St. Louis marks a move up to fifth place for GEICO's Stoffer - 9/30/2012
Rob Geiger - Geiger Media

MADISON, Ill. (Sept. 30) - GEICO Suzuki rider Karen Stoffer moved to fifth place in the Pro Stock Motorcycle points standings with a second-round appearance in Sunday's NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park.

Stoffer is looking to post the top points finish of her career, as she has a best of sixth, twice (in 2006 and 2011).

"We're coming down to the end of it," Stoffer said. "It's about enjoying it and getting down the race track as much as we can. We're trying to have fun, do well and put our best foot forward for the rest of the year, for GEICO and for us."

Stoffer moved into fifth by qualifying No. 5 and taking out No. 12 qualifier Matt Smith in the first round. After a .005-second reaction time, Stoffer went 6.907 seconds at 193.38 mph as Smith red-lit.

That put her in the second round against Andrew Hines' powerful Harley-Davidson, and this time Stoffer left too soon to draw a red light.

"I'm really not trying to do anything to the Tree at all," Stoffer said. "I hate to join the red-light club, especially in eliminations. That's the worst thing, to lose on a holeshot or a red light. That darn Tree!"

Stoffer was surprised to see she had left before the green.

"It shocked me," Stoffer said. "I swear I left on yellow. The gameplan was to do the exact same thing I've done all weekend. My lights weren't that bad this weekend, and they've been pretty consistent the last four races, so I certainly wasn't trying anything different.

"And you learn not to do anything different against the Harley-Davidsons or the Hectors (Aranas). You kind of do your thing, and whatever happens, happens. That was what we were trying to do."

Stoffer and the GEICO team now head to Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa., for the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals next weekend, hoping to improve her spot in the points standings. She's a two-time finalist at Maple Grove, winning in 2006 and reaching the final in her rookie season of 2002.

"There's room for improvement at Reading," Stoffer said. "Reading's a fun track. We've done well there in the past."

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.