Qualifying picks back up at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday with eliminations starting Sunday at 11 a.m. ESPN2 will televise the qualifying show at 6 p.m. EDT on Saturday and the elimination show at 8 p.m. on Sunday.

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.