Is there a pot of gold under Gateway Arch for Stoffer? - 9/29/2012
Rob Geiger - Geiger Media

ST. LOUIS (Sept. 29) - Karen Stoffer and the GEICO Suzuki kept up their momentum this weekend at Gateway Motorsports Park, following up their final-round appearance last week in Dallas with a No. 5 qualifying effort.

"The conditions came to the Suzukis," Stoffer said. "It's a little bit cooler, so it leveled the field a little bit. Still, if you look at the last session, a 6.89 (seconds) was the fastest Suzuki and the fastest Buell was 6.80, so we're still miles and miles away. But definitely for the GEICO Suzuki, it's a pretty decent weekend."

Stoffer had a best pass of 6.877 seconds at 193.40 mph and she'll square off against No. 12 qualifier Matt Smith, who had a best lap of 6.910 seconds at 190.51 mph.

"You're better off starting on the top half of the ladder," Stoffer said. "Even still, we're probably going to have to have one of the Buells or one of the Harleys in the second round.

"But the racing on Sunday happens on the race track, not on paper. Sunday, everybody's got a shot, and we're going to try to do what we've been doing all year: Be consistent and make good passes and see where that lands."

Stoffer and the GEICO team rebounded from a Q1 lap that the team had to abort when the bike didn't get off the line straight.

"We faltered on the first session, so we didn't get down the track," Stoffer said. "You never want to do that. You need all four hits to try and perform on Sunday. All in all, at least we were able to get in that No. 5 position.

"If it's not an absolute perfect pass, there's no need to go down and put wear and tear on these motors and things. It left the gate and drifted over to the right and started getting close to the centerline. Rather than spin the tire and potentially get high revs and blow up a motor, I decided to abort it."

Stoffer said her crew made a quick fix and things went smoothly from there on out.

"We reset everything and have been making good passes ever since," she said. "We're ready to do what we've been doing all year long, just try to do good, clean passes and see how it falls against the rest of the other manufacturers."

Eliminations at the NHRA Midwest Nationals get under way at 11 a.m. CDT 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.