Stoffer goes one up, one down in Indy - 9/9/2012
Rob Geiger - Geiger Media

INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 9) - Karen Stoffer and her GEICO Suzuki team went down swinging in Sunday's 58th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Auto-Plus at Lucas Oil Raceway.

Facing No. 1 qualifier Andrew Hines in the second round, Stoffer's crew chief/husband Gary, tried a different setup in an attempt to lower her elapsed time. But Stoffer left a tick too soon, sending Hines to the semifinals.

Hines rides for the Screamin' Eagle Harley-Davidson team which has won every Pro Stock Motorcycle race this season.

"We slowed down, but that bike runs 6.90s," Stoffer said. "It runs mid-6.90s - that's what it'll run. History shows that when the Harley-Davidsons have to race us, they usually have their best pass of the weekend. We fully anticipated it. We had to do something radical, and we had to get to down to the low 6.90s, high 6.80s, so Gary tried something wild and crazy. We knew we had to."

Hines did make his best pass on the day, and the low of the round, with a run of 6.900 seconds at 193.68 mph. Stoffer's best run Sunday was 6.962 seconds at 190.54 mph in a first-round win over Chip Ellis.

Stoffer said she wasn't trying to make up the difference on the Christmas Tree against Hines, but rather made a simple mistake.

"That was me," Stoffer said. "I wasn't nervous, I wasn't trying anything. If I look at the video, I think I didn't have my feet planted good enough. I think when I went on, I pushed in just a tad. That'll do it. That's all it takes with these bikes."

Stoffer had a solid .024-second reaction time against Ellis, who left second and had a run of 7.032 seconds at 189.07 mph. The first-round win was Stoffer's ninth in 10 races this season.

"The GEICO Suzuki is still the fastest Suzuki, but that's not what it's about," Stoffer said. "I think I'm going to petition NHRA and say, 'Hey, we need to have two trophies at the end of the year. One for the top four who are always in the semifinals and finals and one for the rest of the class who are actually racing each other.'"

Stoffer will end the regular season fifth in the Pro Stock Motorcycle points standings, which will be reset for the Countdown to the Championship, which begins next weekend at zMax Dragway in Charlotte.

"It's hard watching what's happening and what's going on," Stoffer said. "We hold our heads high. We've got a fast Suzuki, and we put our best foot forward every time. We'll go into Charlotte and do the same thing. We're going to race."

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.